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Singtel's surprise announcement of the deal has taken competitor StarHub by surprise after the telecommunication company was left out of negotiations

     By Bhas Kunju
Chief Editor, Goal.com Singapore
bhas.kunju@goal.com
@BhasKunju


Singtel mio TV platform which already screens the English Premier League (EPL) will continue to do so for the next three years, announced the telecommunications giant earlier today.

The acquisition of the rights to broadcast was reportedly done so behind close doors and as a non-exclusive deal. Such a deal would reportedly allow Singtel to broadcast the EPL solely, and there will be no obligation for the rights to be shared with StarHub, as was seen most recently during the 2012 European Championships in June.

StarHub was quick to respond to Singtel's announcement and made it evident that they were left in the dark over the deal, given that there was no bidding process this time around.

"We are surprised that FAPL did not conduct a tender for Singapore, departing from all past practice," said Ms Jeannie Ong, Head of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, StarHub.

Ms Ong also alluded that there could be a bitter tussle over the rights given the nature of the acquisition: "We will be seeking clarification from FAPL before deciding on our next course of action. We will be keen to acquire the BPL only if the price is right.”

Mr Allen Lew, Country Chief Officer Singapore and CEO Group Digital L!fe, SingTel spoke of the deal: “We are delighted to bring all the EPL matches LIVE to Singapore for another three seasons. Along with our recent acquisition of the rights to the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup, Serie A, Ligue 1 and other prominent football tournaments, fans can be assured of SingTel’s strong commitment to deliver the most comprehensive football experience on mio TV, the home of football.”

Premier League Chief Executive, Mr Richard Scudamore, added: “mio Stadium has provided Singapore fans with great local programming and coverage of the Barclays Premier League action in a comprehensive and innovative manner. We are pleased to be continuing our partnership with SingTel for another three seasons.”

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