Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA)



The Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA) was set up on 1 October 1994 with the passing of the Singapore Broadcasting Authority Act 1994 (now known as Broadcasting Act). Established as a statutory board under the former Ministry of Information and the Arts (currently Ministry of Communications and Information), SBA played a central role in the regulation and promotion of Singapore’s broadcasting industry.1

Establishment and key roles
With the privatisation of Singapore’s broadcasting industry, SBA was formed to meet the challenges posed by foreign competition.2 Its mission was to develop quality programmes and shape Singapore into a dynamic broadcasting hub, so as to help build a well-informed, culturally rich, socially cohesive and economically vibrant society.3

Starting off with a 10-member board of directors, SBA’s role was to develop a creative and responsible broadcasting industry in Singapore. Through cooperation  with the Economic Development Board, National Computer Board and Telecommunication Authority of Singapore, it aimed to develop Singapore as a regional broadcasting hub.4 Besides encouraging foreign programming and broadcast-related companies to set up their operations in Singapore, SBA also monitored developments in the industry to determine the pace at which the market could be further liberalised.5

Amongst its tasks, SBA licensed and regulated broadcast services, ensured adherence of public service broadcasting obligations by broadcasting licensees, and established guidelines for programming. It was also responsible for regulating the use of receiving apparatus and collection of license fees.6 It controlled not only traditional broadcast services, but also new media forms such as the Internet, digital audio broadcasting and digital television.7


SBA kept in touch with public opinion on television and radio programmes by working with advisory committees and grassroots organisations which comprised members representing a cross-section of society.8 It was also the Singapore government’s representative in international broadcasting matters.9

Merger
On 1 January 2003, a new statutory board, the Media Development Authority, was formed with the merger of SBA, the Films and Publications Department and the Singapore Film Commission.10



Author

Bonny Tan



References
1. 10-member broadcasting authority board named. (1994, September 30). The Straits Times, p. 28; Milestones in Singapore’s media history. (2008, September 8). The Straits Times, p. 48. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore. The statutes of the Republic of Singapore. (2012 Rev. ed.). Broadcasting Act (Cap. 28). Retrieved from the Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A8de03c75-e8cc-40b0-9629-c8a3343d7146;rec=0;resUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatutes.agc.gov.sg%2Faol%2Fbrowse%2FtitleResults.w3p%3Bletter%3DB%3BpNum%3D1%3Btype%3DactsForce
2. A new era dawns in Singapore broadcasting. (1994, October 1). The Business Times, p. 22; George, C. (1994, October 1). SBC restructured into several govt-owned firms. The Straits Times, p. 29. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Singapore Broadcasting Authority. (1996). Annual report. Singapore: Author, p. 3. (Call no.: RCLOS 384.54095957 SBAAR -[AR])
4. 10-member broadcasting authority board named. (1994, September 30). The Straits Times, p. 28. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore Broadcasting Authority. (1996). Annual report. Singapore: Author, p. 14. (Call no.: RCLOS 384.54095957 SBAAR-[AR])
5. Singapore Broadcasting Authority. (1996). Annual report. Singapore: Author, pp. 4–5. (Call no.: RCLOS 384.54095957 SBAAR-[AR]); Singapore Broadcasting Authority. (1997). Annual report. Singapore: Author, p. 2. (Call no.: RCLOS 384.54095957 SBAAR-[AR])
6. Ministry of Information and the Arts. (1998). Singapore. Singapore: Author, p. 277. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
7. Singapore Broadcasting Authority. (1997). Annual report. Singapore: Author, pp. 2–3. (Call no.: RCLOS 384.54095957 SBAAR-[AR]); Singapore Broadcasting Authority. (1996). Annual report. Singapore: Author, p. 14 (Call no.: RCLOS 384.54095957 SBAAR-[AR])
8. Singapore Broadcasting Authority. (1997). Annual report. Singapore: Author, p. 22. (Call no.: RCLOS 384.54095957 SBAAR-[AR]); Singapore Broadcasting Authority. (1996). Annual report. Singapore: Author, p. 18. (Call no.: RCLOS 384.54095957 SBAAR-[AR])
9. Republic of Singapore. Government gazette. Acts supplement. (1994, September 23). The Singapore Broadcasting Authority Act (Act 15 of 1994). Singapore: [s.n.], p. 67. (Call no.: RSING 348.5957 SGGAS)
10. Menon, A., et al. (2002, November 1). Media competition code to be out by June. The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2003). Singapore. Singapore: Author, p. 267. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])



Further resources
Ang, P. H., & Yeo, T. M. (c1998). Mass media laws and regulations in Singapore. Singapore: Asian Media Information and Communication Centre.
(Call no.: RSING 343.5957099 MAS)

Goonasekera, A., & Lee, C. W. (Eds.). (2001). Asian communication handbook 2001. Singapore: Asian Media Information & Communication Centre.
(Call no.: RSING q302.23095 ASI)

Broadcasting overhaul will give govt wider powers. (1994, July 26). The Straits Times, p. 20. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Subject
Broadcasting--Singapore
Business, finance and industry>>Industry>>Communication and media
Law and government>>Regulatory role>>Infocomm regulation
Politics and Government