Starhub will be broadcasting Wednesday LIVE S-league games as it 'won' the rights from FAS.
FAS was reportedly negotiating with both Singtel and Starhub before that and it seem Starhub was more sincere in supporting local sports as StarHub Chief Operating Officer Tan Tong Hai claimed the S.League television rights deal is the stepping stone in the bigger scheme to promote and generate more interest in local sports to Singaporeans.
But, not to sound negative, one know the change of heart by Starhub as they had also work hard to showcase the Schools Nationals – a show about Singapore sports at schools – after they lost a football deal last year.
If they had not lost that deal, one seriously doubts they will work for that hard for both S-league and Schools Nationals deal for where were they before that.
They will be like Singtel; who has opted to stay out of the fray.
That why, one is hoping Starhub is not just staying for the next 3 years – the time frame for that deal to run out with Singtel.
For local sport to take hold, it takes a longer investment in term of finance and time than that.
Just ask why Singtel and Starhub fought so hard for that football deal last year for we must remember, back in the early 1990s, an UK PayTV network BSkyB had invested much resources into projecting that league onto a global scale.
It took nearly 10 years and over billions of dollars and they are reaping the reward now from not just the
UK subscribers but also from broadcasters who do not have a team in . UK
They did not do it for national reason just as I do not expect Starhub to do it for any other reason but it needs time and resources.
Overall though, one do believed the move is positive as Pay TV can do a better job than FTA TV as they have the money and I am not saying so now because Starhub is entering the fray.
The Starhub League Cup last year is a good showcase as it was better than what MediaCorp and, the now defunct, MediaWork has done over the last decade.
Even A-league, Australia top league, has benefited from a move from FTA TV to Pay TV as their viewers agreed the broadcasting is heads above what SBS or even Channel 7 (The FTA TV) has done over the years for their now defunct NSL and the general sentiment is more positive as a result.
As a followup, the Fox network is signing a deal until 2015 and that showed it can be a win-win situation.
That why any relationship should be a good long-term one and Starhub must not think they can reap the benefit by next year or even the year after that or it could end in tears for both Starhub and FAS.
This is what happen to UK Sentanta and African GTV (both now bankrupt) as they thought short-term and just thought they could piggyback on what others are doing.
It is long-term like BPL and BSkyB or what Fox network is doing now with A-league and both Starhub and FAS can be smiling.