StarHub TV scraps compulsory basic subscriptions with new TV price plan

StarHub has unveiled a new TV price plan that does away with compulsory subscription.
StarHub has unveiled a new TV price plan that does away with compulsory subscription. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - StarHub unveiled a new television price plan on Thursday (July 13) that does away with the element of compulsory subscription. This means that its customers can now subscribe directly to premium channels without having to first pay monthly subscriptions, which start at $26.75 for three basic groups (such as Entertainment, World News and Kids).

But StarHub customers still will not be getting their dose of English football action at lower rates, because Singtel holds the rights to the Premier League matches.

Five StarHub TV d'Lite packs will be offered according to genres - movies, sports, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

Mr Shawn Ong, who is 41 and self-employed, said: "Great move. I unsubscribed from StarHub because it was too expensive as I watch only the sports channels." He will "definitely consider" getting the Sports pack.

The Movies pack costs $24.90 (including GST) and has nine channels, including Fox Movies and HBO. The contract is for 12 months and includes one free set-top box rental for 12 months.

The Chinese, Malay, Tamil and Sports packs are priced at $19.90 each.

The Chinese pack includes channels such as SCM (Star Chinese Movies) and Hub VV Drama and offers dramas, movies, variety shows and infotainment programmes.

The Malay pack includes Kdramas dubbed or subtitled in Malay and channels such as Astro Warna and KBS World, while the Tamil pack offers content from both Singapore and India on channels such as Sun TV and Vannathirai.

The Sports pack includes the live telecast of the ongoing Wimbledon Championships and channels such as Eurosport and Fox Sports. But it does not include the popular Premier League football matches played in England.

For StarHub subscribers, access to English football coverage costs $64.90, a price determined by Singtel, which holds the rights in Singapore.

Subscribers to Singtel TV have to sign up for at least one starter pack. They range in price from $18.90 a month for Kapuso Starter, which offers Filipino channels; to $64.90 for mio Stadium+, which includes access to the Premier League football games and also other sports content.

Mr Justin Ang, head of product, StarHub, said in a statement: "With the new d'Lite Packs, customers with specific interests can zero in on their favourite content without having to subscribe to the basic groups.

"Be it through our StarHub TV or StarHub Go offerings, we will continue exploring new ways to offer customers the content they love, on the platforms they choose, delivered the way they want."

The move could be in response to changing consumption patterns and the rise of online content platforms. The Straits Times previously reported that StarHub's pay-TV subscriber base shrank by 35,000 last year.