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, Korea, Philippines, television

GMA’s Post-StarStruck Response is a Koreanovela, Plus No Miss World Telecast

A new Koreanovela will kick things off for GMA Telebabad.

Tonight will be the premiere of ‘The Producers’, a recently-aired Korean drama series starring Kim Soo-hyun, Cha Tae-hyun, Gong Hyo-jin and IU. The series is produced by the same group who created another hit Korean drama in ‘My Love from the Star’.

This brings the total number of current Asianovelas on GMA to three. Two of them (‘Someone Like You’, ‘Ice Adonis’) form part of the network’s Heart of Asia Mornings block.

Unfortunately for GMA, ‘The Producers’ will be up against ‘Pasion de Amor’, the ABS-CBN teleserye that continues to heat up the ratings with each intense scene. Combined with waning interest in the Koreanovela genre, and a programming mismatch ensues between the two shows.

That said, it will be a very tough challenge for GMA and ‘The Producers’ to rekindle the once-popular Koreanovela genre. Whether or not they will accomplish that remains to be seen.

‘The Producers’ airs weeknights at 5:50 p.m., before ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

No Televised Broadcast of Miss World

The 2015 Miss World was held last Saturday, with Spain’s Mireia Lalaguna winning the crown. The Philippines’ Miss World representative, Hillarie Parungao, finished in the top ten.

Unfortunately, despite the presence of ‘MariMar’ star and 2013 winner Megan Young as one of the pageant’s hosts, this year’s Miss World was not televised at all in the Philippines. The reason: GMA’s concurrent live broadcast of ‘StarStruck: The Final Judgment’, won by Migo Adecer and Klea Pineda.

There was also no delayed broadcast of the said pageant the following day, as GMA realized it was not worth it given the country’s Miss World bet only made the top ten. News reports were also absent on GMA News programs within days of the event; the only Miss World-related report is of Parungao’s return to the country.

With GMA unable to air this year’s Miss World (even though they aired the Miss World Philippines pageant two months earlier), it may be a better idea for the organizers to find a new network for subsequent Miss World and Miss World Philippines pageants. GMA’s non-commitment to a Miss World broadcast is not a good sign for their relationship, and worse, a black eye for the embattled network.

That said, next year’s Miss World will provide a lot of questions to prospective coverors. Will there ever be another broadcast of Miss World in the Philippines? Only time will tell.

Postscript: Speaking of beauty pageants, congratulations to Pia Wurtzbach for winning the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, albeit with the help of a premature announcement of Miss Colombia’s victory by host Steve Harvey. The victory of the Philippines’ Wurtzbach should help spike the event’s ratings on ABS-CBN this week. 

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Philippines, Sports, television

In 100 Words: FIBA Asia Championship on TV5 and BTV

The 2015 FIBA Asia Championship will be seen on BTV from September 23 to October 3. Gilas Pilipinas games will be simulcast live on TV5 as well. (Logo courtesy of FIBA)

The FIBA Asia Championship will be on two different stations starting tomorrow.

For starters, the rights for every FIBA regional qualifying event (except Africa and Oceania) are currently held by Solar Entertainment’s Basketball TV. The said network has covered the Americas and Eurobasket championships, which were won by Venezuela and Spain respectively, and now it’s the turn of the Asian nations to qualify for the Olympics.

All games of the FIBA Asia Championship will air on BTV. The Gilas Pilipinas games will be simulcast live on TV5, unless they consider covering non-Gilas games on AksyonTV (and to a lesser extent, TV5) as well.

The 2015 FIBA Asia Championship will be held at Changsha-Hunan, China, and will run from September 23 to October 3. Full schedule can be clicked here.

Good luck, Gilas Pilipinas.

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live events, Philippines, Sports, television

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is on ABS-CBN Sports

This June 12, football enthusiasts will once again converge as the 2014 FIFA World Cup takes place in Brazil. The month-long tournament will feature 32 nations playing in 12 different cities, 16 of which will survive to play in the knockout rounds, a four-tiered stage that will determine the winner of the FIFA World Cup Trophy.

The Philippine broadcast rights for this year’s World Cup will be held by ABS-CBN Sports. Balls Channel (SkyCable Channel 34, Destiny Cable Channel 36) will show most live games, with several others airing on a delayed basis. The complete schedule can be seen below.

Schedules for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on the Balls Channel.

For football enthusiasts without cable subscription, ABS-CBN Sports+Action will show some of the games, both live and on a delayed basis. The list of the preliminary round matches on the network can be clicked on this link.

In addition, SkyCable will provide a season pass for every live World Cup game in high definition. The season pass costs P1999, and is only available to subscribers with an HD digibox.

The FIFA World Cup attracts millions of viewers from around the world, and this year’s edition is no exception. And while 2010 winner Spain and host nation Brazil will be among the favorites to win the Cup, this tournament is also expected to feature some surprising victories along the way, one that will see less favored nations make an upset or two that would captivate and shock football fans.

This year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil should be exciting to watch. And football fans can’t wait.

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country, Philippines, Sports, television

Proud Run for Gilas Pilipinas

While the Philippines finished with a silver medal, they were assured a trip to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

Over 19,000 spectators, majority of which are Filipinos, filled the Mall of Asia Arena to watch the final of the FIBA Asia Championship. A lot was at stake, the foremost of which is the gold medal and a claim to be the best in Asia. Both the Philippines and Iran were assured a trip to Spain for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, but they still battled through 40 minutes of intense action in an effort to lay claim as Asia’s best team.

While Gilas Pilipinas fought toe-to-toe with the Iranians, the law of averages eventually caught up with them. Iran was too tall and too skilled to overcome, eventually winning the contest 85-71. Still, the loss did not dampen the Filipino spirit, as it showed throughout the tournament that whatever the Filipinos lacked in ceiling, they made it up with heart, grit and resiliency, traits that made this year’s Gilas Pilipinas team special.

All it took was full support from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the PBA, and the Filipino people, for making this possible. The PBA delayed it’s season-ending Governor’s Cup just to have its national team players practice and breed chemistry in time for the tournament. Though there were some obstacles along the way, Gilas Pilipinas made sure they make the most out of the preparations for the tournament. 

For eight playing days, Gilas Pilipinas fought with some of Asia’s best, and through those battles they somehow found ways to win all the way to the final. The most impressive victory for the nationals came on August 10 against Korea, beating them 86-79 in order to book a trip to the Basketball World Cup. Though a loss to Iran dropped them to a silver finish, it was a marked improvement from their 4th place finish in the 2011 tournament, one credited to the faith, planning and preparation of the players, coaches and management. 

With the successful hosting of the FIBA Asia Championship now in the books, the Filipino basketball scene returns to normal. The NCAA resumes the final few games of the first round today, while the UAAP second round and the PBA Governor’s Cup gets underway on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the next round of planning and preparation for Gilas Pilipinas begins today, this time for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. It may be a long shot, but it is possible that the Philippines can finish impressively in the world stage.

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