'Live' EPL matches likely to be more costly
English Premier League fans here are bracing themselves for a price hike to catch their favourite clubs "live" on TV.
This after Sky and BT Sport signed a £5.136 billion ($10.68b) deal for "live'"Premier League television rights for three seasons, starting from the 2016-17 campaign.
The latest amount is a 70 per cent increase from the current £3.018b deal, which expires at the end of next season.
With the UK deal done, the Premier League will spend the majority of this year selling its global television rights.
In October, 2012, Singapore telecommunication giants Singtel secured the Premier League broadcast rights for the next three seasons.
Liverpool supporters Deborah Rowe and Ray Chee are resigned to paying more to watch the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling in action after next season.
Rowe, a 23-year-old assistant public relations manager, said: "I'm pretty sure that the increase in the cost of the UK tender will affect the international tender, meaning it's just going to get more expensive to watch my favourite team play every week."
Chee, who works in the offshore marine industry and is a Singtel TV subscriber, added: "Football fans in Singapore will have to brace themselves for yet another increase."
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore defended the monies involved in the bidding process when he said yesterday: "If you had your house and you were about to sell it tomorrow you would probably want to sell it for as much as someone was willing to pay for it.
"We have an asset here, clearly it's an asset that people value, and we've marketed it in a way and put it up for sale and people have paid what they've paid for it."
When Singtel secured the rights in 2012, with content cross-carried on StarHub TV, the cheapest EPL pay TV package here jumped from $34.90 to $59.90.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Manchester United supporter Rizal Farhan said: "If it gets too expensive I may have to cancel my subscription and find other means to watch football, maybe at my friends' homes or at coffee shops, although it may not be ideal for late-night matches.
"But, no choice, I don't usually watch matches other than United games, and it's a lot to pay for less than 10 matches a month."
Premier League clubs are likely to see their share of the TV rights increase with the bumper deal, with the bottom club's share growing from £62m now to possibly £99m.
Clubs may use the extra money to defray ticket costs, or spend more in the transfer market for marquee players.
But Chee, 32, said: "As an overseas TV viewer, I am not interested in subsidising stadium tickets at all.
"Players are already grossly overpaid as it is, even for the mediocre ones who spend half the time on the bench.
"Clubs do not necessarily have to spend big to build a successful team. Look at Southampton this season, and Arsenal before they spent big.
"They are not champions, but I think they are great examples of solid teams built by other methods than just money."
PAY TV OPERATORS BRACED FOR EPL BID PROCESS
Pay TV operators here that offer sports content are adopting a wait-and-see approach following the English Premier League's mind-boggling TV rights deal struck yesterday morning (Singapore time).
When contacted by The New Paper, StarHub's head of media business unit, Lee Soo Hui, said: "We are in constant engagement with our content partners and note the increased cost of (EPL) rights in the UK.
"At this juncture, it is premature to speculate on details such as the nature of negotiations and the pricing of the packages."
After signing the domestic deal, the Premier League will concentrate on selling the global broadcast rights this year, and TNP understands that the bidding process in Asia will start in the last quarter of this year, at the earliest.
StarHub has been broadcasting English Premiership matches 'live' since 2013 under a cross-carriage arrangement with Singtel, which secured the rights from 2013 to 2016.
Singtel declined to comment when contacted yesterday.
Sky and BT Sport tied up a bumper £5.136 billion ($10.68b) three-season deal for the EPL broadcast rights in the UK, which takes effect from the 2016 season.
This is a 70 per cent increase from the current deal, which stands at £3.018b and expires at the end of next season.
Singtel reportedly paid US$255m ($347m) in 2012 to clinch the local broadcast rights for the following three seasons.
The Ministry of Communications and Information deemed the deal an exclusive one and therefore subject to the cross-carriage rule, which obliges pay TV operators to share exclusive content with their rivals upon request.
Under the current deal, the cheapest EPL package - Singtel mio Stadium+ pack - costs $59.90 a month, up from $34.90 for the Sports+ bundle previously.
La Liga ready to strike over TV rights
Spain's top-flight clubs are ready to shut down La Liga if the government does not pass a law mandating collective bargaining for TV rights soon, Espanyol president Joan Collet said yesterday.
"We are ready to halt La Liga if this (law) does not come out in one, two or three weeks," Collet told Spanish radio.
"I have already spoken with clubs like Valencia. We would have to hold another assembly but we are ready if the government doesn't get a move on."
La Liga, where the broadcast rights are held by Barcelona-based Mediapro, is the only top European league in which clubs negotiate their own TV contracts.
Real Madrid and Barcelona together take about half the annual La Liga TV money of 650 million euros ($1 billion).
Many clubs in La Liga, including the likes of Espanyol, Valencia and Sevilla, are hopeful a collective deal would enable them to demand more from broadcasters which would then be shared out more equitably to create a more level playing field. - Reuters.