The 96th season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association is expected to start in the second quarter of 2021 with a new broadcast partner in Philippine media giant GMA Network.
After winning the bid for the broadcast right, network officials signed a deal which will have GMA Network televising the league’s numerous events for the next five and a half years.
The decision to accept the bid of GMA Network was reached Thursday night during a virtual meeting with network officials, and members of the NCAA policy board, headed by Colegio de San Juan de Letran rector, Fr. Clarence Marquez, O.P.
Management Committee chairman Fr. Vic Calvo was also around to discuss the details with GMA Network Chairman Felipe Gozon, who led the presentation committee.
“This new partnership commits to ensure that the NCAA becomes the country’s premier interscholastic sports league with the promise of national, local and world audiences through GMA’s formidable multimedia platform,” said the league in a statement.
League officials expect the partnership to provide the NCAA “with unmatched reach and scale.”
“Yes, GMA 7 will air other event outside of basketball,” said Fr. Calvo in a message to the Manila Standard.
The partnership will also include the NCAA’s centennial year, which is season 100 in the year 2024.
“As it approaches its centennial anniversary, and being the country’s longest league, the NCAA deserves nothing less than to be seen on the leading and dominant network with proven impact and reach,” added league officials.
“We are excited that GMA Network is the new home of the NCAA. At the same time, we are grateful to the NCAA board for putting their trust in GMA to serve as a platform in showcasing the talented Filipino student-athletes,” said Gozon in a separate statement.
GMA 7 was chosen over TV5, which already won the bid of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines’ broadcast rights.
The NCAA did not have weekend games when it had ABS-CBN as broadcast partner back then.
But sources said airing weekend competitions of the NCAA will be possible with the network soon launching GMA Sports.
The new network for sports will also include men’s and women’s volleyball, swimming, and athletics in its list of events that will be aired.
The search for new broadcasters by the UAAP and the NCAA started last September, when ABS-CBN sought for the discontinuation of their broadcast agreement with the two leagues after failing to secure a franchise from congress.
For more updates, follow GMA Network’s official social media accounts and visit the GMA portal at www.GMANetwork.com.