CWBL-ABS-CBN expand sports business
BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - July 27, 2015 - 10:00am

The business of sports coverage is growing. More games are becoming popular and more talented players are being brought to the limelight. Such is the impact of sports activities and games on the viewing public.

Definitely, production costs, and airtime invested by television networks to provide exposure to different sports and the players engaged in these games have contributed immensely to the development of players and sports in general.

Look at how popular women’s volleyball is now. Some players have become overnight media stars. Today, the TV audience is not only treated to exciting basketball games, but can also watch boxing, tennis, football, among others.

On the other hand, coverage of sports events is big business as seen by the continuing thrust of major networks ABS-CBN and ABC-TV5 to expand their respective portfolio of content.

Added to this is willingness of corporate sponsors to commit millions of pesos of advertising money to take advantage of the wide exposure provided by television.

More business opportunities

More business opportunities for sports events and activities are now available with the announced tie-up between ABS-CBN, the largest and leading television network in the country, and Country-Wide Basketball League (CWBL), the new commercial league scheduled to start early 2016.

ABS-CBN head for narrowcast and access Antonio S.Ventosa and head for integrated sports Dino Jacinto M. Laurena signed an agreement with CWBL after several months of discussions.

Under the agreement, ABS-CBN will provide the TV coverage for the CWBL games for nationwide telecast with an option for international broadcasting through their channels abroad.

The network will also have the exclusive marketing and promotion rights which would open opportunities for more local and nationwide sponsorship business.

The CWBL games will be added to the growing portfolio of sports contents being aired at ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel. The sports channel also recently signed the renewal of UAAP games coverage and was subsequently given a 10-year contract by NCAA.

The coverage of the two major collegiate leagues, the end-of-season games, Champions League (PCCL) National Collegiate Championships, and CWBL, gives ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel a broad range of basketball games from collegiate to commercial levels.

The agreement further provides that CWBL will organize and manage the league, set up a governing structure, and form a pool of officials that will efficiently implement FIBA rules and other operating guidelines as approved by CWBL board of trustees.

This columnist currently holds the position of CWBL chairman and CEO, while lawyer Pablo de Borja is vice chairman and league commissioner,and Coach Jose Lipa, Jr. as vice president and general manager for basketball operations.

Birth of CWBL

The idea of a commercial league linked with a television network that has a broad nationwide reach has been in the pipeline for over a year. Both parties, CWBL and ABS-CBN, wanted to be sure the right elements are in place as the past years have seen the birth and death of several attempts to launch a new league.

One of the main objectives of the league is to conduct more games in the provinces. Both CWBL and ABS-CBN aim to bring the games closer to local basketball fans and at the same time provide nationwide television exposure to the teams, players, and corporate sponsors.

CWBL expects the joint effort to produce more regular live games in various localities.Combined with quality television exposure nationwide, it is hoped this will change the complexion of organized basketball leagues in the country.

Television component

Another stated CWBL objective is to provide much needed local and nationwide exposure to hundreds of players who have completed their collegiate playing years while still eager to develop and pursue productive basketball career.

Television coverage is seen as a vital component of the league to achieve its objective of opening opportunities to hundreds of graduating collegiate players and exposing their talents nationwide.

Activities to introduce CWBL

ABS-CBN Sports+Action is gearing up for the promotion of the CWBL’s launching of the regular conferences in early 2016. Laurena stated the promotional activities in the coming months would introduce and feature the teams, the players, and the localities being represented by the teams.

Coach Lipa confirmed that the CWBL conferences would only have a maximum of eight teams. “Definitely the league’s emphasis on regional focus supplemented by nationwide coverage on television would be beneficial to team owners and sponsors,” he said.

Details of participation requirements may be obtained from the CWBL Secretariat at 812-0153and 812-1057, or through

A reader’s prayer

We received an email from reader Ferdie Bonifacio on the current malaise by our shipping authorities that ultimately imperils the lives of our countrymen. Here goes.

“I have been reading some of your articles about our problems with our sea transportation, and it seems ship owners and the passengers only realize that their decision is wrong when disaster comes to their doorstep and get blown in their face.

“Ship owners are worried about economics, and passengers do not even check about the safety aspects. It is really painful to note we have a lot of seafarers working abroad, and we can’t even correct the system at our local ground.

“I presume we do have a lot of guidelines and laws for the maritime section under DOTC, but authorities are turning the other way as most of our ship owners are influential in society and won’t even pay the right compensation to the families affected.

“I hope and pray laws and guidelines will be corrected and implemented soon with an iron fist.”

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