THE brains behind the new ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel said the UHF station is committed to bringing live sports events to the Filipino people.
ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena said the re-formatted channel formerly known as Studio 23 will make a shift from mostly entertainment programs to 70 percent sports-related shows beginning on Saturday.
The new sports channel will air the usual events previously being carried by Studio 23 such as games of both the UAAP basketball and volleyball events, NBA on weekends, Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), and Philippine Azkals, although the network is intent on bringing them on a live basis, according to Laurena.
“The channel will prioritize sports,” said Laurena during Thursday’s press launch in Makati City. “At any point in time, there will be live sports events.”
“We have a unique program schedule that prioritizes live events,” added ABS-CBN Narrowcast chief March Ventosa. “Sports as a program is best viewed live and we would like to provide that as much as possible.”
“In the case of sports, we will be competing in a very unique market and followers so we have to fulfill our mission,” said Ventosa.
Laurena also made it clear the network is eyeing to air several other UAAP sports on a live basis.
“We will continue to carry the finals of other (UAAP) sports. The more we can bring the UAAP live, we will do so,” said Laurena.
Also to be shown on the new sports channel are bouts involving former two-time world champion Nonito Donaire Jr., Top Rank boxing, this year’s Fifa World Cup, Uefa Champions League, and tournaments organized by the Asian Football Confederation, and FIVB (volleyball).
Aside from live sports events, the new channel will also have a 15-minute sports news program called ‘The Score’ to be hosted by TJ Manotoc.
Laurena said the channel will still feature a news program called News+ hosted by broadcast journalist Anthony Taberna as well as films of the late action star Fernando Poe Jr., and television series CSI and NCIS.
“The entertainment programs will help us create a continuous audience to keep our audience glued to the channel,” said Laurena.