action, entertainment, live events, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

FOX Philippines Is the New Home of the WWE

Daniel Bryan and other WWE superstars will have a new network in the Philippines, as FOX becomes the official home of the WWE.

WWE has come to FOX Philippines for good.

After taking over the rights to air WrestleMania XXX, FOX Philippines officially positioned themselves as the rightful home of the WWE by acquiring the broadcast rights to WWE’s flagship television program, Raw. Beginning tonight, the full three-hour serving of Raw will be seen on FOX Philippines in its entirety.

In addition, FOX Philippines also acquired WWE NXT, the weekly program that features up-and-coming wrestlers from the developmental unit of the same name. But for unknown reasons, FOX Philippines has decided not to air WWE Superstars, and instead the network will continue to pick up WWE Main Event as its tertiary program for the organization’s other top talents.

Only WWE SmackDown and WWE Vintage will remain on the air under FOX Philippines’ new programming deal, while recap shows WWE Bottomline and WWE Afterburn were removed. Pay-per-views, beginning with the upcoming Extreme Rules, will also be aired on a same-day delay on FOX Philippines. The new deal also allows FOX Philippines to air WWE programs on the same week as the American telecast.

Previously, WWE coverage was split between ABS-CBN Sports and FOX Philippines, with IBC-13’s defunct AKTV block serving as a free TV subsidiary for the latter. And prior to that, Solar USA/Jack TV served as the official broadcaster of the WWE in the Philippines.

The WWE on FOX Philippines programming schedule will be as follows:

WWE Vintage – Thursdays at 9:50 p.m.

WWE Raw – Fridays at 9:50 p.m.

WWE Main Event – Saturdays at 10:45 p.m.

WWE NXT – Saturdays at 11:40 p.m.

WWE SmackDown – Sundays at 9:50 p.m.

WWE pay-per-views – monthly; first airing on Monday at 9:50 p.m.

Replays of WWE programs will also be aired at certain points of the day.

With FOX Philippines now at the helm, watching WWE programs will never be the same again. Not only will viewers be treated to a three-hour Raw, they will also experience the same-day pay-per-views and complementary programs such as SmackDown and Main Event. Wrestling fans will definitely look forward to more action-packed storylines and matches that affect the WWE today.

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action, entertainment, live events, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

WrestleMania XXX on FOX; Is Raw Next?

WrestleMania XXX will be seen on FOX Philippines this Monday.

The mystery of the WrestleMania XXX broadcast rights has finally been revealed. FOX Philippines has announced that the highly-anticipated WWE pay-per-view will be carried by the said network on April 7 at a delayed time of 9:50 p.m. FOX’s announcement came a few weeks after WWE programs on ABS-CBN Sports+Action ceased its broadcast following the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.

While it was assumed that the announcement is the first step to FOX’s full acquisition of other WWE programs (e.g. Raw, NXT, Superstars), it remains to be seen whether or not they are really committed to air all WWE programs in a similar way that rival Jack TV did several years ago. After all, Jack TV used to air most, if not all WWE programs (including live pay-per-views) for several years.

FOX Philippines needs to realize that there are a lot of angry wrestling fans who were disgusted by ABS-CBN Sports’ decision to cease ties with WWE. Yes, they have WrestleMania XXX and future pay-per-views in their resume, so why not include Raw on the list? After all, it was considered the flagship program of the WWE with over 1,000 episodes in its 21-year history.

Bringing Raw (and other programs) to FOX should satisfy the demands of loyal wrestling viewers. Even though SmackDown (in its two-hour U.S. format) is a decently good program, the main storylines are typically developed and heightened on Raw, a three-hour program that involves all active WWE superstars. And by bringing the three hours of Raw to FOX Philippines (in contrast to the one-hour ‘international’ version on ABS-CBN Sports+Action), wrestling fans should be more than content to follow a wider variety of storylines as they happen.

In the meantime, good luck to FOX Philippines as they broadcast WrestleMania XXX this Monday. And for wrestling fans everywhere, there is still a glimmer of hope for Raw to be aired on the said network.

*As of this article, the only WWE programming seen on the FOX-owned network are the following: SmackDown, Main Event, Bottomline, Afterburn, and Vintage. Meanwhile, ABS-CBN Sports+Action (formerly Studio 23) had the rights to Raw, NXT, Superstars, and the pay-per-views prior to the pullout, and also aired the one-season run of Tough Enough.

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action, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

WWE Out of ABS-CBN Sports?

The Daniel Bryan vs. the Authority angle will not be seen on free TV’s ABS-CBN Sports + Action for now.

Looks like the ‘Road to WrestleMania’ ended way too soon for ABS-CBN Sports.

In an unexpected development, WWE programming was pulled out of the ABS-CBN Sports + Action channel at the beginning of March, and were replaced by either the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UEFA Champions League, Pinoy Pride and Top Rank Boxing, or the NBA. The pullout of WWE programs by ABS-CBN Sports comes in three years after Solar Entertainment’s Jack TV decided to cease airing all WWE programs.

As expected, some wrestling fans were angered by ABS-CBN’s decision to cancel its broadcast of the WWE. However, the reaction only paled in comparison to Solar’s pullout three years earlier, where an overwhelming majority of wrestling fans balked at the one-hour international format of Raw, the absence of SmackDown and Main Event (both currently airing on FOX Philippines), and the delayed broadcast of WWE pay-per-views on the Kapamilya’s UHF channel.

The absence of WWE programming on ABS-CBN Sports may have stemmed from the fact that the Vince McMahon-owned company recently established the WWE Network after the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. As many wrestling fans know, the new network is expected to carry every WWE pay-per-view beginning with WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. Because of that, ABS-CBN Sports may find it difficult to even broadcast the upcoming WrestleMania 30 in both SkyCable and Sports + Action, considering the already complicated situation.

Should ABS-CBN Sports officially close the door on the WWE, Fox needs to step up. While the channel already has SmackDown and Main Event along with other supplementary programs like Vintage, Afterburn and Bottomline, what Fox needs at this point are both Raw and the pay-per-views in order to satisfy the demands of loyal wrestling viewers. If that happens, perhaps a return to a two or three-hour format for Raw and free live pay-per-views is in order, provided that Fox airs WWE programs on the same week as the U.S.

The loss of WWE should not be a big deal for Kapamilya viewers. After all, there is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, another form of combat sports which is just as entertaining, but without the scripted excess that is featured in professional wrestling. However, it remains to be seen whether or not free TV will once again accept the WWE.

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