Two new FTA television licences were awarded to i-Cable’s Fantastic TV and PCCW’s HK Television Entertainment Company. TheSouth China Morning Post reported that the stations are expected to start two new channels in a year after securing their licences.

The report added that a consultant’s report had shown HKTV, previously known as City Telecom, to be the weakest applicant, and that the licences were approved with no political considerations, but that this decision is against the Broadcasting Authority’s earlier recommendation that all three licences be granted.

According to the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung, the Executive Council had considered “a basket of criteria” including programme planning, technical soundness, investment and public opinion, added the report.

The report also added that some industry experts said the decision to favour PCCW and i-Cable, established players in the pay television arena, was understandable.