Sony MIX is an Indian pay television music channel owned by Sony Pictures Networks that broadcasts Hindi-language music videos. It was launched on 1 September 2011; the channel launched its own music awards in 2018, named Audience Music Awards to honour the artists of the Indian music industry. Official website
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Mauritius the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The main Island of Mauritius is located about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent; the Republic of Mauritius includes the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon; the capital and largest city Port Louis is located on the main island of Mauritius. In 1598, the Dutch took possession of Mauritius, they abandoned Mauritius in 1710 and the French took control of the island in 1715, renaming it Isle de France. France ceded Mauritius including all its dependencies to the United Kingdom through the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814 and in which Réunion was returned to France; the British colony of Mauritius consisted of the main island of Mauritius along with Rodrigues, Agalega, St Brandon and the Chagos Archipelago, while the Seychelles became a separate colony in 1906. The sovereignty of Tromelin is disputed between Mauritius and France as some of the islands such as St. Brandon, Chagos and Tromelin were not mentioned in the Treaty of Paris.
In 1965, three years prior to the independence of Mauritius, the UK split the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritian territory, the islands of Aldabra and Desroches from the Seychelles, to form the British Indian Ocean Territory. The UK forcibly expelled the archipelago's local population and leased its largest island, Diego Garcia, to the United States; the UK has restricted access to the Chagos Archipelago. The sovereignty of the Chagos is disputed between Mauritius and the UK. In February 2019, in an advisory opinion given by the International Court of Justice on this dispute, the ICJ ordered the UK to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius as as possible; the people of Mauritius are multiethnic and multilingual. The island's government is modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system, Mauritius is ranked for democracy and for economic and political freedom; the Human Development Index of Mauritius is one of the highest in Africa. Mauritius is ranked as the most competitive and one of the most developed economies in the African region.
The main pillars of the Mauritian economy are manufacturing, financial services and information and communications technology. Mauritius is a welfare state. Along with the other Mascarene Islands, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna, with many species endemic to the island; the island was the only known home of the dodo, along with several other avian species, was made extinct by human activities shortly after the island's settlement. The first historical evidence of the existence of an island now known as Mauritius is on a map produced by the Italian cartographer Alberto Cantino in 1502. From this, it appears that Mauritius was first named Dina Arobi around 975 by Arab sailors, the first people to visit the island. In 1507, Portuguese sailors visited the uninhabited island; the island appears with a Portuguese name Cirne on early Portuguese maps from the name of a ship in the 1507 expedition. Another Portuguese sailor, Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, gave the name Mascarenes to the Archipelago.
In 1598, a Dutch squadron under Admiral Wybrand van Warwyck landed at Grand Port and named the island Mauritius, in honour of Prince Maurice van Nassau, stadholder of the Dutch Republic. The island became a French colony and was renamed Isle de France. On 3 December 1810, the French surrendered the island to Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. Under British rule, the island's name reverted to Mauritius. Mauritius is commonly known as Maurice and Île Maurice in French, Moris in Mauritian Creole; the island of Mauritius was uninhabited before its first recorded visit during the Middle Ages by Arab sailors, who named it Dina Arobi. In 1507, Portuguese sailors came to the uninhabited island and established a visiting base. Diogo Fernandes Pereira, a Portuguese navigator, was the first European known to land in Mauritius, he named the island "Ilha do Cirne". The Portuguese did not stay. In 1598 a Dutch squadron under Admiral Wybrand van Warwyck landed at Grand Port and named the island "Mauritius" after Prince Maurice of Nassau of the Dutch Republic.
The Dutch inhabited the island in 1638, from which they exploited ebony trees and introduced sugar cane, domestic animals and deer. It was from here; the first Dutch settlement lasted twenty years. Several attempts were subsequently made, but the settlements never developed enough to produce dividends, causing the Dutch to abandon Mauritius in 1710. France, which controlled neighbouring Île Bourbon, took control of Mauritius in 1715 and renamed it Isle de France. In 1723, the Code Noir was established to categorise one group of human beings as "goods", in order for the owner of these goods to be able to obtain insurance money and compensation in case of loss of his "goods"; the 1735 arrival of French governor Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais coincided with development of a prosperous economy based on sugar production. Mahé de La Bourdonnais established Port Louis as a shipbuilding centre. Under his governorship, numerous buildings were erected, a number of which are sti
Macau or Macao the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region on the western side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With a population of 653,100 in an area of 32.9 km2, it is the most densely populated region in the world. Macau was a colony of the Portuguese Empire, after Ming China leased the territory as a trading post in 1557. Governing under Chinese authority and sovereignty, Portugal was given perpetual occupation rights for Macau in 1887; the colony remained under Portuguese control until 1999. As a special administrative region, Macau's system of government is separate from that of mainland China. A sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, the territory has become a major resort city and the top destination for gambling tourism, it is the ninth-highest recipient of tourism revenue and its gaming industry is seven times larger than that of Las Vegas. Although the city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it has severe income inequality.
Macau has a high Human Development Index and the fourth-highest life expectancy in the world. The territory is urbanised and most development is built on reclaimed land; the first known written record of the name "Macau", rendered as "Ya/A Ma Gang", is in a letter dated 20 November 1555. The local inhabitants believed that the sea goddess Mazu had blessed and protected the harbour and called the waters around A-Ma Temple using her name; when Portuguese explorers first arrived in the area and asked for the place name, the locals thought they were asking about the temple and told them it was "Ma Kok". The earliest Portuguese spelling for this was Amaquão. Multiple variations were used until Amacão / Amacao and Macão / Macao became common during the 17th century standardising as Macao, Macau today. Macau Peninsula had many names in Chinese, including Jingao and Haojingao; the islands Taipa and Hengqin were collectively called Shizimen. These names would become Aomen, Oumún in Cantonese and translating as "bay gate" or "port gate", to refer to the whole territory.
The region is first known to have been settled during the Han dynasty. However, Macau did not develop as a major settlement until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century; the first European visitor to reach China by sea was the explorer Jorge Álvares, who arrived in 1513. Merchants first established a trading post in Hong Kong waters at Tamão, beginning regular trade with nearby settlements in southern China. Military clashes between the Ming and Portuguese navies followed the expulsion of the Tamão traders in 1521. Despite the trade ban, Portuguese merchants continued to attempt settling on other parts of the Pearl River estuary settling on Macau. Luso-Chinese trade relations were formally reestablished in 1554 and Portugal soon after acquired a permanent lease for Macau in 1557; the small population of Portuguese merchants became a growing city. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau was created in 1576, by 1583, the Senate had been established to handle municipal affairs for the growing settlement.
Macau was at the peak of its prosperity as a major entrepôt during the late 16th century, providing a crucial connection in exporting Chinese silk to Japan during the Nanban trade period. Although the Portuguese were prohibited from fortifying Macau or stockpiling weapons, the Fortaleza do Monte was constructed in response to frequent Dutch naval incursions; the Dutch attempted to take the city in the 1622 Battle of Macau, but were repelled by the Portuguese. Macau entered a period of decline in the 1640s following a series of catastrophic events for the burgeoning colony: Portuguese access to trade routes was irreparably severed when Japan halted trade in 1639, Portugal revolted against Spain in 1640, Malacca fell to the Dutch in 1641. Maritime trade with China was banned in 1644 following the Qing conquest under the Haijin policies and limited only to Macau on a lesser scale while the new dynasty focused on eliminating surviving Ming loyalists. While the Kangxi Emperor lifted the prohibition in 1684, China again restricted trade under the Canton System in 1757.
Foreign ships were required to first stop at Macau before further proceeding to Canton. Qing authorities exercised a much greater role in governing the territory during this period; as the opium trade became more lucrative during the eighteenth century, Macau again became an important stopping point en route to China. Following the First Opium War and establishment of Hong Kong, Macau lost its role as a major port. Firecracker and incense production, as well as tea and tobacco processing, were vital industries in the colony during this time. Portugal was able to assert its sovereignty. Portugal occupied nearby Lapa and Montanha, but these would be returned to China by 1887, when perpetual occupation rights over Macau were formalised in the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking; this agreement obligated Portugal from ceding Macau without Chinese approval. Despite occasional conflict between Cantonese authorities and the colonial government, Macau's status remained unchanged through the republican revolutions of b
Madagascar the Republic of Madagascar, known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; the island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the growing human population and other environmental threats. The first archaeological evidence for human foraging on Madagascar may have occurred as much as 10,000 years ago. Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and 550 AD by Austronesian peoples, arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo; these were joined around the 9th century AD by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life.
The Malagasy ethnic group is divided into 18 or more subgroups, of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands. Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting sociopolitical alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles; the monarchy ended in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed republics. Since 1992, the nation has been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009, president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina. Constitutional governance was restored in January 2014, when Hery Rajaonarimampianina was named president following a 2013 election deemed fair and transparent by the international community.
Madagascar is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Madagascar belongs according to the United Nations. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state; the majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity, or an amalgamation of both. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. Under Ravalomanana, these investments produced substantial economic growth, but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class; as of 2017, the economy has been weakened by the 2009–2013 political crisis, quality of life remains low for the majority of the Malagasy population. In the Malagasy language, the island of Madagascar is called Madagasikara and its people are referred to as Malagasy.
The island's appellation "Madagascar" is not of local origin but rather was popularized in the Middle Ages by Europeans. The name Madageiscar was first recorded in the memoirs of 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo as a corrupted transliteration of the name Mogadishu, the Somali port with which Polo had confused the island. On St. Laurence's Day in 1500, Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias landed on the island and named it São Lourenço. Polo's name popularized on Renaissance maps. No single Malagasy-language name predating Madagasikara appears to have been used by the local population to refer to the island, although some communities had their own name for part or all of the land they inhabited. At 592,800 square kilometres, Madagascar is the world's 47th largest country and the fourth-largest island; the country lies between latitudes 12°S and 26°S, longitudes 43°E and 51°E. Neighboring islands include the French territory of Réunion and the country of Mauritius to the east, as well as the state of Comoros and the French territory of Mayotte to the north west.
The nearest mainland state is Mozambique, located to the west. The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana separated the Madagascar–Antarctica–India landmass from the Africa–South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar split from India about 88 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation. Along the length of the eastern coast runs a narrow and steep escarpment containing much of the island's remaining tropical lowland forest. To the west of this ridge lies a plateau in the center of the island ranging in altitude from 750 to 1,500 m above sea level; these central highlands, traditionally the homeland of the Merina people and the location of their historic capital at Antananarivo, are the most densely populated part of the island and are characterized by terraced, rice-growing valleys lying between grassy hills and patches of the subhumid forests that covered the highland region. To the west of the highlands, the arid terrain slope
Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. As of 2011 it is the most populous city in India with an estimated city proper population of 12.4 million. The larger Mumbai Metropolitan Region is the second most populous metropolitan area in India, with a population of 21.3 million as of 2016. Mumbai has a deep natural harbour. In 2008, Mumbai was named an alpha world city, it is the wealthiest city in India, has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India. Mumbai is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the city's distinctive ensemble of Victorian and Art Deco buildings; the seven islands that constitute Mumbai were home to communities of Koli people, who originated in Gujarat in prehistoric times. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese Empire and subsequently to the East India Company when in 1661 Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza and as part of her dowry Charles received the ports of Tangier and Seven Islands of Bombay.
During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which undertook reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Bombay in the 19th century was characterised by educational development. During the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. Upon India's independence in 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital. Mumbai is the financial and entertainment capital of India, it is one of the world's top ten centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, generating 6.16% of India's GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India, 70% of capital transactions to India's economy. The city houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations.
It is home to some of India's premier scientific and nuclear institutes like Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Indian Rare Earths, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Atomic Energy Commission of India, the Department of Atomic Energy. The city houses India's Hindi and Marathi cinema industries. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures; the name Mumbai is derived from Mumbā or Mahā-Ambā—the name of the patron goddess Mumbadevi of the native Koli community— and ā'ī meaning "mother" in the Marathi language, the mother tongue of the Koli people and the official language of Maharashtra. The Koli people originated in Kathiawad and Central Gujarat, according to some sources they brought their goddess Mumba with them from Kathiawad, where she is still worshipped. However, other sources disagree.
The oldest known names for the city are Galajunkja. In 1508, Portuguese writer Gaspar Correia used the name "Bombaim" in his Lendas da Índia; this name originated as the Galician-Portuguese phrase bom baim, meaning "good little bay", Bombaim is still used in Portuguese. In 1516, Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa used the name Tana-Maiambu: Tana appears to refer to the adjoining town of Thane and Maiambu to Mumbadevi. Other variations recorded in the 16th and the 17th centuries include: Mombayn, Bombain, Monbaym, Mombaym, Bombaiim, Boon Bay, Bon Bahia. After the English gained possession of the city in the 17th century, the Portuguese name was anglicised as Bombay. Ali Muhammad Khan, imperial dewan or revenue minister of the Gujarat province, in the Mirat-i Ahmedi referred to the city as Manbai; the French traveller Louis Rousselet who visited in 1863 and 1868 tells us in his book L’Inde des Rajahs: "Etymologists have wrongly derived this name from the Portuguese Bôa Bahia, or, not knowing that the tutelar goddess of this island has been, from remote antiquity, Bomba, or Mamba Dévi, that she still... possesses a temple".
By the late 20th century, the city was referred to as Mumbai or Mambai in Marathi, Gujarati and Sindhi, as Bambai in Hindi. The Government of India changed the English name to Mumbai in November 1995; this came at the insistence of the Marathi nationalist Shiv Sena party, which had just won the Maharashtra state elections, mirrored similar name changes across the country and in Maharashtra. According to Slate magazine, "they argued that'Bombay' was a corrupted English version of'Mumbai' and an unwanted legacy of British colonial rule." Slate said "The push to rename Bombay was part of a larger movement to strengthen Marathi identity in the Maharashtra region." While the city is still referred to as Bombay by some of its residents and by Indians from other regions, mention of the ci
Now TV (Hong Kong)
Now TV is a pay-TV service provider in Hong Kong operated by PCCW Media Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of PCCW. It provides 197 TV channels including 176 channels branded under now TV, 21 channels from TVB Network Vision, over 30 video on demand categories. Launched on 26 September 2003, its TV signal is transmitted with IPTV technology through HKT's fixed broadband network. Now TV is the largest pay-TV operator in Hong Kong in terms of number of subscribers, number of channels, number of HD channels and quantity of VOD contents; the word "Now" is abbreviated from "Network Of the World". Launched in March 1998, PCCW's services included a wide range of information and entertainment, such as news, video-on-demand, music videos, home-shopping, home-banking and educational content. ITV had some 67,000 subscribers at the end of 2000. Due to the liberalization of the pay-TV market by the HKSAR government in early July 2000, the existing duopolists, iTV and i-Cable, were confronted with ferocious competition.
With fewer subscribers and hence the decline in the revenue generated from iTV, the interactive television operation was terminated in the final quarter of 2002. Now Broadband pay-TV service was launched in September 2003 with 23 channels under the same umbrella company PCCW. In December 2005, Now TV introduced a technology with connection speed up to 18 megabits per second. At least 75% of the service area will be offered a service running up to 8Mbit/s. In addition, Video-On-Demand services were launched in January 2006. Now TV subscribers have access to 136 channels. March 1998 Hong Kong Telecom commercially launched iTV July 2000 Liberalisation of the pay-TV market Last quarter of 2002 Termination of iTV August 2003 Now TV was unveiled September 2003 Now TV was launched Since each household has to install a special decoder to view the channels, there is an extra deposit and installation for the decoder. However, these charges are waived for Netvigator broadband subscribers. With the decoder, households are able to watch 20 free channels.
For the subscription channels, Now uses the pricing model of pay-per-channel basis. There are bundle offers in existence, for given bouquet of channels, but these are less comprehensive than those offered by rivals. Now TV offers a business package for businesses at a higher price than household subscribers. Since 1 September 2007, Now TV no longer offers STAR Sports or ESPN as stand-alone packages, preferring instead to bundle them into a single multi-sport package; this has caused some distress amongst many viewers who view this move as a breach of their commitment contract's that stipulates that upon expiry of channel contracts, contracts are automatically renewed. In the beginning, Now TV only operated 23 channels. In response to competition, it has expanded its repertoire of new channels, adding programming such as the Disney Channel and ESPN. By June 2005, the number of channels grew to more than 70, with an increased number of Cantonese channels. In 2006, Now TV outbid i-Cable for the rights to broadcast English Premier League football in Hong Kong, starting with the 2007-08 season.
It is the broadcaster of LaLiga, the Spanish football competition Now TV has the most channels of any pay TV provider in Hong Kong. At present, it offers 103 pay channels, including 15 audio channels; the total number of channels exceeds 130. The majority of its programming is in English, Cantonese or Putonghua, though some programming in Hindi, French, is available. Now TV service was launched with 23 channels in September 2003 but was soon expanded to exceed 30 with the addition of sports-related channels and BBC World and the Animax channel, as well as the Cantonese-language Star Chinese Movies and Xing Kong channels. Within four months of launch, Now TV had attracted more than 200,000 customers by end-2003. Although Now TV targets high-income viewers, its subscriber numbers have grown sharply; as well as home viewership, the service has been extended to hotel rooms, sports bars and hotels. According to a report in Ming Pao Finance on 5 October 2005, the number of subscribers to Now TV exceeded 450,000.
Per annual reports issued by PCCW, at the end of December 2005 the number of paying subscribers to Now TV stood at 549,000. These figures compare with totals of 361,000 at end-December 2004 and 269,000 at end-June 2004. Despite the growth in subscribers, Now TV was operating at a loss in 2005. By August 2006, Now TV had in excess of 654,000 subscribers. Although NOW TV can claim consistent growth in subscriber numbers, quality of service remains'average' at best. Many viewers report'jerky' TV reception, slow refresh times when changing channels, picture freezing extending over several minutes at multiple instances during single programming. In early July 2000, the HKSAR government awarded five new pay-TV licences; the new entrants were all seasoned broadcasting companies including Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting, Hong Kong DTV Company, a British broadcaster Elmsdsale, Hong Kong Network TV and Pacific Digital Media HK. The considerable opening of the market sparked intense competition for programming and viewer share, which can be seen by the extensive use of advertising.
To avoid direct competition with the two local digital terrestrial channels - Television Broadcasts Limited and ViuTV - Now TV h