Media Development Authority of Singapore unveils two-tier license framework for IPTV

 MUMBAI: The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) has rolled out a new two-tier license framework for Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) that aims to further facilitate the growth of IPTV services in Singapore, to tangible benefits for the industry and consumers.

"We took into consideration the developments in technology in a rapidly evolving media landscape and local industry feedback when factoring flexibility in this license framework to address the needs of niche IPTV players vis-à-vis mass market IPTV players while ensuring that consumer interests are not compromised," explained MDA director media policy Ling Pek Ling.

"This will enable the entry of more industry players looking to provide a wide range of IPTV services to consumers including those who are currently not served or not well served by existing broadcasters. At the same time, consumers can look forward to richer and diversified content."

In line with the new license framework, MDA has issued SingNet Pet Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications Limited, a Nationwide subscription TV service license to roll out commercial IPTV services.

According to an official release, the tiered IPTV license framework offers service providers two types of licenses:

- Nationwide subscription TV License: Players providing services that have wide reach (over 100,000 subscribers) and impact. They will be awarded a Nationwide License, similar to that for a mass market pay TV operator.

- Niche Subscription TV License: This facilitates the entry of new niche players offering IPTV services which have limited reach (100,000 subscribers or less) and impact. The licensee would be subject to a lighter license framework. For example, niche licensees will not be required to carry the local free-to-air channels.

Where the subscriber base exceeds 100,000 subscribers, the following secondary criteria will be used to determine if the operator can still qualify as a Niche player to allow those targeting niche market segments like the expatriate community and hotels to grow their business and improve their business case:

- Location: whether the service is offered chiefly to specific non-residential locations in Singapore.

- Language: whether there is a high percentage of foreign language content.

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