Singapore telcos battle for top football rights

In August, Singapore’s StarHub will hand over the lucrative rights to screen the English Premier League to its rival SingTel for the next three years — a contract reportedly worth more than $200 million. The EPL will join ESPN Star Sports on SingTel’s mio TV, which will also carry high-profile sporting events such as the FA Cup, Formula One, Wimbledon and the US Open.

SingTel, the sole challenger to StarHub’s previously-held monopoly in Singapore’s pay-TV market, bid aggressively on the EPL in the hope of drawing more viewers to its platform, which launched in July 2007. To sweeten the deal for potential subscribers, the telco has also promised to cut the viewer cost of the EPL package by nearly 60%.

Stephanie Wang of Media reports that the two telcos will jointly bid for the rights to screen the 2010 FIFA World Cup, promising they will sacrifice all margins to bring affordable coverage to Singaporeans.