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It's now or never, says frustrated free TV player

hong kong hktv nowtv i-cable tvb ricky wong

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#1 llwy12

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:21 PM

It's now or never, says frustrated free TV player
HKTV airs online premier of thriller as boss tells rivals to pull out if they don't want licence now

Source: South China Morning Post

Article originally published June 15th, 2013

Written by Vivienne Chow at SCMP

Posted Image



PCCW and i-Cable should quit the race for free-to-air television licences if they don't want one now, Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV) boss Ricky Wong Wai-kay says.

"If you don't want the licence, drop your application," Wong told his rivals yesterday.

He was speaking before last night's online premiere of the first episode of HKTV crime thriller Borderline - the first time the station has offered a full run of any part of its yet-to-be released programme. Wong had pledged to show an episode when the channel's Facebook page reached 100,000 "likes" - a milestone it has just passed. "If I don't show it, fans will probably want to kill me," Wong said.

HKTV, PCCW and i-Cable Communications filed their applications for a free-to-air domestic TV licence more than three years ago but none has been granted. PCCW and i-Cable have agreed the licences should be postponed until 2015, when the licences of existing players TVB and ATV expire and they have to apply for a renewal.

"It's just like three students are scheduled to take an exam. Then one student calls in sick, the other says he hasn't done his revision. And you are asking the third student not to take the exam? They should just drop it and don't take this exam," Wong said.

Apparently keen to stay in the race, he strove last night to impress viewers with the first episode of Borderline. Starring former TVB veterans Liu Kai-chi, a Hong Kong Film Awards best supporting actor, and Dominic Lam Ka-wah, the big-production series was shot on location.

So Man-chung, who produced TVB's popular series Detective Investigation Files, is the chief director of Borderline.

Wong said the show deviated from TVB's conventional approach, looking to US dramas. While he was confident about the production quality, he said it would be tough to overcome the public's "emotional attachment" to TVB over the past 45 years.

Wong denied that the decision to air a full episode on HKTV's Facebook and YouTube channel was a result of pressure from staff, who have already produced eight TV drama series that have yet to see the light of day.

It was also not because HKTV could not wait any longer for the licence. He said the number of likes went up from 40,000 three weeks ago to over 100,000, and he was keeping his promise to show an episode. Wong also denied trying to win public support to force the government to grant the licence swiftly, "but if the number of likes goes up from 100,000 to 500,000 all of a sudden, the government should look into this".

The number of views was not immediately available from YouTube. About 3,000 Facebook users liked the episode within two hours of it airing. Most comments on YouTube were positive.

#2 athlon

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:41 PM

Well, I can now fully understand why TVB is shitting bricks.
The quality is simply oozing from HKTV's series. After watching 5 minutes of Borderline, and seeing the superb camerawork... And then I saw the poster for Awfully Lawful... TVB is in a lot of trouble.
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#3 llwy12

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:05 PM

^LOL….good point. I mean, if TVB can’t even hire a decent designer to do something as simple as not make each of their freakin’ series posters look like they came out of a Photoshop catalogue, what confidence do we have that they will invest in improving the quality of their series the way HKTV has?

Back when Ricky Wong was ‘bashing’ TVB, people were saying that he should just shut up and let his series do the talking. Well, recently he’s been doing that (though he hasn’t exactly ‘shut up’ yet – but his series sure are doing the talking…LOL!)…..and whether it was his intention or not, the fact of the matter is that he HAS garnered more support for HKTV through the airing of Borderline’s first episode as well as the other extended trailer clips for the other series. So overall, his campaign was ‘successful’, even if the license thing is still up in the air…
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#4 selliesellie

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 02:48 AM

hktv is putting tvb to shame with it's high quality hd image and camera production! the series look like a movie! police boundaries look beautiful and first episode very suspenseful! not like tvb where action only come at the rushing ending climax! none of tvb series look as good as this because tvb too cheap to upgrade to better gadgets or pay good money to motivate scriptwriters! The beautiful camera work makes you ignore the unknown cast and don't bother to judge some of the subpar acting from certain cast because the positive movie quality image outweighs any cons!

Edited by selliesellie, 19 June 2013 - 02:50 AM.

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#5 The Yen Man

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:51 AM

Watched the first episode of Borderline. It blows anything TVB has ever produced right out of the water in terms of production value and camera work. It's painfully obvious now that TVB is a huge cause of HK TV stagnation. If this is the standard we should expect from HKTV, then I'm not sure how TVB can compete unless they overhaul their whole process. HKTV really makes TVB look like a high school film club project by comparison.

The only real question is whether the HK audience is willing to try something fresh, bold, and new, or would they rather continue tuning in to TVB's mediocrity and bland safety. Judging by TVB's continuing decline in ratings, I really hope its the former rather than the later. HK entertainment as a whole would benefit from it.

Man, i hope they get that free to air license quick. Can't wait to see more of HKTV's series.

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:45 AM

HKTV lauched a really good eps of Borderline. The quality of Txb went downhill so badly recently and the frequent faces cant help to grab the attentions, so the new thing is capturing the focus. But the habit of audience is a focal point when HKer dont seem to accept anything less boring than a noisy family war Txb series. It means HKTV works well online, but having it on free TV might not be that successful.

Btw, Ricky Wong really doesnt think that NowTV and I-cable are trying to kick his CTI out of the game and play safe game? Or he is trying to make Now and I-cable the"cowards" in eyes of viewers? Quite smart but lonely. HKTV is walking alone while the street is still long.

Watever, watching HKTV's online work is better than watching the boring Txb series. I watched an eps of a famous series which is having sequel and surprisingly, I have no idea why ppl like it. Its simply plain. And I watched a sequel of a famous series this year, too boring to bear. Now Im watching few old Txb series, found out how good it was. Everything in Txb now is just... boring.

#7 selliesellie

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:22 AM

^tvb really sucks this year especially with the idiotic bullet brain and boring beauty at war. 3 times tv king wayne lai failed and so is most famous gentleman moses. even sheren tang failed to do anything and tvb recorded its lowest ever rating in history for beauty at 18 points and must be lowest ever final week ratings for prime time series at 20 points.

tvb really dying! i'm now only waiting for triumph2, on call2, brother keeper and rosy 3 to save tvb and the ratings! don't want to continue watch change of heart although has mandy because niki chow and michael miu act horribly! tvb really in trouble!
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#8 athlon

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:37 AM

hktv is putting tvb to shame with it's high quality hd image and camera production! the series look like a movie! police boundaries look beautiful and first episode very suspenseful! not like tvb where action only come at the rushing ending climax! none of tvb series look as good as this because tvb too cheap to upgrade to better gadgets or pay good money to motivate scriptwriters! The beautiful camera work makes you ignore the unknown cast and don't bother to judge some of the subpar acting from certain cast because the positive movie quality image outweighs any cons!


I've finished watching the first Ep after I made that post. It's a great camera work, although that guy who plays that cop is kinda overacting and the story is a bit farfetched. It's more like a pilot I guess.

But the "supporting" cast is totally balancing the "bad" aspects out. Unlike TVB who likes to concentrate on a few goodlooking main leads and put in some (very) bad supporting cast. HKTV is doing the opposite, get some lesser known main cast and superb supporting cast and the whole series averaged out at least to a B+.
(while on TVB you get bumbed out by that cringeworthy second lead)

^LOL….good point. I mean, if TVB can’t even hire a decent designer to do something as simple as not make each of their freakin’ series posters look like they came out of a Photoshop catalogue, what confidence do we have that they will invest in improving the quality of their series the way HKTV has?

Back when Ricky Wong was ‘bashing’ TVB, people were saying that he should just shut up and let his series do the talking. Well, recently he’s been doing that (though he hasn’t exactly ‘shut up’ yet – but his series sure are doing the talking…LOL!)…..and whether it was his intention or not, the fact of the matter is that he HAS garnered more support for HKTV through the airing of Borderline’s first episode as well as the other extended trailer clips for the other series. So overall, his campaign was ‘successful’, even if the license thing is still up in the air…



To make my point more clear:
Posted Image

vs

Posted Image

Borderline's poster does not tell you what the series is about. It just gives hint. "The world is not black&white, the world is grey" and "the strongest of this series is the cast."

This is HKTV's facebook btw. I don't usually "like" facebook pages, but this time I made an exception http://facebook.com/hktvnetwork
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#9 exoidus

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:56 AM

PCCW and i-Cable trying to get rid of HKTV bc it poses a much greater threat? Are they even competing for the same target group within the TV market?
Agree with Ricky, if they don't want the free licenses they can just withdraw from the competition instead of dragging the whole TV market down the drain. Sure TVB will lose a significant portion of their revenue, however their existence will not be threaten in the short run due to the "emotional attachment".it created during its life.

Besides im pretty sure there are ppl who will continue to watch TVB just bc it doesn't require alot of thinking i.e easy to figure out/follow so you can multitask while watching it, LOL
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#10 selliesellie

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:32 AM

atv is basically not doing anything to hk tv industry now why don't just replace atv with hktv that evidently produces highest quality series when compared to tvb or other cables whatever now? all atv doing is making some stupid protests to stop hktv! don't get this!
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#11 llwy12

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:16 PM

Well, I guess now more and more people understand what HKTV artists and crew meant when many of them said that they decided to join HKTV not because of money, but rather because of Ricky Wong's "sincerity". Of course, the way Ricky Wong treats his employees (which is completely opposite from the way TVB treats their employees) is one way he shows this “sincerity” (and also one reason why he’s got so many talented people willing to work for him) – but the other big thing is his “sincerity” in terms of giving audiences a more enhanced, state of the art viewing experience, which is manifested in his willingness to invest tons of money in high caliber filming equipment, his insistence on filming each of his series in real life locations rather than fake sets, giving his scriptwriters and producers the creative freedom to shape the production the way they feel is best without the burden of dealing with internal politics (this is one area that TVB continues to fail in), etc.

For any employee, their work environment/work condition is very important and so far, Ricky Wong has been successful in creating a work environment where his employees feel respected and valued, no matter what position they are in (whereas with TVB, you were only ‘respected’ and ‘valued’ if you were part of the management’s ‘favorites’ group). With any company, the leaders at the top are crucial to shaping the philosophy and direction of the company – as the saying goes, “it starts at the top” and trickles down from there.

One thing I’ve observed about HKTV over the past year or so that has really impressed me is how UNITED the team is over there (sort of reminds me of the unity and team spirit that TVB used to have back in the 70s/80s and early 90s). Part of the reason why HKTV’s Facebook “Like” campaign was so successful was because of the huge effort the HKTV staff (meaning the artists and behind the scenes crew) put into promoting it, especially on Facebook and Weibo, interacting with audiences/viewers to obtain feedback – even Ricky Wong put himself out there to solicit feedback from audiences and also serve as ‘cheerleader’ for his team (when have we ever seen TVB execs roll up their sleeves and put themselves out there like that?). To me, whether HKTV ends up “succeeding” or not in terms of the license thing doesn’t matter as much anymore – they’ve already proven to me what sincerity, respect, unity, and team spirit are all about…
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#12 sport

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:02 PM

I agree with Ricky, if iCable and NowTV doesn't care about their licenses then they might as well forfeit!
And seriously so far iCable and NowTV has done nothing in showing they deserve their licenses! They didn't do anything in terms of putting pressure on government nor have they been active filmly series to show they have th quality to go into battle with other existing tv stations!

I like how Ricky Wong is like I'm not worried about not getting license, I'm more worried about whether out series is up to standard and we're able to compete with others when we finally get it!

Stupid TVB followers complain about HKTV+Ricky Wong is wasting money filmin before getting license but they're wrong! Furthermore it's his 30 billion that he's using, not your money and he has only used 2 billion up to this point.

You're not going to "rush" into filming once you get the license. You want to have enough time to do all the editting and have enough stock/"goods" on hand before officially broadcasting!

I'd like to see where all the haters/doubters are now after watching HKTV's Police Boundaries episode 1? Posted Image Their real location filming is just awesome. Even the police station and labs you see in there are real! That adds alot more realism to their scenes! And FYI, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea has been doing this for years!

I agree with llwy12, over the past two years, Ricky Wong has shown he's willing to get his hands dirty to the level of his coworkers. Running around with the film crew, understanding their needs, hardships, and most importantly work environment that needs improving! This is the correct way a top management and CEO of a company should be!

Not like TVB, ignoring employee's complaints and shoving every problem under the rug or pointing fingers at them! In other words, unwilling to change nor improve.

Edited by sport, 19 June 2013 - 04:20 PM.


#13 mi.ny.veg

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:28 PM

Hmm, for me it's not like the other two channels don't want to get their free licenses. It's more like they aren't in a rush to get it like Ricky Wong is. I believe it was Now Cable that was more vocal 2 years ago. They bought the rights to air the games for Fifa and was hoping to have an exclusive when they received the free to air license. But now they are in no rush to get the license. They are still profitable in their own way, while Ricky is just burning a bigger and bigger hole in his pocket.

I still question whether or not the HK market is able to sustain 3 additional stations. As an audience it's awesome because I will probably be spending most of my time watching Cantonese series. But as a business standpoint the competition is just way too fierce. If NowCable and TVB are willing to join forces then then it's a huge uphill battle for Ricky Wong.

#14 llwy12

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:50 PM

I still question whether or not the HK market is able to sustain 3 additional stations. As an audience it's awesome because I will probably be spending most of my time watching Cantonese series. But as a business standpoint the competition is just way too fierce. If NowCable and TVB are willing to join forces then then it's a huge uphill battle for Ricky Wong.


I also question whether the HK market will be able to sustain 3 additional stations, but still, what's the harm in trying? Worst thing that will happen is that certain stations may end up folding and we're back to where we started (1 station monopolizing the entire industry).....but even if that eventually ends up happening, at least the effort was made and everyone benefits from the experience....plus, who knows -- maybe the market will be able to sustain it and things turn out well in the long run.

Sure, from a business standpoint, it's natural for companies to be selfish and not want to allow other competitors into the market....but honestly, if that company is truly a good company that sells a good quality product and they have confidence in the product they're selling, why should they be afraid of other players coming into the market? If anything, the fact that they now have competition should motivate them to make an even better product so that they can continue to remain at the top. Obviously though, that's a concept that TVB and ATV don't understand....

To me, with the way TVB and ATV are fighting this free license thing tooth and nail, they're essentially proving to me that all the criticisms they've been getting about the poor quality of their programs are true -- let's be honest here....if TVB/ATV were truly confident that they're selling a quality product and are therefore unafraid of competition as they claim (how many times have we heard Mark Lee / Norman Leung or James Shing, etc. emphasize that they are "not afraid of competition"??), then why would they make such a big stink about HKTV trying to get their foot in the door? Honestly, both companies (TVB especially) are being hypocrites -- on the one hand, they keep saying that their products are excellent, they have confidence in their products, they are not afraid of competition, blah blah blah....yet they are trying their darndest to prevent the competition from existing, simply because the competition currently has a better product than them.

TVB definitely has their priorities wrong....rather than wasting their time trying to cook up ways to prevent HKTV from getting their license, TVB is better off focusing more on how to improve the quality of their productions...I mean, you would think that what happened to ATV should be a lesson for TVB not to go down the same path (ATV has been in existence for 56 years and was once a thriving company -- but unfortunately, the idiotic management that they had the past 2-3 decades pretty much ran the company into the ground).....this is where I have to say that Ricky Wong is way smarter than the TVB execs -- at least he has his priorities right (and obviously he knows how to run a business better than those fools at TVB/ATV)....
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#15 exoidus

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:58 PM

Obviously TVB will lose a big portion of their market share after the issuance of the licenses it's inevitable. The population in HK has grown from approx. 5.18 mill to 7.07 mill in the last 30yrs (1981-2011) hence will be able to support more than basically 1 player and not to mention there are other sources of revenue e.g selling broadcasting rights abroad. Besides HK is a free market society i.e "survival of the fittest" and it's not the Gov. job to protect any players from harm.

Mgt. at TVB have no "skin in the game" and therefore wouldn't bother to make better products since it's hard work and might hurt the bottom line (bonus at stake). Surely it's much more convenient for them to maintain status quo. Only losers if more players are added are shareholder & incompetent execs/employees. For all other stakeholders there are no downside at all.

Hopefully the free licenses will be issued soon I miss watching cantonese series of quality and without the risk of getting stupid due to illogical plots. LOL

#16 mi.ny.veg

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 11:17 PM

TVB definitely has their priorities wrong....rather than wasting their time trying to cook up ways to prevent HKTV from getting their license, TVB is better off focusing more on how to improve the quality of their productions...I mean, you would think that what happened to ATV should be a lesson for TVB not to go down the same path (ATV has been in existence for 56 years and was once a thriving company -- but unfortunately, the idiotic management that they had the past 2-3 decades pretty much ran the company into the ground).....this is where I have to say that Ricky Wong is way smarter than the TVB execs -- at least he has his priorities right (and obviously he knows how to run a business better than those fools at TVB/ATV)....


TVB's priority isn't wrong, just different from what the audience wants. Their priority is making money and they are profitable, so as a business its the right choice. Whether the end product is good or not, its subjective. There's still lots of fans of TVB that's willing to accept their series and enjoy it. In fact, I think TVB is rather smart for marketing their slaves into the Mainland market.

Do you happen to know how long Ricky Wong worked at ATV and why he left? I heard he got into some legal issues with ATV suing him for disclosing trade secrets of ATV.

Obviously TVB will lose a big portion of their market share after the issuance of the licenses it's inevitable. The population in HK has grown from approx. 5.18 mill to 7.07 mill in the last 30yrs (1981-2011) hence will be able to support more than basically 1 player and not to mention there are other sources of revenue e.g selling broadcasting rights abroad. Besides HK is a free market society i.e "survival of the fittest" and it's not the Gov. job to protect any players from harm.

Mgt. at TVB have no "skin in the game" and therefore wouldn't bother to make better products since it's hard work and might hurt the bottom line (bonus at stake). Surely it's much more convenient for them to maintain status quo. Only losers if more players are added are shareholder & incompetent execs/employees. For all other stakeholders there are no downside at all.

Hopefully the free licenses will be issued soon I miss watching cantonese series of quality and without the risk of getting stupid due to illogical plots. LOL


Population isn't the issue, its the advertisers. There's only a limited amount of companies that can afford to have an ad on TV. With competition the revenue will only be lowered.

Also, selling broadcasting rights to overseas isn't as easy as it sounds. Especially with TVB having shares in some TV stations overseas. I highly doubt TVB will buy series produced by other rival stations from HK.

#17 Sushi007

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 11:23 PM

So the question is....are we ever going to see HKTV actually air on TV?

#18 llwy12

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:23 AM

Do you happen to know how long Ricky Wong worked at ATV and why he left? I heard he got into some legal issues with ATV suing him for disclosing trade secrets of ATV.


The suing thing was just ATV's top guy James Shing being stupid -- there's no water to what he says (that guy is even more of an idiot than TVB's execs). Basically, when he saw Ricky Wong gaining some ground earlier this year with his series' trailer clips (meaning that HKTV was getting more support), he tried to cry foul by saying that the reason why Ricky Wong was able to get so many series made so quickly was because he stole the ideas from ATV in the form of 'secret documents' that he took with him when he left (I guess you could say that James Shing was indirectly trying to 'take credit' for HKTV's success?). Mr. Shing even held a press conference 'urging' Ricky to 'turn himself in' otherwise they will take further legal action (this was months ago....has ATV taken further action? Nope!).

As for how long Ricky Wong worked for ATV -- he was only an exec over there for approximately 2 weeks (12 days to be exact). The reason why he left ATV (or rather, was "forced to resign") was because of his straightforward personality and his 'big mouth' -- basically, he was too quick in wanting to turn ATV around (given the mess they were already in) and in the process, said some things that people didn't want to hear (some of the stuff he said was viewed as 'bashing' ATV's management and artists)...add to that the fact that some of the execs at ATV already were bitter about him joining so it was the perfect excuse to force him to step down. Though ATV claims otherwise, it is widely believed that Ricky Wong's 'forced resignation' from ATV was actually due to political reasons (aka pressure from Mainland China government stemming from negative remarks he had made about them -- something along the lines of how ATV shouldn't rely on Mainland China because they were in danger of becoming 'CCATV').
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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:39 AM

^ but the current HKTV also has the back up of China and it is said to be the main reason for the HK govt to say no to them several times before. So can CCATV is the reason for Ricky Wong to be forced to resign?

Actually although Ricky Wong showed that he has potential to do quality series at this moment, he is still making himself a target by his too lousy or straightforward (if you call so) way of directing. Is it a good way for business? Perhaps, but not in long term.

However, The feeling of HKTV's first works is good, however it still cant bring themselves out of the shadow of Txb. The works they aired so far on youtube is like Txb's old series, no unique character. And its a problem.

#20 selliesellie

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:55 AM

^different. can see from boundaries that hktv quality especially in hd image quality and camera work far better than tvb and they use REAL location not reusable studios! the pilot episode aired made tvb look like low budget high school video production shot using low resolution hand cam and fake props!

#21 mi.ny.veg

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:02 AM

^different. can see from boundaries that hktv quality especially in hd image quality and camera work far better than tvb and they use REAL location not reusable studios! the pilot episode aired made tvb look like low budget high school video production shot using low resolution hand cam and fake props!


HKTV does not have their own studio at the moment. I heard in an interview somewhere that they will be building the studio next year. So once the studio is built they will be filming in studios like TVB.

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:42 AM

CTI rent ATV's studio before but after the relationship got terriblly, ATV dun allow them to use the studio again. Hence they have to use real locations. They even havent started the construction for their studio yet.

The camera angle of both are pretty similar, but Txb likes to use the pale color more. If you wanna praise the camera and color, try China's idol series. Flawless looks in beautiful costumes with splendid background. The similarity of HKTV and Txb Im saying is the plot.

#23 Phixster

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 02:38 PM

I just finished watching the first episode of Police Cordon and I must say it really felt more like a movie rather than TV series.

I honestly don't understand why the government has taken so long to issue the licenses but I don't think at this point Ricky Wong is too concerned. As he said even though they are burning through money now, they have to film all the series at some point in time anyway so why not film more now and have it as backup rather than waiting for the licenses to come through and have nothing.

I do believe that it is inevitable that they will get issued, only more of a question of when.

#24 llwy12

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:06 PM

CTI rent ATV's studio before but after the relationship got terriblly, ATV dun allow them to use the studio again. Hence they have to use real locations. They even havent started the construction for their studio yet.
.


Actually, that's not entirely true....they HAVE started construction on their studio -- the foundation work for the studio has already been completed, however as per protocol, they need to wait for inspection to be completed before they can move on to phase 2 construction. Also, don't give ATV so much credit....HKTV was filming with real locations from the start -- it wasn't because ATV wouldn't let them rent their studio anymore.....HKTV only needed the studio for certain things and when they couldn't rent it anymore, they just rented other studios to meet their needs.

I honestly don't understand why the government has taken so long to issue the licenses but I don't think at this point Ricky Wong is too concerned. As he said even though they are burning through money now, they have to film all the series at some point in time anyway so why not film more now and have it as backup rather than waiting for the licenses to come through and have nothing.


Exactly! That's why I don't understand some people's thought process when they say that Ricky Wong's decision to start filming series without even getting his license yet is 'irrational', 'unwise', etc. From the getgo, he had already said that he wants to 'hit the floor running' as soon as he got the license, which means that he wants to have enough programming in his inventory to start airing right away rather than wait until a year or so after to start operations. It makes sense -- why wait and rush through things when you can start now and be under less time pressure? Basically -- he's planning ahead and preparing for the future, which is what any smart businessman would do....

^ but the current HKTV also has the back up of China and it is said to be the main reason for the HK govt to say no to them several times before. So can CCATV is the reason for Ricky Wong to be forced to resign?


It's possible...especially since Ricky Wong has always been very vocal when it comes to his criticism of the Mainland government. Besides, even if he does have investments in China or some sort of backing from Mainland China companies (as most HK companies do nowadays), doesn't mean that he's not going to say anything bad about the Chinese government. After all, he IS known for being quite irreverent with his speech sometimes....

#25 ~ ♥ Malec ~

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:19 PM

Actually, that's not entirely true....they HAVE started construction on their studio -- the foundation work for the studio has already been completed, however as per protocol, they need to wait for inspection to be completed before they can move on to phase 2 construction. Also, don't give ATV so much credit....HKTV was filming with real locations from the start -- it wasn't because ATV wouldn't let them rent their studio anymore.....HKTV only needed the studio for certain things and when they couldn't rent it anymore, they just rented other studios to meet their needs.

Lolz, there are many versions of the unconstructed work of HKTV but after 2 years, they haven't finished. Lolz, the phase takes too much time, like the license. Seem like CTI has so bad luck. But HKTV rent ATV's studio before just because TVB didn't give them the rental. Hence, still have to give out the credit to ATV's studio. However, they have to use the real locations partly due to the reason of no studio.

It's possible...especially since Ricky Wong has always been very vocal when it comes to his criticism of the Mainland government. Besides, even if he does have investments in China or some sort of backing from Mainland China companies (as most HK companies do nowadays), doesn't mean that he's not going to say anything bad about the Chinese government. After all, he IS known for being quite irreverent with his speech sometimes....

There are reasons for him to be hated and targeted by all :). But the China background or the bad comment to Chinese govt are two different things, or it only relates to Ricky Wong's future as a CEO in CTI.

Whatever, it's still too soon to say that HKTV can survive even with a free license, especially when the current HK audience only likes "easy noisy things". The quality of current TVB series tells us how and why. And one more matter: HKTV can maintain the quality in how long.

Overall, I don't think Ricky Wong is a smart businessman. He has potential, but he lacks the craft mind, or maybe cunning sense, too. Whatever, HKTV's work is like a new wind to the Cantonese TV market, blow away the boring Txb series. Meh, how more boring can Txb series can be?

#26 llwy12

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:46 PM

Just FYI….ND Daily published a pretty detailed article yesterday about this series (Borderline). It includes an interview with the ‘brains’ behind the series – creative director and producer Chu King Kei and So Man Chung (both formerly worked for TVB), both of whom reveal some interesting bits behind the making of the series as well as further insight into HKTV’s operations as a whole and what Ricky Wong’s goals are for the future. They also talked about some of the creative things that the HKTV team has been doing in the 1000+ days that they’ve been waiting for a license. Definitely an interesting and worthwhile read for those who want to understand more what HKTV is all about….(I’m working on translation of the article and will post it up when done…).

#27 MrCritique

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:24 PM

In the final analysis, I think the HK government must look at this licensing issue strictly from an economic/business perspective and nothing else. So far, most of the ardent supporters for the issuance of new license primarily look at the issue from the perspective of the consumers. This is natural and instinctive; however, they completely have missed the point that in a free society the government should never be responsible for everyone getting quality entertainment for free. What they should be concerned with is how would these new licenses or new networks would impact the tiny city's business/ economic landscape.

Therefore, it is the advertisers that ultimately hold the key as they are the one who has been paying the bills for TVB/ATV and would be for the new networks as well. More programming choices translates to smaller viewership for each on-air advertising spot which ultimately means the likely cut-back in TV advertising. I am sure this is something the Authority has been keeping in mind.

BTW, all these talks about selling programs overseas to generate signifcant revenues are complete exaggerations. Most often when TVB sells a program to an overseas broadcaster (mainly China), it done so at a deep discount because these would be shown mainly only in selected markets at sub prime times.

Edited by MrCritique, 20 June 2013 - 10:53 PM.


#28 llwy12

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:20 PM

In the final analysis, I think the HK government must look at this licensing issue strictly from an economic/business perspective and nothing else. So far, most of the ardent supporters for the issuance of new license primarily look at the issue from the perspective of the consumers. This is natural and instinctive; however, they completely have missed the point that in a free society the government should ever be responsible for everyone getting quality entertainment for free. What they should be concerned with is how would these new licenses or new networks would impact the tiny city's business/ economic landscape.

Therefore, it is the advertisers that ultimately hold the key as they are the one who has been paying the bills for TVB/ATV and would be for the new networks as well. More programming choices translates to smaller viewership for each on-air advertising spot which ultimately means the likely cut-back in TV advertising. I am sure this is something the Authority has been keeping in mind.


True and makes perfect sense….but the problem is that the HK government should have thought about all that BEFORE making the announcement 3 years ago that they would open up the free television market and allow more players in. It may well be true that having more stations is not economically viable – but the fact of the matter is that the government should have considered that back then and insisted on not letting more stations in at that time….instead, they make the announcement, accept the applications, and now are trying to backpedal due to not having thought this through clearly enough in the first place (typical incompetent government…LOL). In doing this, they (the government) succeeded in creating a huge mess that is going to take years to unravel (if it ever gets unraveled that is) and could end up dragging down the city economically due to the endless litigation that will be tied into this whole ordeal (as mentioned earlier, no matter who ends up getting or not getting a license, there will undoubtedly be lawsuits galore)….oh and don’t forget the social ‘divide’ this issue has already created in the industry as well as with the public as a whole….

The other thing to keep in mind too is that the Broadcasting Authority (which oversees the television industry amount other things) has already approved the applications and gave their recommendation to the Chief Executive and his council to issue the licenses – so the ‘stalling’ is really at the CE level. I'm not sure how much jurisdication the BA has or what exactly they take into consideration when they make their recommendations, but if they went so far as to approve and recommend license issuance, then shouldn't that mean they didn't see a problem with the advertising revenue piece? Either that or the person who heads up the BA and made that decision is asleep at the wheel....

#29 MrCritique

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 10:52 PM

True and makes perfect sense….but the problem is that the HK government should have thought about all that BEFORE making the announcement 3 years ago that they would open up the free television market and allow more players in.

The other thing to keep in mind too is that the Broadcasting Authority (which oversees the television industry amount other things) has already approved the applications and gave their recommendation to the Chief Executive and his council to issue the licenses – so the ‘stalling’ is really at the CE level.


Which really implicitly indicate this whole "mess" was initiated with polticial motivations right from the getgo. Perhaps it was one of the last ditch effort by Donald Tsang to hold on to the office.

With the regime change at the CE level, the "new power there is" (aka C.Y. Leung) may not look too fondly at the proposal given the economic implication.





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