25 July 2012 - The public will be able to enjoy Public Service Broadcast (PSB) programmes on multiple broadcast platforms beyond Free-To-Air (FTA) TV... Read more

1. The public will be able to enjoy Public Service Broadcast (PSB) programmes on multiple broadcast platforms beyond Free-To-Air (FTA) TV as MDA re-launches its contestable funds scheme – PSB Contestable Funds Scheme (formerly known as Public Service Content Scheme); and content producers will have more opportunities to create innovative PSB programmes for different commissioning broadcasters under the scheme.

2. This is in response to the PSB Review Panel’s1 recommendation to extend the reach and improve the quality of Public Service Broadcast (PSB) content.


3. The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts’ (MICA) acceptance of the recommendations put forth by the Public Service Broadcast (PSB) Review Panel, includes the acceptance to extend the reach of PSB programmes onto multiple broadcast platforms, including non-FTA.

4. Under the PSB Contestable Funds Scheme (PCFS), Singaporeans will be able to enjoy PSB content over the internet and pay TV in addition to FTA TV.

5. This revamped scheme replaces the previous Public Service Content (PSC) scheme which was on a co-investment mode. The PCFS is based on the grant model.

Public Service Content Scheme vs. PSB Contestable Funds Scheme

6. The key differences between the PSC scheme and the revised PCFS are summarised in the table below.

Public Service Content S​cheme PSB Contestable Funds Scheme
Type of Funding Co-investment ​ Grant
Type of Platform Funded FTA TV Platform FTA TV, Pay TV, Radio and Online Platforms
​​ MDA’s Funding Relationship Production companies ​​Media platforms​

Key Aspects of R​​evised Scheme

7. The key aspects of the PCFS are summarised below:

i. Participation of platforms in the Scheme is by-invitation only. Qualifying local media platform partners will be identified and invited to submit a proposal to MDA.

ii. Funding is extended to local nationwide TV platforms, including local FTA and non-FTA TV platforms, to encourage the development of original PSB content that can be offered on multiple platforms (e.g. TV drama with spin-offs episodes on internet or radio).

iii. Platform partners who are selected to participate in this scheme will then proceed to call for proposals which will be open to all eligible local production companies based on guidelines set by MDA.

iv. An independent evaluation panel, comprising members with extensive media experience, will work with each platform partner to select suitable programme concepts that fulfil the PCFS’s objectives.

v. Funding for selected programme concepts will be provided to the independent production companies, via the platform partner, in the form of a grant.

vi. All PCFS-funded programmes will be made available eventually to the public on a free-to-access platform.

Overview of PSB Conte​stable Funds Scheme

Scheme Objectiv​​​es

8. The following are the scheme’s objectives:

i. Extend reach of PSB content to multiple media platforms
ii. Raise quality of PSB content via contestability
iii. Encourage innovation in PSB content creation

Platform Partnership

9. Each year, MDA will identify and invite eligible platform partners to submit their proposals for the Contestable Funds Scheme. Eligibility of platforms is assessed based on the following:

i. Platform’ audience reach;
ii. Platform’s ability and capacity to commission and carry PSB content;
iii. Platform’s ability to programme and promote PSB content to ensure audience awareness;
iv. Platform’s ability to track viewership of PSB content.

Call for Propos​als:

10. Platform partners that are awarded the PCFS funding will work together with MDA to call for proposals from eligible media production companies based on MDA’s guidelines.

Selection and Commissioning of Content:

11. Platform partners will work with the MDA-appointed external evaluators to assess and select their respective programmes to be funded under the PCFS

12. Platform partners will also manage the commissioning of selected programme concepts, which includes overseeing the timely completion of the programmes and ensuring the programmes’ quality. These programmes will be carried on their respective channels/platforms. In the event where platform partners operate on a pay/subscription basis, these programmes will be made available on a free-to-access platform after the programmes have been broadcast on their pay-channels.

Content Supported

13. Original and adapted audio-visual content for broadcast (nationwide TV and radio) and online platforms in any of Singapore’s four official languages, and which fulfil one or more PSB objectives will be considered. Priority will be given to programmes that can convey specific PSB messages identified by MDA for the year.

14. All genres of programmes/content will be considered. Content with cross-platform elements are encouraged.

15. Programmes which require a longer research/production period will also be considered.

Evaluation Criteria for content supported under the PCFS:

16. Submissions for all CFPs will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

i. PSB values and relevance to the Singapore audience
ii. Creative merits of project (quality, innovation/creativity in storytelling)
iii. Potential to engage target audience
iv. Track record of the production company involved and the project’s creative team

Evaluation Panel

17. MDA will appoint a panel of independent evaluators comprising experienced media professionals to assess and select concepts together with the platform partners.

18. The list of the evaluation panel members will be published on the MDA website and participating media platforms’ websites.

Rights Ownership of Content Created under PSB Contestable Funds Scheme

19. In line with MDA’s revised rights ownership arrangement for PSB-funded content, the copyright in programmes supported under the PCFS will belong to the content producer.

20. Details of the rights ownership of PSB-funded programmes can be found in the Revised PSB Rights Framework Fact Sheet available on the MDA website at www.mda.gov.sg/Public/Publicservice.​

For queries on the PSB Contestable Funds Scheme, please contact us here

Click here for FAQ:

1The PSB Review Panel was convened in September 2010 to provide MICA/MDA an independent assessment on the performance of PSB in Singapore and recommend how the provision of PSB can be improved. The 8-member panel, chaired by Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts, was convened in October 2010 to recommend ways to improve the reach and quality of PSB programmes. This is to ensure that PSB programmes continue to remain relevant to audiences in spite of changes in media consumption habits brought about by digitisation.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023