|Type||Public digital media, radio, terrestrial television and satellite television broadcaster|
|Availability||Nationwide and Worldwide|
|Founded||15 June 1999|
12 February 2001 (renaming of Television Corporation of Singapore, Radio Corporation of Singapore, Singapore Television Twelve to Mediacorp TV, Mediacorp Radio, Mediacorp TV12 respectively, merged into Mediacorp)
|Niam Chang Meng (Chairman)|
Tham Loke Kheng (CEO)
2160p 4K UHD
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 owned by the Government of Singapore.
1936–1965: Pre-independence era
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, At 6pm on 15 February 1963, Television Singapura was launched as its first pilot television service. The channel operated 1-hour and 40-minutes monochrome service on black and white during its daily test transmissions from 6pm to 7.40pm. After the image of the state flag and the playing of the national anthem, Majulah Singapura, then-Minister for Culture S. Rajaratnam became the first person to appear on Singapore TV, announcing that "Tonight might well mark the start of a social and cultural revolution in our lives." Following his speech, the first television programme in Singapore was a 15-minute documentary produced by Television Singapura called TV Looks at Singapore. It was followed by two cartoons, a news report and newsreel, a comedy show and a local variety show. At the time, it was estimated that only one in 58 persons in Singapore owned a TV set, and the pilot service offered only 1-hour and 40-minutes of broadcasting per day on Channel 5. At 7.15pm on 2 April that year, Channel 5, the then-new channel, President Yusof Ishak officially inaugurated the regular television service with 4-hour daily broadcasts from 7.15pm until 11.15pm before gradually brought forward to 6.30pm in September that year, showing programmes in Singapore's four official languages (see English).
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. The state's radio and television broadcast rights was included as an annex in the Malaysia Agreement.
1965–1980: Radio Television Singapore
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. This led to the expansions of the network, including a move to the new $3.6 million Television Centre in Caldecott Hill on 27 August 1966.
At 10.20pm on 7 July 1974, Channel 5 began its first colour broadcasts with the first live telecast during the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final between West Germany and Netherlands, narrated by Brian Richmond, was displayed in colour via satellite transmission as the first colour television programmes held at Olympiastadion, Munich. About 2,000 colour television sets were sold in Singapore three days before the match. At 4.44pm on 9 August that year (the Singapore's Independence celebrated its ninth year of anniversary), the Singapore National Day Parade held at Padang was broadcast in colour for the first time in all four languages. Full-time color broadcasts began on 1 November 1977.
1980–1994: Singapore Broadcasting Corporation
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. 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).
At the 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 officially grand relaunching to revamp the channel logo and slogan for a new look "Where It All Happens!" and became the all full-fledged English channel also Singapore's first English language free-to-air terrestrial channel with the television programme Tellymatch: Running on 5 at 7.30am, Tellymatch: Style Alive on 5 at 2pm, and Tellymatch: Finale on 5 at 1.30am which after News in English was split into two news bulletin programmes:
- News 5 at Seven (now Asia Tonight); an English-language flagship main news programme premiered on same day at 7pm.
- News 5 Tonight (now News Tonight) and became a late news bulletin on Channel 5; aired daily at 10.30pm.
Nine months later (on the first day of October this 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 (TV12). Two years later, Television Twelve was renamed as Singapore Television Twelve. Three years later (on fifteen day of June this year), the Media Corporation of Singapore (MediaCorp) took over the operations of the three divisions as SITV stop operations.
Channel 8 began airing 24 hours a day, becoming the first channel in Singapore to do so 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. On 29 September that year, Channel 5 commenced its full 24-hour broadcasts, becoming the second channel in Singapore to do so.
TCS launched its own film production studio Raintree Pictures on 1 August 1998.
1999–2015: Media Corporation of Singapore
On 1 March 1999, Mediacorp launched Channel NewsAsia (CNA) as its first dedicated news network, broadcasting as an analogue, free-to-air channel.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Channel NewsAsia was officially relaunched on 21 January 2013, and officially broadcasts 24 hours a day with live news bulletins and breaking news throughout the night. On 30 September that year, Mediacorp shut down its Teletext service, whilst on 16 December that year, Channel 5 HD was launched on DTT and aired simulcast programming with Channel 5's SD feed. Due to national availability of Channel 5 HD, HD5 was shut down on 1 March 2017 to free up the UHF spectrum. On that day, all MediaCorp free-to-air channels on DTT were upgraded to DVB-T2.
On 1 November 2014, the channel was announced a revamp in terms on programme, billed as "Local Upsize", as some primetime programmes were moved 30 minutes earlier (such as moving News 5 (formerly News 5 Tonight) later renamed to becomes News Tonight from 9.30pm to 9pm), and the start of the Super 7 prime time belt with effect on 31 December that year.
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
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".
At midnight on 2 January 2019, Mediacorp's analogue signals signed off, completing Singapore's transition to digital terrestrial television.
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. On the same day, Channel 5 morning and midday blocks was officially revamped and renamed to Okto on 5. The move is due to the closure of free-to-air children's and sport channel okto. The programmes replaced simulcast of CNA's breakfast news bulletin and reruns. On the other hand, the programming for the prime time and late-night blocks was retained.
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".
|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)|
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.
|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|
meWATCH (formerly Toggle) was launched on 1 February 2013 as an OTT service. On 1 April 2015, xinmsn was closed down and merged with Toggle. 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.
Mediacorp Partner Network
In 2018, Mediacorp launched the Mediacorp Partner Network. Under the MPN, Mediacorp signed agreements with 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 ESPN site to deliver a mix of local sports news and features in addition to coverage of global sports.
- 99.co on 29 August 2018 to create property related news and information for consumers.
- Edipresse in November 2018 to co-develop content 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.
- VICE on 23 April 2019 to bring original VICE digital and TV content to a new Singapore audience via Mediacorp's multi-platform reach.
Some of Mediacorp’s flagship programmes include:
- Star Awards – Mediacorp’s awards event
- 118 – long-form Channel 8 drama. 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).
- 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.
In 2000, MediaCorp Studios was created to produce content for MediaCorp TV channels, such as Channel 5, Channel U and Channel 8. In 2001, EagleVision was created to produce content for Suria and Vasantham. They co-produce programmes with regional broadcasters and production houses such as Media Prima Malaysia, Radio Televisyen Malaysia, Radio Television Brunei, Eightgeman Taiwan and Taiwan Television.
- Broadcasting in Singapore
- Censorship in Singapore
- List of Singaporeans
- Media of Singapore
- Singapore Broadcasting Corporation
- Television Corporation of Singapore
- List of programmes broadcast by MediaCorp Channel 5
- List of programmes broadcast by MediaCorp Channel U
- Category:Singapore Chinese dramas
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