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Singapore public service broadcasting to get S$250m a year: Minister

THE government will spend S$250 million per year over the next five years on Public Service Broadcast (PSB) programmes to ensure there is more compelling and engaging local content.

This is a significant increase over the S$195 million spent on PSB a year over the past three years.

Announcing this in parliament on Tuesday, Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Communications and Information, noted that today's media environment has evolved rapidly and Singaporeans can now access a mind-boggling array of programmes, from every corner of the globe. "We can access content through cable TV and mobile devices," he noted.

Mr Wong emphasised that despite this shift, PSB remains important today since it reflects and shapes the country's culture and identity, as well as informs and connects its people.

"There is added significance for PSB programmes in our context, given our diverse population. We must continue to foster a common identity and shared heritage while celebrating Singapore's multi-racial and multi-cultural society," he added.

The new tranche of PSB funding will support the development of new-media platforms, enabling PSB programmes to reach a wider audience. The funding will support enhancements to existing new-media platforms such as MediaCorp's Toggle to cater to consumers who are increasingly consuming video content online or on mobile platforms.

The funding for PSB Contestable Funds Scheme (PCFS) will also go towards commissioning more diverse and innovative content and formats across more media platforms, including non-FTA (free to air) platforms.

MediaCorp and StarHub will continue to participate as PCFS partners to commission innovative and quality content for their online, mobile and TV platforms.