cable TV, Philippines, Sports, television

In 150 Words: BTV, NBA Premium Return to SkyCable

Some good news await basketball fans in time for the new NBA season.

SkyCable announced Tuesday that Basketball TV and NBA Premium will be reinstated in their lineup effective immediately. In its statement, Sky said that they welcome this development as it is in keeping with the status quo order earlier issued by the court.

It can be recalled that both channels were abruptly shut down prior to the start of the 2017 NBA Playoffs due to legal issues between Solar and ABS-CBN regarding broadcast rights. Solar claimed that ABS-CBN owed them millions of pesos in unpaid carriage fees, and in response, SkyCable claimed to have paid said carriage fees as part of the licensing fee it rewarded to the NBA.

However, the reinstatement of Basketball TV and NBA Premium on Sky will only be temporary with the court decision on the matter still pending. For now, though, basketball fans should be more than happy to catch up with daily NBA action every morning on both channels.

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Philippines, Sports, television

ABS-CBN Sports to Televise All Games of the PVL Open Conference

“WE NEED IT!”

This is perhaps the plea of volleyball fans as the Premier Volleyball League enters its season-ending Open Conference. Having said that, ABS-CBN’s decision to finally televise every match of the Open Conference came as part of a harsh lesson learned during the Reinforced Conference.

Back in May, ABS-CBN Sports received plenty of criticism for the live streaming issues that took place during a PVL On Tour stop at Tuguegarao. Reluctantly, the network was forced to air weekend games on S+A for the remainder of the tournament before it televised every game of the finals.

Regarding the PVL Collegiate Conference, the exhibition nature of the tournament meant that only the first playdate and the finals were aired on S+A while the other games were aired on live stream. But ABS-CBN Sports, for its part, was able to address its concerns on live stream access by offering the PVL games on YouTube free of charge.

Which leads to the Open Conference. In part two of getting things right with volleyball fans, ABS-CBN Sports announced that all games of the tournament will be aired on LIGA while select matches will be televised on S+A.

The coverage format goes like this:

  1. All games live on LIGA, ABS-CBN Sports YouTube channel and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/pvl
  2. Second game of Sunday doubleheader live on S+A.
  3. First game of Sunday doubleheader airs on a delayed basis after the live second game on S+A.
  4. Saturday doubleheaders air on a delayed basis every Monday at 2:00 p.m. on S+A.

The PVL Open Conference began Saturday with a doubleheader at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The opener meant that an MPBL game between the Bataan Risers and Cebu Sharks was not televised on S+A to give way to the live match between Banko Perlas Spikers and Iriga-Navy Oragons, a concession that was met with approval from volleyball fans.

The ongoing tournament will also feature Reinforced Conference champion Creamline Cool Smashers, Pocari Sweat Air Force, PetroGazz Angels, Tacloban Fighting Warays, Akari-Adamson Lady Falcons and Motolite-Ateneo Lady Eagles. Here is the entire tournament schedule.

About the only drawback here is that LIGA is only available on SkyCable and SkyDirect. But other than that, volleyball fans couldn’t get any happier.

Good luck to all the teams in the ongoing PVL Open Conference. And thanks to ABS-CBN Sports for giving the fans what they want.

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digital television, entertainment, Philippines, television

By Popular Demand: ABS-CBN TVPlus Adds New Channels

Take it away, Coco Martin.

The ‘Ang Probinsyano’ star (along with Sarah Geronimo) has been the face of the ABS-CBN TVPlus commercials since the device made its public debut three years earlier. And after selling over five million units, viewers and purchasers will get a little more bang for their buck thanks to new exclusive channels that TVPlus launched last Monday.

The five new channels are as follows:

O Shopping

The only permanent addition to the list, O Shopping is a home TV shopping channel that resulted from a joint venture between ABS-CBN and CJ ENM Company Limited. The channel was launched in 2013 and has since made its presence felt across various media.

Aside from its current place on TVPlus Channel 8, O Shopping can still be seen on ABS-CBN (Channel 1 on TVPlus), Yey! (Channel 4 on TVPlus) and Knowledge Channel (Channel 5 on TVPlus) during the late-night hours. In addition, O Shopping can be seen on BEAM as one of its subchannels.

Asianovela Channel

As the name suggests, this channel currently airs Asian dramas and movies dubbed in Filipino and uncut. The Asianovela Channel can be accessed on TVPlus Channel 9.

Some of the programs aired on the Asianovela Channel were also previously broadcast on ABS-CBN as part of the First and True Home of Asianovelas block. The channel also introduces some never-before-aired series as well, albeit infrequently.

Movie Central

For those who want to see Hollywood films aired in its original English language, Movie Central is the place to watch. The channel is currently found on TVPlus Channel 10.

Movie Central airs a wide variety of genres, ranging from action, comedy, drama, romance to suspense, animation, adventure and sci-fi flicks. It is the digital TV equivalent to HBO and Fox Movies on cable.

Jeepney TV

Originally seen exclusively on SkyCable since 2012, Jeepney TV will now be accessed on TVPlus as well. Jeepney TV can be seen on TVPlus Channel 11.

The channel is home to ABS-CBN’s classic programs that viewers can relive over and over again. It also airs more recent episodes of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs programs by demand.

MYX

Another SkyCable exclusive channel, MYX was originally introduced to TVPlus as a blocktimer on the Kapamilya Box Office platform (TVPlus Channel 7). Now it can be seen 24/7 on TVPlus Channel 12.

MYX is a music channel that airs local and foreign music videos past and present. It also broadcasts non-music programs that showcase the latest trends in pop culture.

With the exception of O Shopping, the other four channels will be seen on a free trial basis until December 31, 2018. In addition, these five new channels will be available only to viewers in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Metro Cebu, with a few other areas to be rolled out soon.

Regarding the future of these new channels, it will be up to ABS-CBN management to decide the next course of action. For now, enjoy the latest additions that ABS-CBN TVPlus can offer.

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Philippines, Sports, television

No More: Solar Sports Not Involved in Pacquiao Fight vs. Matthysse

For the first time since 2006, a new Manny Pacquiao fight was not aired on Solar Sports.

Manny Pacquiao’s latest bout, a seventh round knockout win over Lucas Matthysse to capture the WBA Welterweight Title, was conspicuously absent from Solar Sports programming. The reason: MP Productions, led by Arnold Vegafria, chose not to sign a broadcast deal with Solar Sports for the aforementioned event.

The last time Solar Sports was not involved in the broadcast of a Manny Pacquiao fight was in 2006. That year, ABS-CBN exclusively aired Pacquiao’s fight with Oscar Larios which took place in the Philippines.

In the months leading up to the bout, Solar Sports aired some of Pacquiao’s classic matches every Friday night in hopes of getting a call from Arnold Vegafria. But when the network announced its upcoming list of programs for July 2018, Pacquiao vs. Matthysse was nowhere to be found.

No reason was given behind MP Productions’ decision. However, considering that Solar Sports is now airing less popular sporting events and the circumstances that followed Pacquiao’s loss to Jeff Horn last year, it only made sense for MP to cease ties with the said network.

On a related note, MP was able to secure television deals with ABS-CBN, The 5 Network, GMA, SkyCable and Cignal for the broadcast and distribution of Pacquiao vs. Matthysse. This marked the first time since the heavily-hyped Pacquiao bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015 that the Philippines’ three broadcast giants collaborated for the occasion.

Luckily for the three networks, Pacquiao secured his first knockout victory since 2009. The win came as a surprise to many considering Pacquiao’s age (the fighting senator is 39), his lack of power punching ability relative to his age, and his decision not to have long-time confidant Freddie Roach as his trainer for the bout.

Unfortunately for Solar Sports, Pacquiao’s victory was not only a lost opportunity but also the last straw. Manny Pacquiao bouts had been Solar Sports’ last ticket to relevance in recent years, but without him and his drawing power, the network is now fighting for survival.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

A Filipino Viewer’s Guide to the 2018 NBA Finals

Cavs and Warriors, again.

An unprecedented fourth consecutive meeting in the NBA Finals awaits the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. On one side, the Warriors look to seal their status as a modern-day dynasty, while on the other, the Cavaliers attempt to once again even this long-running saga.

For this year, Filipino viewers will have three different options to watch the NBA Finals. Here are the following ways to experience the Finals.

ABS-CBN Sports

Both ABS-CBN Channel 2 and S+A will simultaneously air the NBA Finals live. Viewers on Channel 2 will hear Filipino commentary hosted by Boom Gonzalez, Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras, while S+A will use English commentary from ESPN in the U.S., anchored by Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke.

Much like more recent NBA Finals broadcasts, Channel 2’s Filipino commentators will call the games straight from the ABS-CBN headquarters in Quezon City. In addition, TJ Manotoc will file reports on-site on news regarding the championship series.

Basketball TV and NBA Premium

The NBA Finals will also be delivered live on Basketball TV and NBA Premium, with both channels using English commentary from ESPN. In addition, BTV and NBA Premium will air extensive pre-game, post-game and off-day coverage of the Finals via NBA TV.

Basketball TV and NBA Premium are currently exclusive to Cignal and Cablelink subscribers only. The two channels are also available on digital TV via the EasyTV digibox (P2999 for purchase and P999 for renewal of subscription), but only for Metro Manila residents.

NBA League Pass

Basketball fans on the go can also watch the NBA Finals on their mobile devices via NBA League Pass. NBALP can be accessed via the NBA Game Time App on Google Play or Apple Store.

For more information on NBA League Pass, visit the NBA official website. For a step-by-step guide on subscribing to NBA League Pass, click the following links for Globe, Smart, PLDT and SkyCable subscribers.

If the last three meetings were of any indication, then expect another compelling battle between the Warriors and Cavs. Still, it remains to be seen if LeBron James will be able to sustain his seemingly one-man act against a deeper and stronger Warriors squad that has won two of the first three championship series.

Either way, NBA fans are in for a treat. Good luck.

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anime, cable TV, cartoon, lifestyle, Philippines, reality show, television

New Name for Lifestyle, Plus Toonami Gets the Ax

Lifestyle (Network) has a new name.

On April 2, 2018, Lifestyle was renamed and rebranded as the Metro Channel. Named after the high-end lifestyle magazine of the same name, Metro Channel will feature almost the same content as its predecessor, with a focus on food, fashion and travel programs.

Some of the programs that will air on Metro Channel include locally-produced shows such as ‘The Crawl’, ‘Casa Daza’, ‘At the Table’, ‘G Diaries’ and ‘Pia’s Postcards’. It will also feature foreign canned programs such as ‘Masterchef’, ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and ‘The Great British Bakeoff’.

Operated by ABS-CBN affiliate Creative Programs Inc., Metro Channel was originally launched on July 24, 1999 as the Lifestyle Network. It was later rebranded as ‘Lifestyle’ in 2015 with increased emphasis towards programs concerning food, fashion and travel.

Metro Channel will continue to air on SkyCable channel 52 and on high definition channel 174. It is also available on SkyDirect channel 31 and on select cable operators in the Philippines.

Easter weekend also saw the demise of Toonami, a cable channel operated by Turner Broadcasting. After nearly six years on the air, Toonami was officially shut down on March 31, 2018.

A sister channel of Cartoon Network and Boomerang, Toonami was known to air a selection of anime and American action cartoon series. Among the notable programs that were aired on Toonami include ‘Batman’, ‘Teen Titans’, ‘Ben 10’, ‘Inazuma Eleven Go’, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’, ‘Yo-Kai Watch’ and ‘Dragon Ball Z’.

The shutdown of Toonami had huge repercussions to Filipino anime fans who still mourn the loss of local anime channel Hero. At the time it was taken off the air, Toonami was broadcasting the ongoing ‘Dragon Ball Super’ series which has yet to be launched on Filipino free TV.

It remains to be seen if Cartoon Network will be able to revive the Toonami primetime block to accommodate its displaced programs. But for anime fans who are looking for other ways to watch their favorite programs, there are other options such as cable channels Animax and AniPlus, as well as anime streaming websites.

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