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Fox Closes With StarHub

One of Southeast Asia’s biggest pay-TV contract negotiations – between StarHub and Fox Networks Group in Singapore – closed September 2.

StarHub has signed a long-term deal for 25 Fox channels across sports, Hollywood movies, general entertainment, factual and Asian content, as well to-be-launched digital services.

The agreement also includes catch-up rights across channels including Fox, Star World, Fox Movies Premium, Fox Sports, Nat Geo, Star Vijay and Star Chinese Movies.

“It's a good outcome for the subscription-based video ecosystem in Southeast Asia,” says Media Partners Asia (MPA) executive director Vivek Couto.

"Both parties appear to be satisfied with the economics of the deal,” Couto adds. “The impact on the consumer is key, so the execution that both parties commit to is the real kicker.”

That, according to Couto, means enhanced marketing and production, as well as a focus on subscriber acquisition and retention across linear and digital windows.

StarHub, meanwhile, is likely to repackage its pay-TV services towards the end of the year. The emphasis will be on smaller, tighter packs that deliver a critical mass with a clear upsell to premium services, aggressively bundled with mobile and broadband.

In the first half of 2016, Singapore’s pay-TV incumbents, StarHub and Singtel, lost a combined 26,000 pay-TV subs – mostly to illegal rather than legal alternatives – and are on track to lose more in 2H, according to MPA analysis.

Android set-top boxes, openly on sale in Singapore, offer compelling UI/UX together with premium HD channels, while unlicensed content is easily accessible via online video.

That challenges the city’s pay-TV services to improve both the consumer experience and the content portfolio, including stronger Asian programming as well as more first-window international shows.

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