For the first time in Philippine television broadcasting history, the three giant competing TV networks — GMA 7, ABS-CBN and TV5 — will be uniting to air the highly-anticipated boxing fight of the century between Filipino iconic boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and the undefeated American fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr.
This was announced in joint press conference held by the three broadcast networks along with Solar Sports TV on Thursday, March 26th.
Manny Pacquiao, who is currently training at the Wild Card Gym in the Los Angeles, United States, said through VOIP-based video calling and messaging service Skype:
“Maraming, maraming salamat sa GMA 7, ABS-CBN, TV5 at sa Solar Sports sa pagkakaisa nila para maipakita, maipalabas sa ating mga kababayan ang fight na ito. Natutuwa ako sa kanilang pagkakaisa, na ang hinahangad ay para sa ating mga kababayan. Salamat.”
ABS-CBN Integrated Sports chief Dino Laurena said the historic partnership between the three networks will allow local Filipino fans to watch the most important fight of Pacquiao’s boxing career. “Everybody has to have an opportunity to watch Manny Pacquiao lay his claim that he is better than Mayweather,” Laurena said.
Meanwhile, GMA 7 Executive Vice President Felipe S. Yalong, GMA Regional TV First Vice President Rikki O. Escudero, and Senior Vice President of Radio GMA Mike Enriquez represented the network in the event.
“As in all Manny Pacquiao fights, GMA-7 is one with the Filipino nation praying for the victory of Manny. GMA Network recognizes the magnitude of this fight,” stated GMA Network chairman and CEO Felipe L. Gozon, which is why the network has waived its rights for exclusive coverage of the fight.
Pacquiao also thanked Solar Entertainment CEO Wilson Tieng for arranging the multi-network telecast for the benefit of the Filipino fans. “Nais ko ring pasalamatan ang Solar sa mas malaking partisipasyon nil dito. Sila ang bumuo talaga to make this happen, especially my kumpareng Wilson Tieng,” said Pacquiao.
The Mayweather vs. Pacquaio match will be aired on free television on slightly delayed basis. While Solar Sports — who holds the local broadcast rights for Pacquiao’s fights — will be live streaming the fight on cable television through pay-per-view (PPV) all access with Cignal and Sky Cable as the official PPV providers. SM Cinemas will also be showing the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout in over 100 theaters nationwide. Live and real-time updates will also be broadcasted through GMA 7’s radio dzBB stations across the archipelago.