SingTel responded to StarHub statement on 2014 FIFA World Cup

I think I become a middleman for SingTel and StarHub. Anyway, in response to StarHub’s statement about the 2014 FIFA World Cup yesterday, SingTel has issued a short statement. Read on for the full content.


This is originally 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.”

And this is SingTel’s response today: –

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“As the Home of Football, SingTel wanted Singapore to have certainty with regard to the World Cup. A joint bid with StarHub was actually one of the first options we explored. However, we were not able to agree on a joint offer that would meet the content rights holder’s expectations.  With a very real threat of Singapore not having the World Cup, we had to proceed with the next option, which was to go on our own. The price eventually secured was reflective of global sports content costs – contrary to our competitor’s unsubstantiated comment, we did not overbid. We negotiated as low a price as we could achieve and have now delivered for the first time ever, a compelling option for fans allowing them to enjoy the thrill of the World Cup for free.”

What is your say?