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SBD Global/April 30, 2013/Media

SingTel Reconsiders Broadcasting World Cup After 'Harrowing' Premier League Experience

SingTel said that it might not seek to be the first pay-TV company to secure the broadcasting rights for the World Cup after its “harrowing” experience with its EPL contract, according to David Bottomley of TODAY ONLINE. SingTel Digital Life CEO Allen Lew said, "I’ve got more important things to do in life than to make appeals and continually have discussions with regulators. The World Cup will happen, and if Singapore’s not part of it, good luck." Earlier this week, the Media Development Authority asked SingTel "to share the next three seasons of EPL matches with rival StarHub." This was after deciding that the contract which SingTel signed for rights to the matches “contained certain clauses which prevent or restrict or are likely to prevent or restrict the same content from being acquired or otherwise obtained for transmission on selected platforms in Singapore by other pay-TV retailers.” Lew: "This decision, and the way it was handled and communicated, certainly will make us much more cautious about being a first mover" (TODAY ONLINE, 4/27).

LOOKING OUT FOR THE FANS: TECH GOONDU's Alfred Siew opined some of the grumbling from SingTel in the past two days "has been rather astonishing." After being told to share its Premier League screenings with StarHub, it "threatened to raise prices for football fans next season." It took things further Friday, saying that "it might not be bidding for World Cup rights in 2014." To which football fans should say “thank you.” Let "someone else bid lower so viewers don’t have to pay so much" (TECH GOONDU, 4/27).
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