ATV has gone off the air, ending its 59-year run as the world's oldest Chinese-language broadcaster upon the expiry of its free-to-air television licence.
As the clock struck midnight, the screen faded to blue, followed by static, before RTHK assumed control of its two analogue channels following a short delay.
The Director of Broadcasting, Leung Ka-wing, said the transition went very smoothly, noting that there were only a few short minutes of delay before RTHK successfully took over transmissions.
RTHK will provide services daily from 6:30am to 1:30am, on the two channels named RTHK 31A and 33A. Leung said roughly 80-percent of the population should be able to receive transmissions, and the station will work to boost that to 99 percent within the next three months.
Crowds of people showed up at ATV's Tai Po headquarters to bid farewell to the broadcaster. After it stopped broadcasting, around thirty staff members briefly walked out of the building, and waved to the cheering crowd before heading back inside.
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Greg So, said not only has RTHK stepped in to take over the analog channels, HK Television Entertainment has also started to transmit its digital free television programme channel, ViuTV, through radio waves.
So said these new free TV services will provide additional programme choices for viewers, and he hopes that Hong Kong's television industry will be brought to a "new height."
Last updated: 2016-04-02 HKT 02:31