2.2 Number of Channels
2.2.1 Television Programme Services
As at August 2006, the 19 domestic free, domestic pay and
non-domestic television programme service licensees altogether
provided 389 television channels2, of which 286
channels were receivable in Hong Kong, representing an increase
of 12% and 10% respectively over the previous year. An overview
of channels provided by the television licensees is shown
in Figure 3.
ATV and TVB each operated one Cantonese and one English language service. They were respectively ATV Home and ATV World; and TVB Jade and TVB Pearl.
The number of total pay television channels2 offered
by the three domestic pay television programme service licensees
increased from 207 to 239 over the previous year, representing
an increase of 15%.
Separately, as at August 2006, Hong Kong Broadband Network
Limited (HKBN) also provided 55 channels on a subscription
basis. However, as HKBN's service was provided on the Internet,
it was exempted from the licensing regime of the Broadcasting
Ordinance (Cap. 562)3.
The number of television channels offered by the non-domestic television programme service licensees increased by 8% from 135 to 146 over the previous year. Of them, 43 channels were available for Hong Kong viewers.
|Figure 3 :
||Television Channels Provided by all Television
Licensees in Hong Kong
The numbers of television channels provided by non-domestic
television programme service licensees since 2000 are shown
in Figure 4.
|Figure 4 :
||Number of Channels Provided by Non-Domestic
Television Programme Service Licensees
In addition to television channels provided by television
programme service licensees in Hong Kong, Hong Kong people
are free to receive unencrypted satellite television programme
channels uplinked from outside Hong Kong. As at August 2006,
there were more than 200 such free-to-air satellite television
channels available for reception in Hong Kong via the Satellite
Master Antenna Television (SMATV) systems. The list of channels
currently available can be downloaded at http://www.ofta.gov.hk/datastat/st_smatv.pdf.
2.2.2 Sound Broadcasting Services
The number of radio channels remained unchanged at 13. CRHK and Metro each operated two Cantonese FM channels and one English AM channel. The Cantonese channels were CR1 and CR2; and Metro Showbiz and Metro Finance. The English channels were respectively AM864 and Metro Plus. RTHK provided seven radio channels, three in Cantonese (Radio 1, 2 and 5), two in English (Radio 3 and 6), one bilingual in English and Cantonese (Radio 4) and one in Putonghua (Radio 7). All channels mentioned above were broadcast round-the-clock.
Some channels were provided by
more than one licensee at the same time.
A "television programme service"
as defined in section 2 of the Broadcasting Ordinance
excludes the provision of a service that, among others,
consists only of a service that is specified in Schedule
3. Section 5 of Schedule 3 to the Broadcasting Ordinance
states that one of the exempted services is: "Any service
provided on the service commonly known as the INTERNET".