entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

In 100 Words: FOX Philippines Finally Airs a Live WWE Pay-Per-View

For the first time since 2012’s Elimination Chamber, a WWE pay-per-view was aired live on Philippine cable TV.

FOX Philippines, rightsholders to WWE programs since 2012, aired the Extreme Rules pay-per-view live last Monday morning. This marked the first time that FOX PH has ever aired a live WWE pay-per-view since taking over the broadcast rights from Solar Entertainment’s Jack TV (2012) and later from ABS-CBN Sports+Action (2014).

Previously, all WWE pay-per-views on FOX PH were aired on a 13-hour delay, an aspect carried over from another previous rightsholder in ABS-CBN Sports.

This should be good news for wrestling fanatics, who have been clamoring for live WWE pay-per-views since Solar dropped WWE programs from Jack TV a few years ago. If FOX PH can continue its new-found approach starting with the next pay-per-view Payback, the better for fans to enjoy the action.

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Philippines, Sports, television

What Happened to Solar Sports?

In its heyday, Solar Sports aired several top-notch sports events familiar to Filipinos. Before Basketball TV and Balls came into the picture, Solar Sports was the major broadcaster of the NBA and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It also aired the WWE, major tennis tournaments, the La Liga and Bundesliga soccer matches, the NFL, and NASCAR racing. Now, what happened?

Looking at the entire repertoire of Solar Sports, it seems that they have eschewed airing the big events in favor of sports not familiar to Filipinos. While they still provide decently good sporting events like boxing, billiards and the PGA, ATP and WTA tours, Solar Sports now airs BWF badminton, FLW fishing, and Copa Libertadores soccer matches. Locally the network became the official coveror of Philippine Super Liga volleyball. And they also cover cockfighting and Jai Alai.

Having said that, Solar Sports has become a shell of its former self. While the loss of the NBA to BTV only gave basketball-crazy fans a favor, it is unacceptable to lose the UFC to ABS-CBN Sports, La Liga and Bundesliga to BeIN Sport, and the WWE to Fox Asia. And what were the replacements? Gambling-related sports, fishing, and badminton. This is not what Solar Sports used to air.

If Solar Sports can somehow bring its past glory back, they should start by acquiring more respectably familiar sports like college football and Major League Baseball. Cockfighting and Jai Alai have no place to this channel and should be left alone for a future gambling sports channel. And finally, Solar Sports should change its logo and readopt the ‘Sports Plus’ identity of several years ago.

What used to be ‘Our Sports Channel’ is now a distant memory. Solar Sports needs a change, and it should start soon.

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