Dated: 10 May 2006
The Media Development Authority (MDA) has concluded its investigation into whether exclusive carriage agreements substantially foreclose the Pay-TV market in Singapore and should be regulated.
The investigations examined whether exclusive carriage agreements between a Pay-TV operator and its content providers would prevent a newcomer from securing popular content critical to its ability to attract subscriptions and thus prevent, distort or restrict competition in the Pay-TV market in Singapore.
The MDA sought public comment on this issue through a public consultation exercise, followed by a market research study to identify the content genres perceived by consumers to be critical to a Pay-TV service (see Annex A). The MDA then held further discussions with industry players.
Having considered the findings carefully, the MDA has determined that while certain content could be considered critical for the success of a Pay-TV service, exclusive carriage agreements per se do not substantially foreclose potential entrants’ access to key content for the Pay-TV market in Singapore.
Said Ms Ling Pek Ling, Director of Media Policy: “The MDA recognizes the importance of affording industry players maximum room to freely negotiate carriage agreements on mutually agreed terms as this will allow the creation of more compelling content for consumers. These factors are significant as the MDA continues to develop a regulatory system that balances respect for commercial decisions with the need to prevent anti-competitive behaviour in the mass media services markets in the public interest.”
In its investigations, the MDA applied Paragraph 7.5.6 of the Media Market Conduct Code to determine if exclusive carriage agreements had substantially foreclosed the Pay-TV market (see Annex B). Based on its current analysis, the MDA’s determination is that there is no substantial foreclosure of potential entrants’ access to key content for the Pay-TV market in Singapore, and there is no need for regulatory action. This determination has been shared with industry players.
The MDA recognizes that the media industry is dynamic with rapid developments, thus it will continue to monitor the market. If exclusive carriage agreements have a negative impact on consumers or the market, the MDA will assess the best approach towards addressing the problem.
In line with its aim to facilitate the provision of a wide range of mass media services in Singapore which serve the interests of the general public, the MDA continues to encourage further development in IPTV and other new platforms for delivering more quality TV services to consumers. Industry players who are interested to start trials or commercial services are invited to come forward to discuss their interests with the MDA.
“We encourage potential Pay-TV operators to come forward and work with content providers to increase the choice and quality of channels available to consumers. In fact, we are in active discussion with a few industry players to launch new Pay-TV services, such as IPTV, in Singapore,” said Ms Ling.
For more information, please contact:
Sharon Tan (Ms)
Tel: +65 68379011
Phoebe Seow (Ms)
Assistant Director, Corporate Communications
Tel: +65 68379369