ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena raised the banner for the Philippine mixed martial arts (MMA) industry after being chosen as a panelist at the Asia MMA Summit, the largest gathering of martial arts industry leaders in Asia held in Singapore.
Laurena shared his expertise in marketing and sports in a session on live sports in Asia, where he spoke about the role of live sports in the future of broadcast television in the region, alongside his counterparts from Fox Networks Group and PKE Partners.
“Sports is essentially the first ever reality-TV. The emotion one gets to experience from watching sports is of-the-moment so you cannot overemphasize the importance of seeing it as it happens because that moment is real,” Laurena said.
In the Philippines, the broadcast medium has been intensifying its coverage of mixed martial arts since the combat sport became mainstream in mid-2000s, with ABS-CBN leading the way.
This year, under Laurena’s leadership, the network forged a partnerships with two of Asia’s biggest MMA promotions, the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) and One Championship, for the airing of their events on ABS-CBN sports channels Sports + Action (S+A) on free TV and Sports + Action HD on cable TV.
S+A also broadcasts Fight Farm, the first ever locally-produced MMA docu-reality TV series that features the journey of amateur MMA fighters from diverse backgrounds to inspire Filipino sports fans and TV viewers.
Laurena’s participation in this year’s Asia MMA Summit, which united game changers in the world of martial arts – from athletes to media companies in Asia, reaffirms the company’s long-standing commitment to promote MMA.
At the recent re-launch of S+A, Laurena reiterated ABS-CBN’s mission to champion Filipino athletes and promote sports development in the country.
“Apart from our TV programs and coverage of sports events on TV and online, we will also have on-ground projects that will have direct impact on the people. We will be the biggest supporter and cheerleader of the Filipino,” he said.
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