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Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 18:10

Star-studded bash launches ViuTV in wake of ATV’s demise

By Li Xiange

Star-studded bash launches ViuTV in wake of ATV’s demise
ViuTV is officially launhced on April 5, 2016. (Provided to China Daily)

HONG KONG - One of Asia Television’s (ATV) successors in Hong Kong’s free-to-air television market – PCCW’s ViuTV – officially launched on Wednesday with a star-studded ceremony.

More than 1,000 industry luminaries and personalities were present at the launch at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, with Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah also on hand for the bash.

Tsang said the station’s arrival was a welcome addition to Hong Kong’s broadcasting ecosystem – which constituted 5 percent of the city’s GDP, on par with the tourism industry.

Tsang said television had long been an important driver for the economy, innovation and talent development.

ViuTV, headed by 37-year-old journalism graduate Lo Ting-fai, is a subsidiary of tycoon scion Richard Li Tzar-kai’s PCCW, which has pledged more than HK$1.3 billion for the channel over the next six years.

More than 4,000 hours of programming have been acquired, including 2,400 hours of original content.

The new free digital broadcaster – occupying channel 99 on terrestrial television sets – began airing its official line-up, including news updates at 6 pm and 8 pm, on April 6. Its prime-time hours are dominated by imported popular drama series from South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

The station will depart from regular syndicated programs to air the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament this weekend. It also promises to feature other live sporting events such as Spanish La Liga soccer matches.

The 24-hour digital broadcast service is expect to cover 99 percent of the city, while a smartphone app is available for full line-up viewing with exceptions for live broadcasts or content subject to copyright limits.

ViuTV’s official start comes after a soft launch last week and days after ATV went off the air on April 1.

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