SINGAPORE - Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore says the company has no power to control the pricing of English Premier League (EPL) television packages for fans in Singapore.
Last season, fans were charged $59.90 a month for a standalone subscription to watch the EPL on SingTel mioTV or StarHub. That raised the ire of local sports fans, as the previous deal was for just $34.90, and came with EPL, Champions League and other sports content.
"In the United Kingdom and around the world, the Premier League will never get involved in the retail pricing of its offerings," Scudamore said. "We sell our rights in over 200 countries, and whoever buys them is because they have the ability to market those rights in a way which works for them.
"Another reason why we couldn't get involved is because it's a complex thing because consumers have to pay a bundle of services and channels. We are part of that and cannot possibly be the people who determine that."
The 55-year-old Briton was speaking at the sidelines of the Premier Skills Community Festival at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday, where coaches and referees showed what they have learnt from the Premier Skills coaching courses.
Midfielder Tom Cleverley was one of three players each from Everton, Arsenal and Stoke City and spoke about his decision to join the Toffees after a loan spell at Aston Villa last season.
"It's a great football club and I've worked with Roberto Martinez before. It's exciting to get back to him, with a great squad, great fans and a lot of history. It was an easy decision for me to make," said Cleverley, 25, who was joined by team-mates Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry.
"It's a squad that has quality to win trophies. In the short term, we can get into Wembley and Europe."
The next to arrive were Stoke City's Bojan Krkic, Jonathan Walters and Glenn Whelan.
But the finale of the event was the arrival of Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal, who gave out mementos and prizes to participants.
Gibbs is looking ahead to the new season and believes that Arsenal's 11-year league title drought could end with the recent signings of Cech and other possible additions.
"I think John Terry said that he can give us 15 points this season, and I think if we look where we were last season, if he's right then we have a good shot," said Gibbs. "I think it's already changed (our mentality). People won't see it like that but we have won three trophies in two years. That's a shift in mentality in the team. That can help us."