Friday, April 26, 2013

Why peg EPL rates to GDP per capita?

Apr 27, 2013

THE statement on Wednesday by Mr Allen Lew, chief executive of SingTel's digital life unit, stated that the service provider's English Premier League (EPL) subscription rates are the lowest relative to gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Asia.

In fact, the rates Singapore residents pay to watch European football league matches are the highest in Asia and are comparable to those in Britain if you combine SingTel's and StarHub's sports package fees (that's the only way to watch all available European league matches).

In some countries, service providers offer free EPL broadcasts over mobile devices and personal computers. In Singapore, watching the EPL on mobile devices costs $7, and on personal computers, $12.

Can SingTel explain why fees are pegged to GDP per capita rather than pricing around the region?

Advin Kwok Ching Hoong

[Should I be kind to addicts?

I shall. They can't help themselves. It's a form of psychological dependency.

SingTel chooses to compare on the basis of GDP because, as you noted, comparing absolute prices would be disastrous for their PR reply.

Also, to be fair to SingTel, comparing simply on absolute prices would be... simplistic.

The simplistic (and childish) retort then would be, "if you think so cheap, then you go overseas and watch lah!"

Moreover, why stop at comparing only cable TV subscription? Cars are cheaper anywhere else in the region. Homes too. For the price of a 3-room flat in Singapore, you could probably get a nice landed property in Philippines. Or Sabah. Or even in Johor (please check prices as I am not a property agent). 

In fact with prices so affordable in the neighbouring region, and the overcrowding in Singapore, and the always congested MRT (please check trains personally, as I usually do not use the trains), it is a wonder to me why more people do not migrate to these less expensive, less crowded places but instead choose to flock to Singapore (or stay in Singapore, if you were born here)!

So to Mr Kwok and his ilk, my question to his question would be, "Why watch the EPL in Singapore when it is cheaper to watch it anywhere else in the region?"

Unacceptable answers: 
a) "Because I live here!" - You can move/migrate.
b) "My friends/families are here" - Your family/friends more important or EPL more important?
c) "I work here!" - You mean the surrounding region got no work?
d)"I can't get as good a job with as high a pay elsewhere!" - Bingo! (This is actually an acceptable answer, and it actually answers Mr Kwok's question. If there are more jobs here with better pay, the GDP will go up and EPL will be stupid to charge 3rd world rates for a 1st world economy.)]

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