UAAP in contract talks with ABS-CBN

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    WITH the UAAP likely to launch its 82nd season early next year, why rush the league’s new contract deal with broadcast partner ABS-CBN?

    “Lahat naman napag-uusapan. Magulo siya, but we’re negotiating so we have the luxury of time. There’s no need to rush these things. We’re negotiating the finer points of a possible partnership,” UAAP executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag said last Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum streamed online.

    “I think you can take the general approach na ang poll ng bayan is to heal as one and when we sit down with all our partners, this is not the time to be overly technical and we have to heal as one,” he added.

    The UAAP and the giant network’s five-year pact expired last May 31.

    Outgoing UAAP president Emmanuel Fernandez of Ateneo said the UAAP and ABS-CBN are negotiating for a new deal.

    “Right now, we’re negotiating with ABS-CBN moving forward,” said Fernandez.

    The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has delayed talks between the two camps.

    Following a cease-and-desist order from the National Telecommunications Office, ABS-CBN went off air last May 5 after its 25-year franchise expired the day before.

    There are ongoing hearings at Congress tackling bills that seek to grant ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year franchise.

    With or without a new franchise, Fernandez said it will be up to the network on how it will broadcast the games.

    “I don’t see the relevance of the franchise because a broadcast partner is also producing.

    So, it’s not a matter of walang Channel 2 o Channel 23. It’s a matter of producing,” said Fernandez.

    “I believe our (broadcast) partner is the one producing. Kung saan ilalabas, problema na ng broadcast partner namin iyon, kung sino man ang broadcast partner namin, whether it’s ABS-CBN or someone new. Technically, we don’t have a broadcast partner right now because our contract with ABS-CBN ended.”

    Saguisag refused to confirm or deny if the UAAP is talking to other TV networks on a possible deal.