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29 May 1957 (Television)
|Owner||BET, Broadcast Relay Services|
|First air date||29 May 1957|
Rediffusion Television (RTV; Chinese: 麗的電視有限公司; 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. It began as a radio station in 1949 and became ATV on 24 September 1982.
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 麗的呼聲 (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), thus becoming the first television station in a British Empire colony, 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 monthly fee during its launch was HK$25, which was expensive at the time. 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 in 19 November 1967, RTV had 67,000 subscribers. It was renamed Rediffusion Television Limited or 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 or ATV (亞洲電視).
- Kitley, Philip.  (2003). Television, Regulation and Civil Society in Asia. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-29733-8