ABS-CBN launches new sports channel

by Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBNNews.com

Posted at Jan 16 2014 08:01 PM | Updated as of Jan 19 2014 03:57 PM

(From left to right) Broadcasters Boom Gonzalez, Anthony Taberna and Tina Marasigan, sexy actress Jef Gaitan, UFC fighter Cung Le, ABS-CBN Narrowcast head March Ventosa, ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena and ANC's TJ Manotoc during the launch of ABS-CBN Sports+Action. Photo by Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA (UPDATED) – ABS-CBN on Thursday launched its newest channel that will feature action-packed local and international sporting events.

"ABS-CBN Sports+Action" will replace Studio23 and continue its coverage of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), the Azkals, Top Rank fights, and Pinoy Pride bouts.

It will also continue the special coverage of major international sporting events like the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the FIFA World Cup.

ABS-CBN Sports+Action will work alongside the network's cable TV, pay-per-view and digital platforms to create a unique and engaging sports hub for Filipino sports fans.

"Today, it is with enough confidence that we step up to the plate and introduce what we hope to be the best free channel dedicated to fueling the Filipino spirit,” said ABS-CBN Narrowcast head March Ventosa during the announcement of the channel's reboot at the Glorietta 1 in Ayala.

"Sports play and important role in the life of the Filipinos. They are source of metaphors to become the best you can be in whatever endeavor for overcoming trials. We will give this channel our best shot."

ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena said it's high time that the country's biggest broadcast network establishes a free TV channel that will cater mainly to sports.

"We felt that panahon na na mag-establish kami ng bahay ng sports, kasi ABS-CBN has always been front running in sports content so we decided that it's time," he said.

"Natataon lang na if there's ABS-CBN Channel 2 for entertainment, we might as well have ABS-CBN sports as separate free television. This is really for the fans and for the audience."

The channel will not only offer the best in sports, but will also keep its viewers up-to-date with current events via "News+" with Anthony Taberna, who will break down the day’s biggest issues, and "The Score" a 15-minute daily sports show to be hosted by TJ Manotoc.

Taberna said they will offer something new through "News+".

“Dito po ay nakikipag-kwentuhan kami, kakausapin namin ang mga tao na gusting malaman ang balita. Kasi napapansin natin sa news programs sa mainstream at sa mga ibang networks ay kung ano ang balita noong alas-6 ng gabi, iyun din ang sa hatinggabi. Sa amin po ay iba, ito po ay magiging 'conversational' news program,” he said.

“For example, mayroong krimen na nangyari, hindi lang po naming ilalahad ang krimen kundi tuturuan namin ang mga manonood kung paanong maiiwasan ang mga krimen na ito. Magbibigay kami ng dagdag kaalaman. Ito po iyung News +," he added.

Joining Taberna in the news program is sexy actress Jef Gaitan of the Banana Split fame who will deliver showbiz news.

Manotoc, meanwhile, said they will be providing sports updates not usually covered by main primetime newscast.

“Dito po sa ABS-CBN Sports+Action, mabibiigyan tayo ng daily, new program na ‘The Score.’ Meron po tayong araw-araw na debate sa program. We will talk about the hottest topic sa sports, meron po kaming mga guest na i-invite sa show, hindi po para i-interview kundi para mag-debate po kami,” he said.

Joining Manotoc will be segment hosts Gretchen Ho, former Ateneo star volleyball player; former beauty queen Tina Marasigan; and actor-comedian Boom Labrusca.

Manotoc will continue to work with Boom Gonzalez on UAAP games and NBA games, which exclusively air on free TV via ABS-CBN Sports + Action.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN Sports+Action will also relive memorable films of “The King of Philippine Movies” Fernando Poe Jr., aside from showing the local debut of explosive new series like “The Ultimate Fighter: China” and “Zero Hours.”

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