U.S. shows to land in Singapore

Trio of Hollywood studios sign deal with mioTV

Three Hollywood studios have struck a deal with Singapore Telecommunications giving local auds access to TV shows just 24 hours after their Stateside debut.

Under the deal, Disney-ABC Intl. Television, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Intl. Television Distribution will allow SingTel’s Internet protocol TV service mioTV service to run more than 50 U.S. series. Rather than offering an online “catch-up” service for shows that are airing in Singapore, SingTel will make these shows available according to the U.S. TV calendar — which means many will debut on mioTV.

Skeins include the upcoming seasons of the Disney-produced “Ugly Betty,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost,” “Criminal Minds” and “Samantha Who?”; Fox’s “Prison Break,” “24” and “Bones”; and Warner’s “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Without a Trace” and “Supernatural.”

The service, called Season Pass, will launch in September. Subscription terms were not disclosed.

“This agreement comes at a great time as we are celebrating mioTV’s first anniversary,” said SingTel CEO Allen Lew.

The IPTV service launched a year ago with another innovative deal that saw Sony Pictures Entertainment release DVDs day-and-date with their Singapore video-on-demand availability. Service now has 48 channels and 45,000 subscribers.

Disney said the mioTV deal is different from its VOD agreement in Hong Kong with free-to-air group Television Broadcasts. TVB’s Catch-Up TV makes shows available for three or four weeks on its website beginning as little as 12 hours after they air locally, but that may be months after U.S. telecast.

“This is one of the top deals we’ve done outside the U.S.,” said Rob Gilby, senior VP and managing director, Disney-ABC Intl. Television (Asia Pacific). Season Pass is an “accelerated window on a pay TV service. It is not catch-up TV and not ad-supported. Consumers are demanding choice.”

MioTV Wednesday also launched a less sophisticated on-demand service, Favorites-on-Demand, showing 10 popular TV series between now and Oct. 31 at a cost of S$9.99 ($7.38) per month.

Skeins include the Singapore preems of “Gossip Girl,” “Smallville,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Supernatural,” “The Bachelor,” “Cold Case” and “Without a Trace.”

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