24 April 2013 - The Media Development Authority of Singapore (“MDA”) has today issued a direction to SingNet Pte Ltd (“SingNet”) requiring SingNet to cross-carry the Barclays Premier League... Read more
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (“MDA”) has today issued a direction to SingNet Pte Ltd (“SingNet”) requiring SingNet to cross-carry the Barclays Premier League (“BPL”) live matches over the next three seasons, starting from 2013/2014 to 2015/2016.
Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (“SingTel”) had, on 10 October 2012, announced that it had acquired rights to all BPL live matches for the next three seasons commencing August 2013 from the Football Association Premier League Limited (“FAPL”) for broadcast on SingNet’s Subscription Television Platform (“Mio TV”).
Following a thorough examination of the agreement between SingTel and FAPL, and the information provided by SingTel and relevant parties, MDA concluded that the agreement contained certain clauses which prevent or restrict or are likely to prevent or restrict the same content from being acquired or otherwise obtained for transmission on selected platforms in Singapore by other pay-TV retailers.
These restrictions therefore trigger the Cross-Carriage Measure, which became effective on 1 August 2011 as part of the MDA Act –Code of Practice for Market Conduct (“Media Market Conduct Code”). Under the Cross-Carriage Measure, pay-TV retailers who have acquired any exclusive content 1 on or after 12 March 2010 (Qualified Content) must widen the distribution of such content by offering it to other subscribers through the set-top boxes of qualified pay-TV retailers. 2
Pursuant to MDA’s direction, SingNet is required to commence the process set out under the Media Market Conduct Code to enable the cross-carriage of the BPL programme on StarHub’s platform.
This is similar to the arrangement for UEFA Euro 2012, the first piece of exclusive content to fall under the Cross-Carriage Measure. StarHub had acquired the rights to UEFA Euro 2012 exclusively last year and the 64 matches were cross-carried on the SingNet mio TV platform.
1“Exclusive content” here refers to any channel or programming content acquired or obtained through an arrangement (whether explicit or implicit) which prevents or restricts or is likely to prevent or restrict the same content from being acquired or otherwise obtained for transmission on any Relevant Platform in Singapore.
2These qualified pay-TV retailers are defined as Receiving Qualified Licensees under the Media Market Conduct Code. Currently, SingTel and StarHub are designated by MDA to be Receiving Qualified Licensees.
About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (www.mda.gov.sg) promotes the growth of globally competitive film, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation and interactive digital media industries. It also regulates the media sector to safeguard the interests of consumers, and promotes a connected society. MDA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information (www.mci.gov.sg).