U.S. studios tap SingTel's IPTV for landmark deal

Disney, Warners, Fox to air 50 series on Mio TV

SINGAPORE -- Disney-ABC, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox will air more than 50 series on Singapore's Mio TV IPTV platform in a first-of-its-kind syndication deal with the country's dominant telecom, SingTel.

The exclusive deal with the one-year-old platform will see series air as early as 24 hours after their U.S. broadcast, SingTel CEO Singapore Allen Lew said Wednesday at a Singapore press conference.

The day-and-date IPTV on-demand window marks Disney's first in Asia and the largest package ever signed with a single operator outside the U.S. and Canada, Disney-ABC International Television (Asia Pacific) senior vp and managing director Rob Gilby said.

Financial terms of the licensing agreements were not disclosed.

Series available in September as part of Mio TV's subscription Season Pass package include "Grey's Anatomy," "Brothers & Sisters," "Without a Trace," "Lost," "Ugly Betty," "Dirty Sexy Money," "Prison Break," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," "Gossip Girl" and "24."

The exclusive on-demand window will last five to six months. Singapore's monopoly free-TV broadcaster, MediaCorp, typically airs primetime U.S. series six to nine months after they debut in the U.S.

Subscribers will be able to view all episodes for the length of the season and for about a month afterward, SingTel IPTV and content director Low Ka Ho said. No recording features will be offered.

Pricing has not been disclosed, though insiders indicate subscription charges will be lower than Apple's iTunes Music Store, which normally prices episodes of television series at $1.99 each.

A three-month on-demand package launched Wednesday with previous seasons of 10 U.S. series "to allow viewers to catch up," Lew said.