11 October 2012

SingTel EPL : Violating the Spirit of MDA Regulations

SingTel to MDA : FU
  • In Mar 2010, Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) announced a Public Interest Obligation requiring pay TV licensees to carry each other's content. "The cross-carriage measure enables a Supplying Qualified Licensee (ie purchaser of exclusive content) to provide access to its content on a paid retailer-consumer basis to consumers on any pay TV platform via a network transit arrangement".
  • Intention of Govt/MDA : Enable consumers to gain access to ALL content available in the Singapore pay TV market via a SINGLE set top box. Same content, multiple platforms of delivery.
  • 10Oct12 : SingTel announced it has secured EPL broadcast rights on a non-exclusive basis for 2013-2016 ie NOT covered by the above MDA Cross Carriage rule. Thus, SingTel is not obliged to grant Starhub customers access to EPL broadcasts, contrary to the original intentions of the rule.
  • Mr Allen Lew, SingTel's Country Chief Officer Singapore, said: "After looking at the different types of deals we have done in the past and taking into consideration customers' feedback, we decided this is the best way forward based on customer convenience and experience as well as brand impact." - This is complete rubbish. Consumers are grossly unhappy with SingTel delivery of EPL on mio TV! (eg see this). Stop deluding yourself Allan! And don't take us for fools. What customer convenience ? EPL fans in Singapore hate SingTel! (For making us have 2 set top boxes and your substandard delivery, amongst other reasons). If you were really pro-consumer, you would not have resorted to this underhanded means of trying to gain more customers for your crappy mio TV! And SingTel does not listen to customers' feedback!
  • This move by SingTel to circumvent the cross carriage rule, whilst legal, is clearly against the spirit of the regulations. When I was working as a trader, we were all scared to death of violating the spirit of MAS regulations (especially on internationalization of the Sing Dollar) and the banks all went to great lengths to avoid doing anything that might be even remotely seen as such. And here we have Singapore's finest and largest, blatantly making a mockery of rules designed for consumer protection. Time for the Government to step in.

1 comment:

Taichiseal said...