Fans call for StarHub inclusion in EPL broadcast

Football fans tell Singapore that they welcome the idea of an extra option to watch English football on, which is currently only broadcast on SingTel
Local fans of the English Premier League (EPL) have welcomed the idea of StarHub entering negotiations for the broadcast rights, as reported by Singapore.

Rivals SingTel had secured a non-exclusive deal with the EPL for the next three seasons back in October 2012 with an "exclusive negotiation period" implemented, leaving StarHub out in the cold, until now. Singapore spoke to a few fans who currently subscribe to SingTel's Mio platform for EPL content, and most reacted positively upon hearing the news.

Undergraduate Melvyn Mok is "excited" at the prospect of lower prices, although he admits that it is not guaranteed to happen.

"Watching games on Mio is no different from streaming a game on the net," he blasted. "The worst thing is that you have to pay a monthly subscription for substandard quality.

"I hope StarHub can deliver better quality."

Fans welcomed the idea of an extra option being available, and believe having competition will raise overall standards.

"I think many fans have been disappointed with SingTel's service these few years, from the live stream being cut to the changes to the price plan, especially with the new package that they rolled out this year, which increased the price for effectively the same content," Aaron Ong pointed out.

"Singaporeans always love an additional option and they are disgruntled not only because of Mio’s repackaging of programmes (with Champions League and cup games being left out) that result in rising costs but most importantly, the service and signal has not been reliable enoughto warrant the higher costs," Patricia Poh added, citing the network disruption on the title-deciding match of last season as an example.

"This additional competition can serve to provide a warning to prevent complacency. As long as the competition keeps each other in check, I will be happy."

StarHub have claimed that all that they are asking for is "fair play" in such deals, and local football watchers will certainly hope that is what will happen if their negotiations are successful.