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ABS-CBN turns Studio 23 into sports channel, launches ‘Sports & Action’

MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN has launched a new sports channel as its previous free channel, Studio 23, signs off.

Replacing Studio 23 is “ABS-CBN Sports & Action”, which according to ABS-CBN Narrrowcast head March Ventosa, is a channel that “will inspire, excite the fighter in every Filipino.”

The channel, which was formally launched Thursday afternoon, January 16, was graced by some of its show’s hosts: Anthony Taberna, Jeff Gaitan, TJ Manotoc and Ultimate Fighting Championship star Cung Le, who will be featured in one of the channel’s series.

Anthony Taberna and Jeff Gaitan will host the news program “News +.” But veering away from the traditional news programs, Anthony says they will have an in-depth look into the news headlines of the day.

Adding a lighter vibe to the show is Jeff, who will bring entertainment and “feel good” news items.

Since sports is TJ Manotoc’s thing, he’ll be hosting the show “The Score,” where he’ll tackle the biggest sports stories of the day. More than a commentary, he’ll guide the viewers to these sports news using layman’s terms.

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Still, “Sports & Action” will not just be all about sports. The channel will also air different series that viewers will enjoy namely “FPJ: Hari ng Aksyon” – which will air FPJ films – “CSI,” “NCIS,” “Once Upon a Time,” The Ultimate Fighter: China” – which stars Cung Le – and “WWE.”

Why just now?

Many have wondered why ABS-CBN launched this channel just now, following the emergence of some free channels catering to sports enthusiasts.

“Knowing ABS-CBN, kung hindi namin kakayanin to bring the best content to the audience, then we are risking the name that will be put forward,” Ventosa explained.

“But like what I said earlier, because it is branded ABS-CBN and because we’ve been able to build track record in sports, it is the right time to do it,” he added.

“Sports & Action” will start airing starting January 18, Saturday at Channel 23.

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