past year has been a seminal year for the broadcasting industry
in Hong Kong, particularly in the pay television market where considerable
change has taken place.
In 2004, the total number of subscribers to pay TV services surged
to nearly 1 million, representing a market penetration rate of 44.5%.
With the launch of two new services - PCCW Media Limited (formerly
known as PCCW VOD Limited) launched its "now Broadband TV" service
in late 2003 and Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting Limited commenced
broadcast branded as "ex-TV" in early 2004 - the total number of
pay TV channels has leap-frogged to 1631, being double
that of last year.
Quantity aside, there was also encouraging enrichment in programme content.
In the past year, HK pay TV viewers have access to a much wider
choice of premium sports programmes and exclusive entertainment
programmes. More importantly, there was an increase in local programmes
available on the pay TV platform. All these have been achieved with
no significant increase in subscription fees. These developments
suggest that Hong Kong has been benefiting from the development
of the pay TV market since it was opened up in 2000. Notwithstanding
these encouraging developments, the Authority believes that the
full potential of the pay TV market in Hong Kong can be further
developed. On this, everyone has a role to play - the Authority,
the industry players and the viewers. On our part, we will strive
to ensure a fair and effective regulatory environment which is conducive
to investment and innovation. The Authority is confident that the
pay TV market in Hong Kong will continue to thrive for many years
1The figure involves multiple