Winter Olympics: No live telecast on Singapore TV for now, StarHub to show highlights

The Phoenix Snow Park will host the freestlye skiing and snowboarding events of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.
The Phoenix Snow Park will host the freestlye skiing and snowboarding events of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.PHOTO: AFP

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics officially opens on Feb 9 but, with 15 days to go, there have been no public updates of any television broadcast offerings in Singapore.

This is reminiscent of the impasse in 2016, before national broadcaster Mediacorp struck a deal with broadcast rights holder Dentsu to beam the summer Olympic Games live a day before the opening ceremony.

Just as it was two years ago, when swimmer Joseph Schooling won a historic Olympics gold medal for the Republic, another slice of local sports history will be made next month when short track speed skater Cheyenne Goh becomes the first Singaporean to compete at the Winter Olympics in the women's 1,500m event.

But, as it stands, there will not be live television coverage here.

When contacted, Mediacorp's response was: "We will be able to confirm our coverage plans at a later time."

A Singtel spokesman told The Straits Times (ST): "At this moment, we have no plans to broadcast the event."

In 2014, Singtel announced its live and delayed coverage plans eight days before the opening ceremony of the Sochi Games, while Mediacorp offered daily highlights.

For now, Singaporeans who want to keep track of Goh's progress and other action at the Winter Olympics on television may tune to StarHub. Its spokesman told ST: "We will not be broadcasting the Winter Olympics.

"However, we will be showing highlights on our sports news programme HubSports 360 which airs on Hub Sports Arena (StarHub TV Channel 112/205 and 76.25MHz)."

Since the 2014 Sochi Games, Dentsu has held the exclusive broadcast rights for the summer and winter Olympics in 22 Asian countries and will continue to do so until 2024. A Dentsu representative ST reached out to declined comment about any negotiations with broadcasters here.

Singapore Ice Skating Association president Sonja Chong said: "This is a huge milestone for Singapore's winter sports and we would definitely want Singaporeans to be able to join us in our first-ever Winter Olympics journey. So we're still holding out hope that there will be live telecast for the event."