Parliament Sitting on 10 July 2018 QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER 886. Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether live broadcasts of World Cup 2018 will be made available in Singapore for free; (b) if so, where can the public access these broadcasts; (c) whether more free televised matches can be made available beyond the nine key matches; and (d) whether the Ministry is able to work with commercial sponsors to make future international sports events available for free broadcasts. Answer: All sixty-four FIFA World Cup 2018 matches will be screened for free across various public venues such as community centres and the Singapore Sports Hub. An estimated 100,000 members of the public have already enjoyed these free screenings. 2 Nine FIFA World Cup 2018 matches are also being broadcast “live” on Mediacorp’s Okto channel for free. Six of these matches have already been broadcast, as will the two Semi-Finals and the Final in the coming days. 3 It is becoming more challenging to provide such “live” broadcasts of international sports events for free. Broadcast rights for international sports events such as the FIFA World Cup are commercially negotiated. Over the years, the cost of these broadcast rights has grown significantly. For the FIFA World Cup 2018, broadcasters in the region paid an estimated 25% to 75% more this year compared to 2014. Broadcasters find it difficult to recoup the escalating cost of broadcast rights, because there are other options for viewers to watch such sports events “live”. Hence, commercial sponsorship is important and we welcome more sponsors to partner our broadcasters to make “live” broadcasts of such international sports events more accessible to Singaporean viewers.