Premier League Fans in Indonesia Left in Dark as Pay TV Plans Still Undecided
Less than 24 hours before the start of matches in the hugely popular English Premier League, negotiations for non-exclusive broadcast rights by Indonesian pay-TV providers had not been concluded on Friday.
The inability of the joint owners of the rights, ESPNStar Sports and Astro All Asia Networks, and domestic pay-TV providers to come to terms appears likely to leave fans disappointed, at least temporarily.
The delay may be blamed on a decision by Telkomvision, the country’s second-biggest pay-TV provider, this week to form a consortium with Indovision, the country’s largest provider.
Telkomvision president director Rahadi Arsyad said last week that Telkomvision had reached an unofficial agreement to purchase the non-exclusive broadcast rights, and was waiting to sign a contract. Meanwhile, Indovision had said for weeks that it had been invited to bid for broadcast rights for Premier League matches but had decided not to do so.
However, Telkomvision changed course and partnered with Indovision to bid for the rights jointly, primarily to split the costs.
The two companies are negotiating through the Indonesian Multimedia Providers Association (APMI), a grouping of 17 media companies.
“What we’re trying to do now is make the programs accessible to a bigger audiences,” said Arya Mahendra, APMI’s secretary general and corporate secretary for Indovision.
A source close to the negotiations said the owners of the rights were asking $6 million, a price that local providers were so far unwilling to pay.
Paras Sharma, ESPNStar Sport’s senior director for marketing and corporate communications, declined to comment.
ESPNStar Sports usually sells exclusive rights to broadcast Premier League matches. Last year pay-TV provider Aora paid $25 million for exclusive rights.
Since 2007, ESPNStar Sports has allowed some Premiership matches to be broadcast live by free-to-air broadcaster TVOne after a request by the government. But TVOne can only show 60 of the 380 matches this season, meaning major games between local fan favorites may not be broadcast live in Indonesia.