FILIPINO sports fans will have more reason to stay glued to the tube as FOX International Channels (FIC) recently premiered its all-new FOX Sports Network that features additional HD channels.
Last August 15, FIC unveiled the new and unified look of its sports platforms, integrating its former sports channels FOX Sports, Star Sports and FOX Sports Plus, into one consolidated FOX Sports Network.
The move was made by FIC in order to provide consistency in branding across all channels, turning FOX Sports, Star Sports and FOX Sports Plus into to Fox Sports, Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 3, while retaining the existing FOX Sports News channel and FOX Sports Play, its sports program catch-up portal.
FIC territory head Jude Turcuato discussed the network’s new format and what sports junkies can expect from the redesigned FOX SPORTS before invited members of the media at the FIC Office in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
“It’s easier with FOX Sports as people are familiar with the brand. The graphics package is the global package that we use," said Turcuato.
The move turns each channel into a unique sports destination catering to the different tastes of discerning Filipino sports fans.
The rebrand of the network aims to change the way fans view sports by providing localized content and sports entertainment. Viewers can expect to see newly-acquired sports properties like Formula-E, which starts on September 13, the German Bundesliga, which starts in August 2015, as well as two new programming blocks: FOX Sports Flicks, which showcases sports-themed movies and documentaries, and the Fitness Block which gives viewers programs to help maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle.
The flagship channel, FOX Sports, will feature key events like the NBA, PBA and NASCAR, as well as football events such as the Liga BBVA, AFC Champions League, AFC Cup and AFF Suzuki Cup. FOX Sports will also include FOX Sports Flicks and the Fitness Block, along with the iconic sports show FOX Sports Central.
FOX Sports 2 is the channel dedicated to ball sports, racquet sports, athletics and more, featuring three of the four tennis Majors: Wimbledon, French and Australian Opens. The channel also features all of the marquee golf majors such as the Masters and the Open Championship (formerly known as the British Open), to name a few. European and Asian Football also makes a home on Fox Sports2, along with Major League Baseball, triathlons, marathons and more.
For motor sports junkies, FOX Sports 3 will feature adrenaline-pumping sports programs, bannered by no less than Formula One and MotoGP, and flanked by combat sports such as classic boxing and kickboxing.
In addition to the familiar faces that viewers have been used to watching on FOX Sports and STAR Sports, viewers can look forward to new presenters who will make sports come alive with their analysis, comments and overall sense of fun. FOX Sports, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports 3 will also sport a new look with clearer graphics that will give viewers better information, and all studio shows will be presented in a brand-new, state-of-the-art studio in Singapore, with touch-screen analysis capability.
For basketball fans, FOX will broadcast 60 NBA games for the upcoming season based on ESPN’s Game of the Week, an exclusive for FOX’s Philippine audience. FOX will also host PBA games on a regular basis with English commentary for its upscale market and to help grow the league to wider audience.
Boxing fans will also get to watch the Mayweather-Maidana II Fight this September 14 on FOX Sports.
All FOX Sports channels will be available in both SD and HD. Turcuato said FIC is working with their affiliates to put the HD channels as part of their lineup, particularly Sky Cable and Cignal, two of the largest cable providers, to carry the HD channels. Its now available via Cablelink.
The changes are meant to improve FOX Sports’ position in relation to its main competitors: Solar Sports, BTV and Balls, each of whom have signed exclusive rights that cornered lucrative sporting events.
Turcuato, a former sportscaster, said they have also allocated space in their Bonifacio City office similar to their Singapore studio where they can produce a daily sports news show.
“We want to upgrade TV sports broadcasting somehow. We will have a virtual studio with full-fledged HD cameras flown in from Los Angeles,” said Turcuato who hopes to have a target broadcast in the first quarter of 2015.
“As a former sportscaster, I’m excited on what we can come up with.”