$300 rebate for football fans who sign up to watch the EPL on StarHub

Arsenal's Lourent Koscielny (right) scores against Newcastle United during their English Premier League (EPL) soccer match at St James' Park in Newcastle, northern England, on May 19, 2013. StarHub will shave $300 off the bills of football fans who c
Arsenal's Lourent Koscielny (right) scores against Newcastle United during their English Premier League (EPL) soccer match at St James' Park in Newcastle, northern England, on May 19, 2013. StarHub will shave $300 off the bills of football fans who choose to catch the new season of the EPL with its set-top boxes.

StarHub will shave $300 off the bills of football fans who choose to catch the new season of the English Premiere League (EPL) with its set-top boxes.

The telco said in a print advertisement in The Straits Times on Saturday, that its offer would amount to "almost 50 per cent of the cost that is being dictated by our competitor". This is based on one year's cost for watching the EPL, which kicks off on Aug 17.

The move comes after rival SingTel's standalone EPL channels - at $59.90 a month - will now be also offered to those on StarHub's platform, thanks to the cross-carriage measure.

The StarHub ad read: "Our stand is simple: we stand on your side...". At $59.90, the current price is nearly twice that of SingTel's previous $34.90 Sports+ bundle, which came with English football, the Champions League and other sports content.

In the previous three years, SingTel had the exclusive rights to screen EPL after wresting them from StarHub in 2010.

Following a public outcry for not being able to watch the matches unless viewers also subscribed to SingTel's mio TV service, the Media Development Authority (MDA) introduced the cross-carriage rule in 2011. It was to prevent consumers from having to switch to or add another pay-TV operator because it had secured a monopoly on content.

Specifically, the rule requires any pay-TV provider here who buys exclusive content on or after March 12, 2010, to offer the same content to its rival's customers at the same price and terms as what it charges its subscribers.

Last Friday, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim rejected SingTel's appeal against cross-carriage and stood by MDA's order in April that the telco's latest three-year deal for EPL rights was exclusive and must be shared with StarHub.

Eligible customers are those who sign a two-year contract for either of two pay-TV-cum-broadband plans. The first is a Deluxe HD Pack and 100Mbps fibre or cable home broadband for $62 per month. The other is a Deluxe HD Pack and 25Mbps cable home broadband at $47 per month. The promotion is valid until Sept 30, 2013.