As the countdown begins to the 2012 Summer Olympics, the government and its media seem to be playing their own media games.

A Hong Kong’s cable TV outfit says it is desperate for government approval of its free-to-air license for the Games. Without this approval, many of the city’s sports fans are at risk of being denied live coverage of this summer’s London Olympic Games, it claims.

Previously, multiple terrestrial broadcasters had aired the Olympics for free. In 2007 however, the local pay-television operator gained sole broadcasting rights for Hong Kong, only providing coverage of the Games to those who hold a subscription.

Fantastic TV, a division of i-Cable Communications, had submitted its application for license approval in January 2010. A spokesperson explains that “there has been no progress on the matter since last year and we don’t know why it has taken so long”. Fantastic TV hopes to gain approval for the license by the end of January in order to continue with its plan to air the London Games on free television. According to its plan, i-Cable hopes to provide four channels to cover the Games, including two channels that will run 24 hours in order to feature the day’s most important live events.

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South China Morning Post