StarHub's EPL subscription will be $24.99 a month for current customers

StarHub's early bird offers for the EPL will run, from June 9-30, for the first 25,000 subscribers. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - The cost of living in Singapore is rising steadily but for at least one essential in life, it will get cheaper. Subscription to watch the 2022/23 English Premier League (EPL) season, which starts on Aug 6, will be the lowest it has been in years here.

StarHub, which in February became the official English Premier League (EPL) broadcaster in Singapore for the next six seasons, said on Wednesday (June 8) that prices for existing customers (those with a mobile postpaid, broadband or TV plan that costs more than $15 a month) will be $24.99 a month.

Non-StarHub users will pay $39.99 monthly to catch all 380 games next season.

No minimum contract is required for both options, which can be accessed through StarHub’s newly launched over-the-top service (OTT) Premier+.

The Hub Premier channels go on July 15, when Liverpool take on Crystal Palace at the National Stadium for the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy.

StarHub will also run an early bird promotion, from Thursday (June 9), 10am to June 30, for the first 25,000 sign-ups (comprising both existing and new subscribers). It will be $5 cheaper, meaning the fees for this group will be $19.99 and $34.99 respectively.

In comparison, for the recently concluded season, Singtel subscribers paid either $49.90 a month for live games via its over-the-top platform Cast or $64.90 to catch the EPL on TV. Also included were the Champions League, La Liga, Serie A, Formula One, MotoGP and Wimbledon.

StarHub’s Premier+ does not include other sports. For content like German football’s Bundesliga, Champions League, MotoGP, basketball, tennis and golf, it costs $24.99 with a 24-month contract on its Sports+ package.

OTT services are available mainly for mobile devices, though they can also be accessed on compatible set-up boxes, smart TVs or streamed via Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay.

Johan Buse, StarHub chief of consumer business group, said the EPL games “are hands down the most watched live sports programme in Singapore” and the telco will “energise this passion, by bringing the game back to all at lower prices”.

He also hopes the “attractive” pricing will be able to deter football fans from turning to illegal pirated streams. He added: “If you can buy this at $19.99, why would you bother to buy – sorry for my language – an inferior, crappy Android box which gives you a pixelated picture of something with moving dots and a goal which you will recognise five minutes after your neighbour has seen it?”

Singtel pay-TV subscribers can continue to watch EPL games via their set-up boxes through the cross-carriage arrangement – which has been in place since 2013 – but will have to pay $64.90 each month. The same price also applies to StarHub Premier Pack subscribers from July.

Singtel yesterday said it will offer bill rebates of up to $30 to customers who will be notified about this within the fortnight. This is on top of a price reduction for Cast Sports Plus pack from $49.90 to $19.90 while other Singtel TV packs with mio Stadium channels will also see a drop in price.

Customers may also, until June 30, cancel their subscription without early termination charges.

StarHub, which reported that its number of entertainment subscribers (a combination of OTT and pay-TV) increased from 376,000 to 450,000 in the first quarter this year, declined to disclose how much it paid for its latest six-year deal with the EPL.

In 2007, it reportedly paid $250 million for a three-year contract, before Singtel was said to have forked out $400 million from 2010 to 2013 as it took over the broadcast rights from its rival. Singtel had held those rights until this year.

Ivan Ong, a Singtel subscriber who supports Liverpool, said: “I will make the switch as the StarHub prices for the standalone EPL plan are definitely competitive, but I’ll think twice about paying either telco extra for the Champions League as that would make it more expensive than what I paid to watch both on Cast.”

StarHub's new Premier+ can also be accessed from any five registered devices and two simultaneous streams with a single subscription.

Fans at a screening of an EPL game at Clarke Quay in 2019. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Besides key highlights in 4k Ultra HD, new features include the option to watch two EPL matches simultaneously on a single screen or view the game from the perspective of one's favourite player, live game statistics, and a mobile function to skip and scroll through key match moments via match stories.

More info will be available at StarHub's website or at StarHub Shops, while existing consumers can subscribe via My StarHub app.

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