THE National Basketball Association (NBA) has renewed its broadcast deal with Solar Entertainment Corporation and ABS-CBN Corporation in an agreement that assures fans of more games on cable and free television.
Under the new deal, Solar Entertainment, through its cable networks Basketball TV and NBA Premium, and ABS-CBN, via ABS-CBN Channel 2, and ABS-CBN Sports and Action Channel 23 on free television, will air at least 30 NBA games per week.
Details of the deal were not disclosed, though.
ABS-CBN added a Friday game to its schedule on Channel 23 aside from its Sunday and Monday schedule.
Channel 2, meanwhile, will continue to have a Saturday game, assuring fans of at least four games per week on free TV. ABS-CBN is also going to broadcast the same games on free TV online via iwanttv.
In total, the Kapamilya network will have at least 120 games this season including live telecasts of the conference finals and finals, respectively.
“It assures our Kapamilya viewers that they will continue to have the best basketball league in the planet,” said ABS-CBN Narrowcast head March Ventosa in a press conference held at the NBA Café on Friday.
For its part, Solar Entertainment will continue to air the NBA games on Basketball TV and NBA Premium every day for the 14th straight year.
“It’s hard to believe that 14 years ago, William and I sat down for the first time in Los Angeles,” said NBA Asia managing director Scott Levy. “It’s a thrill to announce the expansion of this partnership. This has been the most compelling partnership we ever had in the 20 years of distribution in the Philippines.”
“It’s a milestone for Solar. With this new partnership with ABS-CBN and Solar, we are looking at the NBA in the future by delivering the NBA through multiple digital platforms,” said Solar Entertainment chairman William Tieng.
The contract signing was witnessed by former NBA player Daryl Dawkins, the slamdunk specialist who was once teammate of the great Julius Erving with the Philadelphia 76ers.
ABS-CBN officials said renewing its tie-up with the NBA and Solar Entertainment was a no-brainer especially after the network gained a rating of 31 percent during Game Seven of the 2013 Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, the second most watched sports program that year based on the numbers received by the network.
“It’s a fulfilling endeavor ratings-wise,” said Ventosa. “Our viewership more than doubled from 14 million to now 32 million in the recent 2013-2014 season.”