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    Cignal, Smart, TV5 going all out for Tokyo Olympics coverage

    Jun 11, 2021
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    AN Olympic gold medal does not come cheap.

    Even in terms of broadcasting.

    Top brass of both Cignal TV and TV5 admitted mounting the television coverage of Team Philippines’ campaign in the Tokyo Olympics is quite pricey, but nothing that can deter the MVP Group of Companies from covering the journey of the Filipino athletes in their quest for the country's first-ever Olympic gold.

    “Mahal po kung iisipin ninyo,” said Cignal TV EVP Channels and Content Sienna Olaso on Friday in a media conference announcing the airing of the Tokyo Games through the combined TV, over-the-top (OTT), mobile and internet platforms of the company.

    “Mabigat po,” she added. “But to be quite candid as a producer, I am very privileged to have a leadership that actually believes in the value of bringing sports to every Filipino.”

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      Supporting the endeavor are no less than PLDT Inc. chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, newly-named PLDT president and chief executive officer Al S. Panlilio, Smart Communications Inc. SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business, Cignal TV EVP/ Head of Marketing Guido Zaballero, and president and CEO of Cignal TV and TV5 Robert P. Galang, who were all present during the virtual event.

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      Pangilinan said coverage of the Olympics is essentially one message of hope.

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      “We’d like to congratulate the organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics in holding of the Olympics even after a delay of one year amid the challenge of COVID,” said Pangilinan. “We wish our Filipino athletes well. Bring home the gold or golds as the case may be. All the best. Our thoughts and prayers go with you in Tokyo.”

      “The Olympics is always a source of inspiration for everyone, and in this uncertain times, we can draw some much needed motivation from our athletes who are giving their best to go faster, higher, stronger as the classic Olympic motto goes,” added Panlilio.

      Olaso said at least eight to 12 hours per day for 17 days from July 23 to August 8 will be devoted by the company in airing action in the Olympics on free TV.

      “We’ll still run some of the channels that can do 24/7 on free air like One Sports para dire-diretso tayo,” said the Cignal TV executive.

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      From the opening ceremonies all the way to the closing rites, sports fans will have comprehensive access to the Olympics on free television via TV5 and One Sports. One Sports+ on Cignal TV will also dedicate a significant amount of their daily hours to broadcast the events, while Cignal is also opening up two exclusive channels dedicated to broadcast the games 24/7.

      “In our commitment to providing the best sports content to our viewers, we will ensure extensive coverage and daily access to the Olympics across our free-to-air, pay TV, and OTT platforms, and through our partnership with Smart and PLDT,” said Galang.

      So far, 10 Filipino athletes have already earned berths to the Tokyo Games, namely Carlos Yulo (gymnastics), EJ Obiena (pole vaulter), Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting), Kurt Barbosa (taekwondo), Cris Nievarez (rowing), Margielyn Didal (skateboarding), Irish Magno (boxing), Nesthy Petecio (boxing), Eumir Marcial (boxing), and Carlo Paalam (boxing).

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        Several others are expected to follow such as newly-crowned US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso and fellow golfers Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan while the national karate team is currently campaigning in the Olympic Qualiying Tournament in Paris, France.

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        Five years ago, Cignal TV and TV5 were also on hand to cover Diaz winning a silver medal in the Rio De Janeiro Olympics, ending a 20-year medal drought for the country in the quadrennial meet.

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        PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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