Mediaweek Asia: Weekly Roundup

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

Australians highly commended at Asian TV awards


Australia didn’t come up with any winners at the Asian TV Awards 2016 held in Singapore on Friday December 2, but did walk away with two highly commended awards.

In the Best Single Drama or Telemovie category, Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door (Endemol Shine Australia, Seven Network) was highly commended.

In the Best General Entertainment Program category, The Great Australian Spelling Bee (Endemol Shine Australia, Network Ten) was also highly commended.

The winner of the Best Adaptation of an Existing Format went to MasterChef Asia (A+E Networks Asia, Lifetime, Singapore, produced by Endemol Southeast Asia).

The Cable and Satellite Channel of the Year was won by Al Jazeera, with the BBC World News highly commended.

Sixteen international awards for SPH Magazines

SPH Magazines won 16 awards at the recent International Creative Media Award 2016 in Germany.

SPH Magazines’ publications, The Peak Selections, Gourmet & Travel and Nu You, won awards in various categories as did the company’s custom-published titles – The Johnnie Walker House Edit, “Building A Better World” (a book produced for the Singapore International Foundation) and Savour.

Thailand’s GMM Grammy sells half of its digital TV subsidiary

Thailand’s SET-listed GMM Grammy has sold 50% of its digital TV subsidiary One Enterprise Co to Prananporn Co, led by major shareholder Poramaporn Prasarttong-Osoth, daughter of Bangkok Airways owner Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth.

Grammy will however have to clarify to the regulator that Prananporn has no direct connections with the major shareholder of Bangkok Media and Broadcasting Co, which operates PPTV, a high-definition channel. PPTV is also owned by the Prasarttong-Osoth family.

Netflix to air Singapore-produced TV series

Singapore’s Mediacorp and Netflix announced that the streaming service will bring locally produced TV series to its members around the world from early 2017. The agreement brings over 20 popular Chinese TV series made in Singapore.

LeEco holds FIFA World Cup rights in HK/China

FIFA’s latest document on media rights licensees for the 2018 World Cup to be held in Russia lists 132 countries and areas, but doesn’t list Hong Kong or China. This despite Chinese online video-streaming giant LeEco claiming it holds exclusive rights to broadcast FIFA football games. LeEco said in January that it had been granted the exclusive rights to all FIFA World Cup matches from 2016 to 2018. Lai Yu-ching,acting chief executive of LeSports, told Hong Kong media that not being listed doesn’t mean they don’t have the broadcasting rights.

Mediacorp radio stations dominate Singapore ratings

Mediacorp radio stations continue to dominate with eight of its stations among the ten most-listened-to radio stations in Singapore each week, according to the latest Nielsen Radio Diary Survey conducted in September and October 2016. Mediacorp has held eight out of the top 10 positions for two years in a row. The top three most-listened-to stations are Mediacorp’s Chinese stations –Yes 933, Love97.2FM and Capital 95.8FM.

Ming Pao newspaper losing money

Media Chinese International, publisher of Hong Kong daily Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao,notched up losses in the six months ended September 30. The company, chaired by Malaysian tycoon Tiong Hiew King, reported losses before tax of US$1.027m (A$1.38m) for its Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland operations, compared to a profit of US$336,000 in the same period a year before. The company’s meanwhile had double digit growth in revenue.

YouTube Red launches in South Korea


Google launched YouTube Red, a new ad-free subscription service, in South Korea on Tuesday, providing a range of exclusive viewing options for paying subscribers. YouTube Red lets users watch ad-free videos, save and access videos in offline settings and continue playing videos in the background while other apps are running or the screen is turned off on a mobile phone. Subscribers also gain access to new video content available exclusively through YouTube Red. Google Korea said it would unveil its first original YouTube Red video featuring K-pop boy group Big Bang next year. Google also unveiled YouTube Music, a mobile app that functions like a standard music streaming service.

Indonesia’s Link Net in deal with government

Indonesia’s pay-TV provider Link Net and the city government of Bogor, West Java, will introduce a new TV channel, Balai Kota Bogor, to promote tourism and deliver news on local issues and administrative developments. The channel, to be launched by Link Net’s parent company First Media on January 7, will broadcast in several major cities, including Bogor and Bandung in West Java, Surabaya and Malang in East Java, Jakarta, and Denpasar in Bali.

Endemol Shine Asia’s new game show


A new 26 episode TV game show Cash Struck! will debut in Singapore  in February 2016 as a coproduction between Endemol Shine Asia and Mediacorp Channel 5. It’s billed as bringing “the fun and excitement of a mobile game app to TV screens”. In each hour-long episode, contestants in teams of two, pit their skills to guess a word that links two pictures, earning tokens on the giant digital screen. Each team stands to win up to S$10,000 (A$9400) in cash.

BBC Worldwide China deals


BBC Worldwide this announced a series of deals for China and Hong Kong.

The first will see four BBC Earth Giant Screen films – Tiny Giants, Wild Africa, Earthflight and Incredible Predators debut in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2017. New deals with clients including Orient International Holding Shanghai Foreign Trade Co. Ltd, and Wuhan DDMC Culture Co. Ltd, will see the four films debut in more than 20 science and technology museums, beginning in January.

BBC Worldwide also announced a partnership with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group Co, a division of the Shanghai Media Group that will see almost 360 hours of Top Gear series launch exclusively on BesTV platforms in China. By early next year, Top Gear fans in China will have access to the soon-to-be-launched all-new series 24, the entire series of Top Gear UK and all the UK specials, as well as five series of Top Gear USA, six series of Top Gear Korea and both series of Top Gear China. Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group’s IPTV platform, BesTV will be home to all the Top Gear series.

Finally BBC Worldwide announced a deal with one of China’s largest providers of internet value added services, Tencent Holdings Limited for The Collection. The announcement was made on the second day of the Asian Television Forum in Singapore. The eight-episode drama, set in the world of French haute couture after the Second World War from writer, creator and award-winning showrunner Oliver Goldstick (Pretty Little Liars, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives) features Tom Riley (Da Vinci’s Demons, Kill Your Friends), Mamie Gummer (The Good Wife, Ricki and the Flash), Richard Coyle (Crossbones, Life of Crime, Going Postal) and Alix Poisson (Disparue, 3xManon, Parents mode d’emploi).

Mediaweek Asia In Brief

• Baidu-owned Chinese online video site iQiyi will partner with Sony Pictures Television to produce an action thriller in the Putonghua or Mandarin language for online viewers. The co-production will be a three-part adaptation of an American drama called Chosen, which aired in the US on Crackle, an online streaming video service owned by Sony.

• To mark the 10th anniversary of Steve Irwin’s death, Crocodile Hunter was shown for the first time in HD on December 1 on Outdoor Channel in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, HK and Korea.

• Magazine cover nudity is again and sending the Philippines into a spin. TV host and movie actress Anne Curtis appeared topless on the cover of the latest issue of Metro Magazine, and TV star Ellen Adarnawent completely naked during a cover shoot for FHM.

• Singapore’s leading pay TV operator StarHub TV will add a new TV5MONDE channel to its network by introducing the channel TV5MONDE Style HD as part of the Connoisseur Pack.

• Her Voice, a YouTube site for Vietnamese women, features newly produced content by POPS Worldwide and localised or adapted content from TLC, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific’s lifestyle channel in Southeast Asia.

• Singtel Music customers can now stream music on Tidal, which is owned by music stars like Jay Z, Beyonce and Kanye West. Tidal has been available in Singapore as an app since February 2015.

• This year’s Straits Times Asian of the Year award goes to “The Disruptors”, a group of technological and business leaders.  Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling of Grab, Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal of Flipkart, Nadiem Makarim of Go-Jek, Tan Min-Liang of Razer and Pony Ma of Tencent, will collectively share the award.

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