NBA games return to Philippine TV through Cignal-Smart partnership

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 27) — Filipino basketball fans can watch NBA games on television again as the American professional league signed a multiyear partnership with Cignal TV and Smart Communications, it was announced through a statement Monday.

Beginning July 31, which coincides with 2019-2020 NBA season restart in the bubble in Orlando, Florida, free-to-air channels TV5 and ONE Sports will broadcast live NBA games for the first time, including four games every week.

TV5 and ONE Sports will air select “seeding games” and playoff games through the first and second rounds, while the Conference Finals will be televised in its entirety between the two channels. The 2020 NBA Finals will be broadcast exclusively on TV5.

Cignal will also launch NBA TV Philippines, a localized version of NBA TV – the league’s dedicated 24/7 channel – which will feature live games and original programming in high definition.

As an expansion of its existing partnership with the NBA to distribute NBA League Pass, Smart will livestream NBA TV Philippines through its new over-the-top service, which will be available exclusively to the network’s paid subscribers.

“The NBA restart is set against a uniquely challenging moment in time for our fans in the Philippines, who are among the most passionate and dedicated NBA supporters in the world,” NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy said.

"With three channels broadcasting the games, Filipinos now have the chance to experience the NBA live on free TV channels TV5 and ONE Sports, and on Cignal TV’s NBA TV Philippines in high definition. The game we all love is now truly home,” Cignal TV President and CEO Robert Galang said in a statement.

Additionally, Smart will relaunch, the league’s official digital destination in the country, later this year. The site will provide fans with access to game highlights, stats, standings, scores and schedules, as well as features and analysis from its roster of sports journalists.