Shock TV turnout

Kelly Ip
Monday, October 21, 2013

Tens of thousands of people yesterday gave the government the thumbs-down on its decision to award two instead of three free-to-air TV licenses.

Estimates of the turnout ranged from the police's peak estimate of 36,000 to the 120,000 claimed by netizens, though it was apparent from the groups gathered outside government headquarters that the right figure was somewhere in between.

In addition, there were about 2,000 members and supporters of the Hong Kong Television Network Staff Union.

The protesters accused the government of operating within a black box and called for a full explanation of why it rejected the application of HKTV and gave licenses to two TV stations backed by big business.

HKTV chief director So Man-chung, who spoke after marchers reached the government headquarters in the evening, said the HKTV drama Police Boundaries will be played on a big screen at Tamar starting from 8pm today.

The first episode, uploaded onto YouTube, was viewed more than 700,000 times. "We will not leave if the government doesn't explain," So said, indicating that 50 to 60 members are prepared to stage a sit-in overnight.

"If they don't let us start our TV station, we will start our own right here."

Some protesters also proposed surrounding the other two free stations and called on the Legislative Council to invoke the Powers and Privileges Ordinance to probe the Executive Council's decision…

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