Galaxy sat prexy quits amid turbulence

Crowded pay TV market bodes ill for future biz

HONG KONG — The resignation of Michael Chan, satellite broadcaster Galaxy’s chief executive, has reinforced growing doubt about the company’s future.

Galaxy, which is owned by leading Hong Kong terrestrial network TVB, was considered a sure thing when it won a license to enter the local pay TV market last December — despite being saddled with restrictions aimed at preventing its parent’s market dominance.

Galaxy said Chan is leaving to run his own electronics business, but his departure follows a spate of other bad news.

The Hong Kong pay TV market has been clouded by gloomy predictions that too many players are attempting to crowd the market, even after two likely players — including News Corp.-owned satellite broadcaster Star — withdrew from the race.

Galaxy, which is due to launch its pay TV service sometime next year, missed the March deadline for a bond payment to the Hong Kong government, and it isn’t yet clear if it will lose its license as a result.

TVB must sell down the majority of its Galaxy holdings as a condition of its pay TV license, but it has been having trouble finding a buyer.

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