A NEW subscription-based Internet TV service will offer at least 10 hours a day of educational and lifestyle programming when it goes live later this year.
VeeV TV will focus on knowledge, lifestyle and culture with such features as maths or Chinese lessons for preschoolers, diploma candidates and adults.
There will also be life-skills programmes teaching cooking and better financial discipline.
As with similar services, it will be accessible via a TV set linked to a set-top box or viewed on a computer with a broadband link.
The programming mix will set VeeV TV apart from existing Internet TV services such as SingTel's mio TV, M2B World's WowTV or MediaCorp's MobTV, which focus on entertainment content.
The service will be run by VeeV Interactive, a division of Sky Media, the company behind the popular SkyTutor range of educational CDs.
VeeV Interactive received a five-year licence to run a 'niche subscription TV' service from industry regulator Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) yesterday. The licence limits VeeV to a maximum of 100,000 subscribers.
When the service starts in the fourth quarter of this year, it will have at least 10 hours of programming a day, said VeeV Interactive's chief operating officer, Ms Lara Lai.
This will include content from its library.
Ms Lai said the company is now producing content specially for the service and acquiring broadcast rights to foreign-made programming.
She added that the service will also 'showcase local film, lifestyle, arts and culture content'.
Sky Media has invested more than $1 million in VeeV and has set aside a further $6 million over the next few years.
Pricing has not yet been finalised, but will start from $20 a month, said Ms Lai.
Engineer T. Lim, 47, who has two school-age children, said it will have to be 'under $20' for him to consider signing up.
And the content should also be 'linked to the Singapore syllabus, not stuff we can just go online and watch for free, or too similar to stuff StarHub already has'.
The MDA is in talks with a few other firms keen to get into the Internet TV field here.
This article was first published by The Straits Times on Mar 7, 2008.