Singapore – Come 2014, Singaporeans can look forward to Public Service Broadcast (PSB) content of up to 100 hours on StarHub TV. This initiative is supported by Media Development Authority’s (MDA) Public Service Broadcast Contestable Funds Scheme (PCFS) which was launched in July 2012. 

The aim of the scheme is to extend the reach of PSB content to multiple broadcast platforms beyond Free-To-Air TV; and provide content producers with more opportunities to create quality and innovative PSB programmes for different commissioning broadcasters under the scheme.

As Singapore’s first pay TV operator to be awarded with the funding, StarHub will commission up to 100 hours of PSB content, depending on the quality of proposals received from production houses.

In evaluating these proposals, the key factors would be the quality of content and degree the content can go beyond a local appeal. Hence, weaving creative stories, presenting compelling new formats and being able to engage viewers through the second screen are some innovative elements that will be de rigueur for this new wave of content. In addition, the programming should also incorporate Public Service Broadcast values, such as promoting social values, celebrating Singapore’s culture and heritage, enhancing racial and religious harmony, and promoting the Singapore identity.

To enable viewers to catch the programmes on the go, the content will also be made available on StarHub’s multi-screen solution, TV Anywhere. The public can also access the content on TV Anywhere, six months later, free of charge. 

On E City, a Chinese entertainment channel, StarHub will be looking to offer viewers an exciting range of genres from infotainment to drama, and talk shows to children’s programmes. SuperSports Arena, a channel that showcases international and local sporting events will remain sport-centric, but may include an additional focus on infotainment and education which are sports-related. For instance, a reality programme could be produced to offer insights into the lives of local athletes. SuperSports Arena will also ramp up the broadcast of local sporting events such as marathons and school competitions to support local sports.

“StarHub is proud to be the first pay TV operator in Singapore to come onboard the PSB Contestable Funds by MDA.  Being a local company, we have always strived to bring content closer to Singapore viewers not only by offering programmes across multiple platforms and with shorter telecast windows, but also to produce localised content that strikes a chord with them. Given that StarHub has already embarked on local productions since 2011, we are confident that our upcoming productions will continue to be of high quality and infused with a local flavour to touch the lives and hearts of our viewers,” expressed Ms Soo Hui LEE, Head of Media Business Unit, StarHub.

“With StarHub onboard the PSB Contestable Funds Scheme, Singaporeans can now enjoy more quality local television programming on pay TV,” said Chun Cheng YEO, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Industry), MDA. “With quality and innovativeness as the focus for PSB moving forward, we urge local production houses to experiment and create truly fresh and new formats that will put PSB programmes in a different light. And by enjoying content that is different, yet engaging, I hope more Singaporeans will be drawn to appreciate local television programming by home grown producers that are our stories, about ourselves and our way of life.”