Cabler StarHub bows 12 channels

New webs have been offered free to existing subs

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s dominant cabler StarHub Cable TV launched 12 channels Monday in the face of increased competition from Internet protocol TV and video-on-demand services including M2BWorld, OBSTV and Anytime.

Channels including Australia Network, Deutsche Welle, TV5 Monde, TVRI and KBS World have been offered free to existing StarHub Digital Cable subscribers.

Subscribers to the Chinese Entertainment Basic Group package have been given Star Chinese Channel and Tamil-language channel Vijay. Sky News, Channel [V] Intl., FoxCrime, Boomerang and National Geographic Wild have been added to the Family Plus digital group at no extra cost.

StarHub now has 94 channels on its digital platform (including seven free-to-air channels), plus 28 Demand TV channels and 12 Karaoke TV channels.

StarHub is the only cable TV player in Singapore, with 478,000 subscribers at the end of June.  

But a number of licenses issued by Media Development Authority permit pay TV services via broadband Internet and set-top box.

New players may boost penetration of StarHub’s MaxOnline broadband service, which already has 299,000 subscribers, but it also opens up the pay TV arena to IPTV competitors.

The MDA recently awarded two new licenses to ReelTime and OBS-TV, which join license-holders 1-Net, M2BWorld, MediaCorp’s MOBTV and Anytime.

Separately, the company’s chief operating officer Yong Lum Sung is ankling after 15 years with the company and ST Telemedia. He will quit Dec. 31 and plans to take a break before most likely getting more involved in the non-corporate area, a rep said.

Previously prexy of Singapore Cable Vision, Yong oversaw its 2002 merger with StarHub, becoming COO alongside prexy and CEO Terry Clontz.

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