Li Ka-shing Company to Tune Out Satellite TV Channel
(Hong Kong) — A media group backed by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing will shut down its Mandarin-language satellite channel by the end of this year as the company shifts its focus to technology sectors amid a downturn in advertising.
Tom Group Ltd., the media conglomerate controlled by the business tycoon, announced the closure of China Entertainment Television Broadcast Ltd. (CETV) in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday. At that time, Tom Group owned nearly 100 percent of CETV's shares.
CETV was founded by Singaporean broadcaster Robert Chua in Hong Kong in 1995. It later formed a partnership with AOL Time Warner, now Time Warner Inc., to broadcast to cable viewers in southern Guangdong province in 2001. But it was limited to that area.
The decision to close the television station is part of the company's efforts to "realign its cost structure to match its strategic priorities in technology sectors including e-commerce, 'fintech' and big data analytics," according to the filing.
"The advertising market downturn has impeded the performance of the CETV Group," the company said.
Tom Group's revenue from the television and entertainment segment in the first half of this year dropped nearly 39% year-on-year to HK$45 million ($5.8 million).
The company also cited a tough regulatory environment for the shuttering of the channel, but did not elaborate.
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