HK pay player signs out

World Brief

Government plans to liberalize pay TV suffered another setback as a second new operator bailed out of the market, which some speculate is only big enough to support two or three players.

Hong Kong Network TV, a subsidiary of Internet player Sino-i.com, pulled out on March 16, three months after News Corp.-owned satellite broadcaster Star withdrew its license bid.

The government granted four new licenses last December with the expectation that new services would be rolled out this year.

Seven-year-old incumbent Cable TV already has half a million subscribers, while iTV, a 3-year-old video-on-demand service owned by Hong Kong’s largest telco, has disappointing subscriber numbers and an uncertain future.

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