Mediacorp Channel 5 (Chinese: 5頻道, Before 1 January 2005: 新加坡電視 (English: "Television Singapore") and 第5波道 (English: "Saluran 5" and "5th Frequency") is a 24-hour English general news and entertainment free-to-air terrestrial television channel in Singapore.
Programmes on Channel 5 normally include English dramas either made in-house or obtained from overseas, movies, sports, reality show, variety show, news, current affairs and game show programmes. Local editions of overseas programmes like Singapore Idol, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Deal or No Deal have also been produced.
Channel 5 was launched as its first pilot television service on 15 February 1963 as "Televisyen Singapura (Chinese: 新加坡電視)". The channel operated two hours of monochrome service as test transmissions. It officially inaugurated its regular television broadcast service on 2 April 1963 as "Saluran 5 Televisyen Singapura (Chinese: 新加坡電視第5波道)", although the station also aired Mandarin programmes at the time. Its sister station Saluran 8 Televisyen Singapura (Chinese: 新加坡電視第8波道) was launched on 23 November 1963 with a mix of Chinese and Tamil language programmes.
Following the separation from Malaysia, radio became Radio Singapore and television became Television Singapura. Operations were merged into Radio Television Singapore (RTS, Chinese: 新加坡廣播電視) and it was relocated from Singapore Television Centre to Caldecott Broadcast Centre on 27 August 1966.
Channel 5 began its first colour television signal on 1 May 1974, with one of the few colour programmes such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Adventures of Black Beauty and broadcast the first live colour telecast of the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final between West Germany and Netherlands via satellite television on 7 July 1974.
Channel 5 (along with Channel 8) broadcast its first ever Singapore National Day Parade in colour live on 9 August 1974 direct from the Padang grounds in both English and Malay.
Channel 5 started their full-time colour broadcasts (along with Channel 8) on 1 November 1977. RTS officially became the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC, Chinese: 新加坡廣播局) on 1 February 1980.
Channel 5 along with Channel 8 and Channel 12 officially began broadcasting in stereo on 1 August 1990, in conjunction with Singapore's 25th National Day.
The channel officially revamped the channel's logo for a new look while Malay programmes were transferred to Channel 12 (now Suria), which went on to become a full-fledged English channel on 1 January 1994 at 00:00 SST. This was also the same year that the channel aired the first ever locally-produced English language drama. Channel 5 eventually began broadcasting breakfast programmes on a weekday basis. "AM Singapore" premiered on 29 August 1994 at 06:00 SST.
Channel 5 officially began broadcasting 24-hours a day on 29 September 1995 while Channel 8 began broadcasting 24 hours a day permanently on 1 September 1995 (which is 4 weeks earlier).
Channel 5 was re-structured again on 12 February 2001 as TCS became the Media Corporation of Singapore, or Mediacorp for short. (Chinese: 新傳媒電視). TCS, RCS and STV12 were incorporated into the company as subsidiaries MediaCorp TV (Chinese: 新傳媒電視), MediaCorp Radio (Chinese: 新傳媒廣播電台) and MediaCorp TV12 (Chinese: 新傳媒電視12) respectively.
Competition with SPH MediaWorks
In an effort to inject competition into the Singaporean television broadcasting industry, the government allowed Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to operate television stations, which resulted in the establishment of SPH MediaWorks (Chinese: 報業傳訊). It offered two television channels: SPH MediaWorks Channel U (Chinese: 報業傳訊优頻道) and SPH MediaWorks Channel i (Chinese: 報業傳訊愛頻道, it was formerly known as SPH MediaWorks TV Works (Chinese: 報業傳訊電視通)). It began recruiting artistes through its own talent search programme Route to Glamour and a number of former Television Corporation of Singapore artists also transferred over.
Mediacorp Channel 8 was formerly known as the "Eight Frequency" and SPH MediaWorks Channel U were both locked in a fierce ratings battle with each station releasing statistics indicating that they are prevailing over the other station. The ratings battle began to cool in New Year's Eve on 2004 when Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew commented that Singapore's size cannot sustain more than one television station for each language. This spurred the 2-sides into a merger negotiation, which was completed on New Year's Eve in 2004. The Fifth Frequency and Eighth Frequency were officially renamed "Mediacorp Channel 5" (Chinese: 新傳媒電視5频道) and "Mediacorp Channel 8" (Chinese: 新傳媒電視8频道) respectively.
Channel 5 is a 24-hour operating channel.
Each day at 05:58 SST, the Majulah Singapura (the National Anthem of the Republic of Singapore) is played on this channel.
In addition to foreign programmes, Channel 5 also produces some sitcoms, dramas and local adaptations of some overseas entertainment programmes like Growing Up. The first sitcom produced by Channel 5 was called Under One Roof, and aired between 1994 and 2003. Despite criticisms over its use of Singlish (a local English patois), it was well received by the Singapore audience, and became a finalist at the International Emmy Award. Under One Roof paved the way for future local comedy programmes like Mr. Kiasu, Police & Thief, Sayang Sayang, and Living with Lydia. However, Mr. Kiasu was abruptly cancelled in 2002 due to the overuse of Singlish.
One of the most notable local productions produced by the channel was Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd. It, like Under One Roof, suffered from criticisms, which some come from the Government of Singapore over its use of Singlish. However, Phua Chu Kang went on to enjoy almost the same level of popularity and acclaim.
Mediacorp Channel 5 HD (Chinese: 高清5頻道) is a simulcast and DVB-T2 version of Mediacorp Channel 5 in high-definition (HD). All of its programmes that were still made in standard-definition would be upscaled so that the output will be in high-definition. The channel was re-launched on 1 December 2013 after launch the Mediacorp HD5 of DVB-T version on 1 January 2007.
Mediacorp Channel 5 HD and Mediacorp HD5 was created specifically for major events such as the National Day Parade and matches from the Singapore national football team then (now shown on Okto through its "Sports on Okto" slot). The rest of the programming hours consists of mainly upconverted resolution simulcasts from the original Channel 5.
The channel's operating hours were extended to the maximum of 24 hours in the duration of the 2012 Summer Olympics to provide extra daily coverage of those events.
- List of programmes broadcast by Mediacorp Channel 5
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