SPH gets niche license for web TV service

Apparently, the folks over at SPH who gave us STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), the closest thing we have to citizen journalism, will soon be bringing to a lucky 100,000 viewers an interactive webTV service called Razor TV.

Broadcast regular Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore today granted SPH a five-year ‘niche’ Internet TV license to operate the service, which SPH will be launching next month.

SPH Interactive has been heading in this general direction for a while now, so this foray into Internet TV doesn’t really come as a surprise – 100,000 viewers on a ‘niche’ license is probably SPH and MDA’s attempts at mitigating risk from their perspectives.

What really heartens me is SPH’s use of core technology developed by a local startup, Ufinity. I remember spending time with Ufinity’s CEO when we were in Dubai in 2006 for GITEX 2006. His down-to-earth demeanor stayed in my head ever since. Nothing beats having a highly successful home-grown startup and its entrepreneurs achieve big-time status to inspire their peers and aspiring budding entrepreneur-wannabes! It’s been a while since we had good news on the scale of Creative Technologies and MediaRing in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) space in Singapore, and while this isn’t quite on that scale yet, it’s certainly a good step along the way!

If you had bothered to read deeper into the article and tie back with other recent developments, you’ll realize how aggressive MDA is in its efforts. Their critics may diss their plethora of programmes and initiatives, but hey, you gotta give it to them for their guts and drive!

MDA said it will not limit the number of niche licensees, and welcomes local and overseas IPTV service providers to come forward and use Singapore as a base for launching innovative media services.

Can you imagine Singapore and its 4-odd million populace as the world’s top test-bed for cutting-edge technologies?

I can, and I hope someone does something about it soon on a larger and more concerted scale.

*edit* apparently the service has been launched. Check it out.

*edit* “RazorTV’s New Gen online presenters“, AsiaOne.

About James Chan

James Chan is an entrepreneur, investor, geek, photographer and husband/father based out of Singapore. Apart from frequent travels to Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia for work, James can also be found online via his trusty 15" Retina MacBook Pro or iPhone 6+.