The ‘Big Three’ stations will now join forces for the much-anticipated super-fight of the century.
It was announced by Solar Sports that the bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be aired simultaneously on free TV via ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5. Solar is expected to retain production rights for the fight, but the three stations are also expected to send in their respective broadcast teams within weeks of the fight.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will still be screened live in theaters and arenas throughout the country via Solar All-Access. In addition, both SkyCable and Cignal will produce a pay-per-view feed.
The radio coverage of the fight will still be exclusive to GMA’s radio division.
The simultaneous airing of the fight on Channels 2, 5 and 7 should help Solar Sports a lot in terms of shouldering the burden. After all, Wilson Tieng and company spent over P400 million just to acquire the exclusive broadcast rights for the fight, which is very costly to say the least.
Setting aside a long-standing rivalry for a major non-news event is no longer new for the ‘Big Three’. Three years ago, a musical tribute concert for the late Dolphy was aired on ABS-CBN, TV5 and GMA at the same time.
This is definitely a watershed moment in Philippine television, one that will still be discussed well after the fight is over. The three networks may have been rivals for a long while, but collaborating for a mega-fight of epic proportions should help unite Filipinos in support of its greatest hero.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, dubbed ‘Battle for Greatness’, commences on May 3 Manila time.