Philippines, Sports, television

Despite New Deal with ABS-CBN, URCC Still Airs on Solar Sports

Seems like one network forgot about a new deal between the URCC and ABS-CBN Sports.

Since the start of August, rival sports network Solar Sports has been reairing classic URCC matches back when they still had the TV rights. Titled ‘URCC: Bakbakan Na’, it airs every Saturday night at 10:00 p.m.

It can be recalled that in April 2016, the URCC and ABS-CBN Sports inked a partnership deal that will see the latter air the former’s events on ABS-CBN Sports+Action in HD, SD and live stream. According to the said press release, ABS-CBN claimed that they were the ‘official’ broadcast partner of the URCC.

The press release did not clarify if ABS-CBN’s deal with the URCC is an exclusive one. In the event that it was non-exclusive, other networks may enter the picture, and since there was no explanation, Solar Sports was able to reenter the picture by airing classic URCC bouts.

Let’s face it, had ABS-CBN branded its URCC broadcasts as ‘exclusive’, this confusion would have never happened in the first place. The former’s deal was not bad, but whatever benefits they will have by airing the URCC would be negated by another network’s continued broadcast of the said promotion’s old matches.

That said, the URCC needs to have the rights to every televised bout that once aired on other networks, not the other way around. That way, any highlight of it can be seen on the channel (in this case ABS-CBN Sports) with which they have the rights right now.

Perhaps this situation needs to be addressed by URCC founder Alvin Aguilar, ABS-CBN Sports head Dino Laurena, and Solar Entertainment head Wilson Tieng in order to avoid any further complications. After all, the URCC deserves nothing more than a good, clean fight, and a stable partnership with the network they are currently paired with.

Hopefully it is for the best that they solve this issue immediately. This one is for the fans of mixed martial arts in the Philippines, and a good product is a must for the URCC to succeed.

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Philippines, Sports, television

The NCAA Season 92 on ABS-CBN Sports: An Overview

Year 2 (12th overall) of the NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports is now underway.

The 92nd season of the NCAA kicked off last Saturday with the traditional opening ceremonies and the first seniors doubleheader, headlined by the Season 91 finals rematch of arch-rivals San Beda and Letran. The ceremonies were also highlighted by the retirement of San Beda basketball legend Caloy Loyzaga’s no. 14 jersey.

Unfortunately for the fans of the league, the following day’s seniors tripleheader was not aired on ABS-CBN Sports+Action. The reason: ABS-CBN and the NCAA agreed that they will only air games every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for the season, save for last Saturday’s opener.

Not much is changed in the presentation of ABS-CBN’s coverage from Season 91. However, there is a new scheduling format, which include:

  • Seniors tripleheaders every Tuesday and Friday unless specified
  • Seniors doubleheaders every Thursday, usually preceded by juniors doubleheaders
  • Four or five-game juniors slate every Monday

In essence, a week’s worth of NCAA seniors basketball coverage will amount to at most eight games per week. The utilization of tripleheaders and five-game slates on select dates is intended on shortening the duration of the season, however, postponement of games may take place in the event of natural calamities.

Most games will be held at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Select marquee matchups will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

This season’s NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports team will include the following:

Play-by-play announcers

  • Andrei Felix
  • Martin Javier
  • Boom Labrusca
  • Anton Roxas

Analysts

  • Martin Antonio
  • Migs Bustos
  • Olsen Racela
  • Mikee Reyes
  • Renren Ritualo

Courtside reporters

  • Sarah Carlos
  • Roxanne Montealegre
  • Myrtle Sarrosa
  • Ceej Tantengco

Every game day will feature a number of interactive segments, such as halftime school and player features, ‘Smile, You’re on Cam’ and viewer tweets. If last season’s success was any indication, then expect a lot more of these throughout this season.

Aside from seniors basketball (with a mid-season all-star game to boot), the NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports will also cover the final four of women’s volleyball and beach volleyball. Highlights from other sports will also be featured on the ABS-CBN Sports+Action highlight show ‘The Score’, hosted by either TJ Manotoc or Anton Roxas.

All games will be seen on ABS-CBN Sports+Action, both in SD (channel 23) and HD (channel 166 and 701). It will also air via live streaming on the ABS-CBN Sports official website.

This season’s theme will be ‘Sports Builds Character: Achieving Breakthrough @Season 92’. San Beda College will be this season’s host.

After the unpredictable ending to Season 91, it will be interesting to see how Season 92 turns out. But if last season’s success was any indication, then wait and see what comes next this season.

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Philippines, Sports, television

With Loss of V-League, GMA’s Sports Hopes Disappear

It’s all but over for GMA in terms of sports.

This came after the Shakey’s V-League bolted to rival ABS-CBN earlier this week, leaving GMA without any sporting events to cover (unless one counts the boxing fights on GMA News TV’s ‘All Sports’ as an event). The new deal will see all of the games aired live on Sports+Action SD, HD and on livestream every Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays starting at 4:00 p.m.

GMA News TV had been the home of the Shakey’s V-League since 2013. When GMA inked a deal with the V-League and Sports Vision that year, it coincided with the sudden rise of volleyball in the country, capped off by a sold-out UAAP women’s volleyball final series between popular rivals Ateneo and La Salle.

Once the deal began, however, problems ensued. Games were still aired on a delayed basis, primarily due to News TV’s commitment to news programming, and although later tournaments saw live broadcasts, the lack of willingness from GMA and News TV proved hard to overcome.

In the end, the V-League allowed its contract with GMA to expire, and when it came time for a new television contract, they sought ABS-CBN Sports. It was a perfect fit, and with the latter having turned the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament into must-see TV, they are now expected to do the same for the V-League.

GMA’s lack of a sports division has been well-documented on From the Tube. As ABS-CBN and TV5 continued to make strides in airing some of the top sporting events in the country, GMA is left to lick their wounds wondering what might have been.

Considering their status as the No. 2 network in the country (sorry AGB Nielsen), GMA should have been keeping up with ABS-CBN in virtually every department. Instead, their lack of resources was exposed, and thanks to the impending return of ‘Encantadia’, expect more of their hidden revenue to go down the drain.

 

Now that the Shakey’s V-League is out of GMA, uncertainty looms in the northern corner of EDSA and Timog Avenue. A long, rainy season awaits for the Kapuso network, and without any big-name sporting events, the possibility of a GMA Sports division is now all but diminished.

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Philippines, Sports, television

In 150 Words: ABS-CBN Hooks Up with URCC

The URCC joins forces with ABS-CBN Sports to broadcast and promote their events. From left: Dino Laurena (head of Integrated Sports, ABS-CBN), Alvin Aguilar (founder/owner, URCC), and March Ventosa (ABS-CBN Narrowcast head). (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

The URCC is now on ABS-CBN Sports.

On Friday, April 1, a broadcast deal was reached between the Universal Reality Combat Championship and ABS-CBN, enabling the latter (through ABS-CBN Sports+Action in SD and HD) to air URCC events. The first URCC fight card on ABS-CBN Sports will be URCC 27: Rebellion on April 23.

The addition of the URCC to the ABS-CBN Sports family should aid in the former’s efforts to further promote their brand of mixed martial arts in the country. More importantly, it should help Kapamilya viewers move on from the loss of the UFC, which moved to Sports5 at the start of this year.

The URCC is founded and owned by Alvin Aguilar, and is considered the biggest MMA promotion in Southeast Asia.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Coming Soon: ANC HD on SkyCable

The ever-innovative ABS-CBN News Channel will have its own HD channel coming soon. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

ABS-CBN is launching a third HD channel soon.

After giving the flagship Channel 2 and Sports+Action its own HD channel (available exclusively on SkyCable), the network finally decided that the time is right for the ABS-CBN News Channel to have an HD channel as well. This announcement took place yesterday in a press conference inside the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center in Quezon City.

According to Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes, the impending launch of ANC HD should cement its position as the gold standard and primary source for Philippine news and analysis for the country’s business and political leaders. She then voiced her thoughts on ANC HD and the channel in general in the statement below.

This is what ANC has continuously strived to be: the best, most reliable, and prestigious English language, all-news channel in the Philippines. There is still a lot more in store for ANC, as we mark twenty years this coming May. Stay tuned for these exciting developments.

Indeed they still have a lot more in store, as two months from now the 2016 national elections will take place. And ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs will have all of it covered, from the campaign period to the day of the voting and eventually the final results.

With the impending launch of ANC HD, how will this affect the news programming of Channel 2 and the Regional Network Group? While ABS-CBN Channel 2 has its own HD channel, some of its news programming (e.g. ‘TV Patrol’) are still shot in standard definition, and as a result, they are still considered a work in progress.

That said, it may take awhile for the ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs to embrace the high definition platform full-time. For now, patience is of the virtue, and for a network that has pioneered HD broadcasting in the country, there is still time to make it all happen.

The assigned channel of ANC HD on SkyCable will be revealed soon. Stay tuned for further details.

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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Best

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this year.

AlDub Invades Eat Bulaga and the World

The now-popular Kalyeserye segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ began on July 16, as a then-unknown Maine Mendoza (under the Yaya Dub character) caught the eye of rising Kapuso star Alden Richards. Since then, AlDub grew into a social media phenomenon, and it culminated into a slew of advertisements, magazine covers, a supporting role in ‘My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore’, and a sold-out ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ live episode at the Philippine Arena.

While the popularity of AlDub had some negative effects on GMA and its rivals, there is no denying that the duo became the key ingredient that introduced ‘Eat Bulaga’ into a new generation. The 36-year-old variety show is now enjoying its best ratings in years, thanks largely to AlDub.

LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine Dominate Primetime Ratings

While AlDub dominated noontime, primetime belonged to ABS-CBN’s three hottest love teams.  The year began with LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) of ‘Forevermore’ continuing their winning run, before handing it over to KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) of ‘On the Wings of Love’.

The success of LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine were crucial in Primetime Bida’s thorough domination of Telebabad in the national ratings. Although GMA responded with BiGuel (Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix) in ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and GabRu (Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid) of ‘Let the Love Begin’, they were unable to make an impact.

A New Sunday Afternoon Habit

August 9 saw a new rival for the 20-year-old ‘ASAP’, but they did not expect it to be different. In came ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, GMA’s newest variety show that emphasized more on comedy than musical performances.

The presence of ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden RicRhards (with Maine Mendoza later added) helped ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ defeat ‘ASAP’ on a consistent basis. In response, ABS-CBN moved ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ to Sunday afternoons as ‘Banana Sundae’, but it still failed to reverse the trend.

Willie Revillame Returns 

Speaking of Sunday afternoons, May 10 saw the return of Willie Revillame to the small screen with ‘Wowowin’. Initially airing every mid-Sunday afternoons, it later moved to an earlier timeslot after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, where it has since flourished.

Even though Willie faced an arrest warrant over the ‘Willing Willie’ macho dancer kid case, this didn’t stop him from receiving accolades for ‘Wowowin’. The rebirth of the controversial host was capped off with a pair of awards for best game show and host in the PMPC Star Awards.

Wattpad Presents Turns 1

The teleserye dominance of ABS-CBN and GMA did not deter TV5. Following the cancellation of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in early November, ‘Wattpad Presents’ became the network’s longest-running active entertainment program, having been on the air for over a year.

Under-appreciated by most television viewers, ‘Wattpad Presents’ was able to make it over a year thanks to an endless supply of new stories and a dedicated fanbase. It is considered a perfect alternative to the long and dragging storylines that a teleserye usually provides.

ABS-CBN Goes Digital and HD

February 11 saw the much-awaited launch of ABS-CBN TVPlus, the first-ever digital terrestrial television service in the country. The so-called ‘mahiwagang black box’ quickly became popular, selling nearly a million units.

Then on October 3, ABS-CBN HD was launched, bringing virtually every program on Channel 2 into crystal clear high definition. And finally, ABS-CBN announced that they will replace Balls HD with ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD starting January 1, ending a six-year run for the network’s first-ever HD channel.

Kapamilya Gold Reloaded

Teleseryes made their return to Kapamilya Gold on January 13, as ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ premiered on the afternoon block. This was followed by four other series: ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’ and ‘And I Love You So’.

Since then, the battle between Kapamilya Gold and Afternoon Prime dramas became a tight one, both in ratings and momentum. However, it didn’t stop ‘The Half-Sisters’ from achieving the one-year milestone in June.

NCAA Returns to Channel 23; UAAP Extended

After a fruitless three-year tenure with Sports5, the NCAA returned to ABS-CBN Sports in late June. The renewed partnership featured new innovations, such as social media interaction and high-definition broadcasts.

ABS-CBN Sports also signed a fresh five-year deal with the UAAP, following another successful season. The network now plans to extend its coverage to other UAAP tournaments, in addition to full coverage of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

The Big Two-0

November 27 saw ‘Bubble Gang’ celebrate its 20th anniversary with a documentary special. The 20-year-old gag show continues to defy time, maintaining its status as a Friday night habit despite an evolving cast of talents and advancements in technology.

Also reaching its 20th year is ‘Saksi’, the second longest-running active free TV newscast in the country. So is ‘ASAP’, who despite fading ratings with the entry of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, remains a fixture on Sunday noontime.

Janella, Jana Shine on Lunchtime

Following up the success of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ was a difficult task, but Janella Salvador and Jana Agoncillo proved that they were able to thrive with this challenge. Janella’s ‘Oh My G’ and Jana’s ‘Ningning’ flourished as one the country’s top-rated programs on weekdays, despite a stiff competitor in ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

In response, the TAPE-produced talk show starring Ryzza Mae Dizon was rebooted into a drama series as ‘Princess in the Palace’. However, the reformat did not produce the desired results.

2015 was another year to remember for television viewers. Although ABS-CBN continued to reign this year, GMA and TV5 enjoyed their own share of moments as well, and with digitization now underway, the preparation for a full-digitized television signal in the Philippines is on.

So what is in store for 2016? Find out as From the Tube continues to look at events and changes that shape Philippine media.

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