NBA CHAMPION Bruce Bowen graced BTV’s viewing party of Game One of the 2018 NBA Finals at the Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City, on June 1. — SOLAR SPORTS

LONG-TIME partners in bringing top-class and exciting basketball action to Filipino fans, both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Solar Entertainment Corp. tout their linkup as a very beneficial one and something they are happy to sustain and continuously build on.
Started in 2001 of simply bringing NBA games to Filipino households, the NBA-Solar partnership has grown considerably since and is now credited largely for its role in enhancing the fan base of the league in the country.
It is a progression that officials of the NBA and Solar also said has contributed in seeing their respective visions through as brands.
“We have been partners with Solar for many, many years. And with them we have done a lot of groundbreaking stuff like launching an all-basketball channel. I think they are one of our earliest partners around the world to have live NBA games on a daily basis which is really great and did a lot in helping expand the fan base of the NBA here in the Philippines, getting people their NBA fill so to speak and having it part of the daily conversation,” said Carlo Singson, NBA Philippines managing director, in an interview with BusinessWorld on the sidelines of BTV’s 2018 NBA Finals viewing party on June 1 at Eastwood City in Libis in Quezon City.
“We’re very happy to have them as one of our media partners in the Philippines, and activities like this (viewing party), celebrating the NBA finals, are part of the partnership that we have with them apart from offerings on BTV and NBA Premium TV which give fans all the NBA that they need,” he added.
On the part of Solar, being associated with the NBA is both an “honor and a privilege” as it has been a boon since being part of its portfolio of offerings.
“To date the NBA is still the biggest property of Solar as far as the sports side. We’re honored and privileged to be the official broadcaster of the NBA through BTV and NBA Premium TV. That’s why we come up with activations like this to make sure our brand is associated with the NBA. We bring the action to the fans, show the games live and come up with magazine shows for it. We even have pregame and postgame features that are exclusive to the two channels,” said Paulo Fernandez, Solar Sports marketing manager, in a separate interview, touching on how their relationship has been with the NBA.
“The NBA has been hands-on in supporting our events, even sending some of its players over for our events like in this year’s finals with legend Bruce Bowen. They have been cooperative and we’ve getting input from them in better presenting NBA content in our programs,” he added.
Mr. Fernandez went on to say that apart from ratings, the NBA has been big in them getting sponsorships and in their push to expand to other platforms.
“We’re not only limited now to TV but also we are in social media and other platforms. We want to expand the reach of our sports channels with the NBA at the forefront,” he said.
Seventeen years since their partnership was made possible, the NBA and Solar continue to be high on it and the possibilities that lie ahead.
“We will continue working with them both in content and other activities that we already have success with them like the Jr. NBA program, NBA Fit and NBA 3X, among others,” Mr. Singson said.
“The NBA never really stops even when these finals are over. And Solar Sports will be part of it every step of the way,” Mr. Fernandez, for his part, said.
BTV will have viewing parties of the ongoing NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers in various locations in the metro. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo