Singapore, 30 June 2004 - From 1 July 2004, StarHub CableTV customers will have more viewing choices when the local pay-TV operator airs programmes classified "16" and "18" on selected channels.
"16" programmes are suitable only for viewers aged 16 and above. Programmes designated ''18'' cater to those 18 and above, and such programmes will only be broadcast after 10.00pm. With the introduction of classification, programmes with more mature content and themes can be broadcast.
These changes follow a revision of the Subscription TV Programme Code by the Media Development Authority (MDA) to extend the classification system to cable TV programmes. Currently, programmes on StarHub CableTV are classified up to PG standards.
To inform cable TV viewers about these changes, programmes classified "16" and "18" will have these ratings listed in TV programme schedules as well as in StarHub's monthly guide, Telescope. The magazine will also carry consumer advice for "16" and "18"-rated programmes.
To further help parents looking to guide their children's viewing habits, the MDA will work with StarHub to advise parents how they can use the locking mechanism that is available as part of StarHub CableTV’s services, to restrict access to selected channels.
Subscription TV programme classification is a recommendation of the Censorship Review Committee 2003 and is intended to provide wider programme choices to subscribers of pay television, taking into account the fact that it is a medium of choice.
In revising the Subscription TV Programme Code, the MDA held discussions with the industry, the Programmes Advisory Committee and the public to discuss the guidelines, introduction of a watershed time of 10.00pm for "18" programmes, as well as the publicising of the ratings and consumer advice.
Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer of the MDA, said classification was a step in the right direction. "Viewers can now enjoy more choices because these new ratings will allow for a greater range of programmes to be screened. At the same time, there are measures in place to protect young viewers and these will ensure that people are able to take greater responsibilities for their viewing choices. "
The new classifications will apply to selected channels outside of StarHub CableTV’s Basic Groups and Basic Plus Groups. Hence, viewers can look forward to a wider range of programming on channels such as HBO, Cinemax, Star Movies and Celestial Movies.
"StarHub welcomes the new "16" and "18" classifications which will further set apart content on cable TV from content over the free-to-air channels," said Ms Sandie Lee, StarHub’s Senior Vice President, Cable TV Services. "This is certainly great news for viewers as well, as we have received feedback from cable TV customers who wish to view selected programmes such as the much-talked-about HBO series, Sex and the City. We will continue to work closely with our channel partners to provide the best programming for our customers."
HBO, the popular cable movie channel known for premiering blockbuster movies and award-winning HBO original productions in Asia will be bringing Sex and the City, an HBO Original Series to Singapore cable viewers, from 16 July 2004 at 10.00pm.
"HBO welcomes the new programme classification as this initiative gives us the opportunity to provide cable TV viewers with a broader range of programmes. We are very excited to bring one of HBO’s most talked-about original series to Singapore. HBO has set the gold standard for producing groundbreaking television around the world and Sex and the City is definitely one of our most successful properties. We look forward to the series premiering in Singapore," says Mr. Jim Marturano, Executive Vice-President, HBO Asia.
The MDA will make available the programme codes for Free-to-Air Television and Radio and Cable Television on its website on 1 July 2004. This is to encourage individual and industry responsibility through a better understanding of the programme guidelines.
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