TVB Pay Vision to return to TVB hands?

Rose Major

Hong Kong broadcaster TVB is set to regain control of pay-TV unit TVB Pay Vision, reportedly agreeing a sum of HK$213 million (US$27 million) for 31% of the company with See Corporation, a local producer.

See Corp will keep an 18% stake in the loss-making platform, with TVB’s stake rising to 60%. Much of the balance of the shares (20%) is held by Anglea Leong, wife of tycoon Stanley Ho.

TVB Pay Vision offers over 40 local and international channels, including 12 in-house services (among them TVB Drama, TVB Classic, TVB Lifestyle and TVB Kids). The platform is available via cable, DTH satellite and IPTV.

TVB sold 49% of the unit to See Corp for HK$336 million in 2005 after regulator the Broadcasting Authority said TVB could not control a pay-TV broadcaster as well as being one of Hong Kong’s dominant terrestrial broadcasters.

But Hong Kong’s Broadcasting Authority has approved the deal for TVB to regain control as the country’s pay-TV sector has strong competition, with Hong Kong Cable TV and PCCW’s IPTV platform Now TV already battling for market leadership.