The telecommunications giant have outbid competitors StarHub and will offer it free for new subscribers and those who extend their current contractThe bidding war to broadcast the 2014 Fifa World Cup has come to a close with SingTel edging out competitors StarHub to win exclusive rights to showcase the football spectacle in Singapore.
SingTel will broadcast all 64 matches across their SingTel mio TV platform along with mio TV GO for the mobile market. Under Media Development Authority's (MDA) cross-carriage rule, exclusive content acquired by pay-tv retailers has to be shared with other broadcasters, which in this case includes StarHub.
The acquisition of the World Cup rights marks another coup for SingTel after securing exclusive rights to the English Premier League until 2016.
MDA issued a media statement following SingTel's announcement reaffirming the enforcement of the cross-carriage rule.
"Given that SingNet has acquired the broadcast rights for the World Cup 2014 on an exclusive basis, it will have to cross-carry the content on the StarHub platform," read the statement from a MDA spokesperson. "This means that, just like Barclays Premier League matches, consumers will have to contract with SingNet in order to be able to access World Cup 2014 matches, but will be able to watch the matches on the pay-TV platforms of both SingNet and StarHub. MDA has also required that the four key matches of the World Cup 2014 (opening, semi-finals, and finals) be made available on free-to-air television channels."
The broadcast of the key matches on free-to-air network is in accordance with MDA's anti-siphoning rule, that ensures the four key matches of the World Cup (opening match, both semi-finals and final), along with matches involving the Singapore national team are not held under exclusive broadcast rights.
SingTel have also announced their pricing plans for the World Cup 2014, promising free coverage of the competition to consumers who sign up or recontract with mio TV for mio Stadium+ or Gold Pack packages, marking the first time a pay-tv retailer has offered free broadcast of the World Cup.
“We are pleased to offer the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at no additional charge when they sign up for or extend their mio Stadium+ or Gold Pack contracts with us,” said SingTel's Allen Lew, Country Chief Officer, Singapore, in a press release.
For all other subscribers, including StarHub consumers, the 2014 World Cup will be offered as a stand-alone package at S$105 ($112.35 including GST).
The 2006 edition was broadcast was offered by StarHub for either $15.75 (Sports Group customer) or $26.25 (customers who are not on the Sports Group) as a pay-per-view package. In 2010, subscription was S$88.
MDA have also promised to oversee a proper handling of the cross-carriage rule given the importance of the event:"We understand that there is significant consumer interest in World Cup 2014, and we will work closely with both retailers in ensuring a smooth implementation of cross-carriage ahead of the kick-off on June 12."
The 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil will begin on June 12, with the host nation taking on Croatia. The final will be played on July 13.
StarHub have issued a statement over the rising costs of football packages, slamming SingTel for their bidding practice.