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Star’s DTV wins license for H.K. satcasting

Pledges $32 mil over three years for net

HONG KONG — Star TV subsid Hong Kong DTV has won its bid for a satcasting license and pledged to invest $32 million in the venture over the next three years.

Other successful license applicants are Hong Kong Network TV, U.K. pay TV operator Elmsdale, the Taiwanese-owned Pacific Digital Media (HK) and TVB’s satcasting arm, Galaxy.

DTV’s 14-channel satellite network will provide multimedia home entertainment and information services.

Star’s joint bid for a pay TV license with Hong Kong telco giant Cable & Wireless HKT ended June 2 with the two sides announcing that they “failed to share the same vision.”

To ensure fair competition, the government has set out rules to prevent any cross-subsidy or preferential treatment between Galaxy and TVB, which already enjoys more than 80% market share in the terrestrial TV station sector.

Any exclusive program deals between the two companies will be subject to a competitive bidding process in the open market, and Galaxy can only commence its proposed 40 channel pay service 18 months after granting of license.

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