Singapore – StarHub TV has finally entered negotiations for broadcast rights to Barclays Premier League. This comes five months after SingTel’s mio TV secured the rights on a non-exclusive basis in October 2012, which industry observers TV ASIA Plus spoke to believe might be “exclusive in disguise”.
Below is a statement from Ms Jeannie Ong, Head, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, StarHub:
“We are finally able to open negotiations with the Premier League (PL) this week, five months after the BPL non-exclusive broadcast rights for Singapore were first announced by another pay-TV operator. We are seeking clarification from PL on the rights available for us to acquire.
StarHub has fully complied with the cross-carriage regime, and is the only operator in Singapore to have had its content cross-carried, as seen in the case of UEFA EURO 2012. For this widely anticipated sporting event last June, we could have signed a “non-exclusive” contract with a prohibitively high rebate and an “exclusive negotiating period”, to block access to the content. Instead we chose to comply with the cross carriage regime and made the content available to all Singapore viewers. We played fairly. All we are asking for is fair play. After all, football is all about competition and fair play.
As sports content is particularly time-sensitive, it is critically important that the broadcast rights to key sports content is either truly non-exclusive or is subject to cross-carriage. It is in Singapore viewers’ interest that the referee (the regulator) for this match (BPL) ensures fair play in Singapore.
Hence, our message to our competitor and the regulator is: ‘Don’t rob Singapore viewers of a fair play!’”