Sunday, June 13, 2010

How to watch soccer for free on the Internet

I'm a soccer fan only during the World Cup. I got back from Europe yesterday and went to check the nearby coffeeshops if they were showing the World Cup. The nearest one was half a km away. Although $80+ is pocket change, I've a problem paying for something if I disagree with the principle. If you just relent and pay up whenever you're asked to do so, you may be incentivising a profiteering monopolistic behavior that will keep coming back to ask you for more $ year after year.

If you want to watch the World Cup for free, it is just 2 clicks away:

[Link to World Cup on Internet 1]
[Link to World Cup on Internet 2]

I've been eating too much good European food the past week. I realised a 50 Euros meal doesn't make me any happier than a $8 hawker center meal. When I got back I was craving for hawker center food!!! After a few rounds of Goulash soup, I was quite sure it was inferior to the $2.50 kambing soup (mutton soup) we have at the hawker center. I went to my favorite kambing soup stall in Bedok to satisfy my craving. The stall owner told me he stopped selling kambing soup last week when the price of mutton escalated and he would have to reduce the portion and end up with unhappy customers or increase the price and also end up with unhappy customers. Faced with the dilemma, he decided to stop selling kambing soup because he couldn't stand the thought of making his customers unhappy. I told him I was sad because I was looking forward to the kambing soup even $3.50 is miles better than inferior European Goulash that costs 10 Euros. Still hungry, I walked across to the NTUC Foodfare for a Nonya dumpling. They wanted to charged me $2.50 for the dumpling. I was quite sure I paid only $2 two weeks ago. I asked the cashier if the price was increased. She told me it was increased last week. I asked her why the price was increased - she told me in an impatient manner she didn't know and asked me to pay up or go somewhere else.....I decided to go somewhere else to eat something else rather than pay for $2.50 Nonya dumplings.

Very often price of goods and services increase in Singapore for no good reason except the sellers wanting to increase their profit margins. They can do it if they have monopolistic pricing power. That happens as more smaller enterprises are taken over by chains and corporations. Imagine one day when all food courts are operated and control by a handful of corporations such as Food Empire & Kopitiam and the hawkers are just hired hands rather than sole proprietors. We have seen it happen to our wet markets and mom & pop stalls replaced by stalls run by cheap labor imported from China and prices raised once the competition disappears.

If you don't like the World Cup subscription packages in Singapore which is the most expensive in the world, don't pay for it and remember it is just a symptom of the growing power of big business that are starting to dominate our economy. I know some of you will say that it is FIFA's fault for wanting such a high price and FIFA is the ultimate monopoly but our telcos must be very confident that they can pass on the exorbitant costs to consumers and as consumers we have to send a strong signal that this assumption is not true....otherwise SingTel will again bid aggressively for the EPL thinking Singapore consumers can't say no.


DanielXX said...

I already call one of the providers Starfark. Very early on I have started hating them when they keep doubling sports package deal costs year after year. They will do it as long as they can get away with it. But they won't. Karma has caught up with them and soon the Next Generation Broadband are going to render this company's model obsolete. Just watch.

Anonymous said...

In the US, the cable package is surprisingly cheap.

What was even more surprising was that some broadband providers provided free access to the ESPN3 website so that you can watch all the matches free of charge, no need to subscribe, the picture quality is at HD level and it is more convenient to watch the matches than those unauthorised websites.

Anonymous said...

Same thing for politics lah. If there is weak or no competition they will also jack up their prices what, like paying million dollar salaries for themselves, increase ERP, HDB etc. Not happy go elsewhere (emigrate) lo, just like what the dumpling seller told Lucky to go elsewhere to buy. No time to entertain questions. $$$$ first.

Very hard or will take a long time to change for more fairness and equality lah, unlike in the past when the oppressed peasants revolted against and overthrow the system but at great cost to their lives too.

Modern people are kiasu and kiasi lah, me included. Except for the "nut case" Chee Soon Juan, who like to even go to jail for a cause, let alone die?

Lucky Tan said...


If they are profiteering, they should be a hot-stock-yes for amoral profit seeking investors. Starhub pays good dividends. I don't think the next gen broadband is going to kill them, they need to package these with services which is key.

As a consumer, I think the whole system should be revamped. But for investors, these companies have been minting super-profits for a long time.

Anonymous said...

I stopped watching TV, read newspaper as the internet can give me news and entertainment without all the advertisements and propaganda. Anyway, thanks for the links Lucky as I was about to check where I can watch them live on the internet.

Yes, monopolies will set prices of services and goods as high as the public can bear to pay. Our great leader went to Manila many years ago and said as much too. He was referring to Phils Lond Distance Telecoms(PLDT) and made no bones that having such a monopoly was bad for Philippines. So President Ramos took his "advice" and allow other telecom companies like SMART and GLOBE to operate. Guess who took over the reins of Singtel when Globe Communications(Ayala Corpn and Singtel) began operations.

DanielXX said...

Luckytan, in my view Starfark were only able to get away with it because the garment allowed them several years of supernormal profits to recoup the costs of investment. But just watch, they will not be able to do this for much longer. My guess is that's why Terry Clontz left.

Anonymous said...

13/6/10 10:13
They will price Next Gen at high fee.

Anonymous said...

What's surprising is that many people are taken by surprise.

They've been told that:

1. this place's going to be run like a company

2. you've got to pay market prices for everything

3. market prices are an effective way of allocating resources

What they didn't tell you is that this is all True - if it is a free market.

Fyi - In a monopoly, market prices are simply whatever maximum that you are willing to pay.

Anonymous said...

ok - dumpling price going up cos dumplin frstival is this Wed. Hope this helps

Anonymous said...

Luckytan, in my view Starfark were only able to get away with it because the garment allowed them several years of supernormal profits to recoup the costs of investment. But just watch, they will not be able to do this for much longer. My guess is that's why Terry Clontz left.

This is unlikely as the sightly more than 50% of starfark is own by the same entity as Singsuck. Just that starfark 51% is owned by another two companies which in turned is 100% owned by the ultimate owner, to create a false impression of free market competition.

From their plans offered, they don't really complete with each other, just like the two public transport companies, aren't really completing.

The only time when they are not allowed doing this is when the 51% shares of starfark is disposed of by current owners.

Or that the Next Generation Broadband will be expensive that it makes no difference between subscribing to sports package and the high speed network.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lucky, you got it wrong for once. We are not the most expensive in the world. Folks in the Middle East have to pay more.

We are only the second most expensive in the world. The PAP govt must be pretty disappointed we are not NUMBER 1. Trust me, they will do better for WC2014.

Anonymous said...

a coffee shop closed for a week for renovation, when it opened, the chicken rice stall say their rental up by 10%, so they increase the price of their tonic soup by 12%. renovation cost is a one time thing, yet when rental price and subsequently food price goes up, it is forever!

Anonymous said...

Prices of dumplings increased from last week because Dumpling festivals falls on 16 Jun. Expect to pay the same price for the rest of the month before prices comes down. Happens every year.

Anonymous said...

Don't watch World Cup.

Don't eat dumplings.

Pack my own lunch and cook my own dinner.

I did all the above and hence not affected by those price increase.

If only many were like me, then those sellers will not raise prices or may even close shop.

Anonymous said...

I stopped watching TV 6 years ago. For the past 1 year, I had even stopped reading newspaper daily but uses the internet for news and entertainment instead.

xl said...

I'm afraid more to come. Sengkang hawker ctr operated by kopitiam selling food at food court prices. Below Buangkok & above Punggol. Residents somewhat 'trapped'. Punggol is next likely target. Higher taxes not benefiting common folks.

If hawker ctr still operated by NEA, is cheaper rents-->cheaper food. At least taxes benefit us. Now is tender, tender, tender to full govt coffers. Common folks left to be sucked dry by big corporations.

Was reported in Wanbao few days back Sengkang got Ah Long problem. Some residents team up with police...

From 2008 to 2009, 60% increase in Ah Long cases. Economy driven by debt model is nearing its end in S'pore. Bringing in foreigners to expand population to keep econ going is just to prolong grab on $.

Anonymous said...

much appreciated for your timely posting

Moe GanThai said...

I have been boycotting this StarHub WC and I also boycott the bak chang,increase 0.50cts I rather don't eat, and also I don't eat at KopiTiam, too expensive.Because I can't afford to spend in this 1st world country,and collecting 3rd world wages.

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing I lived in a matured estate that has a wet market & a hawker centre.

Alan Wong said...

Frankly, the dumpling festival season should have no real bearing on increased prices of rice dumplings especially if manufacturers buy the ingredients well in advance. In fact, it should instead be cheaper because of increased demand.

If you make your own rice dumpling, it probably costs you something like less than a dollar per dumpling based on the following prices enough to make at least 30 dumplings :

glutinous rice S$5
piece of pork S$4
piece of mushroom S$5
salted egg yolk S$4
some green beans S$2
dried prawns S$5
bamboo leaf S$4

Singfark & Starfark just like the dumpling sellers are simply GREEDY for more profit.

Same with our PAP govt.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, must be decades ago when you last went to Bedok corner for your kambing sop. The last time I went there have to pay $5 for a bowl enough to satisfy me!

JK said...

Just download streamtorrent!

Anonymous said...

I support my local provision shop even though the prices are a little bit higher than NTUC. And I buy food from the wet market rather than Shop n Save. Support the small businesses and they will have a chance to survive. Once all these small businesses are gone, all your big chains will increase the prices and you have expensive, stale vegetables and frozen tasteless meat. That's what happened in the US. All the small businesses are forced out.

Anonymous said...

Watch this youtube channel:


Anonymous said...

In Vietnam, 70+ channels cable only S$5.80 monthly. Even without
cable, you can watch FIFA World Cup for FREE. Norht Korea and Myanmar also can watch for FREE.

Lucky Singaporeans paid until noses bled, squeezed like the sugar cane.

Anonymous said...

London show all the games for free. Why can't our free-to-air channels do the same? Don't forget we pay our annual TV Licence fees!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Nothing is free la, but I want to cancel TV :( said...

This won't actually have effect, I suppose like this.

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