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    Return to action remains uncertain but NCAA says it will stick with ABS-CBN

    May 13, 2020
    PHOTO: ABS-CBN news

    DESPITE the ABS-CBN Network's shutdown, the NCAA remains steadfast in its partnership with the television giant.

    Management Committee chair Peter Cayco of Arellano said the league will stay with ABS-CBN for at least the next half-decade.

    "We'll stick with them," he told Spin.ph.

    The NCAA is in the middle of a 10-year deal with ABS-CBN, which was agreed upon in 2015.

    ABS-CBN was the league's broadcast partner from 2002 to 2011 before entering a three-year agreement with TV5's sports arm Sports5 from 2012 to 2014.

    The league returned to ABS-CBN starting from Season 91, with its current deal lasting to Season 100 in 2024-25.

    Cayco acknowledges the difficulties the NCAA will have with ABS-CBN's failure to secure a franchise renewal.

    Since returning to the network in 2015, NCAA basketball and volleyball matches were shown live on ABS-CBN Sports+Action.

    Uncertain when games can be shown again on free TV, Cayco said the NCAA is willing to go digital.

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    "Kita naman natin sa ibang bansa, digital na ang mga palabas. Baka nga mas makabuti pa sa atin kung mauna na tayo doon," said Cayco.

    ABS-CBN can still show the games on its cable channel Liga, as well as its websites. It is unclear if block timing deal with other networks can be arranged.

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    For now, though, it's all speculation as the future of the NCAA, starting in Season 96 which Letran will host, remains up in the air due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

    Cayco has previously said that if worse comes to worst, the next athletic year could begin as late as mid-2021.

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      PHOTO: ABS-CBN news
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