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It always amuses me when veteran broadcaster Robert Chua gets involved in debates involving- what else?- broadcasting as there are always personal agendas at work.

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And so when I read an opinion piece by Chua in the SCMP siding with the government and pontificating that three new free-to-air television channels would be one too many and how there wasn’t enough advertising revenue to go around, I had to laugh.

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Robert Chua was relevant over thirty years ago when he produced a variety show called Enjoy Yourself Tonight- hugely popular at its time, but which, over the years has been hailed at some masterpiece and its producer perceived as the Orson Welles or Simon Cowell of Hong Kong television.

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To be brutally frank, EYT was not groundbreaking television and despite being a nice guy, Robert Chua has gone from one flop to another.

He always has new ideas- but they never catch on and I was thinking about this: What if Chua had been given awarded a free-to-air licence? Would he refuse it? Bet your ass he wouldn’t.

He would grab it with both hands and never let it go which is why the hypocrisy of his opinion piece pissed me off.

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Plus, whoever asked Chua to write this piece is an even bigger buffoon as everything written is old school pontificating that was hardly worth reading after the first two paragraph.

The rest became Chua’s CV- a short one as his successes ended with EYT.

As for this HKTV saga, all sides are wrong.

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The government needs real transparency and not waffle from commerce minister Greg So and our esteemed Chief Executive whereas Ricky Wong is starting to act like a spoilt child who will, one day, grow up to be Carrie and wreak havoc on his enemies.

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Despite all the talk and arguments and counter arguments, no one is talking about the fact that Hong Kong’s television industry have been coming to same talent pool for decades when it comes to hires and which is why there are embarrassing and piss poor programmes like ATV’s Mr ATV competition.

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This is where PCCW’s Hong Kong Entertainment Company and i-Cable’s Fantastic Channel will fail: Old farts who have done the rounds and played corporate musical chairs still in charge. They might as well hire Robert Chua.

January 26, 2011 John de Rosier editorial cartoon

Okay, the public should know why HKTV was not granted a license- definitely- as there is more than a whiff of croneyism and nepotism at work and a somewhat devious Chief Executive or some puppet master pulling the strings.

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However, let’s say, like Moses parting the Red Seas, there is a major miracle, the Government does a U-turn and grants HKTV a license.

Does one REALLY think the channel will create any ground- breaking programing or will it be more of the same cheap crap as ATV’s Mr Asia embarrassment?

No prizes for guessing what I think.

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All these protests etc are really Much Ado About Nothing or the HKTV saga used as an excuse for everything else and which are far more important than another crumby local television channel.

The Hong Kong media should really get its priorities in order and give this HKTV saga a rest as it’s becoming another empty vessel making loud noises like Occupy Central.

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