Football: Singtel blames content provider for delay in showing live Real Madrid-Atletico Champs League final

The Singtel logo is seen on its headquarter building in Singapore.
The Singtel logo is seen on its headquarter building in Singapore.PHOTO: AFP

The 2016 Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid witnessed another live telecast glitch on Singtel TV.

The telco's subscribers were left baffled when they tuned in to Eurosport Ch112 at 2.30am yesterday morning to see coverage of an International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track meet on air instead of the match's preview show.

Singtel's online television guide listed coverage was slated to begin at 2.30am but the game aired only at 2.52am - two minutes after kick-off. Viewers on StarHub did not experience this problem.

This caused confusion for many viewers, including Jonathan Jacob, who thought he was on the wrong channel. The 30-year-old teacher said: "I was afraid Singtel wasn't going to show the game at all, especially since I was hosting some friends and did not want them to be let down."

A Singtel spokesman said: "We apologise for the two-minute delay to the start of our telecast of the Uefa Champions League final.

"Unfortunately, this was due to an issue in our live feed from the content provider.

"Our technical team was able to rectify the issue quickly by activating our backup feed to provide the live match to our customers within minutes of kick-off. We thank all affected customers for their patience."

This is not the first time the telco has experienced a glitch.

A fortnight ago, Everton fans were unhappy when Singtel did not air the Toffees' 3-0 win over Norwich City live on the English Premier League's (EPL) final weekend even though the game was listed on its TV guide.

In 2012, local fans were left frustrated after a service disruption in the final round of EPL football matches affected 115,000 customers. Singtel was fined $180,000 by the Media Development Authority (MDA). A year later, the service broke down again before the Arsenal-Wigan game and the MDA duly fined the company $220,000 for the outage.

But some customers continue to fume even as the telco apologises. Facebook user Wilson Pok commented: "Missing the pre-match opening segments and the kick-off is a big turn-off to the build-up of a much-anticipated final match."

Gabriel Goh, 18, was also left fuming after he missed the start of the game and said: "When it finally came on, I was relieved but also very angry. It was still 0-0 but what if I missed something important like a goal or a sending-off?"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2016, with the headline 'Singtel blames content provider for delay'. Print Edition | Subscribe