SINGAPORE: The Media Development Authority (MDA) takes a holistic view of the effectiveness of Public Service Broadcast (PSB) programmes when measuring their performance.
Apart from looking at the viewership figures, MDA also takes into account the level of public satisfaction with PSB programmes and qualitative feedback from community and industry stakeholders.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts said this in a written answer to parliamentary questions from NMP Janice Koh.
Dr Yaacob said the information on performance gathered is then used during regular engagements between MDA and MediaCorp to discuss improvements that could be made to PSB programming and delivery.
Dr Yaacob said MDA tracks PSB viewership by the seven Free-To-Air TV channels.
Dr Yaacob gave details of viewership for English-language channels.
About 60 per cent (or about 2.9 million) viewers aged four and above for Channel 5; about 60 per cent of PMEBs (or about 110,000) viewers for Channel NewsAsia Singapore; about 70 per cent (or about 340,000) of viewers aged four to 12 for okto's children's programme belt; about 600,000 (or 15 per cent) of viewers aged 15 and above for okto's arts and culture programme belt.
On Vasantham, local PSB programmes were watched by about 80 per cent (or about 370,000) of Indian viewers aged four and above.
As for Suria, it had about 90 per cent (or about 560,000) of Malay viewers aged four and above.
As for Channel 8, local PSB programmes were viewed by about 70 per cent (or about 3.3 million) of viewers aged four and above.
Channel U had about 55 per cent (or about 2.3 million) of viewers aged 15 and above.
While the viewership information shows a reasonable level of performance, Dr Yaacob said the quality of PSB programmes must continue to be enhanced to meet the public's expectations.
He said there is a need to exploit the full potential of reaching audiences through multi-screen programme offerings and via internet platforms.
These were some of the recommendations recently put forth by the PSB Review Panel.
About 40 per cent of local PSB programme hours and funding for such programmes were allocated for outsourcing by MediaCorp to independent production companies in each of the two years of 2010 and 2011.
60 per cent of PSB-funded local programme hours comprise news and information programmes which includes current affairs, documentaries and info-education programmes.
Dr Yaacob said this reflects the emphasis placed on PSB in serving the Singapore public's information and eudcational needs through a variety of PSB programmes.
The remaining 40 per cent of local PSB programme hours cover a range of genres to serve the diverse viewing needs of the Singapore public.
These include children's, arts and cultural, and sports programming, dramas and programmes for the elderly.