Fresh five-year UAAP television deal with ABS-CBN 'not about the money,' says official
A UAAP official says the league owes ABS-CBN a debt of gratitude for growing the league into one of the biggest sports brands in the country. Jerome Ascano

THE fresh television contract which the UAAP signed with ABS-CBN Sports for the broadcast rights of its games was not 'about the money' but about having more exposure for other sports, an official said.

The new five-year deal that will start next year or in Season 78, extending the UAAP's partnership with the giant ABS-CBN network which has been broadcasting the games mostly through its UHF sister channel since 2000.

UAAP officials have not revealed about how much the league will be getting from the Kapamilya network  but one source admitted the new contract marks a 'significant increase' from the previous deal.

It is believed that ABS-CBN was previously paying about P50 million annually for the UAAP broadcast rights.

The official declined to divulge the figures but said it is definitely not an 'outrageous amount.'

“Yes, of course,” said an official who asked not to be named when asked about the increase.

Asked if the new rate was double the old contract, or in the P100 million vicinity, the official said, “Sobra ‘yun kung double.”

The official, however, said when the league decided to renew its partnership with ABS-CBN, it was not so much about the money but more about what the network can offer the college league over the next five years.

The official said ABS-CBN has committed to carry more less-popular UAAP sports tournaments outside of basketball and volleyball during the duration of the new deal.

“They will feature games of the week, adding more games, and projects that will improve attendance of other sports to popularize others. It is one way of promoting sports,” said the official.

“We were more concerned on how to promote the other sports. Huwag lang ibuhos sa basketball and volleyball,” said the official.

The official also said no other network made a serious bid for the UAAP television rights, although the person admitted Sports5, which owns the broadcast rights to the PBA, initially expressed interest.

Although he can’t speak for the league, the official said the decision to stay with ABS-CBN was really a no-brainer since it was also the network which helped the league reach new heights.

 “It’s not about money. It’s about promoting the schools and the sports. And I don’t think any network can do the same. Passionate din sila sa UAAP,” said the official.

“UAAP is very happy with how they (ABS-CBN) helped us,” said the official.


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