Singapore – StarHub suffered its first decline in profits in 11 quarters, attributed to the S$246million (US$170million) which the triple-play provider reportedly paid for exclusive rights to English Premier League (EPL) soccer. This is around four times the price paid for exclusive Singapore rights for the previous three seasons, 2004-07. Third-quarter net profit fell by 0.2% to $81.3million (US$56.4million), despite an increase in subscription plan prices to offset the sum paid to beat out recent pay-TV rival SingTel for the lucrative EPL rights. Separately Deloitte has predicted that, in 2010 when the rights are next up for negotiation, the overseas rights could match, if not exceed, the cost of the domestic rights. The study shows the Premier League has overtaken Serie A and La Liga to become Europe’s richest league by up to 1 billion euros (US$1.46 billion). Deloitte analysts say this would be the first time overseas rights have overtaken domestic rights. Overseas rights have risen from 178 million pounds (US$375 million) for 2001-04; to 325 million pounds (US$684 million) for 2004-07; and 625 million pounds (US$1.3 billion) for 2007-2010. Given this growth rate, analysts say overseas rights could eventually fetch more than the 1.7 billion pounds (US$3.57 billion) currently being paid by Sky and Setanta in Britain. Reports say 55% of the money for overseas rights came from Asia. This explains a rise in early kick-off times in the UK, making matches are more accessible to Asian TV auds. It’s also been suggested some fixtures may be played in Asia.
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