Broadcaster ViuTV launched its new, English-language free-to-air channel at 7am on Friday.

The new channel, named ViuTVsix, is now broadcasting on channel number 96. It will offer 17 hours of English programming a day. It includes two news sections produced by Reuters totalling around an hour, as well as news programming from NHK, CNN, Deutsche Welle and Al Jazeera, among others.

ViuTVsix. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Other programmes on offer include lifestyle shows, overseas dramas such as Boardwalk Empire and True Detective, and documentaries.

The launch came after the closure of ATV last year. Until Friday, only TVB has provided free, local English-language content.

ViuTV’s Cantonese-language channel was launched in April last year. The free-to-air entertainment channel is operated by telecom giant PCCW.

It created the popular show Travel with Rivals, where political arch-rivals such as ex-president of the legislature Jasper Tsang Yok-sing and lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung link up and travel together.

Billy Fung Wang Dan
Billy Fung and Wang Dan in Japan; Fung signed the book “On the Hong Kong Nation” for Wang. Photo: Facebook/Wang Dan.

However, the show did not continue after a controversy in which the channel had to apologise for a false accusation made over the shooting of new episodes with political figures Billy Fung Jing-en and Wang Dan.

PCCW also runs subscription channel NowTV, which is known for its news and current affairs programmes. The Chinese channel has been carrying NowTV’s Chinese news.

Photo: ViuTV.

Following the English entertainment channel’s launch, i-Cable’s new Cantonese free-to-air entertainment channel Fantastic Television will launch in May.

The move is despite a recent decision by its parent company to halt investment in i-Cable, another Cantonese channel known for its news programming.

Public broadcaster RTHK also relays the live feed of the Chinese state television’s English-language documentary channel on channel 33.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

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.