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Hong Kong’s TVB Boosts OTT Plans, Sets ‘Court Lady’

Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts is set to boost its OTT platforms locally and abroad with new packages and initiatives targeting the Southeast Asian market.

The city’s biggest broadcaster has also renewed its partnership with China’s Huanyu Entertainment following the wild success the two enjoyed last year with palace drama “Story of Yanxi Palace.” The new new deal is for series “Court Lady,” starring “Palace” actor Xu Kai.

“Story of Yanxi Palace” last year became the most searched for TV show on Earth on Google. The romantic period drama is expected to be available in five markets in North America and Southeast Asia, besides Hong Kong, said Felix To, TVB’s deputy general manager, program and production.

In another deal announced at FilMart on Monday, TVB’s overseas OTT platform TVB Anywhere will team up with Vietnamese mobile operator Vietnamobile to launch a version in the Vietnamese language. It is the second territory to benefit from a fully localized version after Thailand, which was launched earlier this year.

Desmond Chan, general manager of TVB Intl., told Variety that the company is also cooking up new expansion plans for North America and Europe, to be announced later.

TVB’s local OTT platform myTV Super offers a new package of premium content to its 7.3 million subscribers. The package contains additional channels from beIN Sports, Love Nature 4K and movies from NBCUniversal as well as collections from Hong Kong’s Golden Scene and Mei Ah Entertainment.

TVB last week issued a profit warning forecasting a $25.5 million (HK$200 million) net loss for the 2018 financial year, compared to a net profit of HK$243 million the previous financial year. The loss is mainly due to debt restructuring of mainland cinema operator SMI Holdings, in which TVB holds HK$500 million worth of SMI Bonds. These are expected to be written off.

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