MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 2) For the first time in Philippine television history, three competing broadcast networks will unite to air the highly anticipated mega-fight between Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr.
This was announced in a joint press conference held by the three networks together with Solar Sports Thursday at Solaire.
"Maraming, maraming salamat sa GMA 7, ABS-CBN, TV5 at sa Solar Sports sa pagkakaisa nila para maipakita (at) maipalabas sa ating mga kababayan ang fight na ito," Pacquiao, who is training in Los Angeles, said via video call.
"Natutuwa ako sa kanilang pagkakaisa na ang hinahangad ay para sa ating mga kababayan. Salamat," he added.
Dino Laurena, head of ABS-CBN Integrated Sports, said the unprecedented partnership among the networks will give Filipino fans the chance to watch the most important fight of Pacquiao's career.
"Everybody will have an opportunity to watch Manny Pacquiao lay his claim that he is better than Mayweather," said Laurena.
Also present at the press conference was Sports5 chief Chot Reyes, who said: "We're thankful that we are going to be a part of it. We can't wait to show everyone when Manny beats Mayweather."
The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will be aired on free television on a slightly delayed basis, while Solar Sports will air the bout on cable. The fight will also be broadcast live on radio via GMA's dzBB.
"The crime rate will be zero," said Laurena, "because everybody will be looking at screens that this aggregation of networks will provide."
All parties involved credited Pacquiao in making the deal happen, with Solar Entertainment chief executive Wilson Tieng saying it was the "Pacman" who wanted to unify the networks in showing his bout.
The deal took three weeks to finalize, Tieng also said.
"The good thing is magkakasama na lahat ng networks, as it was originally desired by Manny Pacquiao," Laurena also said. "Congressman Pacquiao really wanted everyone in the Philippines to watch this."
SM Cinemas will also show the bout in over 100 theaters nationwide, with tickets prices ranging from P600 to P1,000. SM will start selling tickets on March 27.
Sky Cable and Cignal are the official pay-per-view providers.
The fight will take place on May 3, Philippine time.