A government-appointed research committee has urged the Macau government to provide a bouquet of free-TV channels to all households in the territory. According to news reports, the University of Macau-based committee urged the government to:
- Clearly distinguish between free-TV and pay-TV
- Extend Macau Cable TV’s license to operate in the pay-TV sector, but on a non-exclusive basis
- Use a public body of some sort to ensure consumers can receive a bouquet of free-to-air programming
- Negotiate with rightsholders if necessary to get the rights for redistribution of their content in Macau.
Unlike other markets in Asia, Macau has only very limited indigenous free-to-air TV, provided by public service broadcaster Televisao de Macau (TdM). For the past few decades, a handful of “antenna companies” have provided free-to-air signals from Hong Kong and China, as well as pirated pay-TV channels, to Macau households. The new arrangements proposed by the University would give the “antenna companies” a role in distributing the government-provided FTA content, and at the same time would represent a substantial restructuring and possibly clean-up of infringements in the sector.
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Read CASBAA’s previous reporting on this issue here