By Rachel Chan
COME September, TV viewers can catch more than 50 prime-time American releases such as Lost, Grey's Anatomy, and Bones - as early as 24 hours after their premiere telecast in the United States.
SingTel announced yesterday a deal with Disney-ABC International Television, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros which will allow its Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) operator mio TV to screen the latest episodes of popular shows from all three studios.
Other than differing formats for its TV signal delivery, mio TV distinguishes itself from StarHub Cable TV by allowing users to choose their preferred programmes from month to month.
StarHub, on the other hand, provides multi-channel pay-TV service with more than 150 channels. Its head of cable TV services, Mr Patrick Lim, said: "StarHub will be launching our video-on-demand services very soon, which will also carry popular TV series with advanced windows."
mio TV tried to establish a niche in the Chinese programme market when it was launched last year, with same-day DVD release titles and same-day cinema release titles. It has 45,000 subscribers, compared to StarHub's 508,000.
Now, mio TV has set its eyes on the larger English programme market. It may also encourage people to stop downloading US shows illegally.
A national serviceman, who wants to be known only as Melvin, welcomes the service.
He said: "I normally leave my laptop on for the whole day to download the latest episodes of Ugly Betty. If mio TV can deliver the shows within 24 hours, I would consider subscribing."
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Catch latest shows on mio TV within 24 hours of their US premiere