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The Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA), was set up on 1 October 1994 as a statutory board under the former Ministry of Information and the Arts (MITA), currently named the Ministry of Information, Communications and The Arts (MICA) with the passing of the Singapore Broadcasting Authority Act of 1994. It played a central role in the regulation and promotion of the broadcast industry in Singapore.


The SBA was formed with the privatisation of Singapore's broadcasting industry to meet the challenges posed by foreign competition. The corporate mission of the SBA was to develop quality broadcasting and make Singapore a dynamic broadcasting hub, so as to help build a well informed, culturally rich, socially cohesive and economically vibrant society. Starting off with staffing of about 120 and a 10-member Board of Directors, its role was to develop a creative and responsible broadcasting authority in Singapore.

The SBA worked closely with the Economic Development Board, the National Computer Board and the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore to develop Singapore as a regional broadcasting hub. It encouraged foreign broadcasting and broadcast-related companies to set up their operations in Singapore. It also monitored developments in the broadcast industry to determine the pace at which the market could be further liberalised.


Among its tasks, the SBA licensed and regulated broadcast services, regulated use of receiving apparatus, ensured adherence of public service broadcasting obligations by broadcasting licensees, established guidelines for programming and collects license fees. It regulated not only traditional broadcast services, but also new forms such as the Internet, digital audio broadcasting and digital television. The SBA kept in touch with public opinion on TV and radio programmes by working together with various advisory committees and grassroots organisations, comprising members representing a cross-section of society. It was also the Singapore government's representative in international broadcasting matters.

On 1 January 2003, a new statutory board, the Media Development Authority (MDA), was formed by the merger of the SBA, the Films and Publications Department (FPD) and the Singapore Film Commission (SFC).

See also[]


  • Ang, P. H., & Yeo, T. M. (1998). Mass media laws and regulations in Singapore. Singapore: Asian Media Information & Communication Centre.

(Call no.: RSING 343.5957099 MAS)

  • Goonasekera, A., & Lee, C. W. (2001). Asian Communication Handbook 2001. Singapore: Asian Media Information & Communication Centre.

(Call no.: RSING q302.23095 AS)

  • Singapore (pp. 277-9). (1998). Singapore: Ministry of Information & The Arts.

(Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN)

  • Singapore Broadcasting Authority. (1996/1997). Annual Report. Singapore: Author.

(Call no.: RSING 384.5409595 SBAAR)

  • Broadcasting overhaul will give Govt wider powers. (1994, July 26). The Straits Times, Parliament, p. 20.
  • Media competition code to be out by June; It will be enforced by a new statutory board which will ensure fair competition, regulate and develop the industry. (2002, November 1). The Straits Times.
  • 10-member broadcasting authority board named. (1994, September 30). The Straits Times, Home, p. 28
  • Media Development Authority (MDA). (2004). About us. Retrieved January 1, 2005, from
  • SBC restructured into several govt-owned firms. (October 1, 1994). The Straits Times, p. 29.


This article was written by Bonny Tan and published in the National Library Board's Singapore Inforpedia[1].