By Kevin Estrada
The newly formed partnership of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, Cignal TV and Smart has been formally pen to paper Thursday afternoon, as the country’s premier school league enters the new era.
A five-year deal that will run until 2026 will see Cignal as the UAAP’s official broadcast partner domestically with the games being beamed at One Sports, while Smart gets to stream it on an exclusive platform for prepaid and postpaid users.
For Cignal president Robert Galang, the deal goes beyond sports as they laid down their plans of action for the next half-decade.
“Together with providing a superior viewing experience for all sports fans nationwide, we have put in place plans to help further grow the league and its athletes — giving more depth to our partnership,” he declared.
“We are confident that this undertaking will inspire and revitalize our countrymen who have such a deep affinity for sports. From the Cignal team, and the rest of the MVP group, it is with great pleasure that we welcome the UAAP, and we are extremely excited to begin our partnership.” Galang added.
The entry of the two MVP Group entities marked the first change of broadcast partners in two decades, following the departure of ABS-CBN Sports after the franchise of its mother network has been unjustifiably denied by the Congress.
Its signing ceremony was filled with the big names, with Galang joined alongside Smart president Alfredo Panlilio, UAAP Executive Director Atty. Rebo Saguisag and league president Emmanuel Calanog who represents host school La Salle.
Said Panlilio, “Through the power of digital technology, we hope to inspire more Filipino youth to discover and cultivate their passion for sports and strive for excellence.”
On Saguisag’s front, the league has expressed its excitement to its newly-forged alliance as it grapples with the pandemic which hit them hard.
“The game has changed, so did the way we consume sports,” he stated.
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