Singapore will get two new commercial free-to-air radio stations, after the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) awarded the vacant radio frequencies on Monday (Mar 13).

The frequencies – FM89.3 and FM96.3 – were awarded to SPH Radio following an open tender exercise.

One frequency will be used for a new Chinese radio station that caters to those above the age of 50. The station aims to support active ageing by providing seniors with lifestyle information covering health, wellness and retirement planning, said IMDA in its news release.

The station will also feature Chinese pop and “xin yao” entertainment music from the 1980s and 1990s.

The second station is aimed at raising the financial literacy of listeners. The English-language station aims to educate PMEBs (professionals, managers, executives and businessmen), financial market participants as well as the general audience on money matters, said IMDA.

The new radio stations “will cater to new listener segments and increase the vibrancy of the local radio industry with their unique positioning and programming”, said Patrick Daniel, chairman of SPH Radio and deputy CEO of SPH in a media release.

SPH Radio currently operates three stations.

It said the two new stations will be launched in December.

The new stations will bring the total number of local FM stations to 20.

STRONG INDUSTRY INTEREST

IMDA said its open tender exercise was met with strong industry interest and drew nine proposals from five tenderers.

The proposals included a Tamil radio station by Rex Cinema, a Hindi station with Bollywood music by Asia Today, as well as three proposals by Mediacorp – a Chinese dialect station, a commercial easy-listening English station and a not-for-profit English station targeted at an audience above the age of 55.

Said a Mediacorp spokesperson: “The new stations will hopefully provide listeners with even greater variety.”

She added: “Mediacorp has the broadest range of radio platform offerings in Singapore. We are unique in catering to different audience segments and broadcasting in four languages.

“Mediacorp will continue to introduce new programmes and initiatives that engage listeners through the day, not just over the radio but on TV, print, online and at events.

“For example, Class 95’s ‘Back to Class’, where party-goers come dressed in their school uniforms, is drawing a great response from listeners. Gold 905’s ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Solid Gold’ parties are sell-out events every time. We recently expanded LOVE 97.2 FM’s morning show, the top radio programme in the morning, into a TV programme on Channel 8, which has been very well received. A recent series on Capital 958, ‘Where are the jobs?’, analysing the job market, has garnered high praise from listeners.”