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For almost two years now, HKTVB, Hong Kong’s leading terrestrial station, and all four- how many ARE there today?- majors have been giving each other the silent treatment. I hear Cliff Richard singing, “We Don’t Talk Anymore” and Rod Stewart croaking, “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It.”

The reason for this Mexican stand-off is that the majors quite rightly want extra money when it comes to Royalties and the television station, which has always been the bully boy of the local entertainment industry for decades, has dug its high-heels in, stamped its feet, become a bitch and said, “Nah, we want everything to stay as it was in the Eighties”.

 Of course, all this has created a tit-for-tat situation with the majors not allowing their artists to appear on any of the station’s channels- and which doesn’t help the artists, for sure, as the alternative television channels are piss poor- and none of this actually works to anyone’s favour.

TVB still has its ceaseless “Awards” shows- most have always been rigged- and now, to make things even worse, hand out “awards” to those artists who have no reason to win an award- or even make a record.

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Meanwhile, the majors have their artists appearing on “the other television station” in Hong Kong and which no one watches.

And you still wonder why the music industry is f***ed up?
Again, I hear Cliff Richard and that wretched song.

This is like some teen romance gone sour though it is being played out in broad daylight by adults who should know better.

Then again, now that this bitch-fight has been going on for two years or so, both sides don’t seem to know what the hell the “status” is and which means that, again, the artists are the meat in the sandwich.

With a recent reshuffle in the structure and management of TVB, I ran into one of the supposed key NEW executives of the television station a few days ago who “thought” everything was “okay”. Or on its way to being “okay”. He had no idea. 

Meanwhile, the guys in the majors also have no idea about the “status” and who is meant to blink- or wink- first.

Perhaps they are simply too used to looking at the one-time Mona Fong-run TVB and cowering at its might? 

Over the past few years, TVB has been revealed to be a right royal “rort” and with corruption coming outta every orifice- and with key executives like the station’s General Manager- Stephen Chan, pictured below- having his ass hauled in by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

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New artists? They have a choice of other “channels”- but which no one really watches- and local radio where DJs, being the frustrated Artists And Repertoire people that they are, pick and choose which artists they wish to get behind and then “advise” on mixes and how the recordings can be “more punchy”.

It’s the blind leading the blind and the tone deaf listening to the sound of one hand clapping: Their own.

Here’s the sad part: TVB is a forgotten brand with the youth market and known for goofy, cornball “variety shows” and “awards shows” which belong to the Old Hong Kong.

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It should be viewed in 2011 as being more like “Tea Wee Bee”.

It is insignificant and with a “viewership” that gets older by the day.

Does this audience or “Tea Wee Bee’s” or viewers of the stations newer “platforms” want MUSIC?

From everything that has been said, the recent partnership between TVB.com, AliveNotDead and San Miguel for a “band challenge” series which was “not a competition” was an almighty strategic and creative flop.

After all, honestly, what kinda audience would it have attracted? Those watching TVB dramas online? And how small an audience?      

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NOW TV had the chance to make minced meat outta the gang of thieves who ran TVB, but that channel went and hired the same Old Schoolers who made “Tea Wee Bee” ancient and with everything ending up being a game of musical chairs for dunces.

 The problem with TVB- even with its supposedly forward-looking new management- is that it is creatively barren.

 If they are to ever be impregnated and be with child, this child would be Homer Simpson.

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 As for the majors, the minors, and the artists, it’s time to grow some brand new balls- and grey cells- and realize that times have changed.

 ”Viewership” has changed, reading “numbers” has changed and, in Hong Kong, with a population of just seven million people, surely the importance placed on “Tea Wee Bee” and “just another television station” when all the best International and local television programmes can be downloaded for free and watched- for free- online, “Tea Wee Bee” is being taken waaaaaay too seriously.

Guess old habits and old perceptions die hard even when the future is slapping you in the face.

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 Meanwhile, Three Questions To Be Asked At Music Matters in Singapore:

1] Who is the China-based manager of a major who is known as “Mr. Ten Percent”?

It might now be, “Mr. Twenty Percent” and does his music company know about his “secular” management company and the “jihad” he is going to mount on the very hand that currently feeds him?

2] Is EMI trying to buy BACK its licensing deal for Greater China from Gold Typhoon and is Pacific Capital’s Louis “The Pongster” Pong REALLY asking for $70 MILLION EUROS for this “pleasure”?

3] Why buy back EMI?

Is it ‘cos “The China Story” in any planned buyout of the company is so key for the hype?

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