|Founded||19 November 1967Broadcast Drive, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kongin|
|Headquarters||77 Chun Choi Street, |
Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate, New Territories, Hong Kong
|Dr. Charles Chan Kwok Keung (ex-Chairman), Li Ruigang (Vice Chairman)|
|Products||TVB Jade, TVB Pearl, TVB Anywhere, MyTV Super, TVBS, TVB.com, TVB Publishing, etc.|
|Revenue||HK$4.21 billion (2016)|
Number of employees
Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) is a television broadcasting company based in Hong Kong. The company operates five free-to-air terrestrial television channels in Hong Kong, with TVB Jade as its main Cantonese language service, and TVB Pearl as its main English service. TVB is headquartered at TVB City at the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate.
It began operations on 19 November 1967. The company was registered on 26 July 1965 and was co-founded by Sir Run Run Shaw, who was chairman from 1980 to 2011, together with Sir Douglas Clague and Harold Lee Hsiao-wo of the Lee Hysan family. When TVB first began broadcasting it was commonly known and promoted as "Wireless Television" (無綫電視) in Chinese to distinguish it from the then cable television broadcaster, Rediffusion Television (麗的呼聲), which later became ATV. It is still usually referred to with that name, although ATV later switched to "wireless" (free-to-air) broadcasting as well (亞洲電視).
TVB, which also produces news program and operates a 24-hour news channel, received a credibility rating of 5.88 in 2016, ranking the bottom among major electronic media in Hong Kong, and a credibility rating of 4.45 in 2019, 2.25 below the average rating and remained to be seen as the least credible electronic media, according to surveys conducted by the Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The government set up a working party in the early 1960s to study the idea of setting up a second television station in Hong Kong, where the only television at that time was the wired, subscription-supported Rediffusion Television. There was debate as to whether the second station should be set up as a Crown corporation, as with the BBC; a purely commercial enterprise; or a combination of the two. Another challenge lay in procuring enough content for the new station. In 1962, Director of Information Services J.L. Murray stated that while English programming could be purchased from other countries, "no country is producing a mass of suitable pre-recorded material in Chinese". Even though Hong Kong was already regarded as a centre for film production, it was considered a challenge to source enough Chinese language content for another television station, as most of it would need to be produced in Hong Kong.
Regardless, there was commercial interest in the concept. A government franchise for a new wireless (free-to-air) television station was opened for tenders on 6 February 1965 and closed on 6 August 1965. On 25 January 1966 it was announced that Television Broadcasts Limited had won the franchise.
The new Television Broadcasts Limited station on Broadcast Drive in Kowloon Tong, Kowloon was officially opened by Governor David Trench on 19 November 1967. The governor spoke of the potential for television to better society, stating that the new station would play a significant role in "helping and enlighting our people", calling television "one of the most potent means of disseminating information there is".
The first images shown on the station were a live transmission of the Macao Grand Prix, which began broadcasting at 9:00 am that day and was interrupted by footage of the opening of the new station. The first colour broadcast was then made, a feature called "London Calling Hongkong" which constituted greetings from former governors Alexander Grantham and Robert Black. Following this was a piano recital by Chiu Yee-ha, who had also performed at the opening of the Hong Kong City Hall.
The new station broadcast both Cantonese-language and English-language channels. The Cantonese channel, called TVB Jade, began regular service on 4:30 pm that day on Channel 21, while the English service (TVB Pearl) began at 6:00 pm on Channel 25. The inaugural programming lineup included Enjoy Yourself Tonight, a Chinese language variety show, and Meet The Press, an English current affairs programme.
Hong Kong's mountainous topography posed a challenge to TVB, which was Hong Kong's first television station broadcast wirelessly, using a terrestrial television transmitter instead of a complex coaxial cable network. A network of transmitters, built atop various mountains, helped provide coverage to the territory. The main transmitter was built at Temple Hill, above Kowloon, to reach most of the main populated centre of Hong Kong as well as parts of the New Territories. Two broadcast relay stations were came into operation on 15 May 1968: one at Lamma Island expanded coverage to Pok Fu Lam, Aberdeen, Repulse Bay, and parts of Stanley, while another at Castle Peak covered Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, and Ping Shan.
- TVB receives praise for its programming from a wide range of demographics, including the middle class, as was the case with its 2004 historical drama series War and Beauty. Its programme line-up features a steady stream of soap operas, variety shows and other populist fare.
- TVB has been criticised for signing exclusive contracts with many local celebrities which restrict them from appearing on other local television stations. Hong Kong's Cable T.V. claims it is unfair competition (although Asia Television, another major television station in Hong Kong, disagrees). In fact, many artists do not have exclusive contracts with TVB and are free to show up in programmes produced by other local television stations or out-sourcing production houses.
- The annual TVB Music Awards ceremony is one of the biggest for Cantopop personalities. It is widely rumoured that TVB distributes the awards to those who are obedient to the company's demands, and the Independent Commission Against Corruption has investigated the arrangement of the awards. It ruled that three TVB staff members under scrutiny were not guilty. Afterwards, TVB reformed its music programmes in a bid to reestablish their authority.
- On the other hand, TVB was awarded the National Association of Broadcasters's (NAB) International Broadcasting Excellence Award in 2001. The award recognised the company's outstanding contributions to the community through a wide range of charitable programmes and activities. Hong Kong thus becomes the first city in Asia to receive this prestigious award in this area.
- In 2005, TVB, in association with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, organised the biggest fund-raising campaign in the company's history in response to South-East Asia's devastating tsunami. It raised over one hundred million Hong Kong Dollars to assist those affected.
- In 2000, TVB Australia was established for the Australian market with a 17 channel (14 Chinese and 3 Vietnamese Channel) satellite service. Which has over 25,000 households and over 1,500 commercial outlets with an audience of over 130,000 daily.
- From 31 March 2008, TVBS-Europe launched their "Multi-channel" package in Europe. It consists of 5 different channels which include the existing TVBS-Europe Channel plus the addition of TVBN, TVB Entertainment News, TVB Classic and TVB Lifestyle.
TVB was originally located on Broadcast Drive in Kowloon Tong, and was neighbours with RTHK and ATV. By the late 1980s, the company had out-grown the facility at Broadcast Drive, and built a new studio complex, named T.V. City, at 220 Clear Water Bay Road in November 1988. The first TVB City was in fact the old Shaw Movie Town complex used by Shaw Brothers since 1958. The old Broadcast Drive headquarters was later converted into apartments. The first TVB City is now used by Celestial Pictures.
To cope with future development and expansion, TVB began planning in 1998 to develop a replacement facility at the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate. The new HK$2.2 billion TVB City came into full operation in October 2003. The new headquarters are built on by far the largest piece of land ever leased by the then Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation and the first service-providing company in the area. It has a building area of over 110,000 square metres, 30% more than that of the previous facilities at Clear Water Bay. Studio 1 in TVB City, which can seat an audience of six hundred and thirty, is the largest television production studio among commercial television stations in Asia.
TVB broadcasts several news programmes, such as News at 6:30 (Jade) and News at 7:30 (Pearl). It also operates its own news channel, TVBN. (Chinese: TVB新聞台; Cantonese Yale: TVB san man toi) and TVBN2 (Chinese: TVB新聞2台; Cantonese Yale: TVB san man ji toi), through TVB Network Vision (Chinese: 無綫網絡電視; Cantonese Yale: mou sin sau fai din si).
Notable shows from TVB
- Enjoy Yourself Tonight or EYT (1967–1994), a long-running variety show which has been compared with the American Saturday Night Live.
- The Bund (1980), starring Chow Yun-fat. The drama was a success throughout Asia, inspiring several television and film adaptations.
- The Legend of the Condor Heroes (1983), a serial adaptation of Louis Cha's wuxia novel of the same name, starring Felix Wong and Barbara Yung.
- The Return of the Condor Heroes (1983), sequel to The Legend of the Condor Heroes, is a serial adaptation of Louis Cha's wuxia novel of the same name, starring Andy Lau and Idy Chan.
- Looking Back in Anger (1989), is a tragic serial drama starring Felix Wong, Deric Wan, and Carina Lau. It is the most-watched Hong Kong drama in the Greater China region.
- The Greed of Man (1992), starring Adam Cheng and Sean Lau. Its original broadcast heavily impacted international stockbrokers, creating the phenomenon known as the Ting Hai effect.
- The File of Justice series (1992–1997) was a popular legal drama series, spanning five seasons. It is regarded by some as the Hong Kong version of the American Law & Order.
- A Kindred Spirit (1995–1999), the second longest-running drama series in Hong Kong television history.
- Super Trio Series (1995–present), a popular variety game show.
- Journey to the West (1996) was one of the few TVB Jade programmes to be dubbed in English and rebroadcast on TVB Pearl.
- Old Time Buddy (1997), a comedy-drama that satires Hong Kong's filming industry in the 1960s. It was the first drama to win "Best Drama" at the inaugural TVB Anniversary Awards.
- Secret of the Heart (1998), a soap opera that popularised relationship triangles in serial dramas.
- The Armed Reaction series (1998–2004) was a popular crime drama series dealing with discrimination women face within the police force. The series spanned five seasons with the latest Armed Reaction 2021.
- The Healing Hands series (1998–2005) was a popular medical drama series known for its remarkable medical accuracy. It is commonly known as Hong Kong's version of America's ER. The first season yielded "Best Drama" award in 1998.
- At the Threshold of an Era (1999–2000) is an epic drama featuring a large ensemble cast. It is TVB's second most expensive drama to date.
- War of the Genders (2000), a sitcom starring Carol Cheng and Dayo Wong, is considered by many as TVB's most critically acclaimed sitcom. It held the title as TVB's highest-rated drama (49 points) until the broadcast of Korea's Jewel in the Palace in 2005. Cheng won "Best Actress" for her role.
- Virtues of Harmony (2001–2005) is one of the longest running sitcoms in Hong Kong, yielding two seasons – a historical costume series with a modern-day spin-off.
- Square Pegs (2003), a drama serial starring Roger Kwok, depicts the life of a mentally-retarded young man. It received an average viewership rating of 37 points, the highest in TVB's broadcast history. Kwok also won "Best Actor" for his role. A second series was released in 2005, yielding Kwok his second "Best Actor" award.
- Triumph in the Skies (2003) and Triumph in the Skies II (2013), a drama series revolving around the staff and pilots working for Solar Airways, a fictional version of Cathay Pacific. Triumph in the Skies was also adapted into a motion picture.
- War and Beauty (2004), a costume drama serial that focuses on four concubines of the Jiaqing Emperor. The series popularised historical palace harem dramas.
- Moonlight Resonance (2008), the sister production of Heart of Greed (2007). The drama peaked to 50 points, one of the highest in Hong Kong television history.
- EU (2009), the third season of The Academy series. Michael Tse's character, Laughing Gor, inspired one film spin-off and one sequel television series.
- Rosy Business (2009), award-winning costume drama, swept the 2009 TVB Anniversary Awards in almost all major categories.
- Beyond the Realm of Conscience (2009), a costume period drama that peaked to 50 points, one of the highest in Hong Kong television history.
- When Heaven Burns (2011), "Best Drama" winner at the 2012 TVB Anniversary Awards. Despite its critical acclaim, it is one of the lowest-rated series in television history. The last few episodes were also banned in Mainland China due to references of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
- Line Walker (2014), a crime drama that spawned one film sequel and a television series prequel Line Walker: The Prelude and sequel Line Walker: Bull Fight. It is the most-viewed Hong Kong drama in Mainland China, with over 2 billion views on Youku. It has also created a 2 episode game show called Line Walker Hunting Game/使徒行者 臥底遊戲.
- A Fist Within Four Walls (2016), a martial arts drama set in Kowloon Walled City that won Best TVB Drama at all the award presentations, with many of the cast from A Fist Within Four Walls winning awards. It swept the TVB 2016 Award Presentation with 5 awards: My Favourite TVB Female Character, My Favourite TVB Male Character, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Drama Series.
- Come Home Love: Lo and Behold (2017), another long running TV series that revolves around a middle class family and an affluent family. Due to the sensational ratings, at the beginning of 2020, the drama is decided to be aired everyday at 20:00 to 20:30.
- ‘’ Legal Mavericks (2017) Swept TVB Starhub Awards 2017
On 11 March 2010, the general manager Stephen Chan Chi Wan and four others were arrested on corruption charges by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). TVB confirmed that three of their employees were involved, and that their duties and work had been suspended pending further development. Stephen Chan Chi Wan was charged with corruption in September 2010 with TVB declining to comment on the situation. Stephen Chan and his co-accused were acquitted by a court in September 2011.
Controversy and criticism
Since the 2009 June 4 rally, TVB news has been increasingly criticised for its pro-China bias. Netizens of HKGolden and LIHKG have called it "CCTVB", as a reference to China's state-controlled broadcaster CCTV.
During the 2014 and 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, TVB's programmes, most especially its news reports were accused of providing biased coverage of the protests, with a pro-China slant. As a result of public boycotts, numerous brands officially pulled out of advertising contracts with TVB, including Pocari Sweat and Pizza Hut.
On 29 June 2018, the South China Morning Post quoted insider information that TVBI and the Broadcast Operation Department had laid off 100 people for two consecutive days. By July, a cutdown by 30 in the sports department was announced, leaving only 5 people. The long-established show "Sports World" aired its final episode on 7 July 2018. myTV SUPER sports channel will end on 15 August. By July, the "Hong Kong Animation Information Network" Facebook page stated that the dubbing group of about 70 people had been cut to 4, and there would be large-scale layoffs. Netizens expressed anger at this.
TVB's General Manager Shin Keong Cheong said he did not renew his contract and denied the layoffs. By August, in the interim results of TV broadcasting, the print version of TVB Weekly had been suspended and switched to an online version. The TVB8 and TVB Galaxy websites serving overseas ceased service in September 2018. MyTV Super's TVB Sports Channel and live news station had also stopped broadcasting with the TVB Travel Channel. It is reported that TVB will lay off 800 people. On 5 October, the same year, TVB announced the reduction of about 150 employees from TVB Weekly, the Production Coordination Department, the Arts Division and non-drama productions, which took effect on the same day. The layoffs included at least one producer and two directors of "Pleasure & Leisure".
In December 2019, Pro-government broadsheet Sing Tao Daily reported that TVB's current chairman, Charles Chan, is about to withdraw from his shares and intends to resign as chairman to leave TV Broadcasting Co., Ltd. On 16 December, Chief Executive Mark Lee issued an internal notice stating that about 350 employees would be cut, accounting for about 10% of the company's remaining employees. Following this, on 20 December, more than 50 behind-the-scenes staff members were fired, most of them from the variety show and the information, cultural and educational departments. On 20 January 2020, Charles Chan finally resigned as the chairman of the TVB board and as a non-executive director, and will sell all television broadcasting shares.
Hong Kong Free-to-air
TVB Network Vision ceased its service since 1 June 2017, and the OTT platform named MyTV SUPER (expanded from MyTV and GOTV) replace TVB Network Vision to provide the paid television service. In addition, the company name of "TVB Network Vision" became "Big Big Channel".
- Asian Select
- Asian Variety
- Chinese Drama
- Chinese Opera Channel
- Classic Movies
- Entertainment News
- Jade Catch Up
- Japanese Drama
- Korean Drama
- TVB Classic
- TVB Radio
- TVBN 2
- Asian Action Channel
- Hub Cantonese on Demand (Singapore only)
- Hub Drama First (Singapore only)
- Fairchild TV (20% ownership; co-owned with Fairchild Group)
- Jadeworld (USA)
- TVB Chinese Opera Channel (International version)
- TVB Entertainment News (International version)
- TVB Jade (International version)
- TVB Korea Channel
- TVB News Channel (International version)
- TVB Finance & Information Channel (International version)
- TVB Vietnam (Vietnam only, own by SCTV9)
- TVB Xing He (Asia & Thailand version only)
- TVB Jade Southeast Asia (Malaysia & Singapore)
- Hub VV Drama (Singapore only, Selected TVB Drama in Mandarin dubbed)
Co-owned by Astro:
- Asian Action Channel
- Astro AOD (8.30 pm drama)
- Astro AOD (9.30 pm drama)
- Astro AOD HD
- Astro Wah Lai Toi
- Astro Wah Lai Toi HD
- TVB Classic
- TVB Classic Movies
- TVB Entertainment News
- TVB Jade Southeast Asia
- TVB Xing He
- TVB Drama Thai Channel (V2H11)
- C.R. No:0011781（Television Broadcasts Limited）—The Cyber Search Centre of the Integrated Companies Registry Information System
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- Chinese Channel Home Page
- [ShawMovieTown Shaw Brothers History]
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- 黃梓恒 (12 June 2019). "【逃犯條例】宋芝齡為警察喝采 跟網民罵戰：你點知我睇緊CCTVB". 香港01 (in Chinese). Retrieved 21 July 2019.
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- Official website (in Chinese)
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- Hong Kong's TV and Film Publication Database, a full collection of "TV Week", the official TVB magazines published between 1967 and 1997. Developed by HKBU Library