How Starhub screwed up it’s World Cup.

After paying $15 million for the exclusive rights to show the World Cup in Singapore the local cable monopoly screwed it all up. Sure all the games were on but the entire episode was a dismal example of how monopolies screw things up from the outset.

First off Starhub should get it’s various groups together to talk about strategy. With less than a week to go in the World Cup Starhub started advertising it’s Smart TV—a DVR. Whoever thought it was a good idea to wait until now should be fired. Half this football mad country should have pushed, prodded and stampeded to to get a DVR before the World Cup if it had been advertised correctly. “Get your Smart TV from Starhub and pause the game when the delivery guy shows up!” I can’t imagine a better time to sell this kind of thing to people than just before the biggest TV event of all. Fire the moron who made that decision.

Second. Starhub provided four channels to watch the world cup on. But even when there were two games on at the same time they only showed one of them on these special channels and they showed the others on some premium channels that somehow were not included in the pay-per-view price of the special channels. When I got up at 3 AM to watch a US game I ended up watching someone else because I don’t subscribe to the over-priced premium sports channels. This must be the only cable provider since the early ’90’s that does not include ESPN as basic cable—this is what government supported monopolies do. Morons.

Finally. Lets revisit these four special channels. There was also an option for the digital cable subscribers to watch the game in a ‘multi-view’ where the four special channels were shown on the same screen. Now instead of using every inch of screen real estate to make this something worth watching the geniuses at Starhub came up with a layout that made the player look like ants, only using 60% of the screen for the windows showing the four channels and reserving the rest of the screen not for advertising—there was a grateful lack of that except for a small Starhub World Cup logo—but instead for nothing. Just a crappy green background. The guy who designed that should get in trouble for wasting my time.

Talk about three ways to screw up a great opportunity. Show your customers you don’t appreciate them and screw up a marketing bonanza.