Philippines, Sports, television, United States

ABS-CBN Goes All Out With Local NBA Commentary

The NBA on ABS-CBN Sports is now in Taglish on a full-time basis.

Since opening week, all NBA games on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Sports+Action are called straight from the network’s studios in Quezon City. The commentary of the games are being rotated among its four announcers: Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras, Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc.

It can be recalled that ABS-CBN began to air NBA regular season games with their commentators at the start of this year. Initially the local commentary is exclusive to Channel 2, but come the conference finals, it has been extended to its sister station on Channel 23.

During the previous season’s NBA Finals, however, ABS-CBN elected to keep their local crew at the studio instead of sending them to the United States, presumably to save costs. This seems more logical, as the finals games on the network are now broadcast on a delayed basis due to various programming concerns.

This season, ABS-CBN made the jump towards an all-local NBA coverage for all of its games. The debut of the full-time ‘localized’ NBA coverage took place on opening night last October 28, when Sports+Action aired the Cleveland Cavaliers-Chicago Bulls matchup with commentary from Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras.

This latest move by ABS-CBN Sports is intended towards attracting a more ‘masa’ audience. But for those disenchanted with this decision, don’t worry, because NBA games on Basketball TV, Fox Sports Asia and NBA Premium TV will still feature commentary from American announcers.

NBA games are currently aired on ABS-CBN Sports+Action every Friday, Sunday and Monday, and on ABS-CBN every Saturday. ABS-CBN Sports will also air a Christmas game and several late-season games if possible.

For more information on the upcoming NBA broadcasts in the Philippines, click on this link.


26 thoughts on “ABS-CBN Goes All Out With Local NBA Commentary

  1. Jose Tiamson says:

    well it might not earn praise specially from nba fans who only rely on free tv to catch some games. And to add it up, NBA just last year partnered with Globe and their subscribers can watch NBA on their Game Time Apps via Globe’s mobile and broadband promos

  2. Believe That says:

    Just a little out of the topic, I noticed that some Sports 5 personnel are already a jump to ABS-CBN Sports and Action.

    Any ways, its great that ABS made a local version of NBA commentary since their target is the masses. Though for me, I preferred English, but let us give those ordinary people to love the game and be able to relate to what is happening in the game both the side stories and in-game analysis. Plus, that is what you expect now a days in Free TV shows.

    • It’s ABS’ decision to go with a local crew, since it will help the masses understand better. The upper class men with cable will have to accept this new format for the sake of those with low income.

  3. James Ty III says:

    The NCAA coverage on ABS-CBN Sports was also masa-oriented, but the way it was presented, maganda talaga at sulit. Kaya nga attendance figures improved too.

  4. ron says:

    sa palagay ko kaya pinalitan nila ng mga filipino commentator yung nba para mayroon palaging may magpapasalamat na filipino commentator sa istasyon ng abs-cbn sa pagcover nila ng nba games ng libre, para hindi malilimutan ng mga nanonood ng nba fans na may malaking utang na loob sila sa abs-cbn, kapag american commentator kasi wala man lang isa sa kanila ang magbabangit ng abs-cbn, walang magpopromote ng istasyon nila.

    • Actually hindi iyan ang dahilan. The reason why ABS decided to use its own commentators for NBA games is to better connect to the masses, most of whom are more fluent in Filipino than in English. Saka obvious naman na hindi imemention ang pangalang ABS-CBN ng mga Amerikanong commentator since sa ibang istasyon sila nagtatrabaho at naka-broadcast sa US audience ang mga naturang laro.

  5. Jose Tiamson says:

    And now ABS-CBN sports partner with the NBA in relaunching the NBA Philippines website which will be a part of its website ( It is now online as of today.

    • With their increasingly formidable partnership w/ the NBA, I won’t be surprised if ABS strikes a deal w/ Solar Entertainment to share the operating and production costs of NBA Premium and BTV, both of which are the cable partners of the NBA. They would be a big help for both networks, promotion-wise.

      Anyway, their deal w/ the NBA is a great benefit, as it would now allow its writers to contribute in relation to league news and opinions.

      • Jose Tiamson says:

        This adds to how great their portfolio is. And I may not be surprise if ABS-CBN Cable Channels will acquired at least minority stake of Solar Entertainment. Going back to the NBA, this can boost it’s presence on a nationwide scale.

      • Jose Tiamson says:

        And now only ABS-CBN’s Saturday Game of the Week will feature Local Commentary because S+A now uses commentary from either team (FSN, CSN, etc) or national broadcast partners (ESPN, Turner Sports) of the NBA.

      • Come to think of it, this makes sense, since local commentary from the studio tends to take a lot of free time from its commentators. Still, we’ll have to wait and see if this setup continues in the playoffs.

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