By Nickie Wang/ Manila Standard Today
After announcing that his much-awaited fight against Ricky Hatton will be aired on ABS-CBN, Pacquiao made an apologetic announcement honoring the exclusive rights of GMA-7 and Solar Sports to broadcast his May 2 title bout.
It’s a mission accomplished for GMA Network vice president for entertainment Wilma Galvante, who personally flew to Los Angeles to have a serious talk with the boxing champ. In a text message sent by the executive, she said, “God is good and Manny Pacquiao will remain a Kapuso.”
Pacquiao, who is part of the series Totoy Bato that also stars Robin Padilla and Regine Velasquez, is having his rigid training in the States to prepare for his fight scheduled in May. He made a controversial announcement that surprised both GMA Network and Solar Sports.
“We were very very surprised and at the same time very disappointed because we looked at all angles and we felt that wasn’t a smart decision,” Solar Sports’ vice president for sales and marketing Jude Turcuaco told Standard Today last week.
Solar Sports immediately held a press conference to discuss the matter with the media and to answer questions hounding the issue. According to Turcuaco, the network’s president and chief executive Wilson Tieng and chief operating officer Peter Chanliong flew to Los Angeles to talk to Pacquiao.
The major development happened after the executive had a thorough discussion with the boxing champ and convinced him not to rescind his contract with Solar Sports because it’s binding and valid.
Meanwhile at the same press conference, the lawyers who are handling the issue stated that Manny Pacquiao’s announcement and attempt to cancel the license agreement was based on the misinterpretation of facts. They added that Pacquiao may have been misled or misguided that Solar Entertainment has committed a breach of contract, but the fact is that Solar has complied with the agreement.
The sports cable channel signed a block-time agreement with GMA-7 to telecast all the fights of Pacquiao until May 2011.
The controversy started when Solar Sports apparently didn’t fulfill its financial obligation to Pacman who was supposed to receive 25 percent of the payment 10 days after the fight contract was signed last January. The boxer made a decision to rescind his contract to Solar Sports and chose ABS-CBN to cover his bout with Hatton and his three remaining fights scheduled within the next two years.
It was reported that Pacquiao also chose ABS-CBN because it can give better coverage and bigger exposure in helping him for his bid for the elections in 2010.
Solar Sports, however, denied that it was negligent to its financial obligation to the boxing icon. But the cable channel apparently deposited the money, which Pacquiao was asking in advance, only last March 17.
The sports cable channel executive Turcuaco stated that legal means are its last option, the initially prepared P150-million lawsuit against Pacquiao was supposed to protect all parties involved in the contract. Now that Pacquiao has decided to cooperate with Solar Sports and GMA-7, everything is well and all parties are back at work.
On the latest development, ABS-CBN made an announcement that it respects the decision of Manny Pacquiao to reconsider his contract to GMA and Solar Sports. The network made this decision to ease things out and avoid for the matter to reach the courtroom.