×

ATV, World’s Oldest Chinese TV Channel, Closes Down

Asia Television, the Hong Kong TV channel that was the world’s first Chinese-language TV broadcaster, closed down a few seconds before midnight on Friday April 1.

ATV, which was born as Rediffusion and operated for 59 years, put out its last live newscast in Chinese at 10.30pm. It filled the remaining time with the partial rerun of a Miss Asia beauty pageant, programming which had latterly become the channel’s staple.

The company was stripped of its broadcast license by the Hong Kong government, due to a series of mismanagement incidents, and, broke, has been in the hands of court-appointed administrators for the since February.

ATV’s ownership over the past decade has been continually in turmoil and did not stabilize long enough for management to turn around ATV’s declining audiences and plunging advertising income.

Within minutes of ATV’s last transmission, its frequencies were taken up by government-owned Radio Television Hong Kong (RTKH). At roughly the same time PCCW-backed HKTVE also started to transmit its digital free television program channel, ViuTV Channel 99, through radio waves.

“These new free TV services will provide additional program choices for TV viewers,” said Greg So, government Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.

“ATV has been broadcasting in Hong Kong for 59 years, producing a wealth of classic television programs. With the launching of new free TV services, I hope that the television industry of Hong Kong will be brought to a new height.”

The company’s current shareholders have pointed to a new life for ATV on the Internet after free-to-air broadcasting has ended, but that may put it at odds with the liquidators who issued redundancy notices in February. Some 400 former ATV staff have applied for compensation from a government fund after ATV failed to pay their salaries for January and February.

Uncertainties remain as to whether ATV can still make use of its right to broadcast in the Cantonese-speaking Guangdong region of China, known as ‘landing rights,’ and the fate of its vast news and program libraries.

More TV

  • Caroline Flack

    'Love Island' Returns to Air As ITV Defends Treatment of Caroline Flack

    ‘Love Island’ was back on air Monday for the first time since the death of former host Caroline Flack on Feb. 15. Amid the reality series’ return, broadcaster ITV insists it supported the star after she was removed from the show. Monday night’s episode began somberly with narrator Iain Stirling providing voiceover over scenes of [...]

  • Tiffany BooneEntertainment Weekly Pre-SAG Party, Arrivals,

    Actor Tiffany Boone Addresses Her Decision to Quit 'The Chi'

    Actor Tiffany Boone addressed her exit from “The Chi,” the Showtime series she departed in November 2018 after making harassment allegations against her former co-star Jason Mitchell. Mitchell was fired from the show last May as a result of intimidation and abuse accusations made by Boone and showrunner Ayanna Floyd Davis. Mitchell was subsequently dismissed [...]

  • Amazon Prime nabs ‘Russian Affairs’ for

    Amazon Prime Nabs ‘Russian Affairs’ for Germany, France and the Netherlands

    Amazon Prime Video has acquired the first season of series “Russian Affairs” for distribution in Germany, France and the Netherlands, from Russia’s Start Studios. The eight-part drama that follows the lives of Russia’s elite and those who aspire to that position is set in contemporary Moscow. Under the title “Gold Diggers,” the series was broadcast [...]

  • MODEL RELEASED Mother with baby, 1

    Channel 4 Orders ‘Baby Surgeons’ From Wonderhood Studios

    U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has commissioned Wonderhood Studios for a documentary series with the working title “Baby Surgeons.” The series will explore the journeys parents go through to save their babies during complex pregnancies and will feature cutting-edge baby surgeries, some performed inside the womb. It will also use CGI, MRI and Ultrasound to enhance [...]

  • Bertelsmann CEO Says RTL, ProSiebenSat.1 Should

    Bertelsmann CEO Says RTL, ProSiebenSat.1 Should Be Free to Merge

    The CEO of German media giant Bertelsmann has said its RTL Group TV division should be allowed to merge with German rival ProSiebenSat.1 and called for a loosening of E.U. antitrust regulations in order to better stave off intensifying competition from U.S. streaming giants. In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung published on [...]

  • Politicians and Petition Support BBC Following

    Politicians and Petition Support BBC Following Reports of Major Cuts

    A war of words around the future of the BBC continued on Monday amid reports of severe cutbacks to the U.K. public broadcaster. The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Downing Street, the seat of the U.K. government, was planning to replace the annual BBC license fee with a subscription service; sell most of [...]

  • Stanley Tucci

    Stanley Tucci to Host BBC Radio 4 Series 'The Californian Century'

    Actor and filmmaker Stanley Tucci will front series “The Californian Century,” set to air on BBC Radio 4. Tucci will play a cynical screenwriter who narrates the stories of ten people who helped build California over the last 100 years. They include Francis Boggs, the first person to direct a full movie in California; Hattie [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content