For the first time in its history, Singapore has begun live-streaming its Parliamentary proceedings. The public can watch the proceedings live via the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI)’s YouTube channel in the original languages as well as a simultaneously streamed English interpretation.
TOC notes that there were, on average, close to 5,000 viewers on both live streams while the proceedings were happening for the first time on Monday (4 January).
Back in 2017, then-Minister of State for Communications and Information Chee Hong Tat said — in response to a question by Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament Pritam Singh — that the viewership of live Parliamentary broadcasts remained low, based on data collected.
“Even for a major speech like the Budget, the number of people who watched it live is less than 10 per cent of those who watched the parliamentary highlights on the news that evening. And less than 1 per cent of all viewers watched the Budget live using web-streaming,” he said.
This was the reason given at the time as to why the government was not live-streaming parliamentary proceedings. That is until now.
Based on the response on Monday with some 5,000 people tuning in and the roughly 20,000 views for the session on Tuesday, the average views of both videos now stand at a little over 68,000 combined — despite there being nothing major slated to take place — it appears that there is indeed an audience for live-streamed Parliamentary proceedings.
Therefore, what Mr Chee said in 2017 is quite untrue, or at least, not true anymore.
TOC notes that the lower number of viewers on the second day as compared to the first day is likely due to less awareness about Tuesday’s live-stream.
Over the weekend, there was plenty of news and talk about the fact that Singapore’s first parliamentary live stream would be on Monday. However, there wasn’t much talk about the live streams for the following day.
Another factor that may have explained why the live stream on Tuesday had a smaller number of viewers is that it commenced earlier than that of the previous day. It must be noted that Parliamentary proceedings typically commence during office hours and may largely take place within those hours in the afternoon.
Even so, there is no denying that there is in fact an audience for live-streamed Parliamentary proceedings in Singapore.