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Singtel to launch rival to Netflix

SingtelSingtel is launching an online video platform to challenge the rise of Netflix in Asia.

Called HOOQ, the service will make popular TV shows and Hollywood films available in Singtel’s home market of Singapore as well as Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Thailand.

The new venture, which has been formed through a partnership with Sony Pictures and Warner Bros, is to be led by the former COO of Globe Telecom in the Philippines, Peter Bithos, and will sit alongside Singtel’s pay-TV offering SingTel TV, formerly Mio TV.

“We are starting this venture to change the way people across Asia view entertainment. Today, across developing markets, there is limited access to quality entertainment, streamed directly to the screen of one’s choice. It’s either illegal, high cost or difficult to get. We aim to fix that,” Bithos said in a media statement.

HOOQ is to launch in the first quarter of this year with a catalog of 10,000 movies.

In answer to Mumbrella’s question about whether content will be censored, a Singtel spokeswoman said: “We will comply with the censorship requirements of the markets where HOOQ will be launched in.”

Singtel, whose recent rebranding drew considerable attention for its grammatically erroneous slogan, earlier this week announced the launch of six new TV channels on Singtel TV.

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