Pansy Ho bids for Hong Kong TV licence

Pansy Ho Chiu King is involved in a consortium named Forever Top Asia Ltd. that is willing to invest HK$3.2 billion in order to secure a TV licence to broadcast in the former British colony. The daughter of Stanley Ho Hung Sun is considered one of the heavyweights led by David Chiu Tat Cheong, Chairman of developer Far East International, that holds a 41 per cent stake in the new company.
David Chiu is the second son of the former owner of Asia Television Ltd, Deacon Chiu Te Ken, and besides Pansy Ho his bid for a domestic free-television licence also includes the Chairman of Guangzhou R&F Properties, Li Sze Lim, and the subsidiary of Lenovo Group, Hony Capital (Beijing), according to Hong Kong Economic Journal.
The consortium plans to invest HK$3.2 billion over six years in hardware and programme production. It is also planning to have Chinese, English and 24-hour news channels, it was revealed by the Hong Kong-based media.
Pansy Ho, as Co-chairman of MGM China and Managing Director of Shun Tak, is considered a key element in the consortium not only because of her business empire and the fact that she is one of the richest women in Hong Kong but because of her connections in the entertainment industry both locally and overseas.
Multifaceted Yesterday, David Chiu also announced that the consortium planned to set up a terrestrial television station to provide “free, multifaceted infotainment services”, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.
“We look forward to bringing the shows from this new television station to the people of Hong Kong soon”, David Chiu said according to the English-language newspaper.
The bid was also confirmed by the Office of the Communications Authority of Hong Kong that said that the application for a free-to-air television licence by Forever Top had been received in April 2015.
The move of the consortium that includes the leader of Shun Tak follows the Hong Kong Government’s decision to scrap ATV’s licence in April 2016, as the station had failed to come up with a restructuring plan. At the moment, the competition for the available Hong Kong free-to-air licence includes the owner of online television Station HKTV, Ricky Wong Wai Kay, who has already failed in a previous attempt to secure the licence.
The problems for ATV first emerged in 2013 when the Hop Chung Tourist Car Company, a transport contractor of the station, filed a lawsuit demanding HK$900,000 for unpaid bills. By the middle of 2014, the company had started to fail paying salaries, facing liquidity problems.
The financial problems of ATV led to the decision by Hong Kong’s Executive Council not to extend the station’s free-to-air licence.