The Executive Council will not have to reconsider a television licence application by Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV) after it won a court appeal.

HKTV was denied a free-to-air licence application by the government in 2013. The company filed for a judicial review opposing the decision, saying that limiting the number of television channels by suggesting licences were limited was a violation of existing broadcasting policy.

HKTV logo and chairman Ricky Wong.
HKTV logo and chairman Ricky Wong. Photo: Wikimedia Commons & Apple Daily.

The channel, owned by telecoms mogul Ricky Wong Wai-kay, won the judicial review in April last year, and the government was required to reconsider the licence application.

However, the government then took the case to the Court of Appeal in February. It claimed that the reasoning for the Executive Council decision was not to limit the number of TV channels, but – rather – was a reflection of the market environment and capacity, which only allowed for two more free-to-air channels.

HKTV made another separate application for a licence in April 2014. The application is still ongoing.

Meanwhile, Viu TV, a new free-to-air channel, is to begin broadcasting on Wednesday.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.