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Singapore Press Holdings to develop Web TV portal Straits Times RazorTV with Ufinity

Singapore, 30 July 2008 – Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has sealed a deal with Ufinity Pte Ltd, a solution provider in interactive media and convergence services, putting the infrastructure in place for Singapore’s first webcast portal, The Straits Times Razor TV.

A first of its kind in the world, Razor TV is a free access, interactive webcast service that offers live streaming of studio content and on-demand videos over a real time interactive platform. The project is expected to create a catalytic effect for the local media industry, with the introduction of cutting-edge Interactive Digital Media (IDM) technologies and revolutionary concepts.

Awarded a developer grant by the multi-agency IDM R&D Programme Office (IDMPO) hosted by the Media Development Authority, Razor TV will be launched in August and will broadcast from SPH’s Multimedia Centre for eight hours on week days. Razor TV is one of the new initiatives that underlines SPH’s vision and commitment to become a major industry player in offering new media services to consumers and advertisers.

The signing of the agreement between SPH and Ufinity took place today at the i.JAM Networking Session which is graced by RADM (NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister of State for Education and Information, Communications and the Arts. The agreement was signed by SPH’s Digital Media Editor for the English and Malay Newspaper Division Felix Soh and Ufinity’s Chief Executive Officer Tung Teck Lee.

Speaking about Razor TV, Mr Soh commented: “This is a unique convergence of webTV with interactivity and social networking functions. It will redefine the way news is delivered and consumed in the future.”

Mr Tung said of the partnership: “Ufinity is excited to build a relationship with SPH through the RazorTV project. We believe the RazorTV initiative represents a paradigm shift in the interactive media landscape and will create tremendous value and opportunities for Ufinity in the IP convergence space. We look forward to work closely with SPH in this forward looking revolution.”

Mr Michael Yap, Executive Director of the IDMPO said: “The development of Razor TV is a significant milestone in Singapore´s IDM sector. It also showcases the coming of age of our local IDM capabilities as the underpinning technology is being developed in Singapore. We are excited that our local flagship media companies have taken the initiative to push the envelope in IDM R&D to create world class innovation.”
 

Objectives of Razor TV

Targeting those between 18 and 40 years old, the web news and current affairs channel will be young, hip and informal.

Positioned as a hyper-local station with the vision to engage all Singaporeans, it will bring raw, edgy and sharp news and lifestyle features to the netizen’s plate.

It will also feature largely uncut interviews to bring out the full flavour of events. With real-time interactivity, Cyber citizens can casually chat with presenters, interviewees and other netizens.

Technology employed for Razor TV

Adopting the Web 2.0 paradigm of Architecture Of Participation which offers, viewers become co-hosts of shows as they rate, comment and vote in polls all in real time as the LIVE show is webcast.

Rich interactivity is achieved through generous use of Web 2.0 technologies like AJAX and Flash.

An advanced Web Content Management system is used to catalog all shows and provide them as VODs so that viewers can enjoy the shows later.

Combining advanced bandwidth detection at the client end with state of the art intelligent Internet routing, viewers can expect quality videos on their computers.

At a later stage, viewers can also generate clips, personalise and share them with their friends - a unique convergence of web TV and social networking.

Next generation Web 2.0 technologies with high-level user tools such as Rich Internet Applications techniques will be developed for greater interactivity and connectivity with other platforms. This is to allow netizens to create content, create, share and personalise content with the RazorTV community.

As a suite of Application Programming Interfaces (API) will be developed, third-party developers can also create innovative applications to enhance the channel’s Web 2.0 experience.


Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact the following:

Eugene Leow
Editor, The Straits Times Razor TV
Tel: 6319 5072
H/P: 9877 9801
Email: elow@sph.com.sg

Sherlyn Yap
Executive
Corporate Communications
Tel: 6319 1226
H/P: 9177 0747
Email: syap@sph.com.sg


About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Newspapers and Magazines
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.9 million individuals or 81 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 150 million pageviews with 9 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include a revolutionary mobile advertising and information service, ZapCode; online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; local search and directory engine rednano.sg; and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.

Broadcasting
SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 FM in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 FM in English.

Outdoor Advertising
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

Properties
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.

Visit www.sph.com.sg for more information.


About The Straits Times RazorTV

Singapore Press Holdings´ (SPH) interactive and free Webcast service will be launched on August 8, 2008. The Straits Times RazorTV offers news, sports, entertainment and lifestyle features on both live chat shows and video on demand clips for netizens who want to control what they want to watch and when.

High on local content and interactivity, the cyber channel will be young, hip and will use a more informal style that is in tune with the internet. Targeting those aged 18 to 40, users can contribute content and interact with hosts and presenters in real-time.

Programmes are webcast from a studio in SPH’s Multimedia Centre. The Straits Times RazorTV underscores SPH’s commitment to be a major industry player to offer new media services to both consumers and advertisers.