The government started to connect the signal for its “basic TV channels” provided by “Macau Basic Television Channels, Limited” at midnight last night, marking the end to Macau Cable TV’s 15-year monopoly.
The connection was made at 34 signal access points from where the TV signal is relayed to local households through overhead cables belonging to the city’s 14 communal antenna service providers.
“Macau Basic Television Channels, Limited”, which is fully funded by the government, was established early this month for the transmission of “basic TV channels” from today, after yesterday’s end of a temporary deal between Macau Cable TV (MCTV) and the city’s antenna service providers to provide residents with “basic TV channels”.
The deal, signed last August, was brokered by the government after a court ruling last June demanded that the government had to come up with measures to guarantee the implementation of MCTV’s monopoly, based on a deal signed with the city’s then Portuguese administration shortly before the December 1999 establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR).
Under the deal, the antenna companies were told to stop transmitting all TV signals with the exception of about 40 channels covered by their deal with MCTV. The TV signals were only provided by MCTV and then reached households using the antenna companies’ networks.
The Telecommunications Regulation Bureau (DSRT) briefed the media yesterday afternoon about how the government would connect the signal for the “basic TV channels” from midnight last night. The media briefing took place at one of the 34 signal access points, in a residential building in Avenida de Kwong Tung.
DSRT Acting Director Horry Hoi Chi Leong told reporters during the briefing that the number of basic free-to-air channels provided by the government-funded company was 51. (macaunews/macaupost)