CNA (TV network)

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(Redirected from Channel NewsAsia)

TypeBroadcasting news, discussions, state media
Broadcast areaAsia-Pacific
HeadquartersMediacorp Campus, Singapore
Picture format1080i 16:9 HDTV
Launched1 March 1999; 25 years ago (1999-03-01)
Former namesChannel NewsAsia
Digital terrestrial televisionUHF CH 33 570MHz DVB-T2 Channel 6 (HD)
Streaming media
meWATCHAvailable on meWATCH website or mobile app (Singapore only)
YouTubeAvailable on YouTube (Some shows won't be broadcast)

CNA (stylised as cna), which is an initialism derived from its previous name, Channel NewsAsia, is a Singaporean multinational news channel owned by Mediacorp, the country's state-owned media conglomerate. CNA broadcasts free-to-air domestically in Singapore, and internationally as a pay television channel to 29 territories across the Asia-Pacific.[1][2]

The network has been positioned as an alternative to Western-based international media in presenting news from "an Asian perspective".[3][4] Alongside its main focus as an English-language news television channel, CNA also produces news and current affairs content in Singapore's other official languages of Chinese, Malay, and Tamil, which is distributed via digital outlets and Mediacorp's local channels in the languages.

The CNA brand also encompasses digital media properties, including its website, social media outlets, as well as a co-branded news radio station in Singapore, CNA938.


Despite the economic recession the region was facing at the time, the Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) was suggesting the creation of a news channel (initially rumoured to be a business channel) in 1998. Under the initially-planned format, the channel was set to provide business news mirroring CNN and CNBC, with a tentative launch date of 1 January 1999.[5]

In October, TCS announced the name of the new service, Channel NewsAsia, and that its cost would be of $20 million in the first year, and $100 million at the long-term period of five years.[6] [7] With the then-upcoming launch of the channel, it was decided that all of Channel 5's current affairs programmes were to move to CNA, leaving only the main news (News 5 Tonight) with only one edition at 9:30pm.[8]

In a surprise move, one of its initial presenters, Christine Tan, left CNA ahead of its launch for CNBC Asia.[9] Two further presenters had left CNA despite heavy promotion for its launch.[10] The launch of the channel was still set to go as planned.[11] The channel's initial slogan was "We know Asia".[12]

Channel NewsAsia launched on 1 March 1999, opening with a speech by Minister of Information and the Arts George Yeo at Raffles Place.[13][14] The channel initially focused on Singapore. It started to be distributed in other Asian countries on 28 September 2000, with the hopes of promoting it as a pan-Asian network.[15] Public opinion was divided over its editorial independence, as the channel was touted as a government mouthpiece.[16]

Jill Neubronner, who was also a newscaster and reporter for TCS since 1995, left CNA in December 2000 for CNN.[17]

In August 2012, CNA agreed to be broadcast in Myanmar through satellite-TV operator Sky Net.[18] CNA opened its Myanmar news bureau in the capital Yangon in October 2013 – the bureau officially opened in January 2014 – as only one of four foreign news organisations licensed to operate in the country at the time.[19]

On 21 January 2013, CNA underwent a major relaunch, introducing a new studio at the Marina Bay Financial Centre, a new Mumbai bureau, an expansion in programming, and the new slogan "Understand Asia". With the changes, CNA added additional news and current affairs programmes focusing on business and the "dynamism and progress" of Asia, and added the new late-night newscast News Pulse (which would feature coverage of international headlines, predominantly involving the Americas and Europe) to expand into a 24-hour service. Managing director Debra Soon explained that "as the focus of the world economy shifts towards Asia, we believe we are well positioned to deliver what we've been doing daily since 1999, and help audiences around the world better Understand Asia."[20][21]

In July 2014, CNA opened its Vietnam bureau.[22] Other bureaus the channel had opened at the time were Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Seoul and Tokyo; unofficial offices were also maintained in other cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Washington D.C.[citation needed]

In September 2014, the channel announced plans to expand its studio in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, into a fully functional satellite office with high-definition capabilities.[23]

On 26 May 2015, CNA began broadcasting in high definition. In July 2015, CNA's reach was placed at 58 million households in 26 countries.[24] CNA began broadcasting in India on 19 November 2015, through satellite operator Tata Sky. The move extended the network's reach to 14 million households in India.[25]

On 1 August 2018, CNA was launched on Astro in Malaysia. It stayed on Channel 533 and moved to Channel 515 on 1 April 2020.

In March 2019, marking the network's 20th anniversary, Mediacorp announced that Channel NewsAsia would officially rebrand as "CNA" full-time, citing a need to abandon a "TV-centric" identity to emphasise its multi-platform operations. This would include the relaunch of its news radio station 938Now as CNA 938, and the upcoming citizen journalism initiative Tell CNA.[26][27] Mediacorp's Channel 5 previously aired a simulcast of CNA during the daytime hours until 1 May 2019.[28]

In March 2024, the channel marked its 25th anniversary; CNA announced plans to further expand its presence in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, launch a website in the Indonesian language (which will leverage AI-based translation software developed in partnership with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research), and bringing back the program East Asia Tonight beginning in April.[29]


Broadcast feeds[edit]

CNA's programs are transmitted into two separate broadcast feeds:

  • Domestic – the channel's official feed providing 24-hour news, talk and lifestyle coverage. The Domestic feed also contains Singapore-only content, particularly during programme breaks. They include locally-targeted advertisements, Mediacorp promos, sports footage limited by rights agreements with international sporting organisations, and the national anthem Majulah Singapura broadcast daily at 06:00 SST. CNA is available to Singapore viewers via over-the-air, StarHub TV, Singtel TV, Mediacorp's over-the-top streaming service meWATCH and Singtel's over-the-top streaming service Singtel Cast. The domestic feed also has an option to enable subtitles for most pre-recorded programmes when viewed via linear platforms (the meWATCH version has subtitles always switched on during the said programmes).
  • International – almost identical to the Domestic feed, but also provides more internationally oriented content during programme breaks. It also provides English commentary coverage of Singapore's National Day Parade every year on 9 August. Most cable and satellite systems carry the International feed in Asia and via livestreaming on CNA's YouTube channel worldwide.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Channel NewsAsia". Archived from the original on 3 June 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Channel NewsAsia". Lyngsat. 30 January 2018. Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  3. ^ "About CNA". CNA.
  4. ^ Bromley, Michael; Romano, Angela (12 October 2012). Journalism and Democracy in Asia. Routledge. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-134-25414-9. Archived from the original on 24 February 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  5. ^ "TCS means business". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 5 June 1998. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  6. ^ "TCS to invest $120 m on new English all-news channel". The Business Times (retrieved from NLB). 28 October 1998. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  7. ^ "No one waits till 10.30 for news". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 29 October 1998. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  8. ^ "Channel 5 will have 9.30 main news". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 29 October 1998. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  9. ^ "3 quit at last minute". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 20 February 1999. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  10. ^ "Tan joins CNBC Asia". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 2 March 1999. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
  11. ^ "Ch NewsAsia loses some anchors". The Business Times (retrieved from NLB). 19 February 1999. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  12. ^ "This newspaper is flattened". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 12 March 1999. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  13. ^ "TCS Channel NewsAsia starts telecast". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 2 March 1999. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
  14. ^ "Channel NewsAsia a bold move: BG Yeo". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 2 March 1999. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
  15. ^ "Speech by DPM Lee Hsien Loong at the Asian launch of Channel NewsAsia at the Raffles Ballroom". National Archives of Singapore. Singapore: Media Division, Ministry of Information and the Arts. 28 September 2000. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  16. ^ "CNA goes regional". Project Eyeball (retrieved from NLB). 29 September 2000. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
  17. ^ "Jill Neubronner joins CNN Hong Kong". Today. 19 January 2001.
  18. ^ "Channel NewsAsia hits Myanmar's shores". Marketing. 29 August 2012. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Channel NewsAsia opens bureau in Myanmar". TODAY. Singapore. 10 October 2013. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Channel NewsAsia relaunches". OnScreenAsia. 21 January 2013. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Channel NewsAsia relaunches; adds Mumbai bureau". Indian Television. 21 January 2013. Archived from the original on 24 February 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Channel NewsAsia opens bureau in Vietnam". Singapore: Channel NewsAsia. 22 July 2015. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  23. ^ "CNA to launch satellite studio in Malaysia". Asia Broadcast Union. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  24. ^ Thongtep, Watchiranont (6 July 2015). "Singapore expands its news outlets". The Nation. Bangkok, Thailand. Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Tata Sky launches Singapore's Channel News Asia in India". The Economic Times. Mumbai, India. 19 November 2015. Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  26. ^ "Channel NewsAsia to adopt 'CNA' as its brand name". CNA. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  27. ^ "'We are much more than TV boxes' says Channel NewsAsia as it rebrands to CNA". Mumbrella Asia. 1 April 2019. Archived from the original on 29 October 2021. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  28. ^ "Mediacorp integrates English-language channels Channel 5 and okto". Channel NewsAsia. 20 February 2019. Archived from the original on 28 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  29. ^ "CNA brand to be introduced in the US, UK and Canada for audience interested in content about Asia". CNA. Retrieved 20 March 2024.
  30. ^ "Mediacorp becomes YouTube's strategic content partner in Singapore". Channel NewsAsia. 1 February 2019. Archived from the original on 1 February 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2019.

External links[edit]