ABS-CBN Sports signs off as network begins retrenching staff

Jul 16, 2020
PHOTO: ABS-CBN news

ABS-CBN’S sports production department will cease operations after the non-renewal of the giant network’s franchise, SPIN.ph learned on Thursday.

The network announced on Wednesday that it will implement a retrenchment program on some of its businesses effective August 31, 2020 after Congress denied the network’s request for a renewal of its franchise.

Apparently, the network’s sports arm – ABS-CBN S+A – is part of the operations that will cease as the embattled media giant begins the painful process of retrenching staff.

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ABS-CBN Sports head Dino Laurena confirmed the development on his personal Facebook account on Thursday, saying the network's sports team will be dissolved.

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“And so ends this journey. I made the painful announcement to our beloved Sports team today. I've been on this road before and I can assure you, it is not something I will swear even on people I don't like. It is heart-wrenchingly painful,” wrote Laurena.

More than 70 employees including talents such as commentators are expected to be affected by the closure of ABS-CBN S+A, SPIN.ph learned.

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    It is not yet clear how the decision will affect the status of ABS-CBN Sports’ properties in the UAAP, NCAA, MPBL, and the Premier Volleyball League, whose games were aired on Channel 23 for several years.

    The UAAP, ABS-CBN Sports’ premier product, has been with the giant network since 2000, reaching greater heights not just in terms of viewership but also financially.

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    However, the 2019 season was the final year of ABS-CBN’s most recent contract with the UAAP, which said negotiations on a new contract are still ongoing.

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      The NCAA, in the meantime, signed a 10-year deal with ABS-CBN in 2015, airing not just the basketball games but the volleyball matches as well.

      The MPBL had a blocktime agreement with ABS-CBN Sports since its inception. The last deal ended last May and commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said it is now looking for other options after the network’s franchise was not renewed.

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      PHOTO: ABS-CBN news
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