SingTel mio’s patchy coverage of final day of EPL season comes under fire

SingTel mioTV scores a major own goal with a patchy transmission on the final day of EPL season. (courtesy of Liu Jiaming)SingTel mioTV scores a major own goal with a patchy transmission on the final day of EPL season. (courtesy of Liu …

While both Manchesters were slugging it on a climactic final day of the English Premier League season on Sunday night, many local football fans in Singapore could only wring their arms in despair.

The cause of their frustration?

A major own goal by SingTel mio, whose patchy live coverage of the nail-biting finale between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers and the simultaneous telecast of Manchester United against Sunderland infuriated local fans.

The cable TV operator's live telecast of the final day was interrupted by several freeze frames at crucial times during the games.

What made matters worse was that both Manchesters were tied on points going into the final day, and the final destiny of the EPL title changed hands several times during their respective games.

Businessman Joshua Lam, 36, was one of those affected by the patchy coverage.

The Liverpool fan was watching the Man City game at one of his friend's house in  Bishan when the telecast was disrupted and the screen froze several times during the Man City game.

"It's disturbing that one pay so much and at critical stages, coverage gets messed up. Consumers have the right to feel cheated," he said.

The sports pack, which includes the mioStadium pack, ESPN Star Sports and GoalTV channels, costs S$34.90 per month with an 18-month contract.

Yahoo Singapore's feedback channel reachus@yahoo-inc also received several emails from fans upset about the similar patchy transmission.

Marketing manager Jerry Lee said he could "hardly enjoy the matches in peace.  It's really horrendous and spoilt the whole mood and joy of watching the game."

Another fan and mioTV subscriber, Tan Boon Hua, said his screen froze almost every 10 minutes of the Man City game and he had to repeatedly restart his modem.

He said for the last 20 minutes of the game, even restarting his modem didn't work.

To make matters worse, he called the SingTel service hotline and was told by operators that they could not take his call due to "extraordinarily high call volume".

"I find it amazing that after an entire season their technical infrastructure is not up to scratch," he said.

"What makes things worse is that knowing that it's the last day of the season, they didn't even prepare for a larger team of customer service officers to take phone calls. Appalling customer service. I am extremely unhappy about what happened," he added.

Frustrated fan, Welyon Sujipto, called for a heavy fine for SingTel and asked relevant authorities to look into the matter.

"I think it should be a case for the IDA to fine SingTel heavily, or for all fans to do something against this service provider," he said.

Jason Ng was among several others who said it wasn't the first time this season that SingTel mioTV had scored such a major own goal.

"Last weekend when watching the FA Cup final, my Singtel box kept losing the picture signal and I could only hear the sound. I had to keep restarting the modem," he said.

Shahida Ariff also demanded compensation for the cable provider's "atrocious" coverage.

"mioTV hasn't gotten its act together after one entire season of screening the English Premier League. This isn't the first time I've had disruptions to my Mio TV signal... as paying viewers we demand some form of compensation," she wrote.

Upset Manchester United fan, Phyo Myat Thu, 23, told Yahoo! Singapore he had set up his video camera to record his team's winning moment when all he got was this.