StarHub challenges mio TV claims

StarHub has laid claim to offering the best pay TV "value", citing quality of content and picture quality, after SingTel entered the IPTV market with fanfare this evening.

"If you do the math and compare apple with apple, you will find that for $38.39, you will be able to get the DVR + minimally 23 channels + 1 Mbps broadband service from StarHub. This is value for money compared to our competitor's $57.27 for an almost similar offering," Jeannie Ong, StarHub's head of corporate communications and investor relations said in an email response to Singtel's launch.

"In addition, our competitor said that they have no basic tiers and no service contracts. This is inaccurate. To enjoy their TV service, one has to select sufficient channels to make up a minimum monthly spend of $16.09, in addition to having a broadband subscription - that by itself resembles a basic tier.

"Also, the fact that they have a $160.50 early termination charge if their service is being terminated within six months goes to prove that they have a service contract too . Else, why do you need an early termination charge? We trust that Singaporeans are savvy enough to tell the difference," she said.

Tricia Lee, corporate communications manager, SingTel said however that there was "absolutely no contractual period for the mio TV service".

"We believe that with mio TV, SingTel brings value, choice and flexibility to the market. There is absolutely no contractual period except when the customer requests for a wire-free solution or takes up content on a 12-month discounted plan," Lee said.

"We would like to clarify that it is not necessary for customers to take up a SingNet BroadBand plan in order to subscribe to mio TV. All that is required is a SingTel home telephone line. Additionally, mio Plan customers get a 5% discount on all content.

"Unlike our competitors' offering, mio TV does not require customers to take up a basic tier. We give our subscribers the freedom to choose exactly what they wish to watch instead of having to take up bundles of pre-selected channel," she said.

At the media launch event last Friday evening at SingTel Comcentre, SingTel's CEO for Singapore Allan Lew told journalists the company also did price comparisons. He said it is a competitive market and since SingTel is a new entrant, it does not make sense for it to charge consumers higher prices so its prices are comparable to or lower than StarHub's.