MDA responds to EPL concerns in Singapore

Mansha Daswani

Following news that the upstart IPTV service mioTV has nabbed the rights to popular Barclays Premier League rights in Singapore, the Media Development Authority is asking the platform to “provide clarity on the pricing of their sports packages.”

SingTel’s mioTV platform outbid cable platform StarHub for the rights to EPL action for the 2010 to 2013 seasons. In a statement, the MDA said it did “understand the concerns raised”—the much newer mioTV does not reach as many customers as the incumbent cable platform StarHub. MDA noted that the bidding for the rights “is a commercial process…determined by the Football Association Premier League (FAPL) and agreed upon with the bidders. Prior to the BPL bidding, MDA had begun dialogue sessions with the industry on possible regulatory interventions to address this issue for the longer term.”

The regulatory body has asked mioTV to “provide clarity on the pricing of” its sports packages. The IPTV service has already committed to not raising prices above what cable subscribers have been paying and says it will have completed its infrastructure rollout, ensuring nation-wide access, by the time the EPL season starts in August 2010. The MDA is also seeking clarification from StarHub on termination charges for those subscribers who wish to switch subscription plans. The cable platform has said that no early termination fees will be imposed on subscribers of sports packages who cancel their service after July next year.

“Our goal remains to find an effective solution that works best in the Singapore context and that best addresses consumers’ concerns,” the MDA concluded.

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