Rediffusion Television

Rediffusion Television (RTV; traditional Chinese: 麗的電視有限公司; simplified Chinese: 丽的电视有限公司; Jyutping: Lai6dik1 Din6si6 Jau5haan6gung1si1) was the first television station in Hong Kong, making it both the first British colony and the first predominantly Chinese city to have television.[1] It began as a radio station in 1949 and became Asia Television on 24 September 1982.

Rediffusion Television
Hong Kong
First air date
1949 (Radio)
29 May 1957 (Television)
TV transmittersHong Kong
HeadquartersBroadcast Drive, Hong Kong
Broadcast area
Hong Kong
OwnerBET, Broadcast Relay Services
Dissolved1 June 1973 (1973-06-01)
Replaced byAsia Television


Radio Rediffusion was officially founded in 1949 as a highly successful wired radio station run by the Rediffusion company. It was known by the Chinese name (pinyin: Lìde hūshēng; Jyutping: Lai6dik1 fu1sing1). The radio service was highly successful with its main competitor Commercial Radio. Some of the early contents included plays, stories, concerts and Cantonese operas. The broadcasts were some of the main attraction in Hong Kong tea shops. One of the most famous broadcasters was Li Ngaw: another was Uncle Ray, the pioneering DJ.

It later became a subscription cable television station on 29 May 1957 under the Chinese name 麗的映聲 (pinyin: Lìde yìngshēng; Jyutping: Lai6dik1 jing2sing1), this becoming the first television station in a colony of the British Empire,[2] as well as the first television station in a predominantly Chinese city. It initially offered a four-hour-per-day English language and Chinese language service. The installation fee during its launch was HK$25, with an equipment rental fee of $45, and a monthly subscription charge of $36.[2]

The charge was considered expensive, at a time when the average worker in Hong Kong earned HK$100 per month.[3] Hong Kong tea shops once again provided an outlet for the broadcasts to the working class who could not afford the subscription fees.

When competitor TVB made its first free-to-air broadcast on 19 November 1967, RTV had 67,000 subscribers. It was renamed Rediffusion Television Limited (RTV; 麗的電視有限公司) on 1 June 1973 when it was granted its free-to-air terrestrial broadcasting license. Cable television broadcasts were ceased thereafter. On 24 September 1982 it was renamed as Asia Television (ATV; 亞洲電視).

See also


  1. Kitley, Philip. [2003] (2003). Television, Regulation and Civil Society in Asia. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-29733-8
  2. 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.
  3. Ye, Jingsi (1 April 2016). 新聞背景:過不了60大壽的香港亞洲電視 [News Background: An ATV That Did Not Live To Celebrate Its 60th Birthday]. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
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