EVEN AS the University Athletics Association of the Philippines announced its cancellation of Season 83 last week, it further strengthened its broadcast partnerships as it prepares for its comeback, tentatively penciled in for September 2021.
The league named Cignal TV and Smart Communications, Inc. as its new broadcast partners. The executives of the stakeholders involved pushed through with their contract-signing on Thursday afternoon to officially begin its partnership that will last for five seasons, until 2026.
"Our joint venture with the UAAP goes beyond being an official broadcast partner. Together with providing a superior viewing experience for all sports fans nationwide, we have put in place plans to help further grow the league and its athletes — giving more depth to our partnership.” said Robert P. Galang, President and CEO of Cignal.
Cignal TV will broadcast live games and full coverage of the most popular events, such as the opening ceremonies, cheerdance competition, men’s basketball and women’s volleyball via One Sports on Free-To-Air Channel.
Meanwhile, Smart will launch a subscription-based platform for streaming of more games and events.
“It opens a lot of groundbreaking opportunities to further expand the digital footprint of the country's biggest collegiate league while we leverage on the strength of our Smart LTE and 5G networks to give viewers an amazing mobile streaming experience. Through the power of digital technology, we hope to inspire more Filipino youth to discover and cultivate their passion for sports and strive for excellence,” Al Panlilio, Smart Communications President and CEO, added.
He also announced that the telecommunications company is to release a mobile application for the UAAP, called “UAAP.Smart” which will likely work like the NBA League Pass, utilizing the digital ecosystem of the telecommunications network.
It was also announced that a radio coverage of the men’s basketball finals will be aired through Radyo Singko.
Furthermore, UAAP-themed shows, programs, and regular features can also be expected throughout their five-season partnership.
For those who follow other sports, this new partnership will also provide full coverage of other events like men’s football, boys’ basketball finals, girls’ basketball finals, baseball, softball, badminton, street dance, and women’s football, and highlights of all other sporting events like chess, table tennis, 3x3, fencing, judo, athletics, swimming, and all other UAAP events.
Before Smart and Cignal TV inked its deal with the collegiate sports league, the UAAP had a two-decade partnership with ABS-CBN.