SPH losses put plans on hold

Co. attributes to $23 mil loss to slump in ad revs

SINGAPORE — Sustaining losses in its recently launched network, Singapore Press Holdings’ plans for a joint-venture in China and a digital out-of-home service are in jeopardy.

Launched in May, SPH MediaWorks posted a loss of $23 million Aug. 31, which it attributed to a slump in advertising revenues.

But media analysts say the ad downturn cannot be entirely to blame. Chinese-lingo Channel U has been faring fairly well, but English-language TV Works has disappointed in the ratings battle — revising its grid three times in as many months.

The Hong-Kong based joint-venture Jade MediaWorks, announced mid-July, has fallen through, with SPH pulling its $9 million funding of the JV.

MediaWorks had announced the venture would be broadcasting content into mainland China by November.

In July, SPH MediaWorks’ chief executive officer Lee Cheok Yew admitted there “were still a lot of details to be finalized,” and addedthat actually getting the venture started was the biggest challenge.

Meanwhile, the network’s Out of Home (OOH!) service has been put on hold indefinitely.

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