First air date
|11 July 1991|
|Tan Tong Hai (CEO)|
|Singapore Cable Vision|
(1991 – 2002)
Star Hub TV is a pay television service provided by StarHub in Singapore. It has been a subsidiary of StarHub Limited since StarHub acquired Singapore Cable Vision (SCV) in 2001, and was the sole pay-TV operator in the country until 2007 when mio TV (now Singtel TV), an IPTV service from its competitor, Singtel, was launched.
The history of cable TV in Singapore started in 1991, when the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation was interested in setting up a cable network. In January 1991, a US company (Continental Cablevision) studied the feasibility of a cable service in Singapore, showing its interest over the high density of television set ownership (1 set in every 600,000 households). Another company, a subsidiary of the Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation, set up a preliminary survey to study the potential cable market in the country, and in the region by May. After the study, which was set to last a year, the government would greenlight the license. On 11 July 1991, the then Singapore Cable Vision (SCV) was licensed to establish a nationwide broadband cable network to provide pay-TV services. SCV also had the unprecedented responsibility of delivering terrestrial free-to-air (FTA) channels to Singapore households via its cable points, free-of-charge to viewers.
The first of the three channels, NewsVision, came on air on 2 April 1992. Two further channels, VarietyVision and MovieVision, were to be launched on June 1. In December 1991, NewsVision won the rights to carry CNN International programming over BBC World Service Television's output.
Initially, services were delivered over scrambled UHF signals, with the package of three channels being priced in at up to $50, depending on the number of channels the subscriber wanted, with prices comparable to those offered by Sky in New Zealand and Thai Sky TV in Thailand, both of which also offered three channels.
In the setup of the network of channels, SCV announced that the new channels would carry commercials. VarietyVision was set to carry four minutes of advertising per hour, NewsVision, eight minutes per hour and MovieVision was exempt. Ad rates were lower than the ones carried out by SBC's channels and half of the advertising time on NewsVision was shared between local ad slots and those from the relays of CNN International. A $2 million contract with McCann Erickson for advertising was signed.
Withink its first week, SCV claimed to have had an "overwhelming response", according to a print ad from its technological suppliers, Jerrold and General Instrument.
SCV launched MovieVision and VarietyVision on 13 May 1992 (ahead of the initial 1 June target), this time with the goal of achieving 4,500 subscribers (three times the number of subscribers SCV had in May) by the end of June. MovieVision initially broadcast 12 hours a day, offering 30 movies per month, with the aim of increasing its daily schedule to 18 hours a day in January 1993. VarietyVision, broadcasting entirely in Chinese, carried programming from the Chinese world (the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong) 18 hours a day Sundays to Fridays and 24 hours a day on Saturdays.
In 1999, SCV completed the construction of its S$600 million network, and in recognition of its nationwide cabling effort, SCV was granted exclusivity in the provision of pay-TV services until 2002. As the nation developed, Singaporeans began to embrace pay-TV as an additional source of lifestyle entertainment, in addition to other entertainment sources such as cinemas, the internet, and DVD/VCD purchases/rentals.
On 17 February 2009, StarHub announced that their television will be converted to digital and analogue set-top boxes will be terminated by 30 June 2009, beginning a phase of digital television transition in Singapore.
On 30 April 2010, channel numbers for StarHub TV were overhauled into a three-digit numbering system, allowing easier recall for subscribers. The channels were also classified into eight categories based on their genre and first number.
On 1 August 2010, StarHub TV will cease broadcasting the Barclays English Premier League for the 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons as it did not procure the rights to do so. Its carriage of Goal TV 1, Goal TV 2, ESPN, STAR Sports and STAR Cricket will also cease at the same time. The ESS channels were unavailable on StarHub's platform for three years until in December 2012, it was announced that ESPN, STAR Sports and STAR Cricket will return to StarHub on 14 December on a non-exclusive basis. The channel was revived after StarHub TV acquired its rights to broadcast the 2018-19 season of UEFA Champions League.
Rediffusion Singapore was added to StarHub TV in October 2010 as RediGold, the first FM channel to be broadcast on cable television; however, both Rediffusion and RediGold ceased transmission on 1 May 2012 due to a decline in listenership. Rediffusion resumed its transmission on 11 November 2013, but through internet.
Since 2010, many channels were made for free-viewing for a brief period of time to commemorate a holiday. Its first free preview was held between 28 May to 13 June due to a school holiday. Since then, a weeklong free previewing of channels were held on other major public holidays.
On 31 May 2011, StarHub TV's Preview Channel (Channel 101) became ScreenSingapore Channel for a duration from 1 to 19 June, before reverting to Preview Channel.
Many channels had, over time, ceased broadcast on StarHub TV to make way for newer channels, such as JimJam, JET TV, NEO Cricket, TTV World and MGM. On 15 February 2012, Playin' TV, a television-gaming service channel, was also ceased.
In an announcement made on 1 November 2018, cable television will cease transmission by 30 June 2019. However, StarHub followed up with another announcement on 24 June 2018, saying that cable services will end on 30 September 2019 instead, giving consumers until 31 August 2019 to switch to fibre. StarHub completed the move to fibre networks on 30 September 2019.
- "Everything you've always wanted to know about cable TV but did not ask". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 10 February 1991. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
- "News channel on pay TV available from tomorrow". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 1 April 1992. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
- "CNN wins first round in battle for pay channel". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 21 December 1991. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
- "Nuts and bolts of cable TV". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 1 April 1992. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
- "McCann clinches $2m CableVision account". The Business Times (retrieved from NLB). 2 April 1992. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
- "Page 35 Advertisements Column 1". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 2 April 1992. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
- "Two new leisure channels launched on pay TV". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 15 May 1992. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
- "StarHub and SCV Seal Merger Agreement". Archived from the original on 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- "Milestones". Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- "StarHub Realigns and Rebrands TV and Video Content with the Launch of 'STARHUB TV'". Archived from the original on 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- "StarHub TV to go into full digital mode". StarHub. 17 February 2009. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "StarHub TV To Offer New Content And New Channel Groupings". StarHub. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- "StarHub wins rights to screen UEFA Champions League in Singapore". StarHub. 1 October 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "Rediffusion to close at month's end after 63 years". Archived from the original on 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
- "Enjoy This June Holiday with StarHub TV's Free Preview". StarHub. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "StarHub Launches StarHub TV on Fibre: a New IPTV Service". StarHub. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "StarHub TV's latest IPTV service is delivered over the fiber network". Hardware Zone. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "StarHub to cease cable services from July 2019". Channel NewsAsia. 1 November 2018. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "StarHub postpones end of cable services to Sep 30". CNA. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
- "StarHub TV and Broadband – Hello Fibre, Goodbye Cable". StarHub. 30 September 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.