Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
News
News Categories

StarHub launches new channels and bids farewell to Discovery Networks content (Updated)

By Vijay Anand - on 25 Aug 2018, 2:14pm

StarHub launches new channels and bids farewell to Discovery Networks content

Note 1: This article was first published on 25th June 2018 and is republished to update the launch dates of all the new channels. New in August:- CuriousityStream HD, Gusto TV HD and coming next week is Makeful HD.

Note 2: StarHub has furnished is with bill rebate updates to the affected users.

Note 3: On 28th August 2018, StarHub follows up with even more new channel offerings than the initial salvo published here.

CuriosityStream HD - one of the many new channels StarHub is bringing in to refresh their content mix.

Goodbye Discovery Networks

For over a month, it was evident that StarHub and Discovery Networks have been trying to reach an agreement to continue offering the popular education and entertainment channels to StarHub TV subscribers. In short, StarHub’s current agreement with Discovery Networks is up for renewal and the revised offer from Discovery Networks didn’t sit well with StarHub to continue offering this content to their subscribers. Meanwhile, Discovery was trying to put pressure on StarHub by running a #keepdiscovery campaign.

Instead, StarHub took this chance to refresh their content line-up and not be shackled by Discovery Networks’s strategy. The suite of channels (as seen in the image above) from Discovery Networks will be discontinued in two phases, on 30 June 2018 and 31 August 2018.


Hello new channels

Commencing from 3rd July, StarHub will be rolling out these new channels progressively in the coming months:-

New Channels Which TV pack does it belong to? Channel info

1. CuriosityStream HD

Education Basic Group

(Launching 13th August)

CuriosityStream HD boasts an expansive collection of award-winning original documentary features and series spanning science, space, technology, history, nature, health, civilization and more. Created by the founder of Discovery Channel, media visionary John Hendricks. StarHub TV is also the first in the world to offer CuriosityStream as a linear channel.

Highlight shows:- Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, Miniverse with Commander Chris Hadfield, and DIGITS with Dr. Derek Muller.

2. Travelxp HD

Lifestyle Basic Group

(Launching
3rd July)

Travelxp HD is the world’s leading travel channel dedicated to serving avid travellers across the globe. The channel will take intrepid travellers on an adventure to unchartered destinations while foodies can embark on a gastronomic journey in search of exquisite and unique dishes around the world. 

Highlight shows:- Backpack, Off the Grid, Xplore Austria, Thali – The Great Indian Meal, Kissed by the Sea, Quest, and Bliss.

3. Gusto TV HD

Lifestyle Basic Group

(Launching  20th August)

Gusto TV delivers a diverse mix of engaging and inspiring cooking and lifestyle programming that resonates globally.

Highlight shows:- Fish the Dish, Flour Power, and One World Kitchen.

4. Makeful HD

Lifestyle Basic Group

(Launching
31st August)

A lifestyle specialty channel by Blue Ant Media, celebrating the creativity that exists in every individual and in the world around us. Makeful’s programming combines celebrity-led home improvement programs, and Makeful Originals featuring design, décor, style, crafts, and DIY ideas.

Highlight shows:- Brojects series, Paul Lafrance series, and Makeful original series.

5. GEM HD

Chinese Entertainment Basic Group

(Launching
3rd July)

One-stop channel for all Japanese related programmes, ranging from dramas, variety shows to anime. It is also the only channel to catch express Japanese titles from Nippon TV. Japanese drama fans can look forward to the simulcast of prime-time dramas, and catch popular titles within a week of broadcast from Japan.

Highlight shows:- ZERO – The Bravest Money Game, SURVIVAL WEDDING, The Quest Season 9, and TOKUSON: Life Hacks!

6. FIGHT SPORTS HD

Sports Group

(Launching
3rd July)

FIGHT SPORTS HD is the 24/7 destination which covers all the latest combat sports around the world including MMA, Boxing, Kickboxing and many disciplines of Martial Arts. Besides their ongoing production of original series, some of the key live properties on the channel include HBO World Championship Boxing which features World Title Fights from the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO; and K-1 Kickboxing.

Highlight shows:- WCK Live - Buakaw Banchamek vs. Michael Krcmar, and BWF US Open World Martial Arts Championship.

7. COLORS Tamil HD

Thangam Migai Pack / Asian Add-On Channel

(Launching
3rd July)

COLORS Tamil HD is StarHub’s first fully High Definition Tamil channel. It is a 24-hour Tamil entertainment channel, tailored to capture the distinctive colors of Tamil Nadu with its variety of fiction, non-fiction, and reality shows.

Highlight shows:- Chakravarthy Ashokar, Vandhaal Sridevi, and Velunachi

We are continuously reviewing our channel line-up to ensure that our customers continue to get quality content at good value. The team has worked diligently to refresh our content offering with a strong mix of education, lifestyle, entertainment, sports and Asian content, to delight our customers - Ms. Lee Soo Hui, Head of Content Business Unit, StarHub.

To give StarHub TV customers the benefit to sample the new channel offerings without worry of charges, StarHub will open up the new channels for four weeks from the date of launch. All seven channels will be available at no additional cost to StarHub TV customers of the respective packs.

While the channels are being prepared for launch, all StarHub TV customers can also enjoy a free preview of over 30 channels from the News, Kids, Education, Entertainment and Lifestyle Basic Groups, from now to 15 July 2018.

We are disappointed that we were not able to reach an agreement with Discovery. Our firm belief is that quality content should come at a sensible price, without our customers having to bear an unsustainable increase in costs. We would like to thank our customers for their patience over the past few weeks. The team has worked tirelessly to secure seven brand new channels in a short span of time, and we sincerely hope that our customers will give these new channels a chance and discover their unique appeal. We are not stopping here and will share news of more new channels in the pipeline. By the end of this week, we will be progressively sending letters to customers subscribed to the Education and/or Lifestyle Basic Groups to update them with more information on the new channels - Ms. Lee added.

Discovery Networks isn't the only source of educational and lifestyle content from StarHub as they have an existing line-up of strong and comprehensive channels like BBC Earth, BBC Lifestyle, FYI, Love Nature, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild and Smithsonian Channel for their customers to enjoy.


 

What else is in the pipeline?

StarHub is also committed to acquiring more sports content for their in-house Hub Sports channels to enhance the sports line-up (in addition to the launch of FIGHT SPORTS HD). This month, rugby fans can catch rugby league properties such as the State of Origin series, and the National Rugby League live on Hub Sports 2 (HD). In September and October this year, cycling enthusiasts will also have reason to cheer as the UCI Europe Tour rolls into town. Races to be shown on the Hub Sports channels include the Brussels Cycling Classic, Milano-Torino and Gran Piemonte. To top it off, the prestigious Tour of Lombardy, the last of the five “Monuments” of the UCI World Tour will also be available.

StarHub has also assured us that what's announced today is just the confirmed list of channels and they are actively looking for more partnerships to introduce new channels, which they'll confirm at a later time.


Is it enough to convince existing subscribers? What options can they avail?

When StarHub announced a few weeks ago that Discovery Networks would cease to exist from their offerings, an avalanche of subscribers and supporters voiced their concerns on StarHub's Facebook post, over at Discovery, and within the HardwareZone community - here and here. With today's announcement of new/replacement channels, we hope it will ease up their subscribers' concerns.

As with any change, we're also equally certain that some subscribers may not find the replacement offerings acceptable and wish to know what is StarHub's stance against IMDA's rules. These rules may allow consumers to exit fixed-term contracts with pay-TV operators without early termination charges under certain scenarios such as removal of material channel(s) and removal of at least 20% of the total number of channels in the subscriber's pay-TV service at the point of subscription. According to a StarHub spokesperson we've contacted on this matter, this is what they have to say:-

We honor our regulatory obligations and will comply with them.  We are focused on our customers and share their disappointment that we are unable to continue carrying Discovery’s channels. We have therefore put in place a range of exciting new channels which will refresh our content line-up to meet our customers’ evolving entertainment needs. While we are preparing the channels for launch progressively from 3 July, we are also offering bill rebates to our customers as a token of our appreciation for their support and patience. Details of the rebates will be sent via letters to our customers. 

From the above quote, you can gather a few things:-

  • StarHub has a number of existing educational and lifestyle content that aren't part of the Discovery Network. That combined with the new channels should hopefully cover most of their customers' viewing needs.
     
  • Affected customers will be getting bill rebates as a token of appreciation.
     
  • If you still choose to exit your current StarHub TV subscription, and your subscription terms meet the clauses set by IMDA, StarHub will honor your request (on a case-by-case basis). Based on StarHub’s assessment, the number of customers who meet IMDA’s conditions would be very low.

     

What sort of rebates can affected users expect to receive?

We've reached out to StarHub on this much-asked question after we first published this story and on 3rd July, they've new inputs to furnish us. As a token of appreciation for their customers' support and patience, StarHub will be offering S$4 off their TV subscription for 3 months / 5 months*.

 *Applicable to customers whose active StarHub TV subscription on 31 May 2018 included the Education and/or Lifestyle Basic Groups. Depending on contract status:

  • In contract subscribers: $4 x 5 months (July – November 2018)
  • Out of contract subscribers: $4 x 3 months (July – September 2018)

Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.