As the start of the 25th season of the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) draws closer, the FA of Singapore (FAS) are pleased to announce that fans can look forward to an enhanced and unprecedented broadcast experience this year.
For the first time in SPL history, fans will be able to watch every match LIVE on television, on either SingTel or StarHub. In addition, all 108 matches of the season will be live-streamed online – as they were last season.
In another first, fans will also have access to real-time match statistics for every game on the SPL website (www.spl.sg), which will be powered by Genius Sports as part of FAS’ continued efforts to enhance the digital match-day experience for fans.
These are new initiatives that will take place alongside two key developments that were announced last month – the addition of one more slot to clubs’ foreign-player quota and the introduction of an Under-21 league.
BROADCAST Both SingTel and StarHub have secured the rights to collectively air all 108 SPL matches per season until November 2021, with an option for a further two-year extension.
All 108 SPL matches broadcast on SingTel will be available for viewing LIVE in high definition on mio Sports channels SingTel TV Ch111 to 113 as part of the World Sports+ add-on pack, as well as Action Trio, Variety and Value packs. StarHub subscribers will be able to catch all 108 SPL matches either LIVE or delayed on Hub Sports channels Ch201, 202 and 204 at no additional cost.
This also applies to all Community Shield and Singapore Cup matches for the next two seasons. Fans are advised to check directly with SingTel or StarHub for exact subscription details.
Non-SingTel and StarHub subscribers will still be able to watch all SPL and Singapore Cup matches LIVE via three digital online platforms: MyCujoo and the Facebook pages of 1Play Sports and the SPL. In addition, Radio Television Brunei (RTB) has also secured exclusive digital rights for the 2020 season with an option to extend by another year to show all 108 SPL matches.
RTB will have the option to stream any match LIVE on their new Over-The-Top (OTT) media platform, RTBGo, as well as their Facebook page. The matches will be geo-blocked to all territories outside of Brunei. DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT As part of its efforts to enhance the digital match experience for SPL fans, the FAS has partnered with Genius Sports, a global leader in digital sports content, technology and integrity services.
Used in over 150 countries worldwide, Genius Sports’ technology is utilised to empower sports organisations to capture, manage and distribute their live data and video, driving their digital transformation and enhancing their relationships with fans.
As part of a collaboration that will run until December 2022, real-time statistics from every match in the SPL (total of 108 this season) and Singapore Cup will be available on the official SPL website (www.spl.sg).
These team, player and match statistics will be captured pitch-side and in-game by Genius Sports, which will allow fans access to unique and original insights for the first time in league history.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS – FOREIGN PLAYER QUOTA INCREASE & UNDER-21 LEAGUE LAUNCH
As announced last November, the foreign-player quota for all local clubs has been increased for the 2020 SPL season.
Clubs are now allowed to sign a maximum of four foreign players – an increase of one from the three allowed in 2019. This follows on from the foreign player quota increase from two to three (two open plus one U-21) for the 2019 season.
Plans for an Under-21 League to be introduced were also announced and the competition will be officially known as the ‘FAS Center of Excellence (COE) Under-21 League’.
This will be contested by six clubs, namely Balestier Khalsa FC, Geylang International FC, Lion City Sailors FC, Hougang United FC, Tampines Rovers FC and Tanjong Pagar United FC. Matches are scheduled to take place on Mondays with evening kick-off timings; the league will see teams play a total of three rounds.
With the pathway for youth football in the COE laying primarily via two age-group competitions in the 2018 and 2019 season, talented players were then potentially selected to move towards their respective clubs’ senior SPL teams.
The introduction of this new Under-21 League will now help to provide a clear and stable pathway towards the SPL by bridging the gap between the 2020 COE competitions (for Under-15 and Under-17) and the senior level. The full list of fixtures for the 2020 SPL season can be accessed here (correct as of 20 February).
The SPL season is projected to conclude in mid-September, thereafter the 2020 Singapore Cup will take place.