Channel 5 (Singapore)

Channel 5 is a free-to-air, English-language television channel in Singapore. Owned by state broadcaster Mediacorp, it broadcasts general entertainment, news, and sports programming.

Channel 5
Mediacorp Channel 5.jpg
Broadcast areaSingapore
HeadquartersMediacorp Campus, 1 Stars Avenue, Singapore 138507
Picture format1080i HDTV
Sister channelsChannel 8
Channel U
Launched2 April 1963; 58 years ago (1963-04-02)
WebsiteMediacorp Channel 5
Digital terrestrial televisionChannel 29 (HD)
myFreeviewChannel 1 (HD) (Johor Only)
StarHub TVChannel 102 (HD)
Singtel TVChannel 2 (HD)


At 6pm on 15 February 1963, Channel 5 was launched as its first pilot television service as "Televisyen Singapura". The channel operated 1-hour and 40-minutes monochrome service on black and white during its daily test transmissions from 6.00pm to 7.40pm. After the image of the state flag and the playing of the national anthem, Majulah Singapura, Minister for Culture, S. Rajaratnam, became the first person to appear on Singapore TV, announcing that "Tonight might well mark the start of a social and cultural revolution in our lives." Following his speech, the first television programme in Singapore was a 15-minute documentary produced by Television Singapura called TV Looks at Singapore. It was followed by two cartoons, a news report and newsreel, a comedy show and a local variety show. At the time, it was estimated that only one in 58 persons in Singapore owned a TV set, and the pilot service offered only 1-hour and 40-minutes of broadcasting per day on Channel 5.[1]

At 7.15pm on 2 April that year, President Yusof Ishak officially inaugurated the regular television service as "Television Singapura Channel 5" with 4-hour daily broadcasts from 7.15pm until 11.15pm before gradually brought forward to 6.30pm in September that year, showing programmes in Singapore's four official languages.[2]

Channel 5 and Channel 8 became regional stations of Televisyen Malaysia when Singapore was part of Malaysia between September 1963 and August 1965.

Channel 5 began its colour broadcasts on 7 July 1974, with the first colour programme being a live telecast of that year's FIFA World Cup final between West Germany and Netherlands, narrated by Brian Richmond, relayed via satellite transmission.[3] About 2,000 colour television sets were sold in Singapore three days before the match.

Singapore's 9th national day parade the following month, held at the Padang, was also broadcast in colour for the first time in all four languages.[4]


Radio Television Singapore (RTS) was restructured as the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) in February 1980. Throughout the 1980s, SBC 5 broadcast English and Malay programmes.

SBC 5 was revamped as a full-fledged English-language channel in January 1994, unveiling the present-day logo and moving Malay programmes to SBC 12. The 1994 revamp also introduced News 5 Tonight, shown nightly ever since.[5]

In October that year, SBC was privatised into Singapore International Media with three subsidiaries: Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS), Radio Corporation of Singapore (RCS) and Television Twelve (TV12).[6] TCS took over operations of Channel 5 and 8.

On 29 September 1995, Channel 5 began 24-hour broadcasts.

On 1 November 2014, Channel 5 announced a planned expansion of local original programming, including more current affairs programming focusing on Singapore (including the weeknight talkshow The 5 Show), a "local serial drama", and a new talent search competition.[7]

On 1 May 2019, Channel 5 replaced its morning and afternoon schedule (which primarily featured simulcasts of Channel NewsAsia) with the children's programming block Okto on 5 (replacing the Okto channel, which was discontinued).[8]



  1. ^ Lim Ann Qi, Angela (14 February 1963). "PROGRAMME FOR TV PILOT SERVICE". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  2. ^ Lim Ann Qi, Angela (2 April 1963). "Television Singapura The Straits Times". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  3. ^ Lim Ann Qi, Angela (7 July 1974). "Singapore Colour Live Telecast on FIFA World Cup Via Satellite Transmission". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  4. ^ Lim Ann Qi, Angela (9 August 1974). "Singapore First Colour Television". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  5. ^ Channel 5 (First Full English Channel) first day schedule, 1 January 1994 at 7.30am on the New Straits Times
  6. ^ "Singapore's first television station". NLB. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Local Upsize on MediaCorp's new Channel 5". Television Asia Plus. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Mediacorp integrates English-language channels Channel 5 and okto". Channel NewsAsia. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.

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