SINGAPORE: SingTel’s mio TV service has secured the broadcast rights for this year’s FA Community Shield.
The announcement came at the eleventh hour with the match taking place on 12 August.
ESPN Star Sports has been broadcasting the match — the traditional curtain—raiser to the start of the English football season — every year since 1996.
But its contract, previously signed directly with the English Football Association, has expired.
The TODAY newspaper reported that negotiations with current Community Shield rights holder, MP & Silva, were proving difficult to conclude — leading some fans to fear a blackout on the match.
It also reported that Pay—TV operators, SingTel and StarHub, were in the mix but gave few hints of the negotiations taking place.
In a statement, Managing Director of Television for SingTel Group Digital Life, Goh Seow Eng, said they "worked hard" to secure the broadcast rights to the match and they recognised "how important this match is for Singapore fans."
SingTel is currently into the last of a three—season exclusive deal to broadcast the English Premier League.