Mediaweek Asia: Weekly Roundup

Peter Olszewski round out the week’s media news in the Asian market

Aussie couple jailed in Singapore for seditious website

The Australian-based husband-and-wife owners of the widely read website The Real Singapore have now both been jailed for publishing made-up articles stirring hatred against foreigners.

The articles mostly attacked Filipino, mainland Chinese and Indian nationals working in the city state.

Wife Ai Takagi was sentenced in March to 10 months jail and this week her husband Yang Kaiheng copped eight months.

The website was popular, bringing in hundreds and thousands of dollars in ad revenue until it was shut down after the couple were arrested while visiting Singapore from Australia.

Major reshuffle at the top at SPH


Singapore Press Holdings has undergone a major reshuffle, effective today. The company has appointed two senior executives as deputy CEOs. Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of the English/ Malay/Tamil Media group, and Anthony Tan,executive vice president of the Chinese Media group, will assume their new roles today. They will report to SPH chief executive Alan Chan.

Warren Fernandez will become editor-in-chief of the English/Malay/Tamil Media (EMTM) group while continuing to be editor of The Straits Times.

Ignatius Low will move from deputy editor of The Straits Times to become the EMTM managing editor.

Sumiko Tan, also a deputy editor of The Straits Times, will be the flagship newspaper’s executive editor.

Supernewsroom to expand to Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia

Malaysian public relations consultancy Intelectasia plans to expand its Supernewsroom data analytics service regionally, according to CEO Manminder Kaur Dhillon.

Supernewsroom is a sort of media bank which provides connections to all media organisations and access to updated lists of editors and journalists, platforms to send press releases, RSVP tools to track media attendance and other features.

Last year the company was a seed fund grant recipient, gaining MYR500,000 (US$122,000) which it earmarked for expansion into Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Dhillion said, “We have secured a partner in Vietnam who will manage the entire operations in that country. As for Thailand, we are in the midst of identifying a suitable partner.”

She added that Intelectasia will enter the Cambodian market in 12 months.

Indonesia’s Bakrie Group revives ANTV share sale

Indonesia’s Bakrie Group is once again planning to sell around 10% of the shares in its free-to-air TV station ANTV, aiming to earn Rp 1.3 trillion ($A132 million).

Visi Media Asia as the holding company of Intermedia Capital, which operates ANTV, will divest the 10% shares it holds to pay down debts.

The sale has been revived three years after Bakrie failed in selling the shares to the MNC Group.

Bakrie still controls 90% of shares in Intermedia Capital and controls another free-to-air news TV station, TV One, and an online news portal,

Olympics broadcasting in Thailand headed for a loss

A sluggish economy, the high cost of broadcasting rights and low commitment from advertisers are casting a pall over the broadcasting of the Rio Olympics in Thailand.

A TV Pool consisting of five TV stations has live broadcasting and to date has invested more than 450 million baht (A$17.2m).

A loss is now being predicted as feedback from sponsors and advertisers has been sluggish – only 20% of the sponsorship target has been met.

The TV Pool has also spent 5m baht to set up an international broadcasting convention so other broadcasters can access footage and cover Olympics stories at the headquarters of the Army’s TV5 station, one of the pool members, and has now asked again for  financial support from the regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

Mediacorp launches Toggle Sports with Eleven Sports Network 


Mediacorp’s bilingual OTT service Toggle is launching Toggle Sports, the result of a new partnership with global broadcaster Eleven Sports Network which opened an office in Singapore last year.

The multiyear partnership will provide Toggle Sports with a selection of Premier League football, plus a range of international football and other sports content.

The coverage will also include live studio shows featuring match previews, reviews and highlights hosted by resident Singapore presenter, former Yorkshire man Richard Lenton, who won Best Sports Presenter at the 2013 Asian TV Awards.

Viceland to launch across Southeast Asia


Vice has struck a deal with Singapore-based Multi Channels Asia to launch the 24-hour Viceland TV channel in several Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The deals follow the recent partnership with SBS in Australia.

Multi Channels Asia, founded in 2007, is a media company which owns, represents and distributes a number of thematic pay-TV networks in Asia and the Pacific and is the region’s leading distributor of independent channels.

The Asian operations are headed by managing director Gregg Creevey who began his media career in Australian radio. He has held a variety of high-level positions with leading companies such as CNN in Sydney and CNBC Asia.

Apple Music finally gets OK to launch in South Korea

Apple Music is preparing to launch its service in Korea, according to an official from the Federation of Korean Music Performers, a music copyright association which has signed a contract with Apple Music to commence a steaming service.

Contract terms haven’t been released.

An earlier attempt by Apple Music to enter the Korean market failed due to a lack of consensus with local music copyright associations. But now the Federation of Korean Music Performers said agreements on “how to pay the copyright fees” have been made.

In Brief

• Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific has named Londoner Elliot Renton as head of sports, Southeast Asia. In this new position, he will drive the strategic development and operational management of Discovery’s sports portfolio for the region, building a sports franchise. He will be based in Singapore and starts his duties this month.

• Turner Broadcasting’s Boomerang, a kids’ brand companion TV channel to Cartoon Network, will be distributed in Hong Kong on Now TV as part of the platform’s Junior Pack, effective today. This increases Boomerang’s distribution in Asia Pacific to over 30 million households since its relaunch in late 2014.

• South Korean broadcaster Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation and the Korean Communications Agency have teamed with UK independent production company Zig Zag to co-produce a new three-part TV documentary series titled Future Human: AI (Artificial Intelligence). Zig Zag will produce an international version of the series, and acquire world rights outside South Korea for the three hour-long shows.

• Malaysia’s s Media Prima Television Networks has partnered with some of  the country’s leading brands including F&N, Nivea, Nescafe Classic, POS Malaysia, Top, Bank Rakyat and Samsung to celebrate this year’s Ramadan and Syawal celebrations through its annual seasonal campaign to “discover the spirit of the Season through gratitude and kindness”.

• US photographer Annie Leibovitz is interviewed by Kristie Lu Stout in this month’s edition of CNN International’s Talk Asia, which initially airs on 7 July. Leibovitz talks about taking a picture of John Lennon hours before he was murdered, stumbling on creating the provocative image of Demi Moore nude and pregnant, and working on Caitlyn Jenner’s debut to the world for the cover of Vanity Fair.

• IPG Mediabrands Thailand and VGI Global Media, one of the country’s largest out-of-home media agencies, will launch a programmatic buying service to improve use of digital advertising screens. The aim of this new service is to attract new advertisers and to stimulate demand from existing clients.

• First Media, Indonesia’s first provider of integrated telecommunications and multimedia services, has launched First Media X, an enhancement of its previous mobile application, First Media Go. As well as video on demand, the enhanced app now also offers live streaming of quality channels on smartphones.

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