Mediacorp

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Mediacorp Pte Ltd
  • Subsidiary of sovereign wealth fund
  • legally: private limited company
Industry Entertainment
Mass media
Interactive media
Media consultancy
Outdoor advertising
Founded 21 July 1935; 82 years ago (1935-07-21) (radio)
15 February 1963; 54 years ago (1963-02-15) (television)
Headquarters Mediacorp Campus ,1 Stars Avenue , Singapore 138507
Area served
Singapore
Southern Malaysia
Riau Islands
Key people
Ernest Wong (Chairman)
Tham Loke Kheng (CEO)[1]
Owner Temasek Holdings
Parent Temasek Holdings
Subsidiaries Mediacorp TV Singapore Pte Ltd
Mediacorp Press Ltd
Mediacorp VizPro International Pte Ltd
Mediacorp Raintree Pictures Pte Ltd
Singapore Media Academy
Media Research Consultants Pte Ltd
OOH Media Pte Ltd
1-Net Singapore Pte Ltd
Website www.mediacorp.sg

Mediacorp Pte. Ltd. (Chinese: 新传媒私人有限公司), better known as Mediacorp, is a group of commercial media companies in Singapore, with business interests in television and radio broadcasting, interactive media, and, to a lesser extent, print publishing and filmmaking.

Currently, Mediacorp runs 7 television channels and 11 radio channels, making it the largest media broadcaster and provider in Singapore, and the only terrestrial TV broadcaster in the city-state. It is wholly owned by Temasek Holdings, a government-owned investment arm.[2]

History[edit]

1935-1961: Beginnings in radio[edit]

The group began with the advent of radio broadcasting in Singapore when the broadcasting licence was awarded to the British Malaya Broadcasting Corporation (BMBC) in 21 July 1935. The company officially opened its studios and transmitters at Caldecott Hill two years later in 1 March 1937. The corporation was taken over by the Straits Settlement government in 1940 as a part of the British Department of Information known as Malaya Broadcasting Corporation. On the basis of the Radio Malaya transmitters that moved to Kuala Lumpur in 1958, Radio Singapore took over the year after as the state radio service, with 3 radio stations (each in English, Mandarin and Malay).

Not long after Singapore reached self-government status in 1959, there were plans to obtain television transmission rights. This manifested into the entity Television Singapura in 4 April 1961. Television Singapura began transmission tests from 21 January to 15 February 1963, where it was launched as Singapore's first television station and officially began broadcasting. Regular broadcasts there since 3 April (later known as Channel 5) were mainly in English and Malay. On 23 November of the same year, a second channel was launched as Channel 8, airing programmes mainly in Mandarin and Tamil.

Meanwhile in Kuala Lumpur, Talivishen Malaysia (new Malay orthography: Televisyen Malaysia) began broadcasting on 28 December in time for the New Year on the next year. Television Singapura was subsequently rebranded (also to coincide with the formation of Malaysia in September of that year) as sister channel "Television Malaysia (Singapura)". The first advertisement was aired on 1 January 1964 to reduce the station's reliance on subsidies.

1965-1980: Radio Television Singapore (RTS)[edit]

After the separation of Singapore from the Malaysian federation, all of the Television Malaysia operations in Singapore, and the radio stations, were joined together to become Radio and Television of Singapore (RTS). RTS was officially dissolved in 31 January 1980 by announcer David Gabriel,[3] who declared its transition as a statutory board known as the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) the next day.

1980-1994: Singapore Broadcasting Corporation[edit]

On 3 February 1980, SBC's flagship guide Radio and TV Times were printed for the very first time, becoming an important source of weekly radio and television programme schedules serving the island. First published in English and Mandarin, these magazines also served up local and international entertainment news and trivia. (They would eventually evolve to become magazines 8 Days and i-Weekly.

On 31 January 1984, SBC's third channel SBC 12 was launched. The decade also witnessed the launch of two radio stations: Perfect 10 (now known as 987FM) which was Singapore's first 24-hour radio station in 1989 and Y.E.S. 93.3FM, the first Mandarin music radio station. SBC began stereo broadcasting on all of its television channels on 1 August 1990.

A dedicated Educational television slot known as the CDIS began broadcasting solely on SBC Channel 12 on 4 January 1993. On 1 February of the same year SBC celebrated its 30 years of television broadcasting. On 7 June, SBC8 expanded its broadcasting hours on weekdays, from 3:00pm until closedown. On 1 December, SBC was the first broadcaster in Singapore to launch an international satellite television directed from Caldecott Hill and the Singapore International Foundation's regional broadcasting venture, Singapore International Television (SITV).

The SBC channels began a complete rebranding exercise as 1994 approached; beginning with Channel 5 launching its new look plus transferring of its Malay programming to Channel 12 on Saturday, 1 January 1994 at midnight. Channel 12 and Channel 8 completed their rebranding exercise on 1 February and 29 May 1994, respectively. On Monday, 29 August, Channel 5's flagship breakfast programme AM Singapore premiered as the first of its kind in the island.

1994-1999: Privatisation as the Television Corporation of Singapore[edit]

On 1 October 1994, SBC underwent a privatisation process into becoming a new holding group called the Singapore International Media Company Group (SIM, Chinese: 新加坡國際傳媒機構) helming three companies: Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS, Chinese: 新加坡電視機構), Radio Corporation of Singapore (RCS, Chinese: 新加坡廣播電台機構) and Singapore Television Twelve (STV12, Chinese: 新加坡電視12).

TCS 8 began 24-hour broadcasting on 1 September 1995 after almost 32 years. The channel began broadcasting 24 hours a day. On the same day, Singapore Television Twelve split the existing Channel 12 into 2 channels: Prime 12; a multilingual channel with programmes in Malay, Tamil, English and foreign languages were broadcast during primetime; and Premiere 12, highbrow channel that specialised in niche programming such as sports, arts, culture, documentaries and children's programming. Because of the restructure, Channel 8 became the first channel to broadcast 24 hours a day permanently and became the full-fledged Mandarin channel. At the same time, all Tamil programmes were being handed over to the newly re-launched TV12's main channel, Prime 12. Channel 5 became the second TV channel broadcast 24 hours a day, starting from 29 September 1995.

TCS launched its own film production studio Raintree Pictures[4] on 1 August 1998. Singapore International Media (SIM) ceased operations on 31 December 1998 to become its current form Media Corporation of Singapore, or MediaCorp for short.

1999-2008: Formation of Mediacorp, rivalry with SPH Mediaworks, additional channels[edit]

On 1 March 1999, Mediacorp launched Channel NewsAsia (CNA) as Singapore's first national news channel, broadcasting on terrestrial analogue.

On 30 January 2000 Prime 12 and Premiere 12 were renamed Suria; and Central respectively. Suria became a full-fledged Malay channel while Central has its programming shared between children's programming from morning to early-evening, Tamil programmes during primetime and arts and cultural programmes at night. SportCity, a full-fledged sports channel was also launched on the same year.

Mediacorp's television monopoly was broken in 6 May 2001 when Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) were given a television broadcasting licence, resulting in SPH MediaWorks being established. MediaWorks offered two channels; the Chinese-language Channel U and English-language TV Works, which was later renamed to Channel i. At the same time, MediaCorp was given the license to print, write and distribute the free daily tabloid Today. Both networks were engaged in a highly competitive pursuit for island-wide viewer ratings for several years. Eventually, to stop further economic losses, Mediacorp and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) agreed to merge their free-to-air television and free newspaper operations after several agreements on 17 September 2004. The merger between the two networks legally completed on 31 December of that year, creating the new holding company MediaCorp Television Broadcasting Arm which would manage and operate the remaining channels. Channel U survived the transfer into the Mediacorp network on New Year's Day, Channel i however ceased broadcasting due to its commercial liability.

On 1 January 2007, HD5 was launched and Channel 5 became the first digital terrestrial television station in Singapore to broadcast in high-definition. MediaCorp also launched MOBTV, an online television service. Its radio division was forced to lock listeners from the United States out of its webcasts, due to royalty rates imposed by the US Copyright Royalty Board.

On 19 October 2008, TV12 Central dissolved to become two separate channels: Okto, which succeeded the Kids and Arts slots of the channel; and Vasantham, a exclusively Tamil language channel succeeding the Vasantham Central slot.

2008-present: Transition to digital broadcasting[edit]

Channel NewsAsia commenced their 24-hour broadcasts on 21 January 2013.[5] On 30 September of the same year, Mediacorp shut down its Teletext service,[6] while on 16 December, all MediaCorp free-to-air channels were upgraded to DVB-T2 format with new ring of upgrades accelerated for households.[7]

2015 saw the network's channels kick starting their high definition broadcast: Okto on 4 May and CNA on 26 May. On 8 December of the same year, Mediacorp opened its new premises at Mediapolis@one-north in Buona Vista,[8] plus introducing its new corporate branding. Mediacorp will vacate its premises at Caldecott Hill progressively for a period of nine months.

Year Date Event
1994 1 February Radio Singapore International (RSI) is a first international shortwave radio station and SBC 12 revamp the channel logo for a new look.
1995 1 January Programmes produced by TCS 8 were broadcast in Taiwan, via the newly established TCS International cable channel.
2001 12 February TCS, STV12 and CNA becomes MediaCorp TV, MediaCorp TV12 and MediaCorp News.
2001 14 February TVMobile began broadcasting programmes on SBS Transit buses.
2001 5 November SportsCity was renamed City TV and subsequently expanded its broadcasting hours and programme output by including Chinese, Korean and Japanese content during primetime.
2002 11 January City TV ceased transmission due to lack of viewership. As a result, sports programming were being transferred to Channel 5 and Channel NewsAsia. Korean, Japanese and Chinese entertainment were also being transferred to Channel 8.
2008 1 January MediaCorp TV came out with a new look and a new forum for Channel 5, Channel 8 and Channel U websites.
2010 1 January TVMobile ceased transmission[9]
2010 March xinmsn, a joint venture between MediaCorp and Microsoft was launched.[10]
2010 31 August The premiere of The Two of Us was shown on Channel 5 and HD5 in English with Malay and Mandarin subtitles.
2011 4 April It launched a-ok (arts on okto) / ArtBites and broadcast on okto.
2013 15 February MediaCorp celebrated its first 50 years for TV transmission, during the Chinese New Year season.[11]
2013 16 December All MediaCorp free-to-air channels were upgraded to DVB-T2 format. New ring of upgrades were accelerated for households.[7]
2014 12 June Sports on Okto, a block dedicated to sports programming, was launched on Okto.
2015 1 April xinmsn ceased operations and all of its operations were moved to Toggle and MSN Singapore
2016 26 November The final entertainment programme to be televised live from Caldecott Hill, the 3rd episode of the 20th season of The Sheng Siong Show, and was marked with a symbolic switching off the lights of the TV theatre.
2017 26 March The final live telecast from Caldecott Hill from Channel NewsAsia's news studio.
2017 1 August MediaCorp will completely shift out of Caldecott Hill and into Mediapolis and open its campus to the community with an array of public facilities. This marks the end of 80 years of transmission from Caldecott Hill.

Television[edit]

Mediacorp offers seven free terrestrial and high-definition television channels.[12]

Ch No Channel Slogans Channel content Languages Transmission Format Launch Date Website
4 (A); 104/804 (DVB-T2) Suria Sinar Bersama Anda A news and general entertainment television broadcasting for the Malay community in Singapore. Malay
(English/Indonesian)
Analog and Digital SDTV/HDTV 30 January 2000 (Analog SDTV)[13]
16 December 2013 (Digital HDTV)
Website
2 (A); 102/802 (DVB-T2) Channel 5 It's Good to be Home on 5 A 24-hour news and general entertainment television broadcasting for the English community in Singapore. English
(Mandarin/Tagalog/Thai)
Analog and Digital SDTV/HDTV 15 February 1963 (Analog SDTV)[14]
16 December 2013 (DVB-T2) (Digital HDTV)[14]
Website
5 (A); 105/805 (DVB-T2) Channel U Live It Up A youth teen variety and light entertainment television broadcasting for the Chinese community in Singapore. Mandarin
(English/Korean)
Analog and Digital SDTV/HDTV 1 January 2005 (Analog SDTV)[15]
28 March 2017 (Digital HDTV)
Website
3 (A); 103/803 (DVB-T2) Channel 8 Top Entertainment, Catch It Here First A 24-hour news and general entertainment television broadcasting for the Chinese community in Singapore. Mandarin
(English/Hokkien/Korean)
Analog and Digital SDTV/HDTV 23 November 1963 (Analog SDTV)[16]
16 December 2013 (Digital HDTV)
Website
6 (A); 106/806 (DVB-T2) Vasantham Naalthorum Navarasam A news and general entertainment television broadcasting for the Tamil community in Singapore. Tamil
(English/Hindi/Telugu)
Analog and Digital SDTV/HDTV 19 October 2008 (Analog SDTV)[14][17]
16 December 2013 (Digital HDTV)
Website
8 (A); 108/808 (DVB-T2) Okto It's ok to have fun A children and sports television broadcasting for the English community in Singapore. English
(Malay/Mandarin/Tamil)
Analog and Digital SDTV/HDTV 19 October 2008 (Analog SDTV)[17]
4 May 2015 (Digital HDTV)
Website
7 (A); 107/807 (D) Channel NewsAsia Understand Asia A 24-hour international news & information television broadcasting in English such as international news bulletin, information, business & financial, news magazine, current affairs programmes and also showing some Japanese programmes. English
(Japanese)
Analog and Digital SDTV/HDTV 1 March 1999 (Analog SDTV)
26 May 2015 (Digital HDTV)[14]
Website

Notable TV shows from Mediacorp[edit]

TV drama and sitcom series[edit]

Chinese language
Year Name of drama Description
1982 Seletar Robbery
实里达大劫案
First Singaporean television film.
1984 The Awakening
雾锁南洋
The first epic drama.
1993
1996
2002
The Unbeatables
双天至尊
First drama series in Singapore about gambling. Its three seasons were released in 1993, 1996 and 2002 respectively.
1996 Don't Worry, Be Happy
敢敢做个开心人
The first local Chinese sitcom.
1998 Return of the Condor Heroes
神雕侠侣
The most expensive wuxia drama ever produced by MediaCorp, based on Louis Cha's novel. The serial made waves in the Taiwan and China markets and was repeated due to overwhelming audience demand. It also made screen idols out of Fann Wong and Christopher Lee, who were the charismatic leads.
2003 Holland V
荷兰村
A long-running Chinese drama in Singapore TV history with 125 episodes.
2004 Double Happiness
喜临门
A long-running Chinese drama, it had 142 episodes in two parts. The first part was shown from May to August, while the second part began in October.
2005 Portrait of Home
同心圆
A long-running Chinese drama with 100 episodes in two parts. The first part (60 episodes) aired from May to July, while the second part (40 episodes) began in October. Was nominated for best drama serial in 2005, but lost to A New Life.
2007 Kinship
手足
MediaCorp's long-running 83-episode Chinese drama in 2007.
2008 Love Blossoms
心花朵朵开
MediaCorp's long-running 113-episode Chinese drama in 2008.
2008 The Little Nyonya
小娘惹
A 34-episode blockbuster on Peranakan Chinese culture in pre and post-World War II Malaya, celebrating Channel 8's 45th anniversary. It is the first drama to have been broadcast through Suria in dual sound. Awarded Best Drama Series Award in Star Awards 2009.
2009 The Dream Catchers
未来不是梦
A 20-episode drama about Singapore's engineering sector, commissioned by the Economic Development Board. Filming was conducted in SIAEC and Chartered Semiconductor, and was partially filmed in Japan, the leads were also interviewed by NHK. This drama was featured on BBC Asia Business Report.
2009
2010
Your Hand In Mine
想握你的手
MediaCorp's long-running 180-episode Chinese drama in 2009, and also the mid-year drama in 2010 (2nd half version).
2009 Together
当我们同在一起
A 36-episode drama celebrating MediaCorp Channel 8's 46th anniversary. Awarded Best Drama Series Award in Star Awards 2010.
2011
2013
2014

2016

C.L.I.F.
警徽天职
A police blockbuster trilogy in collaboration by the Singapore Police Force. Its four seasons were released in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016, and was made as the second 9pm trilogy series after The Unbeatables.
2013
2015
The Dream Makers
志在四方
A 30-episode mega blockbuster in 2013, celebrating 50 years of television. The drama focuses on the television industry.
2013
2014
2015
The Journey
信约
An end-year mega blockbuster trilogy spanning three years, from 2013 to 2015. The first volume of the series, A Voyage, will celebrate 50 years of television. It will be the first periodical drama to use special effects. The series revolves around the human spirit in Singaporeans of yonder years, from the 1920s to the 1930s. The producer was interviewed by local news programme Singapore Today in its 'live' outdoor telecast. Tumultuous Times, Part 2 of the series, revolves around World War II and the Independence days. Our Homeland, the final season of the series, revolves around post-independence, and how Singaporeans come together as a nation to overcome national crisis. It will culminate with the celebrations for the nation's 50th birthday (SG50) in 2015.

2014-2015

English language
  • ABC DJ (2006) - local English sitcom, starring Korean actor Eugene C. Lee
  • After Hours - local English drama, starring Linda Liao, Utt, Joanne Peh; two seasons
  • Code of Law (2012) - local English drama about the legal profession in Singapore, premiered 13 September 2012
  • Enbloc (2008) - local English drama, starring Patrick Teoh, Darren Lim, Nick Shen, Nathaniel Ho, Rebecca Lim
  • Fighting Spiders (2009) - Channel 5's drama, premiered 14 April 2009
  • First Touch (2000-2002) - local English drama, starring Edmund Chen, Amy Cheng, Vernetta Lopez, Nick Shen
  • Growing Up (1996-2001) - the longest running English drama in Singapore, spanning around 1960s - 1980s
  • Like My Own (2004) - local English drama, starring Flora Chan, Zhu Mi Mi, Ho Wen Long, Amy Cheng
  • Living with Lydia - local English sitcom, starring Lydia Sum
  • Maggi & Me (2006) - local English sitcom, starring Adrian Pang and Fiona Xie, premiered 25 July 2006
  • Making Love (2000) - local English comedy, starring Andrea D'Cruz, Celest Chong, Jimmy T, Kevin Verghese
  • Masters of The Sea (1994) - the first local English TV drama.
  • Moulmein High - local English drama, starring Cynthia Koh
  • Oh Carol! - local English sitcom, starring Carol Cheng
  • Phua Chu Kang (1997-2007) - local English sitcom, starring Gurmit Singh; criticized for its heavy use of Singlish)
  • Point of Entry (2010) - local English action-drama about an elite team of ICA, premiered 2 December 2010
  • Point of Entry 2 (2012) - local English action-drama about an elite team of ICA, premiered 5 January 2012
  • The Pupil (2010-2011) - local English drama, about the legal profession in Singapore, premiered 7 January 2010
  • Red Thread (2009) - local English drama, premiered 14 April 2009
  • Tiramisu (2005) - local English drama, starring Sharon Au
  • Under One Roof (1994) - the first local English sitcom, criticized for its use of Singlish
  • VR Man - TV drama; an attempt at making a superhero show with local personalities
  • Yang Sisters (2006) - local English sitcom, starring Cheng Pei-pei, premiered 28 September 2006
Tamil language

News[edit]

A Channel NewsAsia programme called The Year Ahead hosted by Gaurav Keerthi being recorded at MediaCorp's studios
  • Berita - Suria's flagship news programme in Malay, first shown at 8pm SST and repeats at 11:30pm SST
  • Tamil Seithi - Vasantham's flagship news programme in Tamil, shown at 8:30pm SST and repeats at 11:30pm SST on Monday to Wednesday, time varies before closedown on Thursdays to Sundays
  • News 5 - Channel 5's and HD5's flagship news programme in English, shown at 9:00pm SST.daily
  • Primetime World - Channel NewsAsia's flagship news programme in English, shown at 9:00pm SST
  • News Tonight - Channel 8's flagship news programme in Mandarin, first shown at 10:00pm SST and repeated on Channel U at 11:00pm SST

Other shows[edit]

  • Crime Watch - talk about crime prevention, partially based on the German programme; produced by MediaCorp Studios and Singapore Police Force
  • True Files - cases of past murders
  • True Courage - the extraordinary courage of some Singaporeans

Radio[edit]

Mediacorp offers eleven free-to-air FM radio channels,[18] all of which can be accessed online and via mobile apps. The company's digital audio broadcasting (DAB) service was discontinued on 1 December 2011.[19]

Frequency Station Language Format Website
89.7 MHz Ria 89.7FM Malay Top 40 (CHR) Link
90.5 MHz Gold 90.5FM English Classic hits Link
92.4 MHz Symphony 92.4FM English Classical Link
93.3 MHz Y.E.S. 93.3FM Chinese Top 40 (CHR) Link
93.8 MHz 938Now English Talk radio Link
94.2 MHz Warna 94.2FM Malay News, infotainment Link
95.0 MHz Class 95FM English Adult contemporary Link
95.8 MHz Capital 95.8FM Chinese Talk radio Link
96.8 MHz Oli 96.8FM Tamil Infotainment Link
97.2 MHz Love 97.2FM Chinese Easy listening Link
98.7 MHz 987FM English Top 40 (CHR) Link

Over-the-top broadcast: Toggle[edit]

Mediacorp offers free-to-air and pay-to-air over-the-top broadcasting website Toggle on 1 April 2015, after Xinmsn, a joint content website with Microsoft, was disbanded. Toggle provides additional content pertaining entertainment, lifestyle tips, news and information; and is accessible online on smart phones, tablets and connected TVs.[20][21][22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Mediacorp CEO is Shaun Seow". Channel News Asia. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Temasek Holdings Major Portfolio Companies
  3. ^ Good Evening, From Tomorrow, RADIO TELEVISION SINGAPORE -becomes- Singapore Broadcasting Corporation abbreviation change of name "SBC" took over
  4. ^ "Raintree Pictures". 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Channel NewsAsia relaunches". 21 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Teletext to end service this month". TODAYonline. Retrieved 30 December 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "All MediaCorp TV channels now available in digital broadcast". Channel News Asia. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  8. ^ MediaCorp to move to Buona Vista
  9. ^ "MediaCorp to discontinue TVMobile service". 15 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "Microsoft and MediaCorp enter strategic partnership to create new online portal". 23 February 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  11. ^ "MediaCorp celebrates 50 years of Television". 15 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  12. ^ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/today-newspaper-to-cease-print-edition-go-fully-digital-9157872
  13. ^ "Suria Facebook". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d "MediaCorp Interactive History". MediaCorp. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Channel U Facebook". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Channel 8 Facebook". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  17. ^ a b Seah, May (21 October 2008). "Two new free-to-air channels launch in Singapore". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Digital radio from MediaCorp to cease - Channel NewsAsia
  20. ^ Shah, Kyle Malinda (1 April 2015). "Goodbye Xinmsn, Hello Toggle: Microsoft & MediaCorp Disband Entertainment Site". Yahoo. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  21. ^ "TOGGLE". Mediacorp. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  22. ^ Lawler, Ryan (28 January 2013). "MediaCorp Taps Tvinci To Launch Toggle, Its Virtual Cable Service In Singapore". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 

External links[edit]