The recent announcement of prices for the upcoming season by SingTel has irked many supporters and some have decided to make a stand on social mediaSupporters of the English Premier League (EPL) in Singapore will be able to catch matches on both SingTel and StarHub after the Media Development Authority (MDA) enforced a cross-carriage rule to allow the latter to screen games, but they are set to face higher subscription prices.
SingTel had stated earlier that such a ruling would affect revenue from their previously exclusive broadcast and thus lead to increased pricing and that came to pass on Friday when they released the new prices.
The much-anticipated Standalone EPL package is available for S$59.90 on both mioTV and StarHub, who has to follow their rivals' set prices; a similar Sports Pack from mioTV that included EPL content was available for just S$34.90 last year. In comparison, mioTV's Gold Packs that contain over 80 channels including EPL, other sports, entertainment and more is available for just S$64.90.
Naturally, the steep prices have had local subscribers up in arms, with one irate fan setting up a Facebook page called "Football Without Fans is Nothing" on Saturday. A "Edroos Alsagoff" answered Goal Singapore's queries when we dropped the page a message.
"I am a football fan just like the other thousands of Singaporeans that are not taking the news of the increased prices very well," part of the reply read.
"Therefore I am setting up this page to gather all BPL fans in Singapore to stand united against this increased pricing.
"We have yet to settle on an agenda but there are suggestions for a total boycott, a public protest at Hong Lim amongst other alternatives."
The page has close to 350 "likes" as of Sunday morning, and they are not the only ones feeling disgruntled.
"It is atrocious!" football fan Melvyn fumed. "We are enslaved to the TV providers and the cycle repeats itself every single season!"
"I feel most people will still go for SingTel's packages because I am hearing that we will get Champions League and a whole lot of other channels for just an additional five dollars," another fan, Yicong said.
Others, like Louis Wang, are contemplating switching over to StarHub if prices remain the same in the hope of better transmission quality.
StarHub are set to announce their prices for their own packages soon, with the Community Shield scheduled to be played in two weeks' time.