More consumer protection, notification needed in pay-TV space

As a long-time subscriber of StarHub TV, my family enjoys a wide array of entertaining lifestyle and educational programmes.

My husband and I spend time with our children after work to watch our favourite children's channel - BabyTV, where we learn the alphabet and sing tunes together as one of our bedtime rituals.

However, we recently discovered that BabyTV will be discontinued from June 30. The news surprised us, as there was no formal notification to subscribers.

It was only through other like-minded parents' Facebook posts that we learnt about it.

Shouldn't there be an official statement from StarHub to inform subscribers whenever there is a change in its cable TV packages? This would protect subscribers like us from receiving the short end of the stick, and help us make better-informed decisions regarding our pay-TV channel bundle.

Media laws have been tweaked to better protect subscribers ("Rule changes to prevent unfair pay-TV practices"; March 17). However, even with such laws in place, subscribers like us may still be in a fix whenever operators change their package offerings without prompt notice.

According to the Media Development Authority's (MDA) Media Market Conduct Code, there may be a breach when a "material" channel is taken off air. But what constitutes a material channel? Does MDA or StarHub decide what is material or not to the subscriber?

The code allows for "replacements" to offset the cessation of channels, but this was not explicitly announced by StarHub, nor did subscribers get to choose equivalent replacements.

Low Sok Chong (Ms)