Dated: 26 June 2003
Media Development Authority (MDA) has published a policy consultation paper seeking public and industry comments on whether exclusive carriage agreements between Pay TV operators and content providers should be regulated and if so, the appropriate regulatory framework that should be adopted.
MDA does not necessarily consider exclusive agreements to have adverse competitive consequences. However, certain types of content may be necessary to a Pay TV operator in acquiring subscribers. If a Pay TV operator was able to enter into a sufficiently large number of exclusive carriage agreements with such content providers, it might be able to substantially foreclose a necessary content market to other Pay TV operators and thereby prevent, restrict or distort competition in the Pay TV market. Such action would be a breach of paragraph 7.5.6 of the Code of Practice for Market Conduct in the Provision of Mass Media Services ("the Code").
MDA would like to seek public and industry views on whether exclusive carriage agreements which substantially foreclose access to selected content genres would restrict, prevent or distort competition in the Singapore Pay TV market. In particular, public comments are invited on the questions raised at the end of the public consultation paper.
The consultation paper can be downloaded from MDA's website www.mda.gov.sg/content/epaper1.html. A copy of the Code can also be downloaded from www.mda.gov.sg/MDA/documents/MDA_code_of_practice.pdf. All views and comments should be submitted in writing to MDA on or before 12 noon, 25 Jul 2003. MDA will post all views and comments received on its website.
MDA will consider the inputs from the industry and members of the public before deciding on an appropriate regulatory approach. MDA plans to announce its final decision in the third quarter of 2003.