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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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

WWE Raw and SmackDown Airs Live Next Week, But FOX’s Problems Resurface

WWE Raw and SmackDown will air live starting next week on FOX Sports Philippines, with a same-day replay on FOX Philippines. (Photo credit: WWE)

WWE Raw and SmackDown will air live starting next week on FOX Sports Philippines, with a same-day replay on FOX Philippines. (Photo credit: WWE)

WWE fans in the Philippines are in for a big surprise.

Starting next Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, new episodes of WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown will now air live at 8:00 a.m. on FOX Sports Philippines. Same-day replays will air within 12 hours of original broadcast on FOX Philippines.

With viewers becoming more dependent on WWE’s social media accounts to follow the action as it happens, it was only imperative for FOX to make this drastic measure. After all, the success of WWE Live in Manila last September only furthered wrestling fans’ desire to watch WWE programming on a regular basis.

Although the announcement was enthusiastically welcomed by WWE fans in the country, there are still some issues to address. Last Monday morning in Manila, many viewers awaited the live telecast of the Raw-exclusive Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on FOX Philippines, only to be greeted by replays of ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘American Dad’.

The erratic WWE pay-per-view scheduling issue on FOX Philippines has been well-documented since it fully acquired the company’s broadcast rights in 2014. There were times when WWE pay-per-views were aired on the channel live, and there were other occasions when it first aired within 12-13 hours of original broadcast.

And just recently, FOX began to focus more on the flagship Raw brand once the brand extension came into play. As a result, SmackDown-branded pay-per-views were not aired, and to make matters worse, SmackDown itself was aired on a one-week delay.

While FOX Philippines should be excused for not airing Hell in a Cell live (thank you ‘The Walking Dead’), their indecision is an inexcusable one. Come on, FOX Sports Philippines also airs WWE programming (mostly recap shows), so why not transfer those live pay-per-views to the said channel.

As for the delay and subsequent snubbing of SmackDown and its related programs, it is unfair to do such a thing. Both Raw and SmackDown are equally important and must-watch shows, and deemphasizing either one of them is insulting to any wrestling fan.

As both FOX networks move on to upcoming pay-per-views and episodes of Raw and SmackDown, one thing is certain: no one wants to be left behind. For wrestling fans, this is a promise that FOX will have to fulfill in the weeks ahead.

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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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