StarHub secures Champions League TV rights

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos lifting the Champions League trophy after beating Liverpool, on May 26, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Following protracted negotiations, StarHub is the first telco here to announce the securing of the Champions League and Europa League broadcast rights from rights holders beIN for the rest of the season.

In a media statement yesterday, it also revealed that fans "can enjoy more football broadcast in high definition at no additional cost".

The matches will be shown live on beIN Sports HD on StarHub TV Channel 213, with simultaneous matches screened on Hub Sports channels.

Existing StarHub TV subscribers can sign up for the Sports Group at $21.40 per month, with no minimum contract period, to catch the live coverage of various sporting events.

Non-StarHub TV customers can subscribe to Go Sports at $9.90 per month, with no contract, to enjoy live matches streamed direct to their smart devices, while StarHub mobile postpaid customers will also be able to stream these matches on StarHub Go without incurring any local data charges.

"We are grateful for our customers' understanding and thank them for their patience during this period. We remain committed to ensuring that our content offering provides customers with a wide range of sporting events," said Mr Johan Buse, chief of StarHub's consumer business group.

Meanwhile, Singtel shared on its Facebook page that it will be broadcasting 10 Champions League games on Wednesday and Thursday.

In a joint statement yesterday, Singtel and beIN said: "Singtel TV and beIN Sports are putting the finishing touches to a deal to broadcast the Champions League and Europa League.

"Our priority is to ensure that Singtel customers continue to receive the live coverage for both tournaments. We look forward to announcing the good news to football fans in Singapore soon."

Neither telco had managed to seal the broadcast rights of the entire season even after both tournaments had kicked off their group stages. Singtel showed 16 matches in the first game week a fortnight ago, while StarHub did not beam any.

It is understood the broadcasters could not agree on a price with new rights owners DAZN - Eurosport had held the rights for the past three seasons and was screened on Singtel and StarHub - before beIN stepped in to take over the rights and try to strike a deal with the two.

Analysts had told The Straits Times that while both competitions represent premium content, the high costs, as well as late kick-off times on weekdays, might have led to the impasse.

Sales manager Lim Junhao, 40, a Manchester City fan, said: "It's good that common sense prevailed and at least StarHub has retained the Champions League for the season. As its subscriber, I don't have to pay more to follow my team."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2018, with the headline StarHub secures Champions League TV rights. Subscribe