entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

Solar Channels Unavailable on SkyCable, Plus FOX Loses WWE Rights to TV5

Bad news for NBA and WWE fans in the Philippines.

Since last week, Solar Entertainment channels Basketball TV, NBA Premium TV, Jack TV, Solar Sports and CT were unavailable on SkyCable. The message posted by the company is as follows:

SKY regrets to inform its valuable subscribers that Solar channels, namely NBA Premium, BTV, Jack TV, Solar Sports, and CT are temporarily not available. It is unfortunate that it has affected the airing of the NBA playoffs.

Solar has been our valued partner for many years. We are working with them for a resolution, but we cannot comment on the details of our discussions.

NBA fans, however, can continue to watch the playoff games beginning this Sunday, April 16, all through the finals via ABS-CBN Sports + Action and Fox Sports channel. They can check the updated schedules posted here.

The concerns of our subscribers and viewers are of utmost importance to us. Again, we offer our sincere apologies for the inconvenience.

The loss of Solar channels hit NBA fans hard, as Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV air a majority of the games daily per season. As a result, the NBA decided to appease the demands of viewers by assigning two games per day on ABS-CBN’s S+A channel, plus a select amount on Fox Sports Philippines and ABS-CBN Channel 2 while the situation is being fixed.

This is not the first time that SkyCable viewers vented their anger over the company’s issues with Solar Entertainment. In 2008, SkyCable pulled out Basketball TV, Jack TV and Solar Sports in favor of Creative Programs’ own channels due to an alleged television contract issue with Manny Pacquiao, but the channels were later reinstated.

Moving over to the world of sports-entertainment, FOX Philippines stunned Filipino wrestling fans by announcing that they will no longer carry WWE programs on the network after an attempt to negotiate a renewal failed to materialize. The statement can be seen below.

FOX had been a valued partner of the WWE since 2011, airing not only pay-per-views, 205 Live, NXT, Raw and SmackDown, but also complementary programs. However, the network drew the ire of some wrestling fans when it failed to air a select number of pay-per-views following the brand extension last July.

In a related development, TV5 announced that they have agreed to air WWE programs beginning April 30. No further details were made, but the network is expected to use Channel 5, AksyonTV and HYPER as vehicles to broadcast WWE events, both live and recap.

It remains to be seen if TV5 will do the same things that FOX used to do, but regardless, wrestling fans should rejoice this decision. Good luck.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

FOX Philippines Adds More WWE Programs to Already Loaded Lineup

FOX Philippines continues to strengthen its WWE programming with recap shows Bottom Line, Afterburn, This Week and Experience. (Logo courtesy of WWE)

FOX Philippines continues to strengthen its WWE programming with recap shows Bottom Line, Afterburn, This Week and Experience. (Logo courtesy of WWE)

It is clear that FOX Philippines is drastically changing its lineup for the benefit of wrestling fans.

Since the beginning of November, new episodes of WWE Raw and SmackDown Live are being aired on FOX Philippines within 12 hours of original American broadcast (FOX Sports Philippines continues to air both shows live). Now, more WWE programming awaits viewers of the said channel.

Starting the week of December 5, recap shows WWE Bottom Line, WWE This Week, WWE Afterburn and WWE Experience are placed on FOX Philippines’ regular lineup. They join the aforementioned Raw and SmackDown Live, as well as WWE Vintage, WWE NXT and WWE Main Event, in FOX’s menu.

Previously, Bottom Line, This Week, Afterburn and Experience were exclusive only to FOX Sports Philippines, who prior to nabbing the live broadcasts of Raw and SmackDown Live, were only content to air WWE recap shows to satisfy its commitments. Nowadays, the option of viewing WWE programs is more flexible than ever thanks to the two networks.

Despite that, however, there is still a question of whether or not FOX Philippines will recommit themselves to airing live pay-per-views. For now, though, that is out of the question, considering that ‘The Walking Dead’, by far the network’s most popular property, airs new episodes that could come in conflict with WWE pay-per-views.

Speaking of pay-per-views, FOX Philippines did air a SmackDown Live-exclusive pay-per-view when it aired WWE TLC last November 27. Still, it remains to be seen if they will indeed continue with this newfound commitment, now that the upcoming Raw-exclusive pay-per-view WWE Roadblock is slated for next week.

In other news, the replacement show for WWE Superstars, WWE 205 Live, is now being aired on FOX Sports Philippines. With that being said, FOX Philippines could find a way to accommodate this new program sooner or later, but for the time being, the program is exclusive only to FOX Sports Philippines.

Overall, FOX Philippines’ addition of more WWE programs is a good decision considering the renewed popularity of professional wrestling in the country. However, one week’s test is not enough so it’s up to them to keep this momentum going.

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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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