StarHub to add local content after MDA cash injection


Rebecca Hawkes

| 05 August 2015

Singapore's StarHub is boosting its local content quota after receiving a new round of funding from the Media Development Authority (MDA), under its public service broadcasting (PSB) scheme.

The fresh injection of funds will enable StarHub to commission over 80 hours of original local productions, including short-form content to be distributed on the pay-TV operator's digital platforms.

In a statement, the broadcaster said 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".

New commissions include the family drama My Secret App, about a precocious boy who helps his family through difficult times with an out-of-this-world gadget; edutainment show Pursuit of Champions, which covers the challenges faced by Singaporeans who pursue their sporting dreams in foreign lands; and documentary Saturday Night Lights, which centres on the inspiring role football plays for troubled boys.

"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 StarHub's 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," she added.

Dorothy Lai, director (Public Service Broadcast), Media Development Authority, said: "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."