HKTV fails with mobile TV bid

1 Oct 2015

Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV) has failed in its legal bid to gain permission to offer mobile TV services via its Hong Kong Mobile Television Network (HKMTV) division. HKTV acquired the mobile TV unit including associated licensed frequencies from China Mobile Hong Kong in 2013 and has been looking to offer services using the Digital Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcast (DTMB) standard. According to a report from South China Morning Post, the High Court has ruled that the firm needs a terrestrial TV broadcasting licence to operate the DTMB-based service. However, HKTV’s previous applications for a free-to-air TV broadcast licence have been repeatedly denied by the government. China Mobile HK’s previous mobile TV service was delivered over a Chinese-developed technology platform (CMMB) rather than HKTV’s intended DTMB standard, which Hong Kong regulator OFCA has ruled cannot be operated under HKMTV’s existing mobile TV licence apparently due to a significant number of households being likely to receive its television services.

HKTV, which currently provides over-the-top (OTT) web-based channels, is considering lodging an appeal against the latest High Court decision. Both HKTV and HKMTV are owned by media tycoon Ricky Wong Wai-kay.