Now that nine of the ten First Division Hong Kong football clubs have come together to start up a new 24-hour pay-TV channel to, apparently, promote the sport, one has to tackle some hard questions. Like is there more to this than the lovely idea of “promoting” local soccer?

For years,Hong Kongsoccer matches have been covered for free by HKTVB, the leading terrestrial television station.

This new pay-TV 24-hour channel means each of the nine clubs who have bought in to play this new game, have to fork out H$40,000 per month as part of the production costs.

One club- said to be Sunray Cave Sun Hei- have baulked at the idea and, possibly, the costs- dug their heels in and taken their ball and gone home.

We are a little confused and also a bit puzzled by this new move and this pay-TV channel which will operate via NOW TV.

Firstly, why is this initiative being done now and amidst all the clutter and buffet of choices offered to sports and, especially, soccer fans in Hong Kong?

Does Hong Kong really have enough soccer to sustain a 24-hour channel?

What exactly will this content be and how much will subscribers be asked to pay?

Would subscribers wish to pay more money when they are currently paying to watch matches from all the other various top league fixtures around the world?

From what we know, many only gamble on these local matches and where the quality of the players are hardly of world class calibre.

So, how big an audience do these nine teams hope to attract and was any type of research done on “eyeballs”?

When can these clubs hope to see any return of interest?

From what we understand, HKTVB carrying the coverage of ‘live’ football matches for free has been something quite extraordinary for the television channel: They always want the content for free and for content providers to bring in advertisers who will pay for the air-time before they broadcast anything that is not one of their many dramas or cornball “variety” shows.

From what we know, same goes for NOW TV, a part of PCCW, and two names which make the Hong Kong public shudder.

Why?

Both are so inept at providing any form of “service” to consumers and with NOW TV being constantly criticized for its various “sales packages.”

So, with this new 24-hour pay-TV soccer channel, do the teams get a slice of the advertising revenue?

Then again, with advertising on all of NOW’s channels being very scant, just how much “advertising” will it even attract?

Questions, questions, and, at least to us, a number of things just do not add up.