Thu, Jul 19, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Public Television Service to offer HD Olympic coverage

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Viewers in Taiwan will be able to watch the London Olympic Games broadcast in high definition next week after the National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday conditionally approved an application by Public Television Service (PTS) for an official license to operate a high-definition (HD) channel.

Prior to the application, PTS was able to show HD programs on channel 30 on a trial basis. The operator decided to apply for an official license for an HD channel this year to broadcast the Olympic Games.

NCC counselor Huang Chin-yi (黃金益) said PTS plans to broadcast eight hours of Olympic Games coverage a day. The events it is scheduled to broadcast would be the same as one of the four other terrestrial television broadcasters — Taiwan Television, China Television, Chinese Television System and Formosa TV, he said.

Huang added that high--definition channel was a must-carry channel for cable television services after they secure an official license, adding that the commission would work to ensure that HD channel is included in the channel lineup provided by cable service operators before the Olympic Games begin on Saturday next week.

“The commission hopes HD channel will be located between channels two to 25 because programs on those channels can be viewed by the general public,” Huang said. “It will be challenging, but we will negotiate with the cable service operators.”

Huang said PTS’ license, which is valid for nine years, was approved on the condition that the operator has a well-rounded financial plan to fund the operation of the HD channel and sticks to it. The commission has the right to revoke the license if PTS fails to meet the goals stated in its operational plan.

PTS has said in its proposal that it aims to raise NT$450 million (US$15 million) per year in the first three years of operation, Huang said, adding that it plans to increase that to between NT$600 million and NT$880 million annually in the mid to long-term.

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