Hong Kong refuses renewal of Asia Television licence

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Hong Kong authorities refused to renew the free-to-air license for Asia Television (ATV), the region's oldest TV station.

Wong Ching, the largest shareholder in Asia Television Limited (ATV), Hong Kong's oldest TV station. [Photo: Caixin]

Announcing the decision on Wednesday, Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said the government has decided not to renew the troubled broadcaster's free TV license in accordance with the Broadcasting Ordinance.

He said that a notice had been served to the TV station, informing that it could continue to broadcast for one year until April 1, 2016.

In the meantime, the government will set up a task force to deal with any problems that may arise during this one-year transitional period. According to Gregory So, this is the first time in the local broadcasting history that an incumbent's broadcasting license is not renewed.

Established in 1957, ATV is one of the two free television broadcasters in Hong Kong.

The building of Asia Television Limited (ATV). [Photo: Caixin]

The cash-strapped broadcaster has been facing a tough time since the later half of 2014 as it had troubles in paying wages for employees. The situation triggered warning letters from the authorities and ATV's employees were advised to use their legal rights.

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