Minister dismisses SingTel's appeal against sharing EPL with StarHub

The next three seasons of the English Premier League (EPL), which kick off in three weeks, will also be available to both SingTel and StarHub pay-TV subscribers for the first time.

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Here is the full statement from the Ministry of Communications and Information:

Minister's decision on Singnet's appeal against MDA's direction to cross-carry Barclays Premier League live matches 2013-2016 seasons

On 24 April 2013, the Media Development Authority of Singapore ("MDA") issued a Direction to SingNet Pte Ltd ("SingNet") to cross-carry the Barclays Premier League live matches ("BPL Content") over the next three seasons, starting from 2013/2014 to 2015/2016.

On 26 April, SingNet submitted both an appeal to the Minister for Communications and Information (the "Minister") against MDA's Direction and a request for the Direction to be suspended pending a decision on the appeal.

On 6 June 2013, the Minister decided against suspending MDA's Direction, and SingNet was required to continue its efforts in making the necessary arrangements to cross-carry the BPL content while the full appeal process continued.

In assessing the appeal, the Minister provided both SingNet and MDA with sufficient opportunity and time to submit their written arguments on the appeal.

The Minister, having carefully considered the written arguments from both SingNet and MDA, has decided to reject SingNet's appeal against MDA's Direction.

The Minister's decision to reject SingNet's appeal was made based on the assessment of a number of factors.

A key consideration was whether certain clauses in the agreement between SingNet and the Football Association Premier League Limited prevent or restrict or are likely to prevent or restrict the BPL Content from being acquired or otherwise obtained for transmission on selected network platforms in Singapore by other pay-TV operators.

The Minister considered the qualitative and quantitative effects of these clauses.

The Minister also noted that the key objectives of the Cross-Carriage Measure include address ing the high degree of content fragmentation and encouraging pay-TV operators to shift from a content-centric strategy to other forms of competition, such as service and content innovation.

Pay-TV operators should keep this in mind and continue to provide better value to the consumers.

The Minister has also suggested that MDA consider providing further guidance on the circumstances that may trigger the Cross-Carriage Measure so that pay-TV operators can provide more certainty to consumers.

Next: SingTel's statement on the Minister’s decision on the cross-carriage of BPL content

Here is the full statement from SingTel:

mio TV expresses disappointment with the Minister's decision to not grant its appeal against the directive by MDA for the crosscarriage of BPL content.

While the company stands by its belief that the BPL rights contract is nonexclusive, it respects the Minister's decision and will now focus on preparing for the start of the BPL season.

"We have made every effort to ensure our representation was heard because we believed that this was in the best interest of football fans. mio TV was set up to give customers choice and breathe new life into sports coverage. Our intention was to give customers certainty of content at competitive prices," said Mr Allen Lew, Country Chief Officer-Singapore, SingTel.