StarHub – BT

StarHub scores Uefa for both teams’ viewers

It wins broadcast rights; mio viewers will not be denied

StarHub has clinched the exclusive broadcast rights for the Uefa Euro 2012 football tournament, in what will almost certainly trigger Singapore’s cross-carriage law for the first time since it took effect in August.

The football championship, jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine, will kick off on June 8, 2012 and end on July 2, 2012, Singapore time.

StarHub said that it will announce subscription rates for the tournament next year. In 2008, customers of its Digital Cable Sports Group who signed up early paid $10 or $20 for signing up later. Customers without a Sports Group subscription paid $50.

This time around, SingTel’s mio TV subscribers will be able to watch the action on the pitch for the same price as StarHub viewers if they want to, thanks to the cross-carriage law. Under this new mandate, StarHub has to make the matches available to its competitors’ subscribers within five days of a viewer’s request.

This law only applies to exclusive content acquired on or after March 12, 2010.

‘We note StarHub’s acquisition of the Euro 2012 rights and look forward to StarHub announcing more details…Football fans already have a lot of choice on mio TV – however, if the content is offered to us, we would welcome the opportunity to enhance our customers enjoyment of this major event,’ a SingTel spokesperson said.

While SingTel did not say if it had made play for the Euro 2012 rights, BT understands that they were in negotiations with the rights sellers at one point.

While analysts had widely expected StarHub and SingTel to submit a joint bid just as they had with the last Fifa World Cup, StarHub’s decision to go solo has its rewards. BT understands that there was no bidding process this time around, but rather a negotiated deal.

One way this could play out for SingTel mio TV subscribers who opt to watch the Euro 2012 is that they could subscribe directly to StarHub for the content, while still being mio subscribers, industry observers said.

The subscription revenue will go directly to StarHub. What is more, the game has to be aired in its original form, bearing StarHub’s branding and commercials. StarHub, however, would be expected to reimburse SingTel for the carrying cost incurred, as part of a possible outcome, BT understands.

While the cost of the rights remain unknown, analysts agree that if another operator had joined StarHub in the fray, the final price could have been driven up.

‘If it had been a competitive process, then I’m sure it would have been higher,’ said Gregory Yap, analyst with Kim Eng Research.

On top of that, Uefa expects Euro 2012 to earn 1.3 billion euros (S$2.26 billion), more than 840 million euros of which will come from media rights.

The MDA had mooted the cross-carriage mandate after a StarHub-SingTel bidding war broke out over the Barclay’s Premier League (BPL) broadcast rights in 2010.

While SingTel’s BPL coup helped to swell its subscriber ranks from 155,000 to about 200,000 in less than a year, it was said to have more than paid the price – a reported $300 million for the BPL rights.

While consumers will not be torn between set-top boxes for football action, it remains to be seen just how much the cross-carriage law has kept bidding ardour low and consequently, content price contained.

Foong King Yew, research director at Gartner, reckons that it is too early to tell how cross-carriage will change bidding behaviour.

‘I suspect that it’d depend on the type of content. Sports content is highly desirable because there’s a big following here. The incentive to go for an exclusive agreement is definitely much stronger compared to some other sort of content,’ he said.

The Uefa deal has been sealed late in Singapore, relative to its neighbours. Thailand’s GMM Grammy was awarded exclusive rights in April, while Malaysia’s Astro had the deal in the bag since last year.

StarHub – BT

StarHub scores Uefa for both teams’ viewers

It wins broadcast rights; mio viewers will not be denied

StarHub has clinched the exclusive broadcast rights for the Uefa Euro 2012 football tournament, in what will almost certainly trigger Singapore’s cross-carriage law for the first time since it took effect in August.

The football championship, jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine, will kick off on June 8, 2012 and end on July 2, 2012, Singapore time.

StarHub said that it will announce subscription rates for the tournament next year. In 2008, customers of its Digital Cable Sports Group who signed up early paid $10 or $20 for signing up later. Customers without a Sports Group subscription paid $50.

This time around, SingTel’s mio TV subscribers will be able to watch the action on the pitch for the same price as StarHub viewers if they want to, thanks to the cross-carriage law. Under this new mandate, StarHub has to make the matches available to its competitors’ subscribers within five days of a viewer’s request.

This law only applies to exclusive content acquired on or after March 12, 2010.

‘We note StarHub’s acquisition of the Euro 2012 rights and look forward to StarHub announcing more details…Football fans already have a lot of choice on mio TV – however, if the content is offered to us, we would welcome the opportunity to enhance our customers enjoyment of this major event,’ a SingTel spokesperson said.

While SingTel did not say if it had made play for the Euro 2012 rights, BT understands that they were in negotiations with the rights sellers at one point.

While analysts had widely expected StarHub and SingTel to submit a joint bid just as they had with the last Fifa World Cup, StarHub’s decision to go solo has its rewards. BT understands that there was no bidding process this time around, but rather a negotiated deal.

One way this could play out for SingTel mio TV subscribers who opt to watch the Euro 2012 is that they could subscribe directly to StarHub for the content, while still being mio subscribers, industry observers said.

The subscription revenue will go directly to StarHub. What is more, the game has to be aired in its original form, bearing StarHub’s branding and commercials. StarHub, however, would be expected to reimburse SingTel for the carrying cost incurred, as part of a possible outcome, BT understands.

While the cost of the rights remain unknown, analysts agree that if another operator had joined StarHub in the fray, the final price could have been driven up.

‘If it had been a competitive process, then I’m sure it would have been higher,’ said Gregory Yap, analyst with Kim Eng Research.

On top of that, Uefa expects Euro 2012 to earn 1.3 billion euros (S$2.26 billion), more than 840 million euros of which will come from media rights.

The MDA had mooted the cross-carriage mandate after a StarHub-SingTel bidding war broke out over the Barclay’s Premier League (BPL) broadcast rights in 2010.

While SingTel’s BPL coup helped to swell its subscriber ranks from 155,000 to about 200,000 in less than a year, it was said to have more than paid the price – a reported $300 million for the BPL rights.

While consumers will not be torn between set-top boxes for football action, it remains to be seen just how much the cross-carriage law has kept bidding ardour low and consequently, content price contained.

Foong King Yew, research director at Gartner, reckons that it is too early to tell how cross-carriage will change bidding behaviour.

‘I suspect that it’d depend on the type of content. Sports content is highly desirable because there’s a big following here. The incentive to go for an exclusive agreement is definitely much stronger compared to some other sort of content,’ he said.

The Uefa deal has been sealed late in Singapore, relative to its neighbours. Thailand’s GMM Grammy was awarded exclusive rights in April, while Malaysia’s Astro had the deal in the bag since last year.

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