Filipinos were hit with nostalgia as Cignal TV launched the first-ever channel dedicated to collegiate sports while fans wait for Season 84 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
The country’s premier Pay TV service provider launched the UAAP Varsity Channel on Wednesday which gives sports fans 24/7 access to everything involving the biggest collegiate sports league.
The channel is currently offering a rich archive of the most notable UAAP games from 20 years back such as basketball, volleyball, football and cheer dance events, among others.
It will also launch original magazine shows that will feature current athletes and some of the well-known UAAP personalities.
Once the next season starts, the UAAP Varsity Channel will offer complete coverage of the highly-anticipated event which includes several live games and events and multiple repeat telecasts.
Cignal TV president and CEO Robert Galang said that the channel is the network’s call to the clamor of UAAP fans who wanted unlimited access to their favorite teams and players and a chance to relive the historic moments in UAAP’s history any time of the day.
“With Cignal’s unrivaled reach, it is a chance for us to bring the brightest stars in collegiate sports to a much-wider audience and deliver our commitment to the UAAP to help grow the league and brand,” he said in a release.
UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag also said that the launching of the channel is a “testament to the strength of the league made possible by the blood, sweat and tears of each and every student athlete.”
“We thank them for giving us enough memories worth reliving. This is for the UAAP community as we continue to navigate this pandemic. We also thank our partners at Cignal for undertaking this project that allows us to take a trip down memory lane in the safety of our homes,” he added.
As of Friday, the channel is airing the winner-take-all Game 3s from the men’s basketball finals of Season 64 and 65 between Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University which has the biggest rivalry in UAAP history.
The new channel is also a way for UAAP fans to indulge on various content as they wait for Season 84.
Latest reports said that the new season is tentatively scheduled for February 2022 and that the organizers are refining the protocols in light of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
Saguisag said that they are thinking of holding the season in a “bubble” environment, similar to what the Philippine Basketball Association did in the 2020 Philippine Cup and when the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas hosted the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers.
Meanwhile, the launch of a first-ever channel solely dedicated to UAAP made some Filipinos nostalgic as they recall past seasons when there were still no limitations on gatherings and how different it was to physically watch the games.
“Lezzgo!!!!!! I super miss the hype, the fun, the cheers, the players and the swag!!!” a Twitter user exclaimed in response to the launch.
“Ka-miss mga cheer nila,” another online user said with a laughing-with-tears emoji.
“One of the most memorable moment in UAAP, is my first point against UE (University of the East), Season 78,” volleyball player Norielle Ipac, who used to play for DLSU, shared on Facebook.
Season 78 covered 2015–2016 athletic year of UAAP that opened in September 2015.
Another athlete, Rachel Anne Daquis, who used to play volleyball for the Far Eastern University, also relived her collegiate days following the announcement of the UAAP Varsity Channel launch.
The UAAP Varsity Channel will be available for open viewing to all new and active subscribers of Cignal TV Channel 263 (HD) and SatLite Channel 55 until October 15. It is also available on Cignal’s over-the-top platform Cignal Play.