Hong Kong’s Digital Broadcasting Corporation Ends Broadcasts

After only a month on the air, Hong Kong’s Digital Broadcasting Corp. ran out of funds Oct. 10 and will no longer broadcast its programming. The DBC’s financial difficulties apparently stem from disagreements among shareholders over funding, and all seven channels have ceased their broadcasts, according to 7th Space Interactive.

According to the South China Morning Post, the station’s co-founder Albert Cheng King-hon wanted the government to intervene between the shareholders, but Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So Kam-leung turned down the request for mediation.

The DBC’s financial woes have meant that the staff was not paid for the month of October, or offered severance, according to an article posted on the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union’s website. Nonetheless, at least one talk show host indicated that he would like to continue broadcasting without pay, but some doubted the practicality of this goodwill gesture.

Disagreements over what to do with DBC’s assets extend to how to questions over whether or not the company should be liquidated to pay employees or allow the board members to buy back shares at a discounted rate.

DBC’s sound broadcasting license required them to formally launch their service by Sept. 21, 2012, and also to provide seven 24-hour programing channels (including “talk radio,” an ethnic minorities channel, two music channels, as well as three other channels, which could be a news and market update, leisure/life, community or music), according to a written statement from Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So. Additionally, So said, other elements of its license may allow the government to impose penalties if breached, and the government is currently investigating the situation, while continuing to express its support for the development of DAB.

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