$118 to watch World Cup 22: Youths express disappointment at high subscription cost
All 64 matches will be broadcasted live on Singtel TV, Starhub TV and meWATCH, with nine key matches aired for free.
The 2022 FIFA world cup, which will be held in Qatar from Nov 20 to Dec 18, will be broadcasted on Singtel TV, Starhub TV and Mediacorp’s meWATCH under a $98 early bird pricing which lasts till Nov 6.
Thereafter, it’ll cost $118 to subscribe to all 64 matches. This is a $4 increase from the 2018 World Cup which was held in Russia.
It is also the second time all three companies are screening the World Cup collaboratively, following the 2018 edition.
Similar to 2018, nine key matches – the opening match, five group matches, both semi-finals and the final will be aired for free on Mediacorp Channel 5.
We spoke to five youths to find out their opinions on the price increase for the subscriptions and whether they think it is justified.
High subscription prices are manageable if sharing the cost
“I personally enjoy the World Cup because I get to watch players from different leagues in the world play for a certain country. It is nice to watch the fusion of various styles coming together and uniting as one team.
“The price is justified if you watch football as a family because you get to share the cost. But I watch it on my own and spending that much is not in my budget.
“I think that it matches the inflation that’s going on in the world. I would start to worry only if the price increase is something insane like $10 to $20.” – Krish Chandrasegeran, 24, Student
There are more affordable ways to catch the matches
“While I understand that FIFA does rely on TV rights as part of their revenue streams, about $100 is really quite a lot of money to pay for only a month of football. Comparing this to $25 a month for premier league football, I feel it is pretty expensive.
“There are public screenings at McDonald’s or community hubs like Our Tampines Hub that host watch parties.
“I do understand there are certain constraints but there should be more games available for free.” – Aqil Dany, 19, Student
High fees might in turn encourage piracy
“The amount is not justified at all. The only reason I pay that amount is because I’m a working adult and have money to spare. However, I’m disappointed that it costs so much just to watch the World Cup. Many countries show the World Cup matches for free or at a heavily subsidised rate.
“I feel like existing customers should not be charged such a hefty sum of money just to watch the World Cup when they’re already paying high fees to watch other football leagues all year round. It is because of high subscription prices like this that makes people turn to piracy.
“I’m disappointed that the media wants to profit from such events which bring so many people together.” – Soheal S/O Nelavannan, 23, Engineer
Watching World Cup for free comes with its disadvantages
“The World Cup connects the fans in an emotional way. It being held once every four years, makes this cultural event extra special. This is where I see my idols compete against each other in the biggest stage there is in football. Nothing gets bigger.
“I watch all matches on my home television, using Singtel as my broadband.
“I’ve found out that though matches are free in certain regions, (fans) are getting (broadcast) delays. But I still believe that Singapore could have done the pricing a little lower.” – Suraj Rishi, 21, Student
More matches should be made free as football brings communities together
“It only makes sense for broadcasters to increase the cost of our subscriptions to make similar levels of profits. However, there will be a point where people will start questioning how much is too much, and this will definitely deter people from subscribing and watching the matches, or even turn towards pirated websites and livestreams.
“I think it speaks volumes about the value that other countries see in using sport to bring communities together. Football is a widely popular game that everyone would have been exposed to one way or another from young, a game that can bring most of the people in the community together through shared experiences and interactions.
“Singapore can experiment with making more matches free because the football culture here is huge, but dying in recent years. This will definitely help revitalise the passion for football in our country since more would be invested into the sport, not to mention how such activities, especially if in a communal setting like streaming games live at community centres, like they did with the champions league finals several months ago, can bring together people of common interests and strengthen bonds within our communities.” – Darrius Chua, 19, Student
Written by Nnurul Shakinah, Liam Willett and Amanda Tan.