SINGAPORE, 7 December 2004 - Following the announcement by MediaCorp and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to merge their mass market TV and free newspaper operations, the commercial viability of Channel i, the English language channel of SPH MediaWorks has been reviewed.
After careful consideration, the decision, jointly made by both MediaCorp and SPH MediaWorks, is to close down Channel i.
Both parties have concluded that Channel i is not commercially viable because of the fragmented and small English language TV market. Since Channel i started more than 3 years ago, advertising support had been weak. Turnaround in its operations is not expected any time soon.
Channel i will cease transmission on 1 January 2005.
Following the merger, the new holding company MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, comprising MediaCorp TV Pte Ltd (MCTV) and MediaCorp Studios Pte Ltd, will operate four channels, namely Channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile. The merger is expected to be legally completed by the end of this year, after which the holding company will be 80 per cent owned by MediaCorp and 20 per cent by SPH.
There will be minor interim changes to the programming schedule of Channel U in the first quarter of 2005 until MCTV introduces new complementary schedules for Channels 8 and U. These interim changes will be announced before 1 January 2005.
The other TV channels within the MediaCorp stable, such as Channel NewsAsia, Suria and Central, will continue to be 100 per cent owned by MediaCorp and run separately. Their operations will be unaffected by the merger.
Issued by MediaCorp (Co. Regn No. 199201312E)
and Singapore Press Holdings Limited (Co. Regn. No. 198402868E)
For more information, please contact:
Director, Group Communications
Tel: 6357 5656
Fax: 6251 5628
SPH MediaWorks Ltd
Assistant Vice President
Tel: 6319 1216
Fax: 6319 8150
MediaCorp features prominently in the development of Singapore´s broadcasting history. With more than 68 years of radio and 41 years of television experience, MediaCorp is Singapore´s largest and most established broadcaster with a complete range of media businesses spanning TV, Radio, Entertainment Productions, Movie Productions, Newspapers, Magazines, Electronic Media and other broadcasting services. We are committed to service excellence and leadership in the media industry and to remain as The Choice in Singapore and the region.
About SPH MediaWorks Ltd
Launched in May 2001, SPH MediaWorks offers viewers two alternative free-to-air TV channels - Channel U in Chinese and Channel i in English. The TV broadcasting arm of SPH has since won an impressive number of trophies in both regional and international baordacast events, including the prestigious TV Broadcaster of the Year at the Asian Television Award in December 2002 with Channel U being named Terrestrial Channel of the Year. Both the TV news units leverage on the brand name and resources of SPH’s print newsrooms and other divisions. Channel i News was awarded Best General News Programme in 2003.