Co-bid BPL content for everyone’s benefit


Gurmit Singh Kullar

Published: 4:02 AM, August 22, 2013
Updated: 4:00 AM, August 23, 2013

Any advantage to a single cable television provider here is weighed down by our relatively small population.

There are about 400,000 mio TV and 530,000 StarHub cable TV subscribers; it is unlikely that either party will see a large fluctuation in years to come. If the spoils of war are not much to cheer about, maybe a less costly outlay to acquire broadcast rights would be the way to go.

The Media Development Authority’s (MDA) cross-carriage rule provides SingTel and StarHub an opportunity to co-bid for rights to broadcast expensive content, like the Barclays Premier League.

With a shared cost arrangement, other pay-TV providers like M1, or terrestrial broadcaster MediaCorp, could also co-bid and further reduce the investment cost for an individual party.

Each pay-TV provider could then set its own subscription and advertising prices. Everyone has more to gain from working together, which is good news for shareholders and consumers alike. Perhaps the MDA would be best positioned to coordinate such a shared arrangement.