StarHub is set to step up local content with a fresh round of funding from the Media Development Authority (MDA) under its Public Service Broadcast Contestable Funds Scheme (PCFS) for 2015. Altogether, the funding amounts to SG$10million, according to the Straits Times.
With this funding, StarHub will commission over 80 hours of original local productions.
To cater to the rising demand for bite-sized content, and to reach a wider audience online, StarHub will be allocating part of this year’s funding to commission short-form content, which will be made available on digital platforms.
The PCFS aims to extend the reach of Public Service Broadcast (PSB) content to multiple broadcast platforms beyond Free-To-Air TV, and to provide content producers with more opportunities to produce innovative, high quality PSB programmes. This is the second time that StarHub has been awarded the funding. In 2013, StarHub became the first pay TV operator in Singapore to be awarded funding under the PCFS, said a release by StarHub.
All content produced under the Scheme will incorporate PSB values such as the celebration of Singapore’s culture and heritage, enhancement of racial and religious harmony, and the promotion of the Singaporean identity. Innovative concepts that can engage audiences on TV and online platforms, and an assembly of credible production personnel will continue to feature prominently in StarHub’s evaluation of proposals submitted by production companies.
Some titles that have been commissioned by StarHub under the scheme include: My Secret App, a family drama about a precocious boy who helps his family tide over difficult times with an out-of-the-world gadget; Pursuit of Champions, an edutainment programme that documents the challenges faced by Singaporeans who left home to pursue their sporting dreams in foreign environments; and Saturday Night Lights, a documentary that shows how soccer brings meaning, hope and inspiration to a group of boys from broken homes and troubled families.
Content produced under the Scheme will continue to be showcased on StarHub’s self-packaged channels, E City (StarHub TV Channel 111/825), and SuperSports Arena (StarHub TV Channel 112/205). Viewers who prefer to enjoy these programmes on the go can also watch them on StarHub TV Anywhere, StarHub’s Internet TV platform. The public can access this content on StarHub TV Anywhere within six months, free-of-charge.
“We are pleased to be awarded PSB funding for the second consecutive year. Our first wave of PSB content was well-received, with better ratings compared to programmes that are shown on the same time-belts,” said Lee Soo Hui, head of media business Unit, StarHub. “This goes to show that compelling storytelling infused with a local flavour are integral in drawing viewers’ attention. To address the rising trend of viewers going online, we hope to produce short-form content that will appeal to online consumers”, added Lee.
“As media consumption habits shift towards online platforms, Singapore content producers can benefit from having more resources and opportunities to create innovative and quality content on different platforms to engage a wider audience. Through this round of PCFS funding, viewers can also enjoy greater programme variety including short-form content on platforms beyond Free-To-Air TV.” said Dorothy Lai, director (Public Service Broadcast), Media Development Authority.
StarHub is also holding a briefing for production companies on 17 August.