Fox to offer two more HD sports channels in the Philippines

There’s never been a better time to be couch potato sports fan in the Philippines.

On Tuesday Fox Philippines announced that starting this Friday, no less than three high definition sports channels will be available to cable subscribers in the Philippines as part of a regional relaunch of the brand all over Asia.

We really want to uplift sports broadcasting in the country,” said Senior Vice President and General Manager of Fox Philippines, Jude Turcuato on Tuesday at the Fox Philippines offices in Bonifacio Global City.

The core Fox Sports channel will remain as is on standard definition and will also have an HD equivalent. Star Sports will now be known as Fox Sports 2, and will also be aired on both SD and HD. The current Fox Sports HD becomes Fox Sports 3, and will be aired on standard def too.

Subscribers of Cablelink will get the opportunity to watch all of the six new channels on Friday. But if you are a Sky Cable or Cignal customer, you may have to wait a while longer. Turcuato says that he hopes the two biggest cable TV providers will come online with the new offerings by next month.

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Fox 1 will continue as is, airing football and other fan favorites. Fox 2 will feature racket sports like tennis and Major League Baseball. Fox 3 will be the home of motorsports and mixed-martial arts.

Fox airs all four majors in golf and presents all of the tennis grand slam events with the exception of next month’s U.S. Open, which will be on Balls Channel.

The NBA will be transmitted on Fox’s HD channels in the Philippines. It isn’t aired on other Fox markets in Asia.

There are other attractions coming up on Fox. The channels will show the AFF Suzuki Cup in November, so Pinoy football fans who don’t like to hear the shrieking of some fat dude during Azkals games can tune into Fox and have the commentary of Paul Masefield instead.

Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, and Holland’s Eredivisie will also continue coming into the living rooms of Pinoy football fans on Fox.

Select PBA games, as well as the entire playoffs, are also on Fox, with purely English-language commentary.

Another treat for fight fans: the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana rematch on September 14.

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Turcuato said the decision to use the Fox branding in all of the sports properties was to reduce confusion among the market. Fox Sports is a strong brand all over the United States and Latin America, while the company uses the Sky Sports brand name in Europe.

Fox Philippines will also reveal another new show soon: a Pinoy version of Fox Sports Central, their daily sports highlights digest. It will be produced in the Fox Philippines office in High Street on a virtual studio with a set made by the same supplier as Fox’s studio in Los Angeles. Naturally, the content will be sports close to the hearts of Filipino fans.

Turcuato says he hopes to have the show up and running by the first quarter of next year.

We want it to have the same kind of energy as Fox Sports Live in the states” says Turcuato.

The big thing for me is that the hosts have a connection with the audience.” Turcuato says they will begin searching for talents who can host the show very soon.

No doubt the new changes will have an impact on the Filipino sports landscape. No wonder that the new and improved Fox Sports has a new tagline: “Where sports go BOOM.”

Follow Bob on Twitter @PassionateFanPH.

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