Having the largest number of subscribers among other subscription television companies in Hong Kong, HKCTV has now become one of the top five media groups in Hong Kong. In particular, HKCTV has a firm establishment in news, movies and sports television programming. As announced in the Financial Summary of i-CABLE Communications Limited of 2004, its sales revenue reaches HK$ 2,372 million with a profit of HK$ 296 million.
Hong Kong Cable Television Limited is owned as a subsidiary group of The Wharf (Holdings) Limited, which holds 73.3% of HKCTV's shares. The rest of its ownership lies with public shareholders. It became a public listed company in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 1999.
Specifically, HKCTV is operated by i-CABLE Communications Limited (I-Cable), one of the non-media conglomerates in Hong Kong. The conglomerate manages the first pay-TV service as well as a well-established broadband Internet access service provider with its Internet Protocol network. I-Cable is now the only integrated communications company in Hong Kong. It owns and runs the second largest two-way broadband network which produces its own media programs, together with online news and other Internet services.
Moreover, Now TV had won the broadcasting right of English Premier League for the next three years.
However, Cable TV announces through IOC that they have the broadcast rights across all media platforms for the Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012 in Hong Kong. This is the first time in history that the two free-to-air channels (TVB and ATV) didn't get the broadcast rights. The free-to-air channels and critics have expressed concerns that the Olympic games should be provided to as many audiences as possible. However, Cable TV only has pay TV channels and satellite TV channels currently.
There are currently 4 movie channels, all Cable TV home-made: HMC 1 (Hollywood Movie Channel 1), HMC 2 (Hollywood Movie Channel 2), Movie 1 (Chinese movies) and Movie 2 (foreign language movies other than English).
Its International Pack is also a remarkable package aiming to accommodate Hong Kong residents originated from overseas. It is an incorporated pack with overseas international channels like Australia Network, NHK World Premium and NHK World TV, Arirang TV, Deutsche Welle-TV and The Filipino Channel. This does not only facilitate the entertainment variety of the above-mentioned viewers but also help to spread the culture of the channels' originated countries.
MMDS is a programming broadcasted through specific transmitters throughout Hong Kong. Broadcast signals are released from the transmitters to various "dishes" which are located on the rooftops of buildings, and are further transmitted to customers' televisions through the in-built coaxial cable.
The HFC network consists of a fibre optic backbone which forms the base of the whole broadcast centre. It develops into smaller "branches" and penetrates into different areas in Hong Kong along the MTR tunnels, ending in customers' homes through the coaxial cable that the MMDS uses. This network enables high capacity which allows HKCTV to house over 31 channels as well as other telecommunication services.
The skyhigh-speed broadband network service was presented after the acquisition of the certification of telecommunications service. Its provision of a 24-hour online broadband network service made the surfing speed faster and steadier than the traditional dial-up network. The outstanding basic service construction and sales tactics successfully made the group one of the two main broadband network service suppliers in Hong Kong.
The visual content of HKCTV provides the platform for the multi-media service unit to develop fee-charging portals on news, movies, horse racing, stocks and adult entertainment. 21126888.comas well as HKCTV e-Programme Listing were also designed to provide value added services to HKCTV's subscribers and advertisers. Besides, 21126888.com provides an online platform for its advertisers.
Since 2005, the company have also launched its "Multi-Media On Board" (MMOB) service on public transit vehicles. HKCTV's Hong Kong Cable News Express is the sole airtime sales distributor and content provider to KCR Newsline Express. Instant and updated news are broadcast between the various railway notices of KCR journeys through the use of KCR's Passenger Information Display System, also known as PIDS. This further emphasises HKCTV's theme of providing updated news to its viewers, even when its viewers are not sitting in front of a television or computer. This is also a useful marketing tactic to attract more clients to its home subscriptions after experiencing its instantaneous service. Simultaneously, it gains income and reputation from advertisers for interactive advertising in KCR, one of the most essential transport systems in Hong Kong.
According to the Hong Kong Annual Reports 2003- Telecommunications, there were four domestic pay television programme service licensees in Hong Kong:
By the end of 2003, a total of 130 pay TV channels have become available in Hong Kong. The total number of subscribers has exceeded 860,000. With the entry of new competitors such as NOW Broadband TV and TVB Pay Vision, increasing competition is expected in the future Pay-TV market.
Comparatively, HKCTV would have a lower flexibility if compared to its new competitor NOW Broadband TV. This is because HKCTV sells its channels and services to its subscribers through fix-priced packages and the preset and prepaid subscription packages determine the viewers' choice of programs. On the other hand, NOW Broadband TV's subscribers enjoy greater flexibility in choosing which channels to watch at will on a monthly pay-per-view basis without a need of prior application to the company. Thus, the contract period is shorter and the cost is minimised for users who might not be interested in all the programs in the offered package. Moreover, subscribers to PCCW's Netvigator broadband services would enjoy certain free trial channels along with their internet service subscription. In this sense, along with the overlapping of numerous incorporated international channels, HKCTV has a less privileged stand in competition since all of its services are only available to its pay-television service subscribers.