ViuTV set for April launch

Top News | Esther Yu 2 Mar 2016

Free-to-air ViuTV, which is owned by PCCW (0008), will be launched on April 6, spurring a possible war in the market that has long been dominated by the two traditional free-TV stations.

The 24-hour channel will include locally produced reality shows, dramas, and live football matches from the top Spanish Primera Division.

ViuTV general manager Lofai Lo said the very existence of the new TV station is to "offer choices to the local audience" and introduce competition to the market.

"I think it will effectively boost production qualities for market participants," Lo said.

He also said subtitles on all the programs on the channel come only in traditional Chinese characters.

Prime time will mostly be dedicated to reality shows, Lo said at a press conference yesterday. One such show will include an episode featuring Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing going on a trip with radical lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung.

News programs on the station would be divided to two half-an- hour sections every day at six and eight pm. Sister company NowTV's newscast will be shown on ViuTV, but a self- produced in-depth news program would be aired every weekend.

Lo said about 10 former ATV staff have joined them in the past six months. He further revealed that there are a variety of businesses set to run advertising on the channel, including those who are new to TV advertising.

Animation shows would be on after midnight, with imported programs from Japan such as One Piece and Tokyo Ghoul.

There is also a self-produced children's program in the evening time slot hosted by people of different races in order to "develop a broader world view" for the next generation, Lo said.

An English channel will be added before March next year in order to abide by the license requirements.

ViuTV is to launch publicly at midnight on channel number 99 but only those with digital terrestrial TVs will be able to tune in. Now TV subscribers are also able to have a testing preview on March 31.

Yesterday, TVB (0511), soon to be the only operating free-to- air TV station, put out a new online platform, MyTV SUPER, showing Chinese and East Asian dramas, movies and entertainment shows from 30 channels. The subscription fee starts at HK$68 a month.

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