SINGAPORE - Singapore football fans were left tearing their hair out in frustration after a glitch in Singtel mio TV's live coverage of the final round of English Premier League (EPL) football matches caused repeated incidences of 'freezing' screens last night.
And it couldn't have come at a worst time. In the nail-biting final matches of EPL, fans were tuning in to watch Manchester City and United duke it out in their respective battles for the coveted premier league title.
A red devils win against Sunderland and a City loss or draw against Queens Park Rangers would have won United the title, and vice versa.
While the final score saw the trophy go to Man City, fans of both sides were left with black faces from the repeated disruptions and poor quality transmission that soured their viewing experience.
Football fan Jacky Vege wrote on SingTel's Facebook page to complain of the screen hanging when two "championship defining goals" were being scored during the Man City game.
"When the images finally stabilised and returned back to normal, all I could see was people celebrating while I was seething, not because a favourite team lost but because of that particular moment which I did not get to see," he wrote.
Upon checking with several friends and relatives, he discovered that it was a problem with the provider, rather than hardware issues.
Several people also wrote in to citizen journalism website Stomp with similar complaints - mainly transmission freezing on several occasions while the audio feed being distorted at the same time.
Some even restarted their set-top box numerous times, to no avail.
"Mio TV is totally not doing any justice to its customers. The quality of transmission on the final day of the season was very poor," said Stomp contributor Pek Qiu Rong.
"The TV just hanged and the voice was distorted even after I restarted the service a number of times," he said.
SingTel's Facebook page has been flooded with complaints since, with several dissatisfied customers demanding an explanation.
"If you paid around $300million for the EPL rights, the least you can do is to ensure that the transmission is smooth all year long. How can you not anticipate sure a high turnout to watch in what is the most exciting weekend in EPL history?!?! Totally unacceptable," wrote Tong Yi Kai.
"The BPL is the only reason I subscribe to mio TV," said Stanley, who added that SingTel should refund customers for the "extremely poor reception".
In response to the complaints, SingTel said that they are aware of the issues, and are investigating the matter.
However, they are unable to release any more information as the investigations are still under way, SingTel said.
This is not the first time the transmission quality of mio TV's football coverage has been called into question.
In February, a Stomp contributor submitted a post complaining about the constant problems he experiences with mio TV's broadcast of Barclay Premier League matches.
He said during a match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion, the television screen went still for about five to 10 minutes.
"The way I feel is that they are just ignoring the issue because there will not be any alternative service provider that can broadcast the Barclays Premier League in Singapore," he lamented.
He also questioned why the Media Development Authority did not fine SingTel nor enforce any regulations to ensure viewers of paid cable channels are not short changed.