SingTel out package for 2014 FIFA World Cup, StarHub and MDA commented

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.

Note that the graphic is NOT official from SingTel. The SingTel logo is shown to depict that they own the rights to air the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Singapore.


From StarHub

“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.

You can check out more information from MDA here

And here is the official News Release from SingTel

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News Release

Luckily, I am not a soccer fan.