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MCS Group

Overview

This profile considers Singapore's MCS group.


The group, centred around the state broadcaster, embraces magazines, newspapers, radio, television, telecommunications infrastructure and audiovisualproduction/distribution. It competes with SPH group centred on the Straits Times.

The group

The state-owned Singapore Broadcasting Corporation was corporatised as the Singapore International Media (SIM) group of companies in 1994 before being restructured as the Media Corporation of Singapore (MediaCorp) in 1999.

An indication of its history is here.

The group now has subsidiaries in TV and radio broadcasting, TV and film production, press, publishing and interactive services. MediaCorp TV operates five free-to-air channels. Its two 24-hour channels. MediaCorp News offers local and satellite 20-hour news channels. MediaCorp has also launched digitaltelevision services: it has substantial broadband interests within Singapore and its TVMobile channel is currently available on 1,500 Singapore Bus Service vehicles.

MediaCorp Radio operates Singapore’s largest radio network (12 out of the 18 FM radio stations). Its MediaCorp Studies offers a range of artist management,post-production, video and feature film production and distribution services. The group's Today newspaper is challenging SPH's tabloids.

Prior to 2000 SPH was the monopoly newspaper publisher, with MediaCorp controlling most radio and television broadcasts. In that year, with government's blessing, both groups moved into each other's territory. SPH established two free-to-air television channels (U and I) to compete with MediaCorp's Channels 5, 8 and Channel NewsAsia. MediaCorp also launched the Today free tabloid. Pseudo-diversity was expensive and short-lived, with MediaCorp reportedly losing S$50 million on Today and S$15 million on television each year, with SPH losses at around S$50 million per year for television and S$5 million on the Streats free tabloid.

In August 2004 SPH and MediaCorp announced the merger of their television and free newspaper operations. A new holding company, MediaCorp TV Holdings - comprising MediaCorp TV Singapore Pte Ltd (MCTV) and MediaCorp Studios Pte Ltd - was established to operate television channels 5, 8, U and TVMobile (with Channel i ceasing in January 2005). MediaCorp TV Holdings is 80% owned by MediaCorp and 20% by SPH, with MediaCorp responsible for management and operation of the merged entities.

SPH also ceased publication of Streats, its free newspaper, absorbed by TODAY (published by MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, in which MediaCorp has a 60% stake and SPH has 40%), operating independently of the SPH newspapers.

An indication of holdings is here.

Other state networks

There are separate profiles on

  • ABC and SBS - Australia
  • BBC - United Kingdom
  • TVNZ & RNZ - New Zealand
  • CBC - Canada
  • PBS - USA