entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

History of Manny Pacquiao Boxing Fights on Philippine TV


Before winning world championships in eight weight divisions, Manny Pacquiao was a regular fixture on the Vintage Sports boxing program ‘Blow by Blow’. (Screenshot courtesy of Vintage Television and Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation)

It’s another Manny Pacquiao fight day this Sunday.

On November 23, Pacquiao will put his WBO Welterweight Championship on the line against WBO Light Welterweight titleholder Chris Algieri in Macau. The 64th bout in Pacquiao’s 19-year career is expected to be another blockbuster, both in the box office and on television.

But before that, here is a look back at the history of Manny Pacquiao’s fights on Philippine television.

The ‘Blow by Blow’ Years

From 1994 to 1999, the now-defunct Vintage Sports produced the weekly boxing program ‘Blow by Blow’, which was aired on both PTV-4 and IBC-13. It was in this series where Pacquiao began his boxing career, and with the exception of a knockout defeat by Rustico Torrecampo, Pacquiao dominated ‘Blow by Blow’ by winning every bout he participated in.

From Sasakul to Lucero

Despite the cancellation of ‘Blow by Blow’, Pacquiao continued his emergence in the boxing ranks. From 1998 to 2003, IBC-13 and Vintage, later known as Viva TV, televised and produced Pacquiao’s fights, which include his impressive knockout victories over Chatchai Sasakul (1998) and Lehlohonolo Ledwaba (2001).

The knockout victory against Mexico’s Emmanuel Lucero in 2003 would be the last Pacquiao fight produced by Viva, as Solar Sports would acquire the Filipino TV rights to every subsequent Pacquiao bout.

From Barrera I to Morales III

Most of Pacquiao’s fights have been televised on Solar Sports since 2003. They had to do it, however, with various free TV partners.

From 2003-05, RPN-9 solely televised Pacquiao fights, the most notable of which was the technical knockout victory over Marco Antonio Barrera in late 2003. After the Hector Velasquez bout in 2005, RPN continued to air Pacquiao fights through 2010, but by then they have deferred to other networks for tape delay broadcasts.

In 2006, ABS-CBN produced all of Pacquiao’s fights that year, including a pair of knockout victories over Erik Morales. But the following year, Pacquiao decided to sign with GMA as a contract artist, and as a result, the Kapuso network would take over as the official free TV coveror of Pacquiao fights, which remains to this day.

From Solis to Bradley II

Starting with the bout against Jorge Solis, all Pacquiao fights were televised on both GMA and Solar Sports. It was also with the Solis fight that Solar began to broadcast every Pacquiao fight on pay-per-view via Solar All Access, giving boxing fans an advanced opportunity to watch a Pacquiao bout in real time.

The GMA-Solar partnership was not without complications, however. Prior to Pacquiao’s fight against Ricky Hatton in 2009, a contractual issue between Pacquiao and Solar forced the boxer to re-sign with ABS-CBN, but after resolving the issue with Solar executives, Pacquiao chose to re-sign with Solar instead.

Even though Pacquiao is currently signed with Top Rank Boxing, the promotion elected to sign a television deal with ABS-CBN Sports later that year, with the Kapamilya network choosing to focus on Top Rank’s other top Filipino boxer, Nonito Donaire.

While they earned high ratings, GMA’s airings of Pacquiao fights became a heavily-criticized affair, owing mostly to the extended commercial breaks and overreliance on ad placements during each bout. As a result, ABS-CBN and other networks would take advantage of GMA’s uber-delayed broadcasts by announcing the winner as early as possible, just to benefit a majority of disgruntled boxing fans.

Still, the GMA-Solar consortium proved to be the most successful of all the TV partners that covered Pacquiao’s major fights, not only ratings-wise, but also in terms of pay-per-view returns and ad rates.

Looking Ahead to Algieri

In two days, Manny Pacquiao will face Chris Algieri, and once again, all eyes will be on GMA and Solar who will cover the bout. Expect the two networks to pull out every stop in order to broadcast this much-awaited fight.

From ‘Blow by Blow’ to pay-per-view, Manny Pacquiao’s rise is definitely a stuff of legend. And for those who watched Pacquiao from his debut, it was all worth it.


20 thoughts on “History of Manny Pacquiao Boxing Fights on Philippine TV

  1. James Ty III says:

    Some of Manny Pacquiao’s recent fights were replayed on IBC 13. Expect this to happen tomorrow.

    Also, GMA News TV usually airs a live post-mortem of a Pacquiao fight with Chino Trinidad or Mark Zambrano hosting.

  2. James Ty III says:

    Also, GMA will air a replay of the Pacquiao-Algieri fight tomorrow night on SNBO versus Toni Gonzaga’s concert on ABS.

    ABS always airs two Tagalog movies without commercial interruptions against Pacquiao’s fights in the morning. Those films are produced by Star Cinema.

  3. James Ty III says:

    ABS CBN does not air ASAP live out of respect to Manny. ASAP is usually pre-taped or replay. Besides, most of the ASAP hosts will be at the Star Awards for TV tomorrow night.

  4. KG says:

    Nakakainis nga lang na kakatapos lang ng fight ni Pacquiao (narinig via their radio station, DZBB) eh simula na pala ng fight proper sa mismong GMA.

    Mas nauna pa ang GMA sa coverage kaysa sa Solar Sports.

    Nagkaroon pa ng spoiler alert sa news updates ng ABS-CBN at sa ticker sa GNTV.

    • As expected. Commercial overload talaga ang nangyari, total mas bankable na boxing star si Pacquiao, kaya expected na to.

      Kung napunta si Pacquiao sa ABS, malamang iba ang kalalabasan nito. But as it stands, GMA contract artist siya at lalong magiging kumplikado kung sa ABS mapupunta ang rights.

      Parang Super Bowl talaga ang laban ni Pacquiao, kaso hindi dapat ganito. Then again, that has been the case since 2007, commercial-heavy ang Pacquiao fights sa GMA and Solar.

  5. Do any of you remember Pacquiao vs Morales 3 in 2006? When this aired on ABS-CBN, it took as long as 30 mins per commercial break from the national anthem to the fight itself. So this occurence didnt start in 2007. And maybe you will rebuttal with the Pacquiao vs Hatton fight in 2009. Well GMA aired the fight twice just to make up with the time left with the already paid blocktime. Para hindi sayang ung matitirang oras. That’s just my opinion in this matter.

    • Apologies. But in any event, it’s a good thing that ABS ceased their ties with Pacquiao after that fight because they are expected to be criticized for this. Now the criticism belongs to GMA, and to a bigger extent, Solar, and as a result, ABS made up for that blunder by providing spoilers for any subsequent Pacquiao fight.

  6. Nameless says:

    Mula ‘nung sumikat na siya, palaging nasa almost-zero crime rate ang bansa. All people are always looking forward sa pay-per-views, free viewing sa mga basketball courts, and even on radio and TV. Pero napansin ko lang, tuwing may match siya, puro poultry supply at gasoline ang mga advertisement na napapanood ko. In total, 4 free TV stations ang dinaanan ng career niya beyond his matches on TV.

    • That’s because male-dominated yung audience tuwing may Pacquiao fight. Same thing goes to the PBA and the UAAP; they have different advertisers that would cater to their specific audience. You won’t see an advertisement involving epoxy products, beer, paint or liquor in UAAP games, and conversely, wala ring commercials featuring fastfood chains promoted by young stars, bottled drinks or real estate during PBA games.

  7. Jake-jake Jacinto says:

    Here’s a trivia about Pacman: In 2002, while he was up and rising in the international boxing scene, Pacman was reported to be a victim of an investment scam in which MMG (Mateo Management Group), the producer of IBC 13’s now-defunct noontime variety show “Lunch Break,” was involved.

    Kuya Ymman Jake Biaco told this to me via a comment in the PNDG.

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