Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 6 No. 214


Singapore telecom StarHub has doubled its rebate to S$600 ($477) "in its latest bid to win back football fan subscribers, even as it prepares to make a loss through this move," according to Joyce Lim of the STRAITS TIMES. The rebate will be offered to all of the telecom's TV customers who choose to catch the EPL "cross-carried on its set-top box." It offers S$30 ($23.86) off every month for up to 20 months -- meaning those whose monthly bills are less than S$30 "will not have to pay StarHub a cent during this period." The separate payment of S$59.90 ($47.65) for EPL goes straight to SingTel, "since it holds the rights to the popular league on cable TV" in Singapore. On Tuesday, StarHub revealed that it has suffered a decline in pay-TV subscribers for 18 months "and it is counting on the next three seasons of the EPL to help bring them back" (STRAITS TIMES, 8/11). In Singapore, Loh Keng Fett wrote a cross-carriage rule that mandates a pay-TV provider to share exclusive content -- if there is a request from subscribers of a rival operator -- "was supposed to kick off a better cable-TV viewing experience for consumers." But recent events "have made football fans confused and upset." They "will now have to cough up a lot" to enjoy their EPL fix. This was after SingTel, which had acquired rights to EPL's '13-16 seasons, "was ordered to share its football booty with StarHub." The cross-carriage rule "aims to promote competition by not allowing pay-TV providers to compete for content via high bids and then provide it to their own subscribers exclusively." The rule also lets consumers use just one telecom set-top box "to access shared content." SingTel had tried to argue that its EPL deal was not exclusive, but the regulator did not "buy that argument." The telecom reacted to the order to share EPL by raising rates, "arguing that it could not subsidise its competitor's subscribers." But amid the "fancy brochures and touted savings" dangled by both telecoms in playing up their packages, the fact remains that the cost to watch EPL has ballooned -- compared to last season's basic S$34.90 ($27.76) deal (STRAITS TIMES, 8/11).

Motorsports governing body FIA's Formula E Championship has "agreed a deal with Fox Sports that will ensure coverage in over 80 countries next year," according to Jamie O'Leary of AUTOSPORT. The new series "for all-electric vehicles will be broadcast live exclusively" on the network in the U.S. and across a series of exclusive and non-exclusive platforms in other regions. No announcement has been made "on the broadcasting of the series in Britain" (AUTOSPORT, 8/9).

German public broadcaster ARD "has set a new ratings record for its broadcast of the season opening Bundesliga game between Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach," according to David Grzeschik of QUOTENMETER. A total of 7.39 million viewers tuned in to watch the match on Friday night. ARD's previous record for its Bundesliga opening game broadcast was 6.82 million viewers in '11. This year's number translated into a market share of 27.4%. In the target demographic 14-49, the game attracted 2.13 million viewers and had a 23.3% share. The game was watched by more than 8 million viewers if you add the viewing numbers of German pay-TV channel Sky, which also showed the game live (QUOTENMETER, 8/10).

50TH ANNIVERSARY: QUOTENMETER's Daniel Sallhoff reported German public broadcaster ZDF "has attracted high numbers for the anniversary show of 'das aktuelle sportstudio,'" which celebrated its 50th birthday. The show, which aired at 10pm on Saturday night, was watched by 2.75 million viewers. The number translated into a 15.7% market share. In the target demographic, the program obtained an 11.2% share. ARD's Bundesliga "Sportschau" program attracted 4.25 million viewers. The show, which started at 6:30pm, had a 26.7% market share and a 18.6% share in the target demographic. In addition, ARD attracted up to 1.48 million viewers for its broadcast of the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow. The number translated into a 15.6% share (QUOTENMETER, 8/11).

Sports broadcaster Clare Balding "may have won a legion of fans for her highly praised BBCTV performances during the London Olympics and Paralympic Games, but she still has some way to go to work the same magic for BT, with an average of around just 1,000 viewers tuning in to watch her first show" (London GUARDIAN, 8/9). ... German pay-TV channel Sky introduced "subtitles during its Bundesliga broadcasts for hearing-impaired viewers." The new service "is available to HD and standard-definition subscribers and can be accessed via teletext site 149" (QUOTENMETER, 8/9). ... BeIN Sport's live English-language play-by-play, including Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue 1, will be available to SiriusXM subscribers throughout the U.S. on SiriusXM (Sirius).