03 December 2010

Solar TV Giving Up on PBA?

Solar TV PBA
It was reported in a major daily on 2 December 2010 that Solar Sports is looking for a TV network that is willing to take over coverage of the PBA games in the next two conferences of the on-going 2010-2011 season following a reported decision by Solar TV to totally reformat its programming on RPN 9.

The Inquirer learned that Solar TV is also planning to move its NBA and boxing shows out of Channel 9 but whether or not these shows will be offered to other networks is unclear at this time.

Sources said Solar Sports is looking for a third party to take over the coverage of the PBA's games and provide the airtime for the telecast of the games on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and out-of-town games on Saturdays.

Solar Sports executives headed by CEO Peter Chanliong are expected to hold discussions with ABS-CBN on Thursday followed by meetings with GMA 7 and ABC 5.

However, the Lopez network, which currently telecasts both the UAAP and NCAA games, is unlikely to enter into any agreement to assume the coverage for the remaining two PBA conferences unless Solar also turns over its optional rights at the end of the current franchise to ABS-CBN.

The Lopez network is unlikely to accept a takeover unless the PBA board of governors guarantees ABS-CBN a longer term contract which would make an investment in the pro league coverage viable and worthwhile.

Commissioner Chito Salud said "no formal notice has been received by the PBA office regarding this matter," adding "that in any event the primary concern of the board is to make sure that the PBA games will continue to be aired for the rest of the contract of Solar."

The franchise fee for the 2010-11 season amounts to PhP 170 million.

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