There are four active free-to-air television networks in Hong Kong.
Of the four networks, only TVB, HKTVE and FTV operate English language channels.
There are also a number of cable, premium, and subscription television services. Currently, there is not any free-to-air television licence applicant.
Since 2007, both free-to-air television broadcasters in Hong Kong have been allocated extra frequency bands and bandwidth to provide additional digital broadcasts over and above that needed to provide simultaneous digital and analogue broadcasting of the four original multi frequency free-to-air channels. Digital broadcasts began on 31 December 2007. Analogue broadcasts were originally slated to end in 2012, but in 2011 was deferred to 2015, and then in 2014 deferred again to 2020.
Free-to-air television licences
- Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB; 無綫電視)
- Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK; 港台電視) (Hong Kong government owned, no licence required)
- HK Television Entertainment (HKTVE; 香港電視娛樂)
- Fantastic Television Limited (FTV; 奇妙電視)
Former licence applicants
- New Asia Network Limited (NAN; 新亞電視台), parent company Forever Top (Asia) Limited abandoned the application, following its acquisition of Cable TV Hong Kong and its subsidiary, Fantastic Television, which is a free television provider.
- Phoenix Hong Kong Television Limited (PHKTV, 鳳凰香港電視), parent company Phoenix Television announced its decision to rescind the application on 18 August 2017.
- Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV; 香港電視網絡) – 2nd time applicant. First application was rejected in 2013. Mobile television licence that restricts in-home viewing granted in 2017. Gave up the application in 2018.
- Asia Television Limited (ATV; 亞洲電視. Non-renewal announced in 2015. Ceased operation in 2016)
- Commercial Television (CTV; 佳藝電視. Ceased operation in 1978)
Free-to-air television channels
Channels currently on-air
|Ch № (Digital)||Name (English)||Name (Chinese)||Channel content||Primary language||Picture Format||Transmission||Launch Date (Analogue)||Launch Date (Digital)||Analogue Switchoff Date||Licensee|
|31||RTHK TV 31 (Digital)
RTHK TV 31A (Analogue)
|RTHK's main channel.||Cantonese||HDTV (Digital)
|Terrestrial||2 April 2016||13 January 2014
|30 November 2020 at 23:59:59 HKT||RTHK|
|32||RTHK TV 32||港台電視32||A live feed of Legislative Council meetings every Wednesday and other important press conferences or events.||HDTV|||||
|33||RTHK TV 33 (Digital)
RTHK TV 33A (Analogue)
|Simulcast of the Hong Kong version of CCTV-1 HD||Putonghua||HDTV (Digital)
|2 April 2016||30 November 2020 at 23:59:59 HKT|
|76||Hong Kong International Business Channel||香港國際財經台||Fantastic TV's business news channel||English||HDTV (Digital)
|Hybrid fibre-coaxial and Cable||||30 July 2018||||FTV|
|77||Hong Kong Open TV||香港開電視||Fantastic TV's general entertainment channel.||Cantonese||HDTV (Digital)
|14 May 2017||14 May 2017||30 November 2020 at 23:59:59 HKT|
|81||TVB Jade||無線電視翡翠台||TVB's main general entertainment channel.||Cantonese||HDTV (Digital)
|Terrestrial||19 November 1967||31 December 2007||TVB|
|82||TVB J2||||A youth-oriented entertainment channel.||HDTV||||28 January 2008|||
|83||TVB News Channel||無線新聞台||A 24-hour news channel.||15 August 2017|
|84||TVB Pearl||無線電視明珠台||A general entertainment channel broadcasting mainly in English.||English||HDTV (Digital)
|19 November 1967||31 December 2007||30 November 2020 at 23:59:59 HKT|
|85||TVB Finance & Information Channel||無綫財經·資訊台||A 24-hour free high definition business news channel in Hong Kong.||Cantonese||HDTV||||15 August 2017|||
|96||ViuTVsix||||A general entertainment channel broadcasting in mainly in English.||English||Terrestrial and IPTV||||31 March 2017||||HKTVE|
|99||ViuTV||||HKTVE's general entertainment channel.||Cantonese||2 April 2016 (Programming Preview)|
6 April 2016 (Actual Launch Date)
|Channel № (Digital)||Channel № (Analogue)||Name (English)||Name (Chinese)||Channel content||Primary language||Began operation (Digital)||Began operation (Analogue)||Ceased operation||Means of Transmission||Licence||Note|
|||29||Commercial Television||佳藝電視||A general entertainment channel with prime time educational programming. It was the territory's 3rd free-to-air terrestrial television station.||Cantonese||||7 September 1975||22 August 1978||Terrestrial, free-to-air||Commercial Television|
|||Rediffusion Television (1957–1963)
Rediffusion Television English Channel
|RTV's main channel.
Later became Rediffusion's English channel.
|||29 May 1957||1973||Subscription-based Cable||Rediffusion Television||Converted to a free-to-air television station.|
|Rediffusion Television Chinese Channel||麗的電視中文台||RTV's main Chinese channel||Cantonese||30 September 1963||31 October 1973||Became free-to-air channel RTV-1|
ATV Chinese (1982–1987)
ATV Gold (1987–1989)
ATV Home (1989–2016)
|RTV, and later ATV's main Chinese channel.||31 December 2007||1 December 1973||2 April 2016||Terrestrial, free-to-air||RTV (later ATV)||Station changed identity multiple times since 1973.|
ATV English (1982–1987)
ATV Diamond (1987–1989)
ATV World (1989–2016)
|RTV, and later ATV's main English channel.||English|
|12||||ATV News & Business||亞洲電視新聞財經頻道||News channel.||Cantonese||||1 April 2009||ATV|
|13||ATV His||亞洲電視動感資訊頻道||Male-oriented channel.|
|14||ATV Her||亞洲電視魅力資訊頻道||Female-oriented channel.|
|15||ATV Plus||亞洲電視文化資訊頻道||Documentary channel.|
|15||CCTV-4||中國中央電視台中文國際頻道||Simulcast of content by CCTV-4.||Mandarin Chinese||1 April 2009||1 March 2011|
|14||CTi International||中天亞洲台||Simulcast of content by Chung T'ien Television.||1 April 2011|
|19||ATV HDTV||亞洲電視高清頻道||High definition general entertainment channel.||Cantonese||31 December 2007||1 April 2009|
|19||ATV Asia||亞洲電視亞洲台||1 April 2009||2 May 2011|
|15||CCTV-1||中國中央電視台綜合頻道||Simulcast of content by China Central Television.||Mandarin Chinese||1 March 2011||2 April 2016|
|13||ATV Classic||歲月留聲||Replay of past ATV classics.||Cantonese||31 December 2012|
|13||TVS-2||南方電視台衛星頻道||Simulcast of content by Southern Media Corporation.||Mandarin Chinese||1 October 2009||1 October 2012|
|85||TVB HD Jade||無線電視高清翡翠台||High definition general entertainment channel.||Cantonese||31 December 2007||22 February 2016, 2:59 am||TVB||Cease simulcast transmission with TVB Jade & replace by J5.|
|85||TVB J5||||A high definition channel focusing on financial news and documentaries.||22 February 2016||15 August 2017, 6:00 am||Stopped showing variety shows and drama since 8 May 2017 and replace by TVB Finance Channel.|
Hong Kong uses the same Digital Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcast (DMB-T/H) standard as Macau and Guangdong and, because of signal overspill, viewers in Hong Kong can receive and watch all free to air channels from these areas without much difficulty.
However, because of licensing and intellectual property reasons, except for the four local free-to-air channels and CCTV-1, a subsidiary of China Central Television (CCTV), viewers outside of certain confines  are not legally allowed to watch these channels.
Residential subscribers to cable premium and subscription services are free to use these services within certain confines, usually within their own homes, and under the terms and conditions of their service provider. Other contracts deal with the provision of services to non-domestic properties, e.g. premium sport content to bars.
References and notes
- "Analogue television switch-off working target deferred to end 2015". Government of Hong Kong. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- "Working target for analogue switch-off changed to 2020". Government of Hong Kong. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- "CA Grants Formal Approval for Forever Top's Shareholding in i-CABLE". Communications Authority. 12 September 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- 有關撤回香港本地免費電視服務牌照申請 (In regards to the rescinding of the application for a local free-to-air television license in Hong Kong) (PDF) (in Chinese). 18 August 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Communications Authority Press Release (July)". Communications Authority. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- RTHK took over Asia Television's two analog television channels, namely, the frequency that was formerly occupied by ATV Home and ATV World.
- RTHK is the public broadcaster in Hong Kong which is not required to have a licence.
- This channel has never launched an analogue television service.
- J2 has no Chinese name. It is referred to as "J2", with the "2" pronounced "two", in both English and Chinese parlance.
- Took over the frequency formerly occupied by HD Jade.
- ViuTVsix has no Chinese name.
- ViuTV has no Chinese name. It is referred to as "ViuTV" in both English and Chinese parlance.
- This channel ceased broadcasting before the advent of digital television.
- This channel was not broadcast on terrestrial television
- 由麗的到亞視 一個電視台的終結 (From Rediffusion To ATV The End of a Television Station). Standnews. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- J5 has no Chinese name. It is referred to as "J5", with the "5" pronounced "five", in both English and Chinese parlance.
- government offices and statutory bodies; consulates-general and officially recognised bodies; guest houses and hotels ranked with four stars or above that receive foreign guests; apartment buildings exclusively for office and residential use by persons from abroad; clubs exclusively serving persons from abroad; residential use by the family which included the person(s) directly employed by or retired from the following stipulated confines, such as: departments and related organisations of the government of the HKSAR, office and branches of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong, consulates-general and officially recognised bodies, MTR Corporation.