Asia Television Ltd
Asia Television Limited (ATV) (亞洲電視有限公司) is the first television station in Hong Kong, established on May 29, 1957. It was at first known as Rediffusion Television and renamed as Asia Television Limited in 1982.
ATV has been one of the two free-to-air broadcasters in Hong Kong. It operates two channels: one is a 24-hour HOME channel, which is in Cantonese; the other is a 22-hour WORLD channel, which is in English. Throughout the years, ATV has been "serving the interest of the local community". The channels are accessible in North America via satellite. In 2002, ATV also gained approval from the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television to beam its two channels to the Guangdong Pearl River Delta region.
ATV has also established a close relationship with Guangdong TV to ensure their stable cooperation in program productions, advertising and sales.
ATV has received numerous awards for its programs. One of their successes is their local version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (百萬富翁), a game show founded originally in the United Kingdom in 1998. In 2001, ATV bought the production rights in Hong Kong. Since then, the popularity of ATV has increased. This also prompted the other local TV station - TVB - to respond by producing similar game shows.
The establishment of ATV
The former name of ATV was Lai-dik Broadcast Limited (Rediffusion Hong Kong Limited/Rediffusion) 麗的電視台 when it began broadcasting on April 6, 1958. In 1973, they were offered a wireless television broadcasting licence, which ended its fifteen-year cable service. Later, it was renamed as Rediffusion Television Limited or RTV.
In 1981, Rediffusion in the UK sold 61% of its shares to an Australian consortium. In July 1982, a Chinese Enterprise called Far East Group(遠東機構), owned by the Chiu family, bought part of the shares. At that time, Far East Group and the Australian consortium each owned 50% of Rediffusion's shares. This is the first time that a Chinese Enterprise played a role in Rediffusion. It was not until September 24, 1982 that Lai-dik Broadcast Limited was renamed as Asia Television Limited(ATV) (亞洲電視廣播有限公司) due to the fact that Rediffusion did not own any shares of ATV afterwards.
However, this did not put an end to the change in the ATV partnership. The company that operated ATV often suffered from deficit. Therefore, in January 1984, the withdrawal of the Australian enterprise affirmed the Chiu Family to buy all of the shares.
In August 1987, the shares of ATV were put on sale. One year afterwards, Asia Television Limited, the Lam family (led by Lim Por Yen 林百欣) and the New World Group bought ATV's shares. Each one occupied one-third of the shares. At that time, the members of Board Of Directors included Yau Dak-kan (邱德根), Lim Por Yen (林百欣) and Chen Yue-tung (鄭裕彤).
On January 30, 1989, the Chiu Family sold their shares of ATV to the New World Group and the Lai-sun Enterprise (麗新集團) for HK$237.5 million. The New World Group held half of the shares while the Lam family owned one-third and Lai-sun Enterprise held one-sixth. At the same time, Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM) joined as a minority shareholder. As announced by the Board of Directors, the new Chairman was Chen Yue-tung and the Vice-Chairman was Lim Por Yen. The Administrative Director was Miss Selina Chow (周梁淑儀).
ATV provides different types of television programs, including news, infotainment, drama and various shows. ATV not only produces TV programs but also introduces popular overseas TV programs to cater to audiences with different tastes and preferences. Recently, ATV has also bought some famous TV drama programs from South Korea and the Mainland China and they are broadcast mainly in prime time. These overseas TV dramas have been prevailing in Hong Kong.
Brief history on the name of Home Channel and World Channel
On January 20, 1989, ATV announced a change in the channel name. For the Cantonese channel, the name was changed from Golden Channel(黃金台)to ATV Home Channel (亞視本港台). On the contrary, the name was changed from Diamond Channel (鑽石台)to ATV World Channel (亞視國際台)for the English Channel. In February of the same year, ATV's logo was the intersection of three colour bands: red, blue and green, which form a circle.
Programmes from Home Channel
ATV has produced numerous classical TV dramas including Crocodile Tears (鱷魚淚), Fatherland (大地恩情), The Legendary Fok (霍元甲) and Reincarnation (天蠶變). Recent famous productions include The Pride Of Chao Zhou (我來自潮州), Who is the Winner? (勝者為王), King Of The Gambler (千王之王重出江湖) and A Better Tomorrow (再見艷陽天).
In recent years, ATV has initiated and hosted certain large-scale prize distribution ceremonies. The most well-known one would probably be The Annual Most Popular TV Commercial Awards (十大電視廣告頒獎禮 ).
Other infotainment programs like Stories From Afar (尋找他鄉的故事) ranked up their rating on the Appreciation Index Survey Best Television Awards (香港電視節目欣賞指數) as reflected by a public review.
There are some programs that were recorded with high ratings, such as the entertainment news Hong Kong Today (今日睇真D) and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (百萬富翁). This kind of entertainment news report and game shows widely attracts many audiences and successfully leads the trend, which another local TV station, TVB, has started to follow.
Programmes from World Channel
ATV World is one of the English channels that broadcast in Hong Kong. It offers a variety of programs, mostly from foreign countries, ranging from popular serial dramas and films to educational shows, for instance the American production Ally McBeal (甜心俏佳人), Smallville and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as well as the talk show, Late Show with David Letterman, are familiar to local audiences. Programs about art and sports are also provided, such as Great Artists and the NBA Game of the Week. Putonghua programs are also available on ATV World at off-peak hours.
ATV News has a wide and close connection with China and oversea media broadcasters. Additional foreign coverage of news is provided by CNN. ATV receives CNN transmission 24 hours a day via satellite from CNN's home base in Atlanta, USA. By way of setting more than 10 news bureaus overseas, global breaking news can be accessed immediately via satellite and the Internet.
In order to make news more accessible, ATV has established an electronic news site that is a link inside the company's website (see #External Links). It provides daily and past local and international news.
Besides producing daily news report, ATV is now offering 8 news programs, 6 in Cantonese and 2 in English. News programs in Cantonese are namely "Monetary Word" (金錢世界), "Chasing current affairs" (時事追擊), "Decoding current affairs" (時事解碼), "Following ad hoc news" (時事熱點追蹤), "Investment strategy" (窩輪有法) and "Mr. Tsang's Show" (曾sir28騷) while the two English news programs are "Newsline" and "Inside Story".
Furthermore, ATV's NEWS MAGAZINE is the recent affairs production that has gained awards from the New York Festivals, the Chicago International Television Competition and the Asian Television Awards.
ATV Training Institute
Asia Television Training Institute was founded to train people who are interested in joining the television industry. There are four faculties including television production, television artwork, television talent and technical production. Some of the graduates are offered work at ATV.
Apart from the television screen, we can also catch up with ATV programs on the ATV website. The website, which is accompanied by 3 text versions, namely Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and English, is user-friendly, so the audience can browse lots of information by simply clicking the icons. Some of the information on the ATV website includes the introduction of its company, schedules of TV programs, promotion of upcoming events, reviews of some TV programs, and more.
- Asia Television Limited
Since the beginning, ATV experienced a five-fold increase in the number of shareholders. During June 2002, businessman Chan Wing-kei (陳永祺) along with the chairman of Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Limited (鳳凰衛視), Liu Changle (劉長樂), established a company that later bought most of ATV's shares. Afterwards, Chan Wing-kei took the post of Administrative Director General. With the change of shareholder, there was innovation in the direction of production, marketing strategy and human resources. One of the significant changes is the increasing purchase of foreign programs such as the South Korean Drama Blue Love (藍色生死戀).
New Board of Directors of Asia Television Limited
- Wong Po Yan (Chairman) 黃保欣¹
- Lim Por Yen 林百欣 (deceased)
- Liu Changle 劉長樂¹²
- Lam Kin Ngok, Peter 林建岳
- Lam Kin Ming 林建名
- Chan Wing Kee 陳永棋¹
- Feng Xiao Ping 封小平¹
- Bruno Wu 吳征¹²
- Michael Spiessbach ¹²
- Lee Po On, Mark 李寶安
- Cheng Kar Shun, Henry 鄭家純
- Ho Chiu King, Pansy Catilina 何超瓊
- Kwok Kwan Ying 郭英¹²
- Wang Wen Huan 王文煥¹
- Steve C K Loo 盧重強¹
- Leung Chi Kin, Steward 梁志堅
¹ - New Directors to be appointed ² - Not of permanent residency status
(adapted from ATV homepage)
ATV was permitted to renew its licence to broadcast for 12 years. Under the terms of licence renewals, the Broadcasting Authority requires the ATV world to have bilingual subtitles on news, weather and current affairs shows, educational shows and emergency announcements beginning in December 2004. More cultural and arts shows are also demanded.
TVB has been the major competitor since the establishment of ATV. TVB is the first wireless commercial television station in Hong Kong. It was established in 1967. The Group has now grown to a size of about 5,000 including contract artists and staff in overseas subsidiary companies. The viewership of TVB is usually much higher than that of ATV. That is to say, TVB has an overwhelming advantage over ATV.
- Asia Television Limited - established in 1999.
- Phoenix Television - official website.
- Broadcast Authority
- Chinese TV Series @ Sensasian
Hong Kong media