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Three stations bidding for MPBL, bares Duremdes

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Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League has spoken to three television networks as it continues its search for a new broadcast partner following the shutdown of ABS-CBN last August. 

The Lopez Group-owned network has been home to the regional league founded by Sen. Manny Pacquiao since its inception in 2018. It ceased operations after the congress did not renew its franchise.

Besides the MPBL, other affected competitions include the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and the National Collegiate Athletic Association — collegiate leagues that have long been with ABS-CBN.

“Last na punta ko kay Senator, inopen up ko sa kanya ‘yung mga networks na possible malipatan ng MPBL, na magiging home natin,” MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes told Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

Duremdes said that the People’s Television Network was the first who offered to air their games in the weekly session powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corp. Go For Gold, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, MILO, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), with Upstream Media as webcast partner.

The state-owned network — known by many as PTV — has aired the PBA, the UAAP, the NCAA, and the PBL in the past. It covers international meets such as the Olympics, the Asian Games, and the Southeast Asian Games.

Aside from PTV, the cage legend-turned-executive said that the league is also in talks with GMA Network, which he said has been in contact with the MPBL even before ABS-CBN closed.

The network, who once held the rights to broadcast NBA games in the 1990s, previously partnered with Sports Vision Management Group, Inc. to air the Shakey’s V-League (now the Premier Volleyball League).

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“Ang nag-offer una PTV-4 and then meron din — matagal na bago mag-close si ABS — may line na tayo sa GMA,” said Duremdes.

Also in the mix is One Sports, whose flagship program is the PBA. The sports division of the TV5 Network owned by tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan airs NBA, NFL, and FIBA matches as well.

“Recently lang [pumasok ang] One Sports channel; I’ve spoken to Mr. Jude Turcuato. And sinabi ko nga kay Senator na merong offer din si One Sports na same din ng offer ng ABS,” Duremdes shared.

“Inadvise niya ako na ipakausap na lang sa legal namin sa Manila kasi siya ‘yung nandon, kaming dalawa ni Senator narito sa Mindanao. I hope nagkaroon sila ng initial talks ni Atty. Brando [Viernesto] and Mr. Jude Turcuato.”

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