February 14, 2003 – Soccer fans can track this season’s NTUC Income S-League and get tips, previews and analysis of upcoming matches in the first up-to-date weekly guides to be out next week.
This "all-you-need-to-know about S-League" guide will come as a pullout in every Thursday’s issue of The New Paper and Shin Min Daily News during the 2003 League run from February 20.
The two 12-page weeklies will be printed in full colour under an exclusive deal inked between Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Singapore Pools and the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
In addition, under the $2 million contract, SPH MediaWorks’ Channel i will also bring "live" coverage of 34 S-League matches every Saturday from March 1, including the league’s annual awards night and a delayed telecast of the Singapore Cup final. Channel i has won the broadcast rights for this event for the second year running.
Mr Lee Cheok Yew, SPH MediaWorks’ Chief Executive Officer said winning the "live" coverage rights again: "is an affirmation of Channel i’s ability to provide quality sports coverage and having the new deal extended to two years adds the icing to the cake."
Leveraging on the synergy between the print and broadcast mediums, veteran sports journalists from various SPH newspapers will also go "live" with analyses of the matches.
CEO, S-League, Mr Chan King Fook, said: "It’s really exciting that we at the S-League can journey together with SPH for this season. We are looking forward to adding value to SPH’s expertise in making a product that will be of a high international entertainment standard."
The weekly guides promise to be a hit not just with football fans, the Gen Y and young families but also with advertisers looking for a new avenue to reach out to a wider audience.
The New Paper, an afternoon tabloid with a strong football following, has a daily circulation of over 125,000 copies. Shin Min Daily News, which recently revamped its sports and entertainment sections to make them bolder and brighter, sells over 125,000 copies daily.
Mr Tham Khai Wor, SPH’s Executive Vice President of Marketing, said after a press conference held at the Fullerton Hotel earlier today to announce the weeklies: "With over 900,000 readers reading The New Paper and Shin Min Daily News, there is a rich advertising opportunity as the popularity of the newspapers speak for themselves.
"The weekly guides promise to whip up soccer interest among all fans and attracting new ones."
On the choice of The New Paper and Shin Min Daily News as carriers of the weeklies, Mr Tham said: "These two newspapers are both excellent platforms to carry the S-League weeklies. The readership of both newspapers are young at heart and enterprising. Many of them are interested in sports and adventure.
"S-League will benefit from the detailed coverage both newspapers offer."
Sports desk journalists from the two papers are expecting the weeklies to raise soccer fever in Singapore and are raring to share their insights into the S-League matches.
Said Mr Ivan Fernandez, Editor of The New Paper: "Apart from constructively commenting on soccer issues, we can provide a public space for fans of all stripes to get involved in the S-League. The S-League pullout will have a personality that is different from our usual sports pages. ’Excitement’ is the buzzword."
Added Mr Toh Lam Huat, Editor of Shin Min Daily News: "Our football coverage is highly regarded by Chinese readers. This gives us the headstart and cutting edge to produce the weekly guide to match the enthusiasm and expectations of our strong following – a definite advantage for the S-League and a win-win for all."
Readers of The New Paper and Shin Min Daily News can look out for the icons below for their copies of the S-League weeklies.
SPH MediaWorks artiste Evelyn Tan hosted the press conference, which was also attended by fellow artiste Ericia Lee.
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Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading news and information provider, offering quality content for print, Internet, TV and radio. It is licensed to publish 15 newspapers in the four official languages and six lifestyle periodicals. Everyday, 2.78 million individuals, or 90 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of 15 newspapers published by SPH while online publication of its six main dailies enjoy some 120 million page views a month. SPH has ventured into the broadcast medium and operates two popular free-to-air TV channels, Channel U in Chinese and Channel i in English.