Thursday, October 21, 2004

Cable TV prices to go up 

Bad news for Singapore’s cable TV subscribers: StarHub is raising prices. Excerpt of the report:

Singapore’s StarHub Raises Cable TV Prices
StarHub Ltd., Singapore’s monopoly cable-television operator, said Thursday it will raise prices from next month, a week after investors panned the loss-making company’s initial public offering. StarHub will from Nov. 3 charge S$15.75 per month for three sports channels, nearly double the current S$8.40 price. Because of this, various StarHub packages that include the sports channels will cost more — some as much as 17%...

StarHub said the hike is “inevitable” as the cost of sports programs has “skyrocketed” in recent years. A StarHub spokesman didn’t say how much more revenue the rate increase will generate, nor what percentage of its 393,000 subscribers get the sports channels...its cable-television operation has been loss-making. Just 36% of Singapore’s 1 million households have cable-TV, too few on current monthly spending patterns for it to make money...

StarHub has dropped 5% since its 95 cents-a-share IPO debut on Oct. 13. Some investors worry StarHub's capital-intensive cable-TV business isn't generating enough revenue to be profitable, placing more pressure on its profitable mobile-phone business to deliver revenue growth in a saturated market.
Coming on the back of the merger between MediaWorks and MediaCorp TV — and with it, the likely closure of Channel i — this is obviously not good news for television viewers, especially sports fans.


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