Philippines, Sports, television

Liga Is the New Balls

CPI has a new cable channel in LIGA, which will eventually serve as the main home of the 2018 FIFA World Cup (Logo courtesy of Creative Programs Inc.)

ABS-CBN’s Creative Programs Inc. has a new cable channel anew.

Following the closure of TAG, ABS-CBN Regional Channel and Hero, CPI went back to work and quietly established a new sports-oriented cable channel called LIGA. The channel’s content will eventually be focused on the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but for the time being, it airs live and classic UAAP men’s basketball and women’s volleyball matches as well as the World Cup qualifiers.

LIGA is served to complement S+A, ABS-CBN’s free TV channel dedicated to sports. While ABS-CBN Sports is the current rightsholder for the World Cup, its main channel S+A may not be enough to shoulder the burden due to its other sports commitments both internationally and locally.

Thus an alternate channel was needed to pick up the slack. Enter LIGA, which is currently on test broadcast with an official launch soon to be announced.

This is not the first time that CPI decided to establish its own sports channel. During the ensuing controversy surrounding SkyCable and Solar Entertainment in 2008 regarding carriage of the latter’s channels, CPI appeased to the demands of some sports fans with the launch of Balls, which lasted seven years before CPI ended its broadcasts in favor of S+A.

But unlike Balls which catered more to the upper echelon of society, LIGA will be more mass-oriented in nature. This despite the fact that it will contain many of the events that Balls used to air.

Now that LIGA is about to be unleashed, one can only hope that this channel will benefit sports fans in more ways than one. Not only that, as the home of the World Cup this June, football fans will be more excited than ever to see their football heroes strut their stuff in the world’s biggest stage.

Good luck.

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hits, music, Philippines, radio, songs, talk show

Mr. Fu Leaves Energy FM, Plus A New Jock for Barangay LS’ Wanted Sweetheart

An unlucky break strikes 106.7 Energy FM.

Just as the station added Papa J (formerly 90.7 Love Radio’s Papa Jack) and Chico Loco to its roster of DJs, one of their more popular jocks decided to leave for good. After weeks of speculation, Mr. Fu announced on social media that he will officially depart from 106.7 Energy FM in order to pursue other interests.

Mr. Fu (or Jeffrey Espiritu in real life) had been part of the Energy FM team for parts of seven years (three with 91.5 Energy FM, four with 106.7 Energy FM). At the time of his departure, he was the host of Energy FM’s morning program ‘Ang Tagabulabog ng Buong Universe’.

The departure of Mr. Fu was a huge blow to 106.7 Energy FM, who had been poised to rise in the ratings game thanks to the additions of Papa J and Chico Loco. Now that a possible ‘Big Three’ of Mr. Fu, Papa J and Chico Loco was formally aborted, what chances does Energy FM have in contending against more established competition?

Speaking of competition, Barangay LS 97.1 FM recently announced that a new DJ for its ‘Wanted Sweetheart’ program is on his way. Replacing the now-retired Papa Dan in the program is a long-time jock for sister station Barangay 102.3 General Santos, Papa Bol.

The Iloilo-based Papa Bol (Benjur Evangelista in real life) is no stranger to love advice talk radio shows, having hosted one for several years on Barangay 102.3 General Santos. However, as he steps into the shoes of the legendary Papa Dan, hosting a radio show with a national following will not be an easy task.

After all, the primetime scene on ‘masa’ radio is a competitive one. With 90.7 Love Radio’s Lloyd Cafe Cadena, 101.1 Yes the Best’s Rico Panyero and Lala Banderas, MOR 101.9’s Cha Cha and now 106.7 Energy FM’s Papa J all vying for the top spot, ‘Wanted Sweetheart”s newest jock will have his hands full in capturing the hearts of listeners.

It will be interesting to see how both 106.7 Energy FM and 97.1 Barangay LS will be able to cope with the changes in their roster. That said, expect a more heated summer in both booths as their quest for No. 1 continues.

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