THE NBA games are back on Philippine television.
The world's premier basketball league on Monday announced that it has signed a multi-year partnership with Cignal TV and Smart Communications to bring NBA games and programming to fans in the Philippines through free-to-air, satellite television and over-the-top streaming.
Beginning Friday, July 31, to coincide with the 2019-20 NBA season restart, free-to-air channels TV5 and ONE Sports will broadcast live NBA games for the first time, including four games every week, the NBA announced.
TV5 and ONE Sports will air select “seeding games” and playoff games through the first and second rounds, while the Conference finals will be televised in its entirety between the two channels. The 2020 NBA Finals will be broadcast exclusively on TV5.
Cignal will also launch NBA TV Philippines, a localized version of NBA TV – the league’s dedicated 24/7 channel – which will feature live games and original programming in high definition, NBA Philippines announced.
As an expansion of its existing partnership with the NBA to distribute NBA League Pass, Smart will livestream NBA TV Philippines through its new over-the-top service, which will be available exclusively to the network’s paid subscribers.
“The NBA restart is set against a uniquely challenging moment in time for our fans in the Philippines, who are among the most passionate and dedicated NBA supporters in the world,” said NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy.
Cignal TV president and CEO Robert Galang said: "We will deliver NBA content, not just for our pay TV subscribers but to the general public. Everyone will have access to the NBA through our channels TV5 and ONE Sports. But of course, you get the best NBA experience on TV if you’re on Cignal.”
Additionally, Smart will relaunch NBA.com/Philippines, the league’s official digital destination in the country, later this year.
“As some of the world’s biggest basketball fans, the hunger for live basketball action is in our DNA,” said Smart president and CEO Alfredo Panlilio.
Cignal initially made a joint bid for the NBA broadcast rights with ABS-CBN after the league's long partnership with Solar Sports ended.
However, ABS-CBN dropped out of the bid amid its dificulties in securing a new franchise from Congress, paving the way for TV5's entry.
Cignal sources said TV5 will air one NBA game during the weekend on free television, while One Sports will air two games during weekends.