TVB Pearl

Channel Profile: 
Owned by / Company: 

TVB (Television Broadcasts Ltd)


TVB Pearl is the English-language free-TV service operated by Hong Kong's dominant broadcaster, Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), which also operates the Cantonese TVB Jade and five digital channels.


Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) operates two analogue channels - the Cantonese TVB Jade and English-language TVB Pearl - and five digital channels including simulcast TVB Jade and TVB Pearl, HD Jade (for in-house and acquired HD drama series, documentaries, live local and international large-scale events), J2 (targets younger audience group) and an Interactive Information channel. TVB transmits over 16,000 hours of programming on TVB Jade (about 86% prime time share) and Pearl (about 73% prime time share). Pearl acquires most of its contents, including U.S. prime time hits.


Pearl Channel - 26 March 2010

With an upmarket, trendy and international image, Pearl remains in the lead amongst terrestrial English channels, with a weekly prime time audience shareof 75% (2008: 75%). For the fifth consecutive year, Pearl captured all the top-rated 100 programmes on English terrestrial channels.

Starting October 2009, Pearl re-launched its weekday primetime schedule with drama series beginning at 8:30 p.m. and at 10:30 p.m., and documentary series/lifestyle programming beginning at 9:30 p.m., making up a “primetime sandwich” to better complement the audience’s viewing patterns.

The station-produced weekly magazine programme Dolce Vita became the channel’s icon production. It is now also on HD Jade.

Weekend blockbuster movies remained the viewers’ favourite. The Harry Potter blockbusters were particularly well-received, with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, taking the top- rated programme on the English terrestrial channels with an average rating of 10.7 TVRs.

Pearl’s other first-run blockbuster movies included many more celebrated titles, such as Fox’s Night at the Museum, Fantastic Four and Madagascar. Pearl also aired a series of Chinese movies at the Chinese Cinema Showcase on Saturday late nights, offering a broad range of movies, such as the celebrated and multi-award-winning Still Life, The Road Home, and Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles. Reality shows continued to draw substantial ratings on weekends, in particular, the new seasons of America’s Got Talent.

On weekdays, imported serial dramas of every genre continued to captivate the audience’s attention. These included House, the final season of Prison Break, Primeval, and 24; and new attractions like Fringe, Castle, and The Mentalist.

A variety of quality documentaries focusing on ecological preservation and environmental protection was offered on Pearl. BBC’s Oceans led underwater scientific expeditions; Expedition Guyana and Expedition New Guinea showcased the explorations into final frontiers. Nature’s Great Events continued to attract high ratings.

Pearl paid tribute to the passing of Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett in June with special programmes. Pearl also offered a number of local and foreign events to sports fans with cross channel exposure on our digital channels.

Who's who: 

Sir Run Run Shaw Executive Chairman
Dr Norman N P Leung Executive Deputy Chairman
George Chan Assistant Managing Director
Stephen Chan General Manager, Broadcasting
S K Cheong General Manager, Broadcasting
Cecilia Tan Deputy Controller (TVB Pearl Channel, English)
K C Ho Deputy Controller (TVB Jade Channel, Chinese)


TVB City, 77 Chun Choi Street Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate Kowloon, Hong Kong
T: +852 2335 9123
F: +852 2358 1300



Schedule Analysis: 

Hong Kong terrestrial station TVB Pearl continues exploring the possibility of adding more local production as the channel navigates through the digital era.

Citing the territory’s growing number of digital channels as one of the main scheduling/programming challenges, TVB Pearl prioritises local content for a “unique channel identity and positioning”, TVB Pearl’s programming team says.

About 32% of Hong Kong households are receiving digital services, according to a government-led survey. A similar survey at the end of July last year found 15.6% of households or about 351,000 families were watching digital television. This was a 60% increase in two months, the bureau said in August. [ContentAsia Insider 13 February 2009]

TVB has five channels on its digital platform, including a digital version of the analogue TVB Pearl service. Rival broadcaster Asia Television Limited (ATV) has seven digital channels.

The Hong Kong government aims to switch off analogue broadcasting at the end of 2012.

Owned and operated by Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), the English-language TVB Pearl carries some 7% (12 hours) a week of in-house programming, which includes News at Seven-Thirty, News Headlines and News Roundup; current affairs show The Pearl Report; and lifestyle/magazine series Dolce Vita.

Other local content makes up about 10% (18 hours) of the weekly schedule. This includes public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong’s (RTHK) Education Television (ETV), and current affairs programmes Hong Kong Stories and Police Report.

Overall, news/financial reports rule the weekly schedule with about 50% of airtime, followed by kids/animation (11%) and info-ed shows (9%).

News/financial reports are scheduled daily during weekdays and less often on weekends, giving ways to kids content (such as the animated Tommy Zoom, The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends and science-based show The Eyes of Nye), music (such as Get Reel Music Mix, Mandarin Music On-demand Top 10 and Music Video Hits), sports (includes Sports Woman, Gillette World Sport and Sunday Sport) and reality (Hell’s Kitchen and The Celebrity Apprentice).

Other genres on general entertainment schedule are documentary (6%), drama (6%), movies (5%), sports (4%), reality (3%), entertainment/music (3%) and lifestyle (2%), and current affairs (1%).

Prime time runs from 8pm to 11.45pm daily and covers documentaries and drama series on weekdays and formats and movies on weekends.

Weekend theatrical movies attract the most viewers.

TVB Pearl has four movie belts; Weekend Blockbuster airing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 9.30pm past midnight; Late Late Show on Sunday after midnight; Movie of the Month and Mega Movie.

TVB Pearl has no plans to alter acquisition budgets for this year.

Programme highlights for March include Twentieth Century Fox’s Prison Break season four; Warner Bros’ Fringe and Without A Trace.

ContentAsia Issue 69: March 16-29, 2009