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Mediacorp

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Mediacorp Pte. Ltd.
TypePublic digital media, radio, terrestrial television and satellite television broadcaster
Country
AvailabilityWorldwide
Founded15 June 1999; 22 years ago (1999-06-15)
12 February 2001; 20 years ago (2001-02-12) (renaming of Television Corporation of Singapore, Radio Corporation of Singapore, Singapore Television Twelve to Mediacorp TV, Mediacorp Radio, Mediacorp TV12 respectively, merged into Mediacorp)
HeadquartersMediacorp Campus
OwnerTemasek Holdings
Key people
Niam Chiang Meng (Chairman)
Tham Loke Kheng (CEO)
Picture format
1080i (HDTV)
2160p 4K UHD
Official website
mediacorp.sg

Mediacorp Pte. Ltd. (Mediacorp) is a Singaporean mass media conglomerate that serves as the national public broadcaster for both radio and television in the country. As a media and entertainment group, it holds interests in radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and digital content creation.[1]

It runs 6 television channels, 11 radio stations, and an on-demand streaming service, MeWatch (previously Toggle), making it the largest media business in Singapore. It is owned by Temasek Holdings, an investment company owned by the Government of Singapore.[2] It also forms part of a duopoly in the country, the other being the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).[1]

History[edit]

1936–1965: Pre-independence era[edit]

Mediacorp's origins can be traced to the British Malaya Broadcasting Corporation, which was awarded a broadcasting license by the British crown on 1 June 1936 as a radio network. One year later, in 1937, the company officially opened its studios and transmitters at Caldecott Hill. The corporation was taken over by the Straits Settlement government in 1940 as a part of the British Department of Information, known back then as the Malaya Broadcasting Corporation, the local counterpart to the BBC. Radio news and information, as well as local entertainment, were aired on its stations in English (and later Mandarin and Malay). On the basis of the Radio Malaya broadcasters that moved to Kuala Lumpur in 1958, Radio Singapore took over the year after as the radio service for Singapore, organised into a station each for English, Malay and Mandarin listeners.

Shortly after Singapore reached self-government status on 3 June 1959, there were plans to obtain television transmission rights. This manifested the founding of Television Singapura on 4 April 1961.

Television Singapura aired test broadcasts on channel 5 from 21 January to 15 February 1963, ahead of its first official pilot broadcast on the evening of 15 February 1963. Minister for Culture S. Rajaratnam became the first person to appear on Singapore TV, announcing that "Tonight might well mark the start of a social and cultural revolution in our lives." The first programme aired was a documentary, TV Looks at Singapore. The pilot service would broadcast for one hour and 40 minutes nightly; at the time, it was estimated that only one in 58 Singaporeans owned a television.[3]

On 2 April 1963, Channel 5 was officially inaugurated by President Yusof Ishak; the service expanded to 7:15 to 11:00 p.m. nightly. By September, its broadcast day had been lengthened to begin at 6:30 p.m.[4] Initially, Channel 5 carried programmes in all four of Singapore's official languages. On 23 November, Channel 8 launched to carry programming in Chinese and Tamil, with Channel 5 focusing on English and Malay programming thereafter.

In January 1964, Television Singapura became the state branch of the new Televisyen Malaysia from Kuala Lumpur and was subsequently rebranded as sister channel "Television Malaysia (Singapura)", while Radio Singapura's stations became part of Radio Malaysia. During its time as part of Malaysia, Singapore was the only state to have its own radio and television network. The state's radio and television broadcast rights was included as an annex in the Malaysia Agreement.

1965–1980: Radio Television Singapore[edit]

After the separation of Singapore from the Malaysian federation, all of the Malaysian television and radio operations in Singapore were fused to become Radio Television Singapore (RTS), a part of the Ministry of Culture. This led to the expansions of the network, including a move to the new $3.6 million Television Centre in Caldecott Hill on 27 August 1966.

On 7 July 1974, Channel 5 broadcast the first programme in colour on Singaporean television, the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final.[5] The following month on 9 August, the 9th National Day Parade marked the first domestic colour broadcast in Singapore.[6] Full-time colour broadcasts began on 1 November 1977.

1980–1994: Singapore Broadcasting Corporation[edit]

Singapore Broadcasting Corporation logo.
SBC Channel 12 logo.

The government officially dissolved RTS on 31 January 1980 and transferred its assets to the then-new Singapore Broadcasting Corporation, a statutory board under national supervision to free RTS from the administrative and budgetary constraints that had hampered its ability to upgrade broadcasting services to meet the growing expectations of local audiences.[7] On 31 January 1984, SBC launched Channel 12, a new television service devoted to cultural programming. It also launched four radio stations: "Perfect 10", "YES" (airing Mandarin music), "Ria" (airing popular Malay music) and "Class 95" (initially airing classic hits). SBC began stereo broadcasting on its television channels on 1 August 1990.

An educational programming block known as CDIS began airing on Channel 12 on 4 January 1993. On 1 February of that year, SBC celebrated its 30 years of television broadcasting. On 7 June that year, Channel 8 expanded its airtime, now broadcasting from 3:00 p.m. on weekdays. On 1 December that year, SBC launched a satellite television network named Singapore International Television (SITV).

On 1 January 1994, Channel 5 moved its remaining Malay programming to Channel 12, and re-launched as an English-language channel.

Radio Singapore International (RSI) was launched on 1 February 1994 as the official radio international broadcasting company in Singapore, airing news and current affairs, lifestyle, and music programming in English, Malay, Mandarin and Indonesian.[8]

1994–1999: Privatisation[edit]

On 1 October 1994, SBC was privatised into a new holding company, Singapore International Media (SIM), with three business units: Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS), Radio Corporation of Singapore (RCS), and Television Twelve (TV12).[9]

On 1 September 1995, Channel 8 expanded into a 24-hour network focusing exclusively on Mandarin-language programmes, while its Tamil programming was assumed by Prime 12—a relaunch of Channel 12 which focused on multilingual programming. TV12 also launched a spin-off channel known as Premiere 12, which featured arts, culture, documentaries, children's, and sports programmes.

TCS launched its own film production studio Raintree Pictures on 1 August 1998.

1999–2015: Media Corporation of Singapore[edit]

Mediacorp logo (2001–2015).
Radio Singapore International logo.

On 1 March 1999, TCS launched Channel NewsAsia (CNA), a local news channel. On 15 June that year, the Singapore International Media group of companies restructured into MediaCorp.[10]

On 30 January 2000, Prime 12 and Premiere 12 were renamed Suria and Central respectively. Suria became a Malay-language channel while Central was divided into three strands with different types of programming, including Kids Central, Vasantham Central (Tamil-language programming), and Arts Central. SportCity, a sports channel, was also launched the same year.[11][12]

On 12 February 2001, the Television Corporation of Singapore, Radio Corporation of Singapore and Singapore Television Twelve were renamed to Mediacorp TV, Mediacorp Radio, Mediacorp TV12 respectively as part of a new management plan following their dissolution.[13]

MediaCorp's monopoly on free-to-air television was broken in May 2001, when the Singapore government granted new free-to-air licenses to SPH MediaWorks, a subsidiary of publisher Singapore Press Holdings. The company launched two channels in English and Chinese respectively, TVWorks (later Channel i) and Channel U. In late-2004, citing financial issues and a small market for English-language programmes, SPH sold the channels to Mediacorp; Channel i was shut down on 1 January 2005, while Channel U continued as a complement to Channel 8.[14]

On 11 November 2007, Mediacorp launched HD5, the first high definition television channel in Singapore.[15] In August 2008, MediaCorp also launched MOBTV, an online television service.[16] On 19 October 2008, Central was dissolved, with Vasantham becoming a full-time service in its channel space, and its children's and arts programming spun out into the new channel Okto in Channel i's channel space.[17]

Owing to the diminished effectiveness of a shortwave radio service over time with changing technology and media consumption habits, RSI was dissolved on 31 October 2008.[18]

2015–present: New headquarters, transition to digital[edit]

On 8 December 2015, Mediacorp officially opened a new headquarters at one-north's Mediapolis development. The 12-storey complex was designed by DP Architects and Maki and Associates and features a "fenceless" design with four studios, a 1,500-seat "broadcast-ready" theatre, and an integrated multi-platform newsroom. The company expected to complete the migration from its previous Caldecott Hill facilities by July 2016. Alongside the new headquarters, Mediacorp also unveiled a new logo, which was designed to reflect the broadcaster's "vibrancy" and "multiplicity", acting as an "a window to the world and a reflection of life".[19]

At midnight on 2 January 2019, Mediacorp's analogue television signals signed off, completing Singapore's transition to digital terrestrial television.[20]

On 1 May 2019, Okto was discontinued as a standalone channel, with its children's programming becoming a daytime block on Channel 5 under the Okto on 5 branding. Okto's sports programming was moved primarily to other Mediacorp outlets.[21]

On 30 January 2020, Mediacorp rebranded its digital media platforms Toggle, MeRadio and MeClub as meWATCH, meLISTEN and meREWARDS respectively. The rebranding came as part of the broadcaster's "Made for You" initiative to build multi-platform services "designed around consumers' preferences and consumption habits".[22]

Terrestrial stations[edit]

Television[edit]

Mediacorp offers six terrestrial channels in Singapore, each catered in one of its four official languages. Since privatisation, Mediacorp's television channels offer some amount of commercial advertising.

Name Language Programming
Channel 8 Chinese 24-hour news, culture, entertainment and children
Channel U News and entertainment
Channel 5 English 24-hour news, culture, entertainment and children
CNA 24-hour global news, current affairs and lifestyle
Suria Malay News, culture, entertainment and children
Vasantham Tamil

Radio[edit]

Mediacorp offers eleven FM radio channels.[23] The company's digital audio broadcasting service was discontinued on 1 December 2011.[24]

Frequency Station Language Format
89.7 MHz Ria 89.7FM Malay Top 40 (CHR)
90.5 MHz Gold 905FM English Classic hits
92.4 MHz Symphony FM English Classical
93.3 MHz Yes 933FM Chinese Top 40 (CHR)
93.8 MHz CNA938 English Talk radio
94.2 MHz Warna 94.2FM Malay News, infotainment and full−service
95.0 MHz Class 95FM English Adult contemporary
95.8 MHz Capital 95.8FM Chinese Talk radio and full−service
96.8 MHz Oli 96.8FM Tamil Infotainment and full−service
97.2 MHz Love 97.2FM Chinese Easy listening and entertainment
98.7 MHz 987 English Top 40 (CHR)

Digital platforms[edit]

meWATCH[edit]

meWATCH[25] (formerly Toggle) was launched on 1 February 2013 as an OTT service. On 1 April 2015, xinmsn was closed down and merged with Toggle.[26][27][28] It is Mediacorp’s digital video service that redefines TV viewing, bringing Toggle Originals, catch-up content, live coverage of key national events, news, entertainment, and behind-the-scene exclusives to viewers across multiple devices – computers, tablets, smartphones, Smart TVs, Apple TVs and Android TVs.

meLISTEN[edit]

meLISTEN[25] (formerly MeRadio) is an audio digital platform focusing on live audio streaming of Mediacorp's eleven radio stations as well as audio podcasts.[29]

Mediacorp Partner Network[edit]

In 2018, Mediacorp launched the Mediacorp Partner Network. Under the MPN, Mediacorp signed agreements with brands like:

  • ESPN on 6 August 2018, where Mediacorp will be the exclusive representative for all ad sales in Singapore for ESPN.com, while ESPN will launch a dedicated Singapore edition of the ESPN site to deliver a mix of local sports news and features in addition to coverage of global sports.[30]
  • 99.co on 29 August 2018 to create property related news and information for consumers.[31]
  • Edipresse in November 2018 to co-develop content across digital editorial platforms, TV, live radio and events. Such content will be made available on both Mediacorp and Edipresse Media platforms, utilising the regional reach and influence of both companies.[32]
  • VICE on 23 April 2019 to bring original VICE digital and TV content to a new Singapore audience via Mediacorp's multi-platform reach.[33]

Flagship programmes[edit]

Some of Mediacorp’s flagship programmes include:

  • Star Awards – Mediacorp’s awards event
  • 118 – long-form Channel 8 drama. 255-episode 118 I aired from 2014 – 2015, 218-episode 118 II ran from 2016 – 2017, and a special 23-episode 118 Reunion aired in 2018.
  • Tanglin – long-form Channel 5 daily drama that centred on the lives of multiracial and multigenerational families in a middle-income neighbourhood, in the Holland Village, Tanglin. The 823-episode show ran from 2015 to 2018.
  • KIN – ongoing long-form Channel 5 weekends drama launched in 2018 (after Tanglin’s conclusion).
  • Getai Challenge – singing talent search competition that aimed to promote the Getai culture and discover aspiring Getai singers. Season 1 was shown on Channel 8 in 2015, and Season 2 in 2018.
  • SPOP SING! –  an initiative launched by Mediacorp in 2018 to showcase and curate local music compositions.
  • Abang Teksi – Suria only Malay sitcom aired season 1 from 2017 and season 2 from 2019.
  • Forensik – Suria drama and spin-off to Code Of Law Singapore launched in 2020.

Production[edit]

In 2000, MediaCorp Studios was created to produce content for MediaCorp TV channels, such as Channel 5, Channel U and Channel 8.[34] In 2001, EagleVision was created to produce content for Suria and Vasantham.[35] They co-produce programmes with regional broadcasters and production houses such as Media Prima Malaysia,[36] Radio Televisyen Malaysia,[37] Radio Television Brunei,[38] Eightgeman Taiwan and Taiwan Television.[39]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Singapore profile - Media". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 17 February 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Telecommunications, Media & Technology". Temasek Corporate Website English. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  3. ^ Lim Ann Qi, Angela (14 February 1963). "PROGRAMME FOR TV PILOT SERVICE". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  4. ^ Lim Ann Qi, Angela (2 April 1963). "Television Singapura The Straits Times". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  5. ^ Lim Ann Qi, Angela (7 July 1974). "Singapore Colour Live Telecast on FIFA World Cup Via Satellite Transmission". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  6. ^ Lim Ann Qi, Angela (9 August 1974). "Singapore First Colour Television". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Singapore Broadcasting Corporation is established - Singapore History". eresources.nlb.gov.sg.
  8. ^ RSI about
  9. ^ "Singapore's first television station". NLB. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  10. ^ Teo, P. L. (16 June 1999). "SIMple change of name for media group.(p. 3)". The Straits Times. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Programme Ratings for STV12 Channels Soared on Debut!". MediaCorp Group. February 2000. Archived from the original on 27 June 2001. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  12. ^ "STV12 to Increase Programming Hours on Central". MediaCorp Group. February 2000. Archived from the original on 10 April 2001. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  13. ^ "MediaCorp Group New Management Team at MediaCorp & New Business/Collabrotions/Program Acquisition". MediaCorp. 12 February 2001. Archived from the original on 24 December 2001. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  14. ^ Koh, Joyce (8 December 2004). "SPH, MediaCorp to retrench 204 staff, absorb 297". The Business Times.
  15. ^ "MediaCorp's HD channel – HD5 – lifts off". MediaCorp. 13 October 2007. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  16. ^ Sharma, Ravi S. (31 October 2011), Understanding the Interactive Digital Media Marketplace: Frameworks, Platforms, Communities and Issues: Frameworks, Platforms, Communities and Issues, IGI Global, pp. 121–, ISBN 978-1-61350-148-1
  17. ^ Wong, Alicia (1 March 2008). "Dedicated Indian and kids TV channels". Today (retrieved from NLB). Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Radio Singapore International to stop transmission". MediaCorp. 3 June 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  19. ^ "New logo a 'window to the world' as Mediacorp opens new campus". TODAYonline. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  20. ^ "5 things to know about digital TV before analogue TV transmissions cease from Jan 2". The Straits Times. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Mediacorp integrates English-language channels Channel 5 and okto". Channel NewsAsia. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  22. ^ "Singapore's Mediacorp aligns digital services; Toggle, MeRadio poofed from Jan 2020 as "me" takes over". ContentAsia. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  23. ^ "MediaCorp : Radio". Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  24. ^ "Digital radio from MediaCorp to cease". Channel NewsAsia. 1 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  25. ^ a b Farveen, Farzanah (4 November 2019). "Mediacorp revamps Toggle, MeRadio and MeClub". Marketing Interactive. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  26. ^ Shah, Kyle Malinda (1 April 2015). "Goodbye Xinmsn, Hello Toggle: Microsoft & MediaCorp Disband Entertainment Site". Yahoo. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  27. ^ "TOGGLE". Mediacorp. Archived from the original on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  28. ^ Lawler, Ryan (28 January 2013). "MediaCorp Taps Tvinci To Launch Toggle, Its Virtual Cable Service in Singapore". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  29. ^ "Mediacorp's revamped MeRadio app and website now offer more interactive features". CNA Lifestyle. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  30. ^ Farzanah Farveen (7 August 2018). "Mediacorp Partner Network brings on board ESPN in multi-year agreement". Marketing Interactive. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  31. ^ "Mediacorp Partner Network and 99.co tie up". Marketing Interactive. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  32. ^ "Mediacorp and Edipresse Media Singapore join hands to deliver luxury content". Asia Radio Today. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  33. ^ "Mediacorp Partner Network and 99.co tie up". Channel NewsAsia. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  34. ^ "Mediacorp Studios Pte Ltd". Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  35. ^ Eaglevision: MediaCorp Studios. MediaCorp. 2002.
  36. ^ "Media Prima Bhd : Media Prima and MediaCorp to jointly produce Kasih Berbisik TV Drama". Market Screener. 25 February 2014.
  37. ^ "Mediacorp, Radio Television Malaysia present 13th edition of Muzika Ekstravaganza". Archived from the original on 28 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Strengthening Brunei-Singapore Relations Through A New Joint Production, AKSI! (or Action!)". Ministry of Communications and Information. 7 September 2018.
  39. ^ "Epic Singapore-Taiwan Suspense Series Slated for 2019".

External links[edit]