The Philippine Superliga (PSL) welcomes the year with fresh changes.
PSL chair Philip Ella Juico yesterday said they are in the process of moving to a new television partner — GMA Network — following the expiration of their contract with Cignal TV and TV5.
Juico, also the president of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, said negotiations are ongoing and he expects GMA Network to come up with a solid coverage plan similar to what it presented to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
“We remain as strong as before and we are stronger now because the teams we have are very committed,” said Juico during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
“As we speak, we have already started our negotiations with GMA Network to become our new TV partner.”
The PSL lost two teams to the Premier Volleyball League, which turned professional recently.
The teams — Cignal and PLDT Home Fibr — are both under the umbrella of Manny V. Pangilinan Group of Companies so Juico perfectly understands the reason behind their transfer, especially now that the PVL already reached a broadcast deal with TV5.
Aside from the HD Spikers and Power Hitters, Generika-Ayala, Marinerang Pilipina and Petron also filed leave of absence following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
Still, Juico stressed that the PSL is stronger than ever with three teams in F2 Logistics, Chery Tiggo and Sta. Lucia affirming their commitment while PetroGazz will see action if there will be no conflict with its schedule in the PVL.
Juico said they are eyeing at least two to three teams to join once their partnership with GMA Network has been formally sealed.
“Well, with Cignal joining the other league, we have no sensible reason to stay in TV5,” said Juico, thanking the network for their five-year partnership.
“We have to adjust to the reality of the situation, to the signs of the times.”
Juico said with their contract with GMA Network yet to be finalized, they have no choice, but to move the All-Filipino Conference from 15 March to a later date.
Although the Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup in Subic is already set on 26 February, they have to adjust their calendar to give teams more time to train.
“Our indoor tournament, which was supposed to be on 15 March is going to be moved to a later date on the request of the teams so they can have more time to practice,” Juico said.
“With that, we can also have more time to finish our presentation to GMA Network and to the two to three teams that we are eyeing.”
Juico said he believes that GMA Network has what it takes to give them the kind of coverage they need.
“That, to me, is the latest and major development with a new partner that we have, GMA, which has decided to go strong in sports starting with the NCAA,” Juico said.
“We are concerned but we are not anxious. We know we can do this because we know the league has been successful (and) has a reputation and the reason why we have lower number (of teams) was because of the global health crisis — not because of the way we’re running it.”