The broadcasting watchdog has lifted for three months a requirement on how many local programs TV stations should produce after Covid-19 hit various stations and infected more than 500 workers at TVB.
Under their licensing requirements, Free TV stations were required to produce a minimum number of local programs, including documentaries and programs on current affairs and arts and culture, according to the Communications Authority.
They also need to play a certain amount of “first-run” local programs to ensure the stations do not keep replaying old shows.
Now both requirements will be waived for three months after stations were hit by Covid-19 infections and suffered from a shortage of manpower.
The Standard Channel
The stations still have to follow a requirement on the broadcasting hours of those programs, but they will have the choice to play imported productions instead of their own. The frequency of repeated programs will be limited to not more than once a week.
The authority announced the decision after TVB applied for waiving the two requirements on March 9, citing Covid-19 as the main reason for the disruption of TV program production.
The waiver was also extended to two other free TV licensees – HK Television Entertainment Company Ltd and Fantastic Television Ltd.
Earlier, over 500 workers of TVB, including its artistes, were infected with Covid-19, forcing the suspension of program production.
As of Sunday last week (Mar 13), 45 workers have recovered from Covid and resumed work, according to an internal memo. The Standard