Media merger? or Media monopoly?

MediaCorp and SPH sign deal to merge mass-market TV and free newspaper
Channelnewsasia.com

alamakz! that’s got to be one of the lamest move pulled off by Singapore’s media company so far(note singular, not plural)…doesn’t this whole deal just smack of conspiracy??? come on! we had 1 free-to-air media broadcaster 4 years back. It then split into 2 because of “media liberalisation” and everybody swore upside down that the outlook was so positive that Singapore was big enough for 2 (or more) media players (there’s still cable TV Starhub).

4 years down the road, guess what? we’re going back to the same thing. Mediacorp has merged with SPH. in the simplest terms, Channels 5, 8, U and I are back under Mediacorp management. Channel I is even being reviewd now because it doesnt’ seem commercially viable (which is kinda true), although Chan U is being left as is…so far.

The free newspapers are also being affected. Streats will merge under Today, and be managed by Mediacorp. But oh come on, SPH! SPH is supposed to be the news publishing giant in Singapore, well monopoly actually, but still, it’s rather embarrasing, isn’t it?

Staff will also be cut, at least 400 from SPH/Mediaworks side (per CNA news), although some sort of staff rationalisation excercise will be carried out.

The best quote has to be this: “Alan Chan, the chief executive of SPH, said the merger will bring rationality back into the TV and free newspaper markets and should ultimately lead both businesses to flourish.

ermm, what rationality? That Singapore media can only work under a monopoly. say so la. It’s like Mediacorp is Mama, and SPH/Mediaworks is the kid who tried to go out and test out his wings for a few years (aka test market). If it doesn’t work out, he can always go back under Mama’s wings for shelter (aka ok we tested, Singapore’s not big enough, let’s stick with the monopoly, we work best that way anyway.

conspiracy!!! they probably had the whole thing worked out from the start! puh-leeeze…

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