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Mediaweek Asia: News, August 11 2017

Peter Olszewski rounds out the media news in the Asian market

Mediacorp's Mediapolis office

Juwai appoints new senior execs

Chinese property platform Juwai.com has appointed Carrie Law as its new CEO and Georg Chmiel as chairman replacing Richard Kuo. Both Law and Chmiel previously worked on ASX-listed iProperty Group including the transition period of acquisition by the REA Group.

Hong Kong’s Carrie Law was a core team member for the launch of i-Cable, for the acquisition and integration of China Entertainment Television from Time Warner, and for the sale of Destination Macau Exclusive luxury magazine and its digital offerings to the South China Morning Publishing Group. Georg Chmiel has an extensive history with Australian property companies and was CEO and managing director of LJ Hooker.

Mediacorp and SPH JV programmatic trading desk

Rivals Mediacorp and Singapore Press Holdings have signed a joint venture to launch a new digital advertising marketplace in Singapore, tentatively titled Singapore Media Exchange. The JV, to be ready in the first quarter of next year, will commit at least two billion display and video impressions a year in a selection of platforms from the two companies.

Mediacorp sites involved include channelnewsasia.com, todayonline.com, channel8news.sg, seithi.mediacorp.sg, berita.mediacorp.sg, 8days.sg, stylexstyle.com, meclub.sg and entertainment.toggle.sg.

SPH sites include straitstimes.com, businesstimes.com, asiaone.com, zaobao.com.sg, tnp.sg, stomp.straitstimes.com and beritaharian.sg.

Other premium publishers may be invited to participate in the marketplace. The joint venture will be managed by an independent team and led by a CEO who is yet to be hired.

Turner signs CNN deal with Hong Kong’s ViuTV

Turner Asia Pacific, the distributor of CNN International in the Asia Pacific region, has signed a news content deal with ViuTV, operated by the HK Television Entertainment Company. As part of the multiyear agreement, ViuTV’s newly launched English channel ViuTVsix will broadcast up to two blocks of CNN news programming daily, totalling 60 minutes.

Hong Kong’s PCCW fails to win website-blocking case

Singapore’s High Court denied Hong Kong-based pay-TV operator PCCW Media’s request to block website Dramanice for illegally streaming hit Korean drama serials. This was the first time such a request has been denied under Singapore’s amended Copyright Act which allowed program owners to seek court orders to block piracy websites. PCCW’s case was dismissed because the ruling said it had no grounds to sue because it wasn’t the copyright holder nor an exclusive licensee of the copyrighted content.

Mediacorp’s new office to become tourist attraction

Mediacorp, having moved into its new offices in Mediapolis, will in mid-September launch The Mediacorp Experience, a ticketed attraction that gives visitors and tourists a chance “to experience the magic of media, take a glimpse at behind-the-scenes moments and learn about the history and future of broadcasting in Singapore”. Visitors can partake in a TV production, pretend they are being a news presenter or radio deejay, or get made up for the cover of 8 Days magazine.

M17 raises US$40m

M17 Entertainment, a company formed in April with the merger of Singapore-based dating platform Paktor Group and Taiwan-based regional live-streaming company 17 Media, has raised US$40 million in a Series A round. Part of the funding will be used by M17 Entertainment to expand in Japan, Indonesia and Hong Kong but not, it emphasises, in China. The company will now look for qualified content creators such as live streamers, music producers, and celebrities. M17 Entertainment has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Indonesia with 300 staffers.

i-Cable TV posts hefty six month loss

Hong Kong pay-TV broadcaster i-Cable Communications – ditched in March by its largest shareholder Wharf Holdings due to nine years of financial loss – continued the tradition by reporting a large first-half loss due to shrinking subscriptions and falling ad revenues. The loss in the first six months of 2017 fell by a further 4% to HK$141 million (A$23m,) and revenue shrank 10% to HK$641m. The company, which launched the city’s first cable TV network in 1993, has been reporting revenue falls every year since 2013

Hearst Corp invests in iflix

Malaysian-based SVOD company iflix this week received US$133 million in a funding round led by the Hearst Corporation, bringing the company’s investment-raising this year to US$220 million. The company’s other investors, including Catcha Group, Evolution Media, John C. Malone’s Liberty Global and Sky, all increased their investments in this latest funding round. Also this week, iflix launched in Cambodia with its most popular movies and TV shows available with Khmer subtitles, and a promise to Khmer-ize its entire catalogue in “the months to come”.

Cambodian newspaper hit with tax bill

The Cambodia Daily, one of three English-language dailies battling it out for survival in Cambodia, has been hit with a US$6.3 million (A$8m) bill from the tax department. The move comes as part of a government crackdown on NGO finances. The Daily’s current owner, Deborah Krisher-Steele, daughter of founder Bernard Krisher, and the paper’s current owner, said The Daily, launched in 1993, had not started as an NGO but as a “non-profit project”. In a statement Deborah Krisher-Steele said as publisher, Bernard Krisher took no salary and was subsidised by Bernard Krisher when funds were lacking. In April this year an ailing Bernard Krisher sold The Daily to Bernard Krisher Jimusho Co. Ltd., a Cambodian company established by his daughter.

Mediaweek Asia In Brief

• Singapore’s Global Yellow Pages will stop publishing print directories from 2018 as part of a restructure to focus on real estate, especially its land holdings in New Zealand. CEO Stanley Tan said, “Due to evolving market trends as more users take to online platforms to search for information, we are no longer able to sustain the print directories which are iconic publications familiar to most Singaporeans.”

• iflix has signed a partnership with Johannesburg-based Econet Media’s multiplatform broadcaster Kwesé, to stream into sub-Saharan Africa. Initial launches will be in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

• KCP Global – an LA-based joint venture between Korean broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS – launched a video streaming platform, Kocowa, for US audiences in late July.

• Singapore’s Spout Entertainment Group has partnered with media financing firm Aurora Media Holdings, a Southeast Asian media and entertainment asset incubation specialist, to produce multiplatform sports reality competition formats and a movie franchise based on the global phenomenon of eSports.

• Campaign Asia-Pacific will stop publishing its monthly print magazine this month after 44 years of operation to become an online only company.

• Telstra-backed accelerator muru-D has appointed Paul Meyers as the new head of its Singapore operations. Meyers’ Asian resume includes heading Asia Business News, now CNBC Asia, and founding and running MTVAsia.com, among other things. Singapore is muru-D’s first location outside of Australia, where it is present in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.

• Eleven Sports has signed a deal with global sport radio station talkSPORT to air audio coverage of the English Premier League Singapore. Eleven Sports will stream live audio commentary for all 380 Premier League matches in English and up to 190 matches in Mandarin commentary.

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