Domestic Pay Television Programme Services
the pay television front, the aggregate number of domestic pay television
subscribers increased to over 1.2 million, representing a growth
of 23% over the previous year and a market penetration of 54.5%.
The number of channels grew by 27% from 163 to 207 over the previous
year with an increasing emphasis on local programming. Our technology-neutral
regulatory regime and light-handed regulatory approach encouraged
the employment of new technologies. We are pleased to say that Hong
Kong is one of the world leaders in adopting Internet Protocol television
Apart from programme enhancement, pay television licensees also
competed vigorously in terms of both new multimedia services and
prices. A variety of new value-added services, including video-on-demand
services and interactive online cinema ticketing services were launched.
There are also plans for HDTV to be introduced on the pay television
platform. The pay television licensees also competed on the subscription
packages on offer, including packages bundled with Internet access.
One licensee offered a-la-carte options at a price as low as $5
for one subscription channel. As a result, pay television has become
more affordable to more customers in Hong Kong than ever before.
I am pleased to learn that according to a recent Study on the Effective
Regulation of the Pay-Television Industry in the Asia Pacific conducted
by the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia, Hong
Kong, together with Japan, came out on top in the Asia Pacific region
in terms of regulatory effectiveness. Our regulatory environment
has helped to boost competition, investment and revenue generation
in the pay television industry. The annual industry investment in
Hong Kong reached US$393 per pay television household over the past
three years from 2002 to 2004.
Non-domestic Television Programme Services
In the year under review, the number of satellite television channels
uplinked by the 13 non-domestic television programme service licensees
increased by 121% from 61 to 135. Their services covered footprints
in Asia, Australasia, Europe and Africa. These operators include
subsidiaries of renowned international media groups like News Corporation
and Time Warner Inc. Their presence helps to strengthen Hong Kong's
position as a regional broadcasting hub.
Competition regulation is another major responsibility of the Authority.
In 2005, the Authority completed the investigation of two competition
complaints alleging anti-competitive conduct in relation to the
exclusive supply of television programmes.
Protecting Viewers' Interests
One of the major tasks of the Authority is to secure proper standards
of broadcast content for protection of public morals and viewers'
interests. In the year under review, the Authority processed close
to 4,200 complaint cases related to broadcast content. To facilitate
the development of the industry, the Authority reviewed and amended
certain outdated provisions in the codes of practice on programme
and advertising standards so as to remove unnecessary regulatory
burdens on the licensees.