Football: No live telecast of League Cup for Singapore viewers

Manchester City's Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus (right) shoots to score their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal, on Nov 5, 2017.
Manchester City's Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus (right) shoots to score their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal, on Nov 5, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

Arsenal and Manchester City are set for a tantalising clash in tomorrow's League Cup final but fans in Singapore will not be able to catch the live telecast with broadcasters here not screening the match.

Eleven Sports held the rights to last season's competition and it was shown on Singtel TV and StarHub Go, which both carry Eleven's channels.

This season, Eleven's rights are restricted to Poland, Belgium and Luxembourg and there has been no live coverage of the League Cup in Singapore.

That has not stopped the Official Arsenal Singapore Supporters Club from hoping for a late intervention.

In a Facebook post addressed to Singtel yesterday, it asked the telco to obtain the rights to which Singtel confirmed it would not be showing the game but added: "We do understand that these matches are important to our football fans. We will highlight this to the relevant team for their future review."

A StarHub spokesman said: "We are constantly engaging partners to add content to our TV platform. When we assess sports properties, we are mindful of the need to weigh commercial considerations such as the content costs against the viewership."

On the pitch, the stage is set for an intriguing battle with both managers Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola looking for their maiden League Cup trophy.

Arsenal fan Eric Ong said: "A Cup final is an occasion fans look forward to, and it carries extra meaning when their club are involved. The final is also played at 12.30am Singapore time, which is friendlier than the semi-finals at 4am when naturally there is less clamour for a broadcast."

Despite his disappointment, City fan Mohammad Khairul noted that there were alternatives.

He said: "It would be nice if we could watch the game on TV with our friends and other fans, but if not, we will have to look for options or streams online."

Not all football fans were angry at the lack of a live broadcast though. Manchester United fan Shane Ng said: "The earlier rounds of the League Cup were also not televised here but they did not complain so why are the Arsenal fans kicking up a fuss only now when their team are in the final?"

•Additional reporting by Shamir Osman

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2018, with the headline 'No live telecast for S'pore viewers'. Print Edition | Subscribe