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ABS-CBN Sports, longtime home of numerous leagues, signs off

The final buzzer has sounded for ABS-CBN Sports, which will cease operations effective August 31.

The closure was part of the company's new direction after their franchise renewal bid was denied by the House of Representatives at the committee level last July 10.

Its online arm, sports.abs-cbn.com, was one of the most read sports websites in the country. The broadcast media giant announced last July 15 that they will be laying off up to 70% of its employees.

ABS-CBN Sports, which was established in 2000, was a driving force in the coverage of sports in the country, being the official broadcaster of the UAAP since 2000 and the NCAA from 2003-2012 and 2015 until 2019.

From initially broadcasting men's basketball, the network eventually expanded to broadcasting women's and men's volleyball, football, baseball, softball, and the annual cheerdance competition, making the UAAP its most coveted possession. Their partnership ceased last May 31.

It also aired the NBA, and had been airing the local coverage of the NBA Finals starting from the 2010-11 season.

The channel also broadcasted local basketball leagues such as the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, the Philippine Basketball League, and the remainder of the 2011 PBA Governors' Cup in order for Solar to satisfy their obligations with the league.

It also showcased the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association, mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship, and the Premier Volleyball League.

It's online arm, sports.abs-cbn.com, rose to becoming one of the top sports websites in the country in terms of traffic and page views.

Furthermore, its social media division blossomed into one of the most popular local accounts on Twitter, garnering special recognition from the website in its year-end reviews.

ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena confirmed the development on his Facebook account.

"And so ends this journey. I made the painful announcement to our beloved sports team today. I've been on this road before and I can assure you, it is not something I will swear even on people I don't like. It is heart-wrenchingly painful," said the network executive.

"Please include our beloved ABS-CBN Sports team in your prayers they have served our audience well as the advocates of the best values in sports," he added.

About 70 personnel from the sports broadcast and online divisions will be retrenched as part of the move.