Hong Kong TVB Online

WORDLEOnline viewing was not smooth on the launch night. (Photo: Harry Lai)

By Harry Lai

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rom 19th November, 2014 onwards, Hong Kong people set to experience a new television era. Hong Kong people now have another choice to tune in to HKTV’s web-based channel since its inaugural day last Wednesday. But, what does it mean? To help spell out the changing landscape of Hong Kong television industry, we will investigate the implications of numbers that matter. What do these numbers mean in practice?

640, 000

A spokeswoman for HKTV said more than 640, 000 devices, including TVs, phones and computers, watched HKTV programs on its launch day. Meanwhile, on the same night, TVB’s 47th anniversary gala recorded its lowest viewer ratings in 17 years.擷取2 The average 1.62 million people, equivalent to 25 viewer ratings, were estimated to watch the supposed top-rated show in the year.

Anyway, TVB did beat HKTV in terms of viewer number at least on that night. It may seem to be an immediate relief to TVB. Still a large number of viewers stick to the traditional big screen. Yet, the convergence of traditional television and Internet television will definitely continue.

Worth mentioning, Around 22.2% of Hong Kong’s population watched TVB on that night, while the number is only 8.85% for HKTV. But, if we combine the two numbers together, we can see that around 70% of Hong Kong people were not attracted by the big events in the two television stations. Maybe the battle between TVB and HKTV is less fierce than the battle between television and other forms of entertainment.

擷取39.8%

Derived from the aforementioned viewer number, a picture of the competition between the rivals becomes vivid. On the launch night, HKTV’s viewers are already around 39.8% of TVB viewers.

In fact, according to the viewership rating survey conducted by the former Broadcasting Authority (BA) in 2010 on a review of free TV licences, the ratio of the viewership ratings of TVB to ATV is 9:1. It means that ATV’s viewers were only around 11% of TVB counterpart. It provides a simple clue to us that HKTV has enormous potential to replace ATV’s role of the main competitor of TVB in free television broadcasting.

擷取3400, 000

To realise the potential of HKTV, the tactical problem must be overcome. HKTV Chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay said before 19th November that a maximum of 400, 000 viewers may watch any program simultaneously at any given time. In other words, on the launch day, the capacity of the network could only support 62.5% of the 640, 000 viewers. It may explain the overloaded network and the crash that night.

It raised an awkward situation that the larger number of viewers brought a problem to HKTV. What HKTV’s technical team should do is not just fixing the issues, but preparing for the expansion of its broadcasting.

Two new dramas were broadcast on the launch day. They are police procedural drama, “The Borderline” and political drama “The Election“. Obviously, The Election is not Hong Kong’s first TV drama, related to the topic of politics. In some of TVB’s dramas, roles of characters were political leaders, just like the popular The Election is indeed the first TV drama in Hong Kong with the main theme of Hong Kong’s election.

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