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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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Sad Ending to Ilustrado, Plus Second Chances Moved to Early 2015

The highly-budgeted but low-rated GMA bayaniserye ‘Ilustrado’ will end this Friday . (Photo credit: GMA Network)

‘Ilustrado’ ends this Friday with little to show for.

GMA’s so-called ‘bayaniserye’, which was produced by the News and Public Affairs department, failed to impress in the ratings throughout its run. This despite the fact that it boasted a more hi-tech production and added a more educational approach to the story.

Figures from both Kantar and AGB Nielsen showed that ‘Ilustrado’ was way behind ABS-CBN’s ‘Two Wives’ in the ratings for much of its run. ‘Ilustrado’ also failed to make an impact on social media, as netizens focused more on the intimate and hostile scenes between the characters of Jason Abalos, Erich Gonzales and Kaye Abad rather than Alden Richards’ portrayal of Jose Rizal as a student in Europe.

‘Ilustrado’ premiered on October 20 amid high expectations. GMA gave the show’s producers a big budget, investing on the latest computer technologies to digitally recreate the look of late 19th century Europe.

But the big investment did not translate into ratings success, even though more advertisers pitched in to help recover the losses. That said, expect GMA to lose more money after the disastrous returns of ‘Ilustrado’.

With ‘Ilustrado’ about to leave the airwaves this Friday, a new series will come to the Kapuso network starting November 17.

Contrary to earlier reports, ‘Second Chances’ will not be the replacement for ‘Ilustrado’. The teleserye, starring Jennylyn Mercado, Rafael Rosell, Raymart Santiago and Camille Prats, will now air beginning the first quarter of 2015.

Instead, ‘More Than Words’, starring Elmo Magalona and Janine Gutierrez, will replace ‘Ilustrado’, but not at the latter’s old timeslot. The series is expected to move at an earlier time.

Like ‘Ilustrado’, ‘Second Chances’ is expected to be a big-budgeted series. For the second consecutive year, a series starring Jennylyn Mercado will lead a list of GMA’s first quarter offerings, with the first being ‘Rhodora X’.

The move of ‘Second Chances” to an early 2015 premiere should boost its chances somewhat, as the series’ producers will now use the time to improve the story, production and character development.

This does not mean, however, that ‘Second Chances’ will be a potential hit. As it has been proven time and time again, GMA’s overreliance on its veterans have cost them both ratings, young talent and ad loads, and this latest venture shows how poor GMA is at managing and developing talent.

As 2014 winds down, expect yet another down year for the Kapuso network, both in financial health and in viewership. And it only gets worse.

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