Sky Media launches first niche caster

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SINGAPORE -- Singapore-based education content developer Sky Media has received regulatory approval to launch the country's first niche TV interactive platform, the company said Thursday.

The company first introduced its VeeV (Virtual TV for Everyone) Interactive platform in September 2007, before receiving the final green light from Singapore's regulatory body, the Media Development Authority.

This is the country's first niche subscription TV license issued under the MDA's new two-tier framework, introduced in 2007.

The commercial IPTV service would focus on education, knowledge, lifestyle and culture programming, and include virtual reality applications, VeeV TV chief operating officer Lara Lai said in an interview.

The service will carry more than 20 hours of content per day for about S$20 ($15) per month.

VeeV TV will be delivered to television sets via set-top boxes along with personal computers, Lai said.

The five-year license allows VeeV to deliver services, including linear channels and on-demand content, over any delivery platform to up to 100,000 subscribers in Singapore.

Using Singapore as a research and development center, VeeV also plans to roll the service out across the region in the middle of 2009, Lai said.

The first Nationwide Subscription TV License was issued last year to SingTel subsidiary SingNet, which launched the mass market Mio TV IPTV platform in July.

The niche licenses have no foreign ownership restrictions, unlike mass market broadcast licenses in Singapore.
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