StarHub – BT

StarHub takes a short cut to TVB dramas

STARHUB is polishing the crown jewel of its Chinese programming by bringing popular Hong Kong drama series to local screens a month after their home debut.

This perk will be extended to the firm’s cable television customers from June, thanks to a recent change in the licensing policy of Hong Kong television producer TVB.

TVB drama series enjoy a strong local following but previously, StarHub could only gain access to them some three months after their broadcast in Hong Kong. This is because these programmes are first released to the video rental market before being distributed to operators.

However, TVB decided to reduce the timeframe for pay-TV companies as some consumers have been illegally downloading its programmes after their Hong Kong broadcast.

‘This (illegal downloading) is jeopardising our interest so we decided to shorten the window,’ said Sherman Lee, controller of the telecast licensing division at TVB’s international arm TVBI.

TVB content is currently carried on 10 StarHub channels, of which three are so-called video-on-demand (VOD) offerings.

This means that the programmes do not follow a fixed schedule and can instead be called up instantly by the user. The latest TVB drama series will first be carried over these VOD channels.

‘TVB is another important source of content for us aside from the BPL (Barclays Premier League),’ said StarHub’s chief operating officer Tan Tong Hai at a media conference yesterday.

Beyond expediting access to TVB content, some of the programmes will also be offered in high-definition and on StarHub’s mobile and broadband platforms, he added.

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