SINGAPORE: Telco SingTel said it has inked a deal to bring 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil to all TV and mobile screens in Singapore.
Football fans who are not StarHub TV or SingTel mioTV subscribers will have to fork out S$112 to watch the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
However, existing mioTV subscribers can catch it for free if they extend their subscription to selected football packages for 24 months.
For those who do not wish to subscribe or extend their football packages but still want to catch the World Cup, they would have to pay S$105 plus GST. In absolute terms, that is S$1.75 per match. This is compared to a Euro 2012 match, which cost slightly more than S$2.
This year's World Cup package costs nearly 20 per cent more than in 2010, when the broadcast rights were jointly won by SingTel and StarHub. It is also three times more than the price offered in 2006.
SingTel mio TV has also finalised a deal to share the World Cup through free-to-air coverage for key matches (opening, both semi-finals, and the final).
For the first time, these matches will also be available for free on mobile devices.
All 64 matches will be available 'live' and on-demand on tablets and smartphones through the mio TV GO app, which will also feature multi-camera views - a World Cup first for Singapore.
SingTel is also working with the People's Association (PA) to bring the matches to community centres. The number of matches is still being worked out, but it will be more than four.
In 2010, football fans only knew 35 days before the World Cup kicked off if they would be able to catch the tournament on television. Now, an announcement has been made by SingTel three months in advance.
Allen Lew, country chief officer for SingTel, said: "2010 was something that we've learnt from experience. We continued to see what we could have done better. And this year, we obviously have managed to get the deal done up a lot sooner than in 2010. So for that I think, bringing that certainty to Singaporeans was very important."
In a statement, the Media Development Authority said: "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.
"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.
"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."
In a statement responding to SingTel's bid, StarHub said: "Our competitor's World Cup offer sets a precedent for operators to acquire exclusive content at high prices to lock customers into extended contracts, which runs counter to the cross-carriage regime's objectives."