Chairman's pictureThe 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 to come.

1The figure involves multiple counting.

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