Senior Minister of State (Communications and Information) Lawrence Wong had claimed that the Singapore government has “no say in” the subscription prices for the FIFA World Cup “Because Singapore is a small market and has a high demand for World Cup matches, FIFA will consider the country’s purchasing power and act accordingly“.
I did a quick check online and found this link which detailed how their citizens can watch the FIFA World Cup 2014 online in the English-speaking countries:
Here are some things you need to take note:
(1) In Denmark, “the rights to broadcast from the World Cup in football in Rio is shared between DR and TV2 in Denmark. DR is a free public channel while TV2 has an online area which you need to pay to watch. Common for both is that you need a Danish IP address to watch.”
(2) In Finland, “YLE will broadcast from the World Cup in Finland. That is a free public channel, so with a Finnish IP address you can access their stream online and watch what is going on in Brazil easily.”
(3) In Sweden, ” SVT (Swedish National Television) and TV4 will broadcast from the world cup in Sweden. TV4 is a pay for TV while SVT has free online live stream for those with a Swedish IP address.”
So, it seems that even though Denmark, Finland and Sweden are small markets with high demand, their citizens seem to be able to watch the FIFA World Cup for free.
Denmark and Finland have about 5.5 million people each and Sweden has about 9.5 million people. This is compared to the 5.3 million people in Singapore.
By GDP per capita, Denmark has about US$56,000, Finland has US$46,000 and Sweden has US$55,000. In comparison, Singapore has US$52,000.
So, in terms of population (small market) and purchasing power, Singapore is similar to Denmark, Finland and Sweden. So why is it they are able to allow their citizens to watch the World Cup for free, while the Singapore government is not able (or willing) to do so?
This calls into question how Singtel (which is the only TV station which allows for the viewing of the World Cup in Singapore) is owned by Temasek Holdings, which is owned by the Singapore government, which is controlled by the PAP.
Is there a conflict of interest here? Are the subscription fees that Singaporeans have to pay high because of a conflict of interest here?
In fact, if market size and purchasing power is indeed a reason, why is it that Hong Kong only charges US$19 when it also has a small population of 7 million and a high GDP per capita of $37,000?
Something is not quite right here. It’s quite obvious that Singaporeans are overpaying, if we should be even paying at all – when countries with a similar population size and GDP per capita are even able to let their citizens watch the World Cup for free.
Mind you, S$112 is a lot of money to pay. And to think that the PAP has such audacity to still want to defend this money-making scheme to siphon money off Singaporeans when Singaporeans are already paid the lowest wages and have the lowest purchasing power among high-income countries. On top of that, Singaporeans are ranked as the second most indebted people in Asia, where low-income Singaporeans have to spend 105% to 151% of what they earn just on basic necessities (which means they are trapped in a debt cycle) and at least two-thirds of middle-income Singaporeans say that they only earn enough to pay for basic necessities and nothing else, so where are Singaporeans going to get the money to pay for the overly-high subscription charges?
Not only that, the subscription charge is also more than twice as high as what any other country in Asia charges! Also, in Asia, only two other country charges any subscription, whereas the all the other Asian countries are able to watch the World Cup for free – even Japan and South Korea. So why is the PAP defending the stance that Singaporeans should pay such exorbitant World Cup subscription, or that we even have to pay at all?
Is it a case again when only the rich and elites in Singapore are able to enjoy such “luxuries” or is the PAP milking this for as much as they can because they know the demand is there, so why not milk it for what it’s worth?
If that’s the case, is the PAP acting as the government or are they only wanting to earn money off Singaporeans (again)? If the PAP is only interested in making money, then it shouldn’t be in government in the first place. The government’s role is to take care of the people, and not to make money off the people! This is a complete bastardisation of the role of government!
Singaporeans, so do you buy what the PAP says? Or do you think you are being taken for a ride?
They might have scored their own goal this time round. I don’t think it’s so easy to hoodwink Singaporeans anymore.
Do you still trust the PAP?