Five new subscription-television licenses were awarded in Hong Kong this week following the government’s decision last year to relax rules governing the territory’s broadcasting market.

The winning bids came from News Corporation’s Star TV, the local free-to-air broadcaster Television Broadcasts (TVB), UK-owned Elmsdale, Hong Kong Network TV and Pacific Digital Media. They are licensed to operate a total of 149 cable or satellite-based pay-TV channels.

The new channels must be launched within 12 months of receiving their licences, with the exception of TVB which has an 18-month embargo on the roll-out of its pay-TV service to ensure fair competition.

Financial Times and Wall Street Journal