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Channel U
CountrySingapore
Broadcast areaSingapore
Malaysia (Johor, Sarawak)
Indonesia (Riau Islands)
NetworkSPH MediaWorks (6 May 2001–31 December 2004)
Mediacorp (1 January 2005–present)
HeadquartersMediacorp Campus, 1 Stars Avenue, Singapore 138507
Programming
Language(s)Chinese dialects (e.g. Mandarin)
Korean
Thai
English (subtitles)
Picture format1080i 16:9 HDTV
Ownership
OwnerMediacorp Pte Ltd
Sister channels
History
Launched6 May 2001; 22 years ago (2001-05-06)
Links
WebsiteOfficial Site
Availability
Terrestrial
Digital terrestrial televisionUHF CH 33 570MHz DVB-T2 Channel 7 (HD)
myFreeview (Malaysia)UHF CH 33 570MHz DVB-T2 Channel 7 (HD) (Johor only)
Streaming media
meWATCHAvailable on meWATCH website or mobile app (Singapore only)

Channel U (marketed as U頻道, formerly named 优频道) is a Singaporean Mandarin-language free-to-air terrestrial television youth teenager channel owned by Mediacorp. It was launched on 6 May 2001 by SPH MediaWorks which ran as Mediacorp's rival at the time. On New Year's Day (1 January) 2005 at stroke of midnight SST, the channel was officially transferred to Mediacorp as national public broadcasting after SPH MediaWorks merged its television assets with the company.[1]

History

At the trade launch of SPH MediaWorks on 1 November 2000, SPH revealed the names and logos of its two channels, with the Chinese channel being named Channel U.[2] MediaWorks was on track to launch the channel and its English counterpart by June 2001.[3]

The channel started broadcasting on 6 May 2001 with a $3 million launch party,[4] but despite the blaze of publicity the channel received in the two weeks between gaining its licence and starting broadcasts, as well as the launch broadcast that followed, the ratings quickly fell behind expectations, falling from 12% on launch night to 4.7% on its second night; whereas the main news on Channel 8 scored 16.3% and its equivalent on Channel U, 3.9%. Channel 8's vice president Khiew Voon Khang said that the ratings slide looked "like a street bump than Mount Everest".[5]

Facing the possibility of low ratings, Channel U moved the news from 9:30pm to 10pm, competing against Channel 8's bulletin, and put the 8:30pm drama half an hour later.[6]

From June 2001, the channel's daily lineup extended from the initial 10 hours to 14.[7]

In October, the channel surpassed Channel 8 in primetime ratings (7-11pm) for the first time (19%), whereas in all-day ratings it became the second most-watched channel in Singapore, behind Channel 8.[8][9] The December revamp of Channel U's news bulletins increased its viewership base further.[10]

Programming

The channel's programming consists of Chinese-language youth teenager music and entertainment produced locally and imported from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand as well as Korean language series provided by KBS, MBC and SBS (available in dual sound and subtitles). Channel U's programming is available subtitled in local languages on optional subtitle tracks and dual-language option (Mandarin and Korean/Thai) is available for Korean language and Thai language programs provided by One 31, Channel 3 Thailand (available in dual sound and subtitles) and GMM 25 available in subtitles).

See also

References

  1. ^ "Singapore's first television station | Infopedia". eresources.nlb.gov.sg.
  2. ^ "Coming your way: Channel U and TV Works". Streats (retrieved from NLB). 2 November 2000. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Television channels on track for launch by June". The Business Times (retrieved from NLB). 7 October 2000. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  4. ^ "Channel U gets off to a spectacular start". The Business Times (retrieved from NLB). 7 May 2001. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  5. ^ "The big U-turn". Today (retrieved from NLB). 9 May 2001. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  6. ^ "Schedule changes due to lower ratings". Today (retrieved from NLB). 9 May 2001. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  7. ^ "Next stop: 14-hour programming". Streats (retrieved from NLB). 29 May 2001. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  8. ^ "Channel U now second in TV viewership: ACNielsen". The Business Times (retrieved from NLB). 3 October 2001. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  9. ^ "Channel U leads prime-time". The Straits Times (retrieved from NLB). 3 October 2001. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  10. ^ "More tune in to Channel U's news". Streats (retrieved from NLB). 5 December 2001. Retrieved 14 September 2023.