For the first time in two decades, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) has chosen a new partner to broadcast its games. Cignal TV, the country’s #1 Pay TV provider, and one of the leading mobile services providers Smart Communications, Inc. have joined forces to shine the spotlight on the nation’s best student-athletes from the top collegiate sports league in the country.
The partnership will run until 2026 and was sealed through a contract signing held with top executives from the said institutions: PLDT Chairman and President Manuel V. Pangilinan; President and CEO, Smart Communications, Inc. and Chief Revenue Officer, PLDT Group, Alfredo S. Panlilio; Smart Communications Inc. SVP/Head, Consumer Business – Wireless Jane J. Basas; Cignal TV and TV5 President and CEO Robert P. Galang; UAAP Board Of Trustees Chairman Brother Raymundo Suplido, FSC; UAAP President Emmanuel Calanog; UAAP Vice President Fr. Aldrin Suan; UAAP Treasurer and Chairman of the Negotiating Panel Edwin Reyes; and UAAP Executive Director Rebo Saguisag. Also present to witness the signing were members of the UAAP Board of Managing Directors.
As the official Philippine broadcast partner of the UAAP, Cignal TV will broadcast the games live via One Sports on Free-To-Air Channel, while Smart will also stream the games live through an exclusive platform to be made available to all Smart prepaid and postpaid subscribers.
“Our joint venture with the UAAP goes beyond being an official broadcast partner. Together with providing a superior viewing experience for all sports fans nationwide, we have put in place plans to help further grow the league and its athletes — giving more depth to our partnership,” said Mr. Galang in a statement.
“We are confident that this undertaking will inspire and revitalize our countrymen who have such a deep affinity for sports. From the Cignal team, and the rest of the MVP group, it is with great pleasure that we welcome the UAAP, and we are extremely excited to begin our partnership,” he added.
“Our partnership with UAAP opens a lot of groundbreaking opportunities to further expand the digital footprint of the country’s biggest collegiate league while we leverage on the strength of our Smart LTE and 5G networks to give viewers an amazing mobile streaming experience. Through the power of digital technology, we hope to inspire more Filipino youth to discover and cultivate their passion for sports and strive for excellence,” Mr. Panlilio, for his part, said.
Outside of airing the games, Cignal and Smart have committed to continuously grow the league and its athletes’ popularity through various activities within the schools. These activities ensure that the partnership nurtures and engages not only the participating athletes but also the rest of the student body in each UAAP school. Coupled with a massive consumer base of loyal subscribers and nationwide touchpoints, Cignal TV and Smart provide the UAAP a partnership that truly goes beyond broadcast.
Mr. Suplido shared, “The partnership with Cignal TV and Smart will continue to bring the UAAP closer to the students and alumni of the member schools as well as the general public. We are grateful for this opportunity to showcase and highlight UAAP’s values, especially, promoting amateur sportsmanship and the well-rounded development of our student athletes, through the various platforms of Cignal TV and Smart.”
Last week, the UAAP announced that it would postpone the events scheduled for Season 83, considering the health and safety of the student athletes. Despite these challenges posed by the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, the league, together with Cignal TV and Smart remain committed to bringing the UAAP back to its students, alumni and nationwide fan base at the earliest possible time.