SingTel scores 2009-2012 UEFA Champions League and Cup rights
Singapore – The latest salvo fired in the pay TV battle in Singapore saw Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) take exclusive media rights including mobile, Internet and pay TV rights to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup European football competitions from 2009-2012. Both competitions have been broadcast on ESPN and STAR Sports channels packaged by ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), carried on StarHub Digital Cable. SingTel is planning to stream UEFA Champions League and Cup games live and on-demand on its IPTV service mio TV, through the Internet via its IDEAS portal (www.ideas.singtel.com), and will offer clips on its mobile service. SingTel expects the on-demand feature it will offer to be popular as Singapore viewers currently have to stay up till early morning to watch UEFA Champions League and Cup matches played in Europe due to the time difference. Allen Lew, SingTel’s CEO Singapore said, “Based on our research, sport is a key genre that drives pay TV take-up, and European soccer is a significant driver for people who subscribe to sport content. The UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup are premier European club competitions. And because they feature the top soccer clubs from the UK, Italy and other major European nations, this content is highly popular among the locals and expatriates alike.” SingTel had previously bid and lost to StarHub, the three-year broadcast rights to the Barclays Premier League football which commenced this season, prior to the July 2007 rollout of mio TV. Following SingTel’s announcement on March 20, 2008, StarHub issued a statement to the media on the same day to clarify it did not bid for the UEFA Champions League and Cup broadcast rights which had become bundled from 2009. It stated ESS will still broadcast football games from the FA Cup, England international home matches, and the Asian Football Confederation Package which includes AFF Championships, Asian World Cup Qualifiers and Asian Champions League. StarHub also iterated that ESPN and STAR Sports channels will continue to air UEFA Champions League and Cup games till May 2009. In addition, StarHub holds broadcast rights to the European Football Championships EURO 2008 held from June 7-29, 2008, co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland.
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