Hong Kong broadcaster TVB has announced a deal to sell a 51% stake in its long-delayed pay-TV platform, Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting, to US satellite services provider, Intelsat.
The deal clears the way for Galaxy to be launched in the third quarter of this year, presenting Hong Kong's dominant pay-TV operator, I-Cable Communications, with its first heavy-weight competition.
Under the terms of its licence agreement, TVB was required to sell a 51% stake in Galaxy to ensure it doesn't dominate the pay-TV market as well as free-to-air broadcasting. TVB is Hong Kong's leading terrestrial broadcaster and is also the territory's largest producer of Chinese-language television programming.
Intelsat will contribute $53m (HK$413.3m) in cash to the venture over the next three years along with transponder capacity worth $16.5m (HK$128.7m). TVB will provide $25.2m (HK$196.6m) in cash and programming valued at $41.6m (HK$324.15m).
Among the services that Galaxy will provide are a 24-hour news channel along with documentary, information, movie and other entertainment channels.