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SPH's 21%-owned JV wins HDB digital display tender with S$1.82m bid

Singapore

A JOINT venture between mainboard-listed Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Chinese digital advertising company Focus Media has been picked for the Housing Board's plan to roll out digital display screens across HDB estates next year.

Target Media Culcreative (TMCC), which is 21 per cent-owned by SPH, was the sole winner of the tender to install, operate and manage 6,000 such panels, the firm said on Tuesday.

It beat out three other bidders, including state investor Temasek Holdings' Mediacorp, with a bid of S$1.82 million that excludes fees for utilities and content solutions services.

TMCC will pay the hardware and software costs for the new screens to be built by June next year, and must also pay a licence fee to the HDB, the company said in a statement.

The latest contract win, which TMCC chief executive Jeff Liu called a "challenging yet fulfilling project", will nearly double the firm's display network in HDB estates - where it already operates 8,000 digital screens - to 14,000 screens in all.

The HDB unveiled plans in October to install digital screens in lifts and lift lobbies to "offer a rolling display of news and information" as part of the Republic's Smart Nation drive.

The screens will be used for announcements from government agencies and community organisations, with commercial advertisers allowed up to 30 per cent of screen time.

Mr Liu has now said that "we understand how the DDPs (digital display panels) can bring vibrancy and relevance to HDB dwellers" and added that the screens "serve as an innovative channel and green initiative for the majority of Singaporeans to receive timely and relevant information".

SPH, which publishes The Business Times, closed up S$0.02 or 0.95 per cent to S$2.12 on Tuesday before the latest announcement. The tender was awarded by the HDB on Dec 13.