Philippines, Sports, television

Pacquiao, Donaire Fight on the Same Night Sunday

Two for the price of one.

On Sunday, November 6 (Saturday, November 5 Las Vegas time), two of the Philippines’ best pugilists will fight on the same night. That’s right, for the first time ever, Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire will be on one card together.

The headline attraction will pit Pacquiao against Jessie Vargas for the WBO Welterweight title. Prior to that, Donaire will defend his WBO Super Bantamweight title against unbeaten Jessie Magdaleno.

Both Pacquiao and Donaire are considered one of the best boxers in the world. Their fights have become the stuff of legend, and each have the titles to back their claim.

However, they have never shared the same stage. That is, until this Sunday in Las Vegas.

For Pacquiao, his return to the ring came unexpectedly. After defeating Timothy Bradley in April, he initially announced his retirement in order to focus as a politician, but despite winning a seat in the Senate (with mostly negative reviews from critics), Pacquiao decided to give boxing another shot.

For Donaire, it will be his third defense of the WBO Super Bantamweight title he won over Cesar Juarez in December of last year. Two weeks after Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley, Donaire successfully defended his belt against Zsolt Bedak.

As far as the Philippine broadcast rights go, that honor goes to Solar Entertainment and GMA Network, since Pacquiao is tagged as the headliner in this card. It will air on a delayed basis on GMA and Solar Sports, and live on Super Radyo DZBB 594 and all cable and satellite pay-per-view outlets.

For Donaire, it will be his first fight since 2009’s bout with Rafael Concepcion (which coincidentally aired on GMA) in which ABS-CBN does not have any television rights. The said network has owned the rights to all Top Rank cards that do not involve Pacquiao since 2010.

With two of the Philippines’ top-ranked boxers fighting on the same night, expect the millions to congregate and watch this unprecedented event blow-by-blow. But like Pacquiao’s last fight with Bradley, it remains to be seen if there are still believers in the Pacman.

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Philippines, Sports, television

ABS-CBN, TV5, GMA to Simultaneously Air Pacquiao-Mayweather Fight

Representatives of Solar Sports, ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5 come together for the special press conference announcing the joint free TV coverage of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight on all three networks. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN Sports)

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.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

History of Manny Pacquiao Boxing Fights on Philippine TV

 

Before winning world championships in eight weight divisions, Manny Pacquiao was a regular fixture on the Vintage Sports boxing program ‘Blow by Blow’. (Screenshot courtesy of Vintage Television and Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation)

It’s another Manny Pacquiao fight day this Sunday.

On November 23, Pacquiao will put his WBO Welterweight Championship on the line against WBO Light Welterweight titleholder Chris Algieri in Macau. The 64th bout in Pacquiao’s 19-year career is expected to be another blockbuster, both in the box office and on television.

But before that, here is a look back at the history of Manny Pacquiao’s fights on Philippine television.

The ‘Blow by Blow’ Years

From 1994 to 1999, the now-defunct Vintage Sports produced the weekly boxing program ‘Blow by Blow’, which was aired on both PTV-4 and IBC-13. It was in this series where Pacquiao began his boxing career, and with the exception of a knockout defeat by Rustico Torrecampo, Pacquiao dominated ‘Blow by Blow’ by winning every bout he participated in.

From Sasakul to Lucero

Despite the cancellation of ‘Blow by Blow’, Pacquiao continued his emergence in the boxing ranks. From 1998 to 2003, IBC-13 and Vintage, later known as Viva TV, televised and produced Pacquiao’s fights, which include his impressive knockout victories over Chatchai Sasakul (1998) and Lehlohonolo Ledwaba (2001).

The knockout victory against Mexico’s Emmanuel Lucero in 2003 would be the last Pacquiao fight produced by Viva, as Solar Sports would acquire the Filipino TV rights to every subsequent Pacquiao bout.

From Barrera I to Morales III

Most of Pacquiao’s fights have been televised on Solar Sports since 2003. They had to do it, however, with various free TV partners.

From 2003-05, RPN-9 solely televised Pacquiao fights, the most notable of which was the technical knockout victory over Marco Antonio Barrera in late 2003. After the Hector Velasquez bout in 2005, RPN continued to air Pacquiao fights through 2010, but by then they have deferred to other networks for tape delay broadcasts.

In 2006, ABS-CBN produced all of Pacquiao’s fights that year, including a pair of knockout victories over Erik Morales. But the following year, Pacquiao decided to sign with GMA as a contract artist, and as a result, the Kapuso network would take over as the official free TV coveror of Pacquiao fights, which remains to this day.

From Solis to Bradley II

Starting with the bout against Jorge Solis, all Pacquiao fights were televised on both GMA and Solar Sports. It was also with the Solis fight that Solar began to broadcast every Pacquiao fight on pay-per-view via Solar All Access, giving boxing fans an advanced opportunity to watch a Pacquiao bout in real time.

The GMA-Solar partnership was not without complications, however. Prior to Pacquiao’s fight against Ricky Hatton in 2009, a contractual issue between Pacquiao and Solar forced the boxer to re-sign with ABS-CBN, but after resolving the issue with Solar executives, Pacquiao chose to re-sign with Solar instead.

Even though Pacquiao is currently signed with Top Rank Boxing, the promotion elected to sign a television deal with ABS-CBN Sports later that year, with the Kapamilya network choosing to focus on Top Rank’s other top Filipino boxer, Nonito Donaire.

While they earned high ratings, GMA’s airings of Pacquiao fights became a heavily-criticized affair, owing mostly to the extended commercial breaks and overreliance on ad placements during each bout. As a result, ABS-CBN and other networks would take advantage of GMA’s uber-delayed broadcasts by announcing the winner as early as possible, just to benefit a majority of disgruntled boxing fans.

Still, the GMA-Solar consortium proved to be the most successful of all the TV partners that covered Pacquiao’s major fights, not only ratings-wise, but also in terms of pay-per-view returns and ad rates.

Looking Ahead to Algieri

In two days, Manny Pacquiao will face Chris Algieri, and once again, all eyes will be on GMA and Solar who will cover the bout. Expect the two networks to pull out every stop in order to broadcast this much-awaited fight.

From ‘Blow by Blow’ to pay-per-view, Manny Pacquiao’s rise is definitely a stuff of legend. And for those who watched Pacquiao from his debut, it was all worth it.

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