Philippines, Sports, television

Free Football: S+A Adds Premier League, La Liga, UEFA Champions League

ABS-CBN’s S+A and Triple CH joined forces to bring the Premier League, La Liga and UEFA Champions League to Filipino audiences. (Photo credit: PinoyFootball.com)

More football indeed.

ABS-CBN’s S+A reinforced its football catalog by adding three of the world’s best-known football tournaments. In a landmark partnership with Hong Kong-based Triple CH, select games of England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and Europe’s UEFA Champions League will air live on S+A.

ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena is more than excited to bring top-flight football to Philippine shores.

“Bringing these premier football leagues to free TV is part of our commitment to bring the best sports content to Filipinos. We hope that Filipinos will be more inspired to not just watch but also play the sport, as they get to see the football greats such as Ronaldo and Messi in action.”

“The time has come to let the excitement and the bigness of the game of football that has taken the world like a giant tsunami to come to the shores of the Philippines.”

Triple CH chairman Bernard Sumayao is hopeful that the partnership will bring in greater opportunities to propagate the sport of football in the Philippines.

“It’s a stepping stone for bigger things that we want to do. We brought these matches here because we want to increase the awareness and involvement of Filipinos in football. We want to see the level of football in the Philippines to go higher, to make them a powerhouse in football in the future, especially in Southeast Asia. Our partnership with ABS-CBN is crucial because they will be our distributor for all of the programs and projects we want to do.”

“We are prepared to make certain commitments to assist everything from the grassroots level all the way to the national team level.”

Sorrakit Lathitham, the managing director of Demeter Corporation, is likewise positive that the burgeoning partnership will help grow football’s popularity in the country.

“We believe that the Philippines is a growing market and a very healthy market for sports. We trust the goals and vision of Triple CH and we wish this partnership to grow and strengthen in the days to come.”

Airing the likes of the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League are nothing new for S+A. Back when the network was still named Balls*, the channel aired select games of the two leagues for a brief period of time.

In fact, it was Balls who first swooped in on the Premier League following the change of rightsholder from Fox Sports Asia to beIN Sport in 2013. However, ABS-CBN Sports was forced to give up the broadcasts once beIN Sport became available to Filipino cable and satellite subscribers.

But now that S+A reclaimed the rights to the two leagues alongside La Liga (not to mention greater availability through free TV), they can only hope that the love affair of football aficionados will endure for a longer period of time. It will be great to see some of football’s top stars grace the Filipino small screen in the years to come.

Live games of the Premier League, La Liga and UEFA Champions League on S+A will commence this December. The initial schedule of games can be seen below.

*Note: Studio 23 was renamed S+A SD in 2014, and Balls was renamed S+A HD in 2015. ABS-CBN merged the two networks’ programming in April 2017.

Standard
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.

Standard
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.

Standard