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Football fans upset with StarHub on final day of EPL season

This article is more than 12 months old

The final day of the English Premier League’s 2022/23 season featured thrilling battles with 10 games in action, though football fans in Singapore were left angry and frustrated after they were unable to watch the opening 25 minutes of their teams’ games.

A “satellite transmission issue” had caused Manchester United and Liverpool fans, in particular, to miss the opening of the teams’ respective matches against Fulham and Southampton on Sunday.

Users of StarHub TV+, who can watch games using the over-the-top service (OTT) Premier+ service, were unable to access the application, while the wrong matches were being shown on TV.

Instead of the scheduled United game against Fulham, the TV channel showed a delayed telecast of United’s penultimate 4-1 win over Chelsea. On another channel, the Reds’ tie against Southampton was replaced by their 1-1 draw with Aston Villa from the previous weekend.

A number of frustrated subscribers took to social media to air their grievances, which led to an apology by StarHub on its Facebook page at 1am.

“We confirm that the Premier+ service has been restored before midnight. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused by the service difficulty originated from a satellite transmission issue on several HubPremier Channels. Thank you for your patience,” said the telco.

The Straits Times has contacted StarHub for comment.

Liverpool fan Muhammad Saifulddin, 31, had been looking forward to watching Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino’s farewell match with the Reds. But he missed out on Firmino’s 14th minute strike as there was still no broadcast then.

He said: “I was very frustrated since Firmino and James Milner, who are both leaving had started this game and I wanted to watch their final game for the club. I was even more frustrated to learn that Firmino managed to have his special moment and yet I could not witness it.

“I hope they can give me 25 per cent discount on my bill since I can’t see the first 25 minutes.”

Manchester United supporter Levainthiran Sunthiramogan, 29, added: “I had to watch another match (Everton v Bournemouth) while following live updates from Twitter.

“I even had some friends over at my place for this match and we were all wondering what had happened but I had friends who were all complaining about the same thing on WhatsApp. This kind of problem is the last thing you expect when you pay for legal broadcasts.”

Well played StarHub

Posted by Edwin Chong on Sunday, May 28, 2023
 

Last game of the season. You have done it again StarHub . Well done, can't even broadcast it properly

Posted by Nikolaus Hence on Sunday, May 28, 2023

But there were issues from the opening match when Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 2-0.

Broadcast lags, low quality pictures and audio, as well as sudden freezes on their screens were also reported by users then. Some customers also encountered problems while trying to log in or link their subscription to their devices. Those issues were eventually ironed out in subsequent weeks until Sunday’s mishap.

This is not the first time that there has been a final day hiccup involving EPL broadcast.

In 2013, the Media Development Authority slapped SingTel with a record fine of $180,000 for a mio TV glitch that disrupted the live telecasts of EPL matches on the final day of the 2012/2013 season. Some 115,000 households had missed out on the few extraordinary minutes on May 13, 2012, when two goals for Manchester City in their last game clinched the title in one of the most thrilling ends to a season.

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