Singtel secures deal for top Uefa competitions

Two weeks after the first group-stage matches have been played, Singtel TV announced yesterday that it had reached an agreement with beIN Sports to broadcast football's Champions League and Europa League games.

"We are pleased to bring our customers the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League," said Goh Seow Eng, Singtel's managing director for home, consumer Singapore.

"We thank our customers for their patience as we engaged the rights owner for many months.

"Our efforts have paid off with both top Uefa competitions secured. Together with the Premier League and FA Cup, our customers will experience some of the world's most popular tournaments in their living rooms."

Mike Kerr, managing director of Asia at beIN Asia Pacific, added: "We are excited to collaborate with Singtel TV for the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League.

"They are the only annual football tournaments where all greatest European clubs meet and megastars of football such as (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Lionel) Messi, Neymar and (Mohamed) Salah gather to battle for supremacy. We look forward to working alongside Singtel to deliver the best football experience and would like to thank fans for their continued support."

Local fans are relieved they can follow their favourite teams' fortunes now the broadcast rights have been secured by the telcos.

StarHub has also inked a broadcast deal with rights holder beIN for the Champions League and Europa League games.

Liverpool fan Leslie Chong, 33, said: "It has been a long wait, but we finally got what we wanted. It is tough negotiating for the broadcast deal, but I thank the telcos for trying even as the Champions League got under way."

Manchester United fan Roslan Taib, 38, added: "I am relieved the telcos have signed deals to show the Champions League, it's been a frustrating situation for the fans."

Previously, Singapore had been caught in an unprecedented situation in which neither telco had managed to seal the broadcast rights of the entire season even after the group stages had kicked off in both tournaments. Singtel, however, showed 16 games from the first two match days a fortnight ago, while StarHub did not broadcast any.

The next round of Champions League games will be played today and tomorrow. Some of the key games are Manchester United v Valencia, Napoli v Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2018, with the headline 'Singtel secures deal for top Uefa competitions'. Print Edition | Subscribe