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TVB needs time to partner

HK firm hunts for sat b'casting investor

HONG KONG — Television Broadcast (TVB) is urging the government to push back a June deadline as it hunts for an investor in its pay TV arm Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting.

TVB has requested it be given until February to find a partner to take a 50% stake in the venture, which is in danger of going under before it even launches a channel.

It has reduced its offering price for the stake and is considering delivering the service via fiber optics instead of satellite.

Rocky beginning

TVB dominates the local television market. The government’s concern that it would do the same in the pay TV market forced it not only to find a partner, but to give its competitors a headstart.

I-Cable Communications is the dominant pay TV operator, with British-based Yes Television and Taiwan’s Pacific Digital Media running commercial trials.

News Corp.-owned Star and Internet content provider Sino-i.com pulled out of the pay TV race, concerned that Hong Kong’s 6.8 million population couldn’t support so many pay TV providers.