Philippines, Sports, television

In 100 Words: Premier League, Serie A and La Liga on S+A

The month of August means a new season for football leagues in Europe.

With that, ABS-CBN’s S+A will pick up from where it left off last season with a slate of early-morning matches from England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A. The schedule of games this August are as follows.

Unfortunately, these games are only exclusive to S+A SD on channel 23. As for S+A HD, ABS-CBN has yet to determine substitute programming in lieu of its SD counterpart’s live football coverage.

This will be the second year that ABS-CBN Sports will carry the likes of the Premier League and La Liga. The network signed a deal with Hong Kong’s Triple CH last November to broadcast these popular European leagues on free TV in cooperation with beIN Sport.

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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.

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Three TV5 Shows Off the Air This Weekend

The Clear Dream Match will highlight TV5’s weekend slate of programs this week.

Three TV5 shows will not be seen this weekend for various reasons.

The Clear Dream Match, pitting the teams led by James and Phil Younghusband, will be aired live on TV5 tonight at 8:00 p.m. The all-star football exhibition match will also feature two English football legends: Manchester United’s Paul Scholes and Andy Cole. The match will be held at the University of Makati Stadium.

Due to the Clear Dream Match, ‘One of the Boys’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ will be preempted for this week. New episodes for both shows will resume next week.

Meanwhile, TV5 also reported that the second episode of ‘JasMine’ will not air tomorrow. According to the report, the taping for that particular episode last Friday was halted after one of the production staff members allegedly had an unpleasant experience with a stalker. Director Mark Meily then ordered its staff to pack up, after which TV5 executives held an emergency meeting. A statement regarding its suspension has yet to be released.

The suspension of ‘JasMine’ was surprising, considering the series starring Jasmine Curtis-Smith had an auspicious debut. Now viewers must hope that its suspension will not affect the momentum that ‘JasMine’ generated from the previous week.

And for viewers of News5 programs, it was decided that TV5 will only air one newscast during weekends. This means ‘Aksyon Weekend’ will be the lone news program on Saturdays, while ‘Pilipinas News Weekend’ will be the lone news program on Sundays.

It should be an exciting and promising weekend for the Kapatids at TV5, as the Younghusbands attempt to break the tie in tonight’s Clear Dream Match.

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Philippines, Sports

No More Premier League on Fox Sports and Star Sports

Fox Sports and Star Sports bow out of Premier League coverage beginning in the 2013-14 season. BeIN Sport will take over the Philippine broadcast for this season and beyond.

Many soccer fans are expecting a new Premier League season. After all, Manchester United is defending its title without the legendary Alex Ferguson, while new clubs in Hull City, Cardiff City and Crystal Palace are threatening to make an impact in England‘s top division. In addition, other top Premier League clubs in Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool hope to give Manchester United a run for their money. With that in mind, a new season of the Premier League gives clubs an opportunity to forget last year and improve on their placings, in hopes of surviving relegation and even compete in either the UEFA Champions League or the UEFA Europa League. However, Southeast Asian soccer fans will have a new broadcast partner this year.

After several years as broadcast partner, Fox Sports Asia (formerly ESPN) and Star Sports decided to bow out of Premier League coverage for this year and beyond. Instead the Dutch league known as Eredivisie will replace the Premier League on the said networks. It was then announced that MP & Silva, through its broadcast partner BeIN Sport, will acquire the Premier League broadcast rights in the Philippines for this season until the 2015-16 season, with 33 matches aired per season. Additional coverage will also be provided through digital media and other mobile platforms.

Fox Sports and Star Sports’ loss of the Premier League was unexpected. After all, the two networks have comprehensively covered the Premier League for many years and gave soccer fans an opportunity to connect with some of the league’s most popular clubs. However, a majority of the Philippine population were not soccer fans, and despite the emergence of the Philippine Azkals, soccer still lags behind boxing and basketball in terms of popularity. Worse, Premier League broadcast rights are expensive, and with mounting operational costs they cannot afford to carry more coverage. Thus they have to give up on the Premier League, instead replacing it with some unknown Dutch soccer stuff when in fact they should have taken either the German Bundesliga, the French Ligue 1 or the Italian Serie A to appease the appetite of soccer fans.

While BeIN Sport has acquired the rights to air the Premier League in the Philippines, the announcement of which channel and cable network will BeIN Sport be available remains to be seen. For now, many soccer fans craving for the Premier League will have to depend on online live streaming to appease their hunger for soccer action. The Premier League begins tomorrow, but without any television coverage in the Philippines to begin with.

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