Cignal and Sky target NBA rights in Philippines

Filipino pay-television operators Cignal and Sky have entered a joint offer for rights to the NBA following the closure of the North American basketball league’s long-term home in the country.

In a statement issued today (Tuesday), Cignal said itself and Sky are currently in joint negotiations with the NBA with the “common goal” of delivering content to Filipino fans.

Cignal added:  “We have submitted an offer to the NBA for the continued carriage of the games and are awaiting a response.”

Pay-television broadcasters Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV ceased operations today following an announcement made by parent company, Solar Entertainment, last month. Solar, which has held rights to the NBA in the Philippines for 18 years, said it would shut the channels following the expiration of a contract with the NBA on September 30.

Filipino sports news website Spin cited a source saying said a joint bid from Cignal and Sky was necessary due to the high asking price for NBA rights.

Cignal is a subsidiary of media conglomerate MediaQuest Holdings and is a sister company of free-to-air network TV5. Sky is majority owned by media group ABS-CBN Corporation.

Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV have been operating for 13 years and nine years, respectively. NBA Premium TV is a joint venture between Solar and NBA TV. The NBA has been a partner of Solar since 2001 and the company recently shared broadcast rights in the Philippines with ABS-CBN.