ALTHOUGH ABS-CBN has expressed its intention to terminate its contract with the NCAA, the league and the network continue to negotiate for a “win-win situation.”
The NCAA, however, has started its search for a new TV partner, according to a league insider.
“The NCAA Policy Board wrote ABS-CBN and asked them to clarify their letter (of termination),” the insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
“We understand their situation… but life goes on. Ganoon talaga. Actually, may nag-present na na isang TV network. May dalawa pa na magpre-present,” the insider added.
The insider refused to identify the three networks but said the Management Committee, chaired by Fr. Vic Calvo, OP, of host Letran, will submit the proposals of a prospected new broadcast partner to the Policy Board, which is made up of school presidents and owners of the 10-member league, for approval.
The NCAA has five years left in its 10-year pact with the embattled mass media giant.
ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application to operate for another 25 years was denied by the House committee on legislative franchises via an overwhelming 70-11-2-1 vote last July 10.
ABS-CBN Sports, the sports division of the network, also closed last July 16 that left the NCAA, UAAP, Premier Volleyball League, and Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League without a home.
The UAAP, MPBL, and PVL are already looking for new TV partners.
With the lingering health risks and uncertainties brought about by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA is looking to launch its new season early next year.
Only mandatory sports such as basketball, volleyball, swimming, and track and field are set to be played in the league calendar.
Online chess has been added to its slate, while esports will most likely be included in the NCAA 96th season.
The 95th season of the country’s oldest collegiate league was called off mid-March at the start of the government-imposed lockdown to stem the spread of the contagion.