SingTel has gotten the exclusive rights of the airing of 2014 FIFA World Cup. Consumers who wanted to enjoy the matches will have to fork out 112.35 (incl GST) for a one time payment for the matches. This is much higher than 4 years ago. (Additional info: Customers who sign up for or extend their Gold Pack or mio Stadium+ contracts (on both pay TV platforms) for 24 months will enjoy the matches for free). Read on to hear what SingTel, StarHub and MDA have to say.
“We are concerned that customers will have to pay more for 2014 FIFA World Cup (World Cup) from $66 to $105 on a standalone basis. At a time of escalating sports content costs, we made a sincere offer to our competitor for a similar arrangement as the last World Cup. A joint bid would have spread the cost of the content and allowed both operators to offer the tournament at a more affordable price, benefitting all viewers in Singapore. Unfortunately, our competitor chose to acquire the rights exclusively. The higher price our competitor paid for the exclusive rights for this year’s World Cup (compared to 2010 World Cup) exacerbates this trend. Overbidding resulting in soaring content costs will have far-reaching implications in the future for viewers in Singapore.
In addition, our competitor’s World Cup offer sets a precedent for operators to acquire exclusive content at high prices to lock customers into extended contracts, which runs counter to the cross-carriage regime’s objectives.
StarHub will comply with MDA’s cross-carriage direction, and broadcast the 2014 World Cup on our platform. However, unlike the Barclays Premier League where we provided a rebate to our customers who chose to subscribe to the content cross-carried on our platform, we will not be able to provide a rebate for the World Cup. The rebate was intended to help our customers, but it has inadvertently encouraged our competitor to continue making higher exclusive bids, which in turn, further inflates the cost of sports content. We do not support overbidding of content prices by our competitor, as it will have long-term adverse implications for the industry and Singapore viewers.”
Obviously, StarHub is not very happy about it. Hear what the spokesperson from MDA has to say.
Under the cross-carriage measure, pay-TV retailers who have acquired any exclusive contenton or after 12 March 2010 must widen the distribution of such content by offering it to other subscribers through the set-top boxes of qualified pay-TV retailers.
Given that SingNet has acquired the broadcast rights for the World Cup 2014 on an exclusive basis, it will have to cross-carry the content on the StarHub platform. This means that, just like Barclays Premier League matches, consumers will have to contract with SingNet in order to be able to access World Cup 2014 matches, but will be able to watch the matches on the pay-TV platforms of both SingNet and StarHub. MDA has also required that the four key matches of the World Cup 2014 (opening, semi-finals, and finals) be made available on free-to-air television channels.
We understand that there is significant consumer interest in World Cup 2014, and we will work closely with both retailers in ensuring a smooth implementation of cross-carriage ahead of the kick-off on June 12.
And here is the official News Release from SingTel
SingTel brings 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil TM to Singapore
Free to all new and recontracting Gold Pack and mio Stadium+ customers
A World Cup for everyone with enhanced free-to-air coverage, selected matches free on mobile to all Singaporeans for first time
Singapore, 12 March, 2014 – Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) has inked a deal to bring the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM to all television and mobile screens in Singapore. This will allow the company to provide this exciting quadrennial event anytime, anywhere to all Singaporeans. Customers who sign up for or extend their Gold Pack or mio Stadium+ contracts (on both pay TV platforms) for 24 months will enjoy the matches for free.
To ensure that fans catch all of the action, mobile will be a key part of the new integrated World Cup experience. All 64 matches will be available ‘live’ and on-demand on tablets and smartphones through the award-winning app, mio TV GO. It will also feature multicamera views in a World Cup first for Singapore.
SingTel mio TV is finalising a deal to share the World Cup with everyone through free-to-air coverage for key matches. These matches will also be available for free on mobile devices for the first time.
Mr Allen Lew, Country Chief Officer, Singapore said, “The World Cup is the pinnacle of sports programming, and captures the hearts and minds of viewers across the globe.
With the tournament still three months away, we are delighted to be able to give Singapore the certainty of being able to watch every match. Our complete coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM will bring fans unparalleled on-demand and interactive access, and will showcase the future of television, tablets and smartphones.”
SingTel mio TV currently delivers unrivalled football coverage to Singapore fans, including major competitions such as the Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Serie A, FA Cup, Ligue 1 and the Capital One Cup.
Bringing the Best Value
“We believe in thanking our loyal football customers for their support. We are pleased to offer the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM at no additional charge when they sign up for or extend their mio Stadium+ or Gold Pack contracts with us,” said Mr Lew.
While the packages outlined offer football customers the best value, those who wish to enjoy the thrilling World Cup matches without committing to a contract can access all the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM matches on either pay TV platform at a one-time price of $105 (excluding GST)*.
All existing Gold pack, mio Stadium+ pack, and BPL customers will receive letters with more details about the World Cup offer by early April.
All other customers who sign up for Gold or mio Stadium+ Packs (on 24-month contracts) from a date that will be announced soon will automatically receive the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM channels for free.
These offers and prices are applicable to residential customers. Packages for business owners will be announced shortly.
For more information and expression of interest, visit miotv.com.sg/worldcup.
An enhanced World Cup experience with mio TV
SingTel mio TV’s 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM offering will deliver an unmatched experience, by marrying comprehensive coverage and a range of innovation to give fans truly unique perspectives on this much-anticipated tournament.
“We want to transform the viewing experience for this World Cup, and ensure that it is far superior to any other ‘live’ event,” said Mr Lew. “Technological enhancements have enabled us to equip fans with full on-the-go functionality. We will demonstrate an advanced personal and interactive viewing experience which integrates Singapore fan’s voices into the original productions, making them more relevant and personal.”
(Refer to Annex A for details on original programming and other World Cup-related features.)
SingTel mio TV shares the World Cup with Everyone
SingTel mio TV intends to share the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM with Singapore through enhanced free-to-air coverage and on mobile devices. The pay TV provider is also working with Community Clubs island-wide to explore screening selected matches, just as it did for the BPL season.
“As football fever heats up, we will ensure that the sizzling Brazilian spirit of this year’s World Cup is shared by everyone in Singapore,” concluded Mr Lew.
*$112.35 including GST
Original Programming for 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM
- SingTel mio TV counts down to the world’s biggest single sports event with a comprehensive preview of all eight groups. Fans get the inside track on all 32 teams, ahead of the big kick-off;
- For the first time, mio TV brings the Singapore viewer a full studio presentation around all 64 matches. Fans will be involved, their voices will be heard, their thoughts will be shared.
- With many matches being played in the wee hours of the morning, SingTel mio TV will present a comprehensive review of the previous day’s action the next morning, with the show being rebroadcast throughout the day. This will help fans get up to speed the moment they get out of bed – and not miss a single samba beat.
Content at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere on mio TV GO
- This award-winning mobile app gives fans added advantage as they will enjoy the convenience of watching the World Cup anytime and anywhere on their mobile devices. This will be especially useful given the time difference between Singapore and Brazil;
- Replay of key match moments: Singapore World Cup fans will never miss key moments, including yellow card or red card incidents and goals scored, as mio TV GO allows them to replay goal moments;
- Multi-camera views: For the first time in Singapore, fans will be able to view complete coverage of all World Cup ‘live’ matches from multiple angles at the same time. Multi-camera views will show all the real-time action involving the coaching staff, stadium spectators and intimate goal-mouth action;
- Comprehensive match statistics: Besides catching the action at their convenience on mio TV GO, fans can also access comprehensive match and player statistics as well as news and video highlights;
- Shoutcast: An online message board will allow viewers to broadcast their thoughts to other fans on mio TV GO, transforming the TV viewing experience beyond just watching the match ‘live’ to a social event with friends and fellow fans.
Luckily, I am not a soccer fan.