SPH partners M2BAP to launch video news channel - Jan 18, 2007 (BT)

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The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

SPH partners M2BAP to launch video news channel

By Roland Lim
Jan 18, 2007
The Business Times

MEDIA giant Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has teamed up with broadband TV service provider M2B World Asia Pacific (M2BAP) to deliver an on demand video news channel available as part of M2BAP's broadband TV service, M2Btv. The SPH channel was unveiled yesterday.

Latest from SPH: The on-demand video news channel is available as part of M2BAP's broadband TV service, M2Btv

According to Paul Jansen, supervising editor of SPH's online news and lifestyle portal AsiaOne, SPH will provide up to 20 new video clips daily to M2BAP, of which about a quarter will be produced by SPH and the rest by its partner, The Associated Press. Some of the content will be exclusive to M2Btv, he added.

Colin Binny, chief executive of Amaru Inc - the major shareholder of M2BAP - said that under a revenue-sharing arrangement, SPH will receive a fixed sum and also get a cut of the revenue from the channel.

While M2BAP is SPH's first partner in this space, the pact is not exclusive and does not exclude SPH from distributing its content to other parties. The deal covers distribution of content via M2Btv in Singapore and does not include M2BAP's websites, which also provide on-demand video programming.

M2BAP currently has 5,000 local subscribers for its M2Btv broadband TV offering. For $29.90 a month, subscribers get a set top box which, via a broadband connection, offers them up to 60 channels on their TV.

Mr Binny said that by the end of this month, M2Btv will begin streaming some of its programmes in 'close to high-definition' quality for subscribers with broadband connections faster than three megabits per second (Mbps). Come March, it will launch its high-definition programmes.

To grow its M2Btv business, the company has tied up with electronics chain Harvey Norman to bundle a 12-month subscription with every TV purchased. Mr Binny hopes to grow the number of M2Btv subscribers here to some 10,000 by the middle of this year.

Earlier this week, M2BAP's owners announced a $165 million reverse takeover bid for troubled education services provider Auston International Group that is still pending regulatory approval.

» AsiaOne video feature: SPH Video news on-demand channel now showing on M2btv