Fans will find other ways to watch Olympics
Fans like ex-swimmer Tao Li ready to try alternative sources to watch Olympics
It's a shame, but it's understandable.
Singaporeans will not be able to watch "live" coverage of next month's Rio Olympics on local television screens, as no deal has been struck by any of the broadcasters in Singapore to beam sports action from Brazil.
Most of the people whom The New Paper spoke to expressed disappointment at the news, but they believed the decision was not made lightly.
Two-time Olympian Tao Li was one of them.
"I think we'll still be able to watch it 'live' on YouTube or other online sources," the 26-year-old swimmer, who became the first Singaporean swimmer to enter an Olympic final in Beijing 2008 when she finished fifth in the women's 100m butterfly, told The New Paper yesterday.
"So it's not that big a deal for me. The Internet is a really big advantage nowadays.
"Of course, there'll be a lot of people who want to watch it on television... After all, the Olympics are a big thing for sports lovers.
"But if (a local free-to-air broadcaster) was really priced out, it's something I totally understand."
TNP understands that local broadcasters made a bid of around US$2 million ($2.7m) to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the TV rights for Rio 2016, only to be told to go through regional broadcast-rights holders Dentsu.
It is understood that the broadcasters baulked at the estimated US$6m price tag Dentsu offered for free-to-air "live" TV rights, fearing that it will set a precedent for even bigger price jumps for future Summer Olympics.
Wong Shoon Keat, the 1983 SEA Games badminton singles champion whose son Derek Wong is headed for Rio, said: "As a parent... not getting to watch him play is quite disappointing. But, to me, it's okay.
"Derek has been training so hard and sacrificing so much, and competing at the Olympics is a dream for him.
"So the only thing I ask for is for him to do his best when he's there, regardless of whether we are able to watch him on television.
"His match in London 2012 wasn't shown on TV either."
National sprinter Timothee Yap, who will be making his Olympic debut in Rio, said the news was a downer.
"It's a bit of a disappointment, of course," said the 21-year-old, whose parents will be travelling to Brazil to watch him compete.
"It's not just about athletics. In swimming, there has been so much hype over Joseph Schooling, and everybody will want to watch if he can beat (18-time gold-medallist) Michael Phelps and maybe win a medal.
"I feel that the whole nation should be behind him during his race, right at that point, instead of waiting to read on Twitter or other sources if he won a medal."
Schooling has been tipped to win a historic first Olympic swimming medal for Singapore, and sports fans TNP spoke to shared Yap's view.
Jerald Yeo, a 30-year-old who works in the finance industry, said: "It's especially disappointing this time round, because there's been so much hype built up around Schooling and the table tennis team, so it's a shame we won't see them compete 'live'."
Added G Balakrishnan, a despatch rider: "There's always something (special) about watching the Olympics on TV.
"It's not just about watching our local athletes... (but also) the likes of sprinter Usain Bolt in track and field and Michael Phelps in the pool."
But Yap added that he understood the decision by local broadcasters not to cave in to financial demands from the rights holders.
"I'm sure it was a difficult decision for them and, whatever reasons they had, I'm certain they were well grounded and well thought out," said Yap.
Added Yeo: "As a member of the public, I don't necessarily know what's a good sum and what's not.
"I guess if the broadcasters feel that they were held to ransom, then it's good they did not give in."