PCCW (SEHK:0008) - SINGAPORE / HONG KONG, January 11, 2016 - PCCW Media, a key global player in the entertainment industry in Asia, announced today the launch of Viu, its over-the-top (OTT) multi-screen video service, in Singapore as a further step in its regional expansion. Meanwhile, Viu has clinched a landmark pan-regional deal with the top four Korean broadcasters - SBS, KBS, MBC and CJ E&M - giving Viu an exclusive window and rights to 95% of their latest telecast dramas, as well as variety shows in South Korea. This landmark agreement is the very first time the top four Korean broadcasters have ever signed a pan-regional agreement with an OTT service provider, offering their latest content with an exclusive head-start window. The agreements signify the support of the top content providers and recognize Viu as the preeminent multi-screen video entertainment hub for Asian content in the region.
Viu now offers Singapore fans a freemium service with multi-screen access to the widest range of the latest popular Korean dramas and variety shows, as well as other premium Asian content from the region. To provide a better experience for Singapore viewers, English and Chinese subtitles will be provided from as fast as 8 hours after their initial telecast in Korea for selected titles. Recognizing the content consumption behaviour of users, Viu also offers user-friendly functions such as download-to-stream capability and personalized multi-device synchronization for a seamless viewing experience. Launched in Hong Kong and now in Singapore, Viu will be progressively rolled out in Malaysia, Indonesia and India with an expanding premium Asian content catalogue of Korean, Japanese, Chinese titles and more to suit the different markets. Viu is an expanded service upon PCCW's investment last year into Vuclip, a mobile video entertaining platform with over 8 million subscribers in 10 markets.
Partnership with Top Four Korean Broadcasters
Ms. Janice Lee, Managing Director of PCCW Media, said, "Recent research we conducted on online viewing of drama across multiple Asian markets has shown Korean content to be amongst the most popular content category for Asian viewers. 53% to 80%* of viewers surveyed across Singapore, Malaysia and other markets like Jakarta, watch Korean drama on a regular basis. With smartphone penetration exceeding 80% in Singapore where 66%** of Singaporeans regularly download and/or stream video content, Viu fulfills their desire to catch the latest Korean content, as soon as 8 hours while offering them streaming or download options. With the support of key content providers and telecommunications companies, we aim to provide the best content delivered on quality networks as we roll out Viu in the region."
Under the agreements with the top four Korean broadcasters, viewers in Singapore will enjoy access to the most extensive primetime drama series and variety shows with an exclusive head-start window.
Viu offers an expanding catalogue of around 10,000 hours of premium Asian content comprising around 4,000 hours of the latest current Korean drama and variety shows telecast from SBS, KBS, MBC and CJ E&M. Top programmes available at launch include popular variety shows, Running Man and The Return of Superman - both crowd favourites with impressive followings in Singapore - as well as newly released dramas Remember, Moorim School, and soon-to-be released Descendants of the Sun staring Song Hye Kyo and Song Joong Ki, Happy Ending Once Again, and Signal. Avid fans of Korean pop music will also be able to watch their idols performing the latest hits on popular music shows, Music Bank and Inkigayo.
Commenting on the partnership with PCCW Media, Mr. Kim Yeong Seop, Vice President of SBS Drama Headquarters, added, "I am glad that SBS collaborated with PCCW Media to promote our exciting dramas and variety shows all over Asia on Viu's multi-platform video service. Viu has partnerships with major telcos across Asia, and we can leverage their telco network to distribute our quality content to viewers effectively."
Mr. Lee Ueng Gin, Executive Managing Director of KBS Television Division, extended his congratulations to PCCW Media on the launch of its Viu OTT service in Singapore, adding that, "PCCW Media is a trusted long term partner and we commend Viu, its OTT service, for its ability to deliver 8 hour localization of subtitles after Korean telecast. Fans of our drama and variety shows will no doubt find this appealing as opposed to having pirated, unstable streaming/download on illegal sites."
"Viu's aggressive marketing and vast subscriber base across Asia will help extend our reach to Korean content fans in the region. Viu's adaptive streaming will overcome any hurdle presented by limited broadband infrastructure and assure our fans of quality viewing and maximum enjoyment of our programs," said Mr. Jung Woo Oh, Executive Managing Director of Media Business, MBC.
Mr. D.J. Lee, President of Media Content Business, CJ E&M, said, "We are pleased to distribute our latest television programmes on PCCW Media's OTT platform to audiences beyond Korea. The Millennial Generation is a mass group of our audience and we are pleased to partner with Viu to reach out to them in a way tailored to their lifestyle of accessing entertainment on mobile devices."
Roll Out Freemium OTT Video Service with Leading Telecom Operators
As part of its regional expansion strategy, Viu has forged alliances with multiple leading telecommunications companies to extend its premium service to more users. Viu's premium service in Singapore will be launched in partnership with Singtel, the country's largest telecommunications company, details of which will be announced in due course.
"The Singapore launch follows closely after the launch of Viu in Hong Kong in late October, bearing testament to our strong relationship with key telecommunications network across Asia such as CSL in Hong Kong and Singtel here," said Ms. Lee.
Mr. Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO of Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, "Viu complements our suite of quality entertainment services across various devices. Korean dramas and variety shows have a huge appeal in Singapore. We look forward to launching Viu's premium service with PCCW Media to deliver the latest and best in Korean entertainment to our customers."
Over 500,000 Downloads in Hong Kong within 3 Months
Following its launch in Hong Kong in October 2015, the Viu app had more than 500,000 downloads by the end of 2015, ranking number one on the App Store and Google Play Store charts for free apps on Android phone, iPhone and iPad. PCCW Media aims to emulate this success with the regional rollout of Viu across Asia.
Viu app is available for download via App Store for iOS devices and Google Play Store for Android devices in Singapore and Hong Kong. Users can also go directly to www.viu.com to access engaging properly authorized content on the web.
* Acorn study commissioned by PCCW Media Group
** We are Social Digital and Mobile Report, Jan 2015
About PCCW Media
The media group of PCCW is a leading, fully integrated multimedia and entertainment group in Hong Kong.
The media group operates the leading pay-TV service in Hong Kong under the now TV brand delivering both self-produced and licensed content to its customers using advanced IPTV technology. now TV offers more than 190 linear channels of local, Asian and international programming. Its premium content can also be accessed on-demand and on the go via now Player app. It is also a leading producer of Chinese language news, financial news and sports programming in addition to Asian infotainment content which complements its wide portfolio of licensed movie and international television content.
The media group is also engaged in the provision of over-the-top (OTT) video service under the Viu brand in Hong Kong and other places in the region. In addition, MOOV is a hugely popular lossless music digital streaming service in Hong Kong.
Moreover, the media group operates one of Asia's leading directories businesses under the Yellow Pages brand.
About PCCW Limited
PCCW Limited ( SEHK: 0008) is a global company headquartered in Hong Kong which holds interests in telecommunications, media, IT solutions, property development and investment, and other businesses.
The Company holds a majority interest in the HKT Trust and HKT Limited, Hong Kong's premier telecommunications service provider and leading operator in fixed-line, broadband and mobile communication services. HKT meets the needs of the Hong Kong public and local and international businesses with a wide range of services including local telephony, local data and broadband, international telecommunications, mobile, and other telecommunications businesses such as customer premises equipment sale, outsourcing, consulting, and contact centers.
PCCW also owns a fully integrated multimedia and entertainment group in Hong Kong, PCCW Media. PCCW Media operates the largest local pay-TV operation, now TV, and is engaged in the provision of over-the-top (OTT) video service under the Viu brand in Hong Kong and other places in the region.
Also wholly-owned by the Group, PCCW Solutions is a leading information technology outsourcing and business process outsourcing provider in Hong Kong and mainland China.
In addition, PCCW holds a majority interest in Pacific Century Premium Developments Limited, and overseas investments including the wholly-owned UK Broadband Limited. To learn more about PCCW, please visit www.pccw.com.
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Issued by PCCW Limited