MediaCorp to launch Indian and children's TV channels in major programming refresh

For immediate release
Media Release

MediaCorp to launch Indian and children's TV channels in major programming refresh 

Singapore, 29 February 2008 – MediaCorp will be launching dedicated television channels for Indians and children, making it one of the largest Asian media companies by way of free-to-air broadcast offerings.

One is to be called "Vasantham", which means "Spring" in Tamil, serving the growing Indian community in Singapore. Targeted for launch in the 4th quarter of 2008, Vasantham will provide wholesome family-based entertainment programmes, locally produced long-form serials, reality-based and talk shows. Tamil news and current affairs programmes will be strong anchors.

Vasantham viewers can look forward to Indian-language programming increasing from the current 29 to 65 hours each week. The programmes would include some non-Tamil language shows from time to time.

Ms Lim Suat Jien, MD MediaCorp TV12 which runs the special interest channels, says, "We're acting on invaluable feedback from Indians living in Singapore on how they look forward to their own dedicated channel with a local flavour."

The channel targeting children will be introduced when the current Tamil language programming on MediaCorp's Central TV channel migrates to Vasantham.

Then, Central will be positioned as an English channel with children as its main focus -- with programmes for pre-schoolers and their caregivers in the morning, for primary school students in the afternoon, and for teenagers and young adults in the evening.

From the late evening, Central changes pace with offerings of top-notched lifestyle programmes, cutting-edge local productions, world-class documentaries, arts performances and anime for more mature audiences.

Ms Lim adds, "We're excited by the new line up on Central, which will reinforce our lead in children's programming. Right now, Kids Central is already the most-watched children’s channel in Singapore. With more programmes to offer, we're confident we will win over even more viewers. Few free-to-air broadcasters offer so many kids programming hours, and we're proud to be leading the charge."

The other MediaCorp TV channels will also be strengthening their programming this year.

Channel 5 will be expanding its range of locally produced content with the introduction of new genres such as long form dramas and reality shows based on home-grown scripts. With the roll-out of HD5, viewers will be able to catch the telecast of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on a dedicated High Definition channel. In the new media space, Channel 5 will be launching its Mobile 5 service, for viewers "on the go".

Channel 8, the flagship Chinese family entertainment channel with its distinct Singapore flavour, will be offering a wide range of mass appeal, home-grown programming with multi-generational appeal. Some of the titles with a spiritually uplifting touch are Love Blossoms, Little Nonya, Record Breakers and Idol Mum.

Channel U will be ramping up it offerings to engage young audiences and working adults, e.g. Campus Superstar 3, SuperBand 2, Destination: Most Wanted, Find Me a Singaporean 2, U Are The One. Complementing local shows, the channel will be scouring Asia for a variety of quality programmes.

Channel NewsAsia will be stepping up on audience interactivity with and participation from Asia. It will be tapping the growing band of "citizen reporters" who have been sending in their video clips and first hand accounts of events via their mobile phones or video recorders. The channel is also using programmes like BlogTV to encourage viewers to post their comments "live" on air.

Suria will inject its popular local productions with more interactive elements, and increase its locally produced dramas such as Mandai United, Satu Jam and CMYK that feature home-grown talents. Suria will also continue to work closely with the various Malay organizations such as KGMS, 4PM, Mendaki, TAA, and many others.

Mr Lucas Chow, CEO MediaCorp says, "Our TV channels dominate audiences in Singapore, accounting for 70% of total viewing in Singapore. We’re not resting on our laurels though. We must keep delivering valued content to our audiences. This is our mission and we take it very seriously. MediaCorp continues to come up with fresh ideas, formats and content that are relevant to people. Through our programming, we provide audiences with a window to our society and our world at large. Some of the new content will come via our strategic partnerships in the region such as Indonesia, Vietnam and China, where we have invested in various media companies.

Adds Mr Chow, "The thrust for this year doesn't stop at MediaCorp's TV offerings. On the newspaper front, TODAY, Singapore's 2nd most read newspaper, will be growing its circulation significantly, while our stable of 13 FM radio stations has expanded into 24-hour transmission. Our magazines are leveraging on MediaCorp’s other media platforms to deliver "more than just print". Recognition and online traffic are growing rapidly for new initiatives like Despite the softer economic outlook, we're confident of growing our revenues further this year as advertisers see increasing value in our multiple media platform offerings."

Issued by Corporate Communications, MediaCorp

For more information, please contact:
Christina Loh
Vice President
Corporate Communications & Marketing
Tel: 65 63505766
Fax: 65 62515628

About MediaCorp

MediaCorp is Singapore's leading media company with the most complete range of platforms, spanning television, radio, newspapers, magazines, movies and digital media.

It pioneered the development of Singapore's broadcasting industry, hitting the radio airwaves in 1936 and beaming the first TV pictures in 1963. Today, MediaCorp has over 55 products in four languages (English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil), that reaches to all adults in Singapore each week.

Among them are industry firsts such as the first in the world to use Digital Video Broadcast technology for outdoor digital television, and Asia's first Digital Audio Broadcast radio service. Initiatives in the digital space include a highly successful online classifieds, Internet TV-on-demand and High Definition TV broadcast.

Beyond Singapore, the diversified group is making its presence felt, through co-productions in TV dramas and movies, magazines publishing, Singapore-made entertainment programmes, as well as Channel NewsAsia International, the only Asian owned English news channel.

It has also entered into a financial and strategic relationship with Indonesia's most integrated media company PT Media Nusantara Citra and its parent, Global Mediacom. MediaCorp has a stake in Nanjing-based Dahe Media Pte Ltd, a leading Chinese outdoor advertising firm, and International Media Corporation in Vietnam, set up to develop and produce entertainment and economic news content as well as to provide channel management services.

Winner of numerous international awards and accolades including Asia Television's Broadcaster of the Year, MediaCorp’s vision is to become Asia’s top media company, delivering valued content to the world.

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