Philippines, Sports, television

Solar Sports, BTV Cancel Airing of NCRUCLAA

A month after the season opened, Basketball TV and Solar Sports unexpectedly pulled the plug on the NCRUCLAA coverage. (Logos courtesy of the NCRUCLAA and Solar Entertainment)

A month after the season opened, Basketball TV and Solar Sports unexpectedly pulled the plug on the NCRUCLAA coverage. (Logos courtesy of the NCRUCLAA and Solar Entertainment)

The promising television coverage of the NCRUCLAA (National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association) came to an abrupt halt.

For some unknown reason, host networks Solar Sports and Basketball TV decided to stop airing the fledgling collegiate basketball league after only a month’s worth of coverage. No explanation was given with regards to the sudden cancellation, but a possible case of low funds may have come into play.

It can be recalled that the newly-established NCRUCLAA signed a television contract with Solar Entertainment in December of last year. The league, which consists of 16 member schools, opened its basketball season on January 17.

Both Solar Sports and Basketball TV tried its very best to seriously promote the NCRUCLAA. Unfortunately, the game’s delayed coverage and overwhelming amount of matches (quadruple-headers start at around 11:00 a.m.), lack of advertisers and conflicts with other programming took its toll, and by late February, both networks ceased airing the league’s games.

The issues of local basketball coverage is nothing new to Solar Entertainment. During their three seasons handling the PBA (2008-11), Solar lost a lot of money due to technical issues hounding their coverage of the league, and in their final season, they were forced to move to rival ABS-CBN’s Studio 23 following CS9’s rebrand to ETC.

Going further back, Solar also used to handle the defunct Philippine Basketball League for a few seasons. Unfortunately, the league’s internal issues affected both the coverage and the quality of the games, and the PBL soon disappeared by 2011.

While Solar did make amends when they aired NAASCU games without any incident last year, it was clear that the company can only go as far as Wilson Tieng can take them. Which leads to the abrupt cancellation of NCRUCLAA coverage, one that is once again giving Solar plenty of headaches.

That said, without the additional financial backing of rivals ABS-CBN Sports and Sports5, Solar Sports continues to find themselves in a predicament that is too steep to climb out. They may have had the privilege of covering NBA games and Manny Pacquiao fights, but local coverage-wise, they are still too far behind to make an impact.

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14 thoughts on “Solar Sports, BTV Cancel Airing of NCRUCLAA

  1. Bat di nila subukang umere sa free tv. Palitan na lang yung 2nd Avenue sa RJTV. Parang free TV extension na lang din ng CT at Jack TV yun eh mula nung nag-rebrand.

    • May S+A na since they also have the rights to NBA games. The best that Solar can do is to allow competitor ABS-CBN Sports to purchase a majority share of BTV and NBA Premium. Total ABS has the content rights to the NBA in the country (not to mention they share the NBA Finals with BTV) so they’re the ones who should step in and breathe some life to BTV.

      • Jose Tiamson says:

        At least sa S+A marketable yun brand just because they are affiliated to ABS-CBN and if ABS can grab majority rights of not only BTV and NBA Premium but also Solar Entertainment, I bet the network will inject more ads and sponsors because what I have notice now is that all the keys channels of Solar air few commercials.

      • No wonder why Solar is losing money. If only Solar sold majority ownership of BTV and NBA Premium to ABS-CBN, then it would be a win-win solution for both ABS and Solar, especially that ABS has no cable sports channel since Balls signed off on New Year’s Eve of 2015 after losing UFC rights to Hyper and their expertise on popularizing UAAP, NCAA, V-League and ABL to Filipino sports fans, and to benefit Solar, since their own flagship sports channel (Solar Sports) struggled as of late with the loss of high-profile sporting events.

      • Actually ABS has a sports channel on cable with S+A HD, whose content is drastically different from S+A SD which still airs some action shows and films. Either way, ABS should be the solution to revitalize BTV due to their co-ownership of NBA broadcast rights, provided that Solar sells a majority of its ownership shares.

      • Jose Tiamson says:

        And if that happens, ABS-CBN Cable Channels might be the one of the biggest content providers in the country. I just hope that Solar can find a way to bounce back but I guess its too little too late then.

      • It’s up to Wilson Tieng to make the soundest decisions of his life. He already lost one channel (Solar News Channel), now he must hope that he won’t lose more.

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