Mediacorp

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TypePublic digital media, radio, terrestrial television and satellite television broadcaster
Country
AvailabilityNationwide and Worldwide
Founded15 June 1999; 21 years ago (1999-06-15)
12 February 2001; 19 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)
Broadcast area
Singapore, worldwide
Area1 Stars Avenue, Singapore 138507
OwnerTemasek Holdings
Key people
Niam Chang Meng (Chairman)
Tham Loke Kheng (CEO)
Picture format
1080i (HDTV)
2160p 4K UHD
Official website
www.mediacorp.sg

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

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 headquartered in Singapore.[1]

History[edit]

1930–1965: 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 started test broadcasts from 21 January to 15 February 1963, when it was officially launched as the first television station in Singapore. On 2 April that year, Channel 5, the then-new channel, began regular broadcasts. On 23 November that year, Channel 8 was launched and programming was split, with Channel 5 airing English and Malay programming and Channel 8 programming in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects together with Tamil.

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.

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.

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.[2] On 31 January 1984, SBC started broadcast for channel 12 which carried mostly art and cultural programmes, marking the inception of niche 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 on weekdays, from 3:00 pm until closedown. On 1 December that year, SBC launched a satellite television network named Singapore International Television (SITV).

1994–1999: Privatisation[edit]

At stroke of midnight on New Year's Day (1 January) 1994, Channel 12 began broadcasting Malay programmes during primetime and weekend afternoons, resulting in Channel 5 becoming a full-fledged English language channel for the first time. Nine months later (on first day of October that year), SBC was privatised into a new holding company Singapore International Media (SIM Group of Companies) with four business mass media telecommunications and information like the Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS), Radio Corporation of Singapore (RCS), SIM Communications and Television Twelve|Television Twelve (TV12). On 1 January 1999, the Media Corporation of Singapore (MediaCorp) took over the operations of the three divisions as SITV ended operations.

Channel 8 began airing 24 hours a day on 1 September 1995. On the same day, Channel 12 renamed channel 12 as Prime 12, which focused on multilingual programming in Malay, Tamil, English, and foreign languages. It also launched a new channel called Premiere 12, which was centred on niche programmings such as sports, arts, culture, documentaries and kids' series. Meanwhile, Channel 8 switched its programming to a Mandarin language-oriented one. At the same time, all Tamil programming was moved to Prime 12. Channel 5 became the second TV channel to broadcast 24 hours a day, starting from 29 September that year.

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, Mediacorp launched Channel NewsAsia (CNA) as its first dedicated news network, broadcasting as an analogue, free-to-air channel.

On 15 June that year, the Singapore International Media group of companies restructured into MediaCorp to prepare for media competition in Singapore, which happened two years later.[3]

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 timeshare networks: Kids Central, Vasantham Central and Arts Central. SportCity, a sports channel, was also launched on the same year.[4][5]

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.[6]

The television monopoly was broken on 6 May that year when Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) was given a television broadcasting licence, resulting in the founding of SPH MediaWorks. MediaWorks launched two channels: the Chinese-language Channel U and English-language TVWorks, which was later renamed to Channel i. At the same time, MediaCorp was granted the license to distribute the daily tabloid Today.

However, to stop further economic losses due to competition with each other, SPH agreed to merge some of its businesses with Mediacorp on 17 September 2004. It was legally completed on 31 December that year, creating the new holding company MediaCorp TV Holdings, which would manage and operate the remaining channels. SPH-owned Channel i was later closed down due to low ratings.

On 11 November 2007, HD5 was launched and Channel 5 became the first DTT station in Singapore to broadcast in HD.[7] MediaCorp also launched MOBTV, an online television service.

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 programmings in four languages: English, Malay, Mandarin and Indonesian.[8] But owing to diminished effectiveness of a shortwave radio service over time with changing technology and media consumption habits, it was dissolved on 31 October 2008.[9]

On 19 October 2008, Central's three timeshare networks were divided into two independent channels: the kids and arts programming blocks were replaced by Okto and took over Channel i's channel space and frequency. On the other hand, Vasantham took over the channel space and frequency left by Central.[10]

Channel NewsAsia was relaunched on 21 January 2013, and officially broadcasts 24 hours a day with live news bulletins and breaking news throughout the night.[11] On 30 September that year, Mediacorp shut down its Teletext service,[12] whilst on 16 December that year, all MediaCorp free-to-air channels on DTT were upgraded to DVB-T2.[13]

On 4 May 2015, OKTO started airing in HD while CNA started airing in HD on 26 May that year.

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".[14]

At midnight on 2 January 2019, Mediacorp's analogue signals signed off, completing Singapore's transition to digital terrestrial television.[15]

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 branding. Okto's sports programming was moved primarily to Mediacorp's streaming service Toggle.sg, Channel 5 and Channel U itself.[16]

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".[17]

Terrestrial stations[edit]

Radio[edit]

Mediacorp offers eleven FM radio channels.[18] The company's digital audio broadcasting service was discontinued on 1 December 2011.[19]

Frequency Station Language Format
89.7 MHz Ria 89.7FM Malay Top 40 (CHR)
90.5 MHz Gold 905 English Classic hits
92.4 MHz Symphony 924 English Classical
93.3 MHz YES 933 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 95 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 987FM English Top 40 (CHR)

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

Digital platforms[edit]

meWATCH[edit]

meWATCH[20] (formerly Toggle) was launched on 1 February 2013 as an OTT service. On 1 April 2015, xinmsn was closed down and merged with Toggle.[21][22][23] 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 and Apple TVs.

meLISTEN[edit]

meLISTEN[20] (formerly MeRadio) is an audio digital platform focusing on live audio streaming of Mediacorp's eleven radio stations as well as exclusive audio podcast features.[24]

Mediacorp Partner Network[edit]

In 2018, Mediacorp launched the Mediacorp Partner Network, an initiative that brings the company together with partner organisations to deliver a richer experience for consumers and advertisers. Under the MPN, Mediacorp signed agreements with industry-leading 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 signature ESPN site - espn.com.sg to deliver a mix of local sports news and features in addition to unmatched coverage of the most relevant and popular sports and leagues from around the globe.[25]
  • 99.co on 29 August 2018 to combine Mediacorp's multi-platform audience reach and deep commercials relationships with 99.co's largest listing base, extensive content, and data analytics tools to create more relevant property related news and information for consumers.[26]
  • Edipresse in November 2018 to co-develop content experiences 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.[27]
  • VICE on 23 April 2019 to bring original VICE digital and TV content to a new Singapore audience via Mediacorp's multi-platform reach.[28]

Flagship programmes[edit]

Some of Mediacorp’s flagship programmes include:

  • Star Awards – Mediacorp’s marquee awards event, held annually to celebrate the best of local entertainment and honour achievements of artistes.  
  • 118 – long-form Channel 8 drama, chronicling the heartwarming daily stories surrounding the “118 Coffeeshop”. 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), featuring complexities of life, love and family relationships in contemporary Singapore.
  • 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, heighten the awareness of Singapore music and discover the next voice to put Singapore on the Mandopop map. The Grand Final was held at the Padang on 4 November 2018.

Production[edit]

In 2000, MediaCorp Studios was created to produce content for MediaCorp TV channels, such as Channel 5, Channel U and Channel 8.[29] In 2001, EagleVision was created to produce content for Suria and Vasantham.[30] They co-produce programmes with regional broadcasters and production houses such as Media Prima Malaysia,[31] Radio Television Brunei,[32] Eightgeman Taiwan and Taiwan Television.[33][34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Telecommunications, Media & Technology". Temasek Corporate Website English. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Singapore Broadcasting Corporation is established - Singapore History". eresources.nlb.gov.sg.
  3. ^ Teo, P. L. (16 June 1999). "SIMple change of name for media group.(p. 3)". The Straits Times. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Programme Ratings for STV12 Channels Soared on Debut!". MediaCorp Group. February 2000. Archived from the original on 27 June 2001. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  5. ^ "STV12 to Increase Programming Hours on Central". MediaCorp Group. February 2000. Archived from the original on 10 April 2001. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "MediaCorp's HD channel – HD5 – lifts off". MediaCorp. 13 October 2007. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  8. ^ RSI about
  9. ^ "Radio Singapore International to stop transmission". MediaCorp. 3 June 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  10. ^ Wong, Alicia (1 March 2008). "Dedicated Indian and kids TV channels". Today (retrieved from NLB). Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Channel NewsAsia relaunches". 21 January 2013. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Teletext to end service this month". TODAYonline. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  13. ^ "All MediaCorp TV channels now available in digital broadcast". Channel News Asia. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  14. ^ "New logo a 'window to the world' as Mediacorp opens new campus". TODAYonline. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Mediacorp integrates English language channels Channel 5 and okto". Channel NewsAsia. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Singapore's Mediacorp aligns digital services; Toggle, MeRadio poofed from Jan 2020 as "me" takes over". ContentAsia. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  18. ^ "MediaCorp : Radio". Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  19. ^ "Digital radio from MediaCorp to cease". Channel NewsAsia. 1 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  20. ^ a b Farveen, Farzanah (4 November 2019). "Mediacorp revamps Toggle, MeRadio and MeClub". Marketing Interactive. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  21. ^ Shah, Kyle Malinda (1 April 2015). "Goodbye Xinmsn, Hello Toggle: Microsoft & MediaCorp Disband Entertainment Site". Yahoo. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  22. ^ "TOGGLE". Mediacorp. Archived from the original on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  23. ^ Lawler, Ryan (28 January 2013). "MediaCorp Taps Tvinci To Launch Toggle, Its Virtual Cable Service In Singapore". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  24. ^ "Mediacorp's revamped MeRadio app and website now offer more interactive features". CNA Lifestyle. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  25. ^ Farzanah Farveen (7 August 2018). "Mediacorp Partner Network brings on board ESPN in multi-year agreement". Marketing Interactive. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  26. ^ "Mediacorp Partner Network and 99.co tie up". Marketing Interactive. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  27. ^ "Mediacorp and Edipresse Media Singapore join hands to deliver luxury content". Asia Radio Today. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  28. ^ "Mediacorp Partner Network and 99.co tie up". Channel NewsAsia. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Mediacorp Studios Pte Ltd". Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  30. ^ Eaglevision: MediaCorp Studios. MediaCorp. 2002.
  31. ^ "Media Prima Bhd : Media Prima and MediaCorp to jointly produce Kasih Berbisik TV Drama". Market Screener. 25 February 2014.
  32. ^ "Strengthening Brunei-Singapore Relations Through A New Joint Production, AKSI! (or Action!)". Ministry of Communications and Information. 7 September 2018.
  33. ^ "Ambitious Singapore-Taiwan drama All Is Well to air different episodes back to back on Ch 8 and Ch U".
  34. ^ "Epic Singapore-Taiwan Suspense Series Slated for 2019".

External links[edit]