Galaxy asks for time on license coin

TVB subsid wants time to find investors

HONG KONG — Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting has asked the government to postpone for six months its requirement to make an $11 million pay TV license deposit so that Galaxy can find investors.

It is another sign that all is not well in Hong Kong’s slowly deregulating pay TV industry.

Galaxy, a subsidiary of dominant terrestrial network TVB, won one of four new licenses issued by the government in December.

Pulling out

News Corp.’s satellite broadcaster Star pulled out of the race just before the licenses were issued, amid concerns about the size of the market and rising numbers of illegal subscribers.

Last week, Hong Kong Network TV, a subsidiary of Internet content provider Sino-I.com that also was awarded a license in December, abandoned its pay plans.

Held back

Galaxy has been griping about government-imposed restrictions aimed at preventing TVB’s dominance of the market in Hong Kong.

The restrictions required Galaxy to give competitors, including British-based Yes Television, an 18-month headstart in the market. Regs also forced TVB to reduce its holding in Galaxy company to less than 50%. Last year, Malaysian company Measat agreed to buy 29% of Galaxy for $94 million.

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