ABS-CBN open to talks with PBA

By Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 16 2014 09:56 PM | Updated as of Jan 18 2014 02:01 AM

ABS-CBN is very much interested to air PBA games, but respects the league's live contract. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA, Philippines – The country's biggest television network remains interested in securing the airing rights to Asia's first play-for-pay league.

During the launch of ABS-CBN Sports+Action, ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena praised the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), saying it enjoys large viewership due to its attractive sports content.

“We cannot deny what the history of the PBA,” he said. “For one, it is the only other successful professional league in the world next only to the NBA. We do not take that away from the PBA."

“To answer your point, definitely it is an enticing content,” he said.

Laurena, however, said the network will only bid for the PBA broadcast rights when the right time comes

He said the league has a live contract with TV5 and they respect it.

“What we do is nire-respeto namin ang mga kontrata na live,” said Laurena.

“If the time is right for discussion, we're always open. We never close our doors,” he added.

The network has repeatedly tried to bid for the broadcast rights of the PBA, but failed to get approval from the league's board of governors.

In 2011, ABS-CBN struck a deal with Solar Sports to produce PBA telecasts on Studio23 beginning with the 2011 Commissioner's Cup.

Solar Sports, however, declined to renew its PBA contract beyond the 2011-12 season, thereby allowing TV5 to take over the broadcast rights.

Laurena promised the best programming for the viewers if ABS-CBN successfully secures PBA broadcast rights.

“When that comes, makakaasa po ang lahat ng manonood at lahat ng tumatangkilik sa ABS-CBN, we will do our very best to create the best kind of sports broadcasting and programming,” he said.

ABS-CBNnews.com is the news website of ABS-CBN Corp.