Balls (TV channel)
|Launched||1 January 2008|
|Owned by||Creative Programs, Inc.|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Slogan||Home of the Biggest Sporting Events in the World|
|Headquarters||Quezon City, Philippines|
|Sister channel(s)||ABS-CBN News Channel, Cinema One, DZMM TeleRadyo, Hero, Jeepney TV, Knowledge Channel, Lifestyle Network, Myx|
|SkyCable (Metro Manila)||Channel 34 (SD Digital)
Channel 167 (HD)
|SkyCable Cebu (Cebu City)||Channel 301 (Digital)|
|SkyCable Davao (Davao City)||Channel 301 (Digital)|
|SkyCable Bacolod (Bacolod City)||Channel 301 (Digital)|
|SkyCable Baguio (Baguio City)||Channel 301 (Digital)|
|Destiny Cable (Metro Manila)||Channel 36 (SD Digital)|
|SPC-New World CATV (San Jose del Monte and Marilao, Bulacan)||Channel 34|
|Telmarc Cable (Rizal, Laguna and Tarlac)||Channel 33|
|Royal Cable (Santa Rosa City, Cabuyao City, and Calamba City, Laguna)||Channel 16|
|Kalibo Cable (Kalibo, Aklan, and Antique)||Channel 35
And selected cable TV providers nationwide.
Balls is a Filipino cable television network based in Quezon City and the country's first domestic high definition channel. It is owned and operated by Creative Programs, Inc., a subsidiary of the Filipino media conglomerate ABS-CBN Corporation. The network focuses on sports television, mostly notable sports events in the Philippines and abroad, but also other sport-related shows. Some of its shows are produced and licensed by ABS-CBN Sports.
Balls officially launched on January 1, 2008—the same day that fellow ABS-CBN subsidiary SkyCable dropped the channels of Solar Entertainment Corporation (including the sports channels Solar Sports and Basketball TV) from its lineup. These channels were replaced by a group of new channels owned by ABS-CBN's subsidiary Creative Programs, which also included AXN Beyond, Fox Crime, Maxxx, Velvet and KidsCo. While SkyCable officials stated that the channels were being replaced to reduce redundancy in SkyCable's lineup and introduce new programming to the service, reports surfaced that the two companies had failed to reach a carriage deal since ABS-CBN had accused Solar of cannibalizing the revenue of its over-the-air networks.
Although Balls was intended to effectively replace it, Basketball TV was restored to the SkyCable lineup in time for the 2008–09 NBA season in October 2008, and other Solar channels also returned to the lineup afterward.
Balls' initial lineup focused on ball sports such as football, basketball, golf, tennis, and volleyball (as suggested by its name). Also Balls aired 2 of 4 Tennis Grand Slam Tournament which is French Open (transferred to Fox Sports Asia) and US Open. Balls later expanded its lineup to include boxing, UFC MMA events, WWE programs, golf, and the 2011 Southeast Asian Games.
On July 11, 2009, SkyCable launched a high-definition feed of Balls, marking the Philippines' first ever high-definition television channel. On the same day, Balls also televised the country's first locally-produced programs in HD, which included a UAAP college basketball game, followed by an NCAA game the following Monday. Balls HD was discontinued on December 28, 2009, and replaced on SkyCable's lineup with HBO Asia HD. The channel returned full-time in 2013.
- "Cable company dropping Solar channels effective Jan.1". GMA News. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "ABS-CBN airs UAAP on high-definition". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 20 May 2012.