Read it at the PBA thread.
At first, the text message hardly caught my attention.
“Do you know that MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) is going into the NBA?” the message read.
I rubbed my eyes to see if I was reading the letters right.
“NBA? For TV5 or for IBC 13?” I texted back. To my knowledge, IBC is now MVP property, the reason why the PBA D-League is being aired in that channel.
“Are you trying to tell me that MVP wants to acquire the rights to the NBA telecast?”
I told him, in case he still didn’t know, that Solar Entertainment currently owns the telecast rights to the NBA games which are aired on Basketball TV and ABS-CBN’s Studio 23. I also told him that I had no idea when the contract will expire.
I didn’t know that MVP was interested in the NBA, but maybe he was planning to have the games on Channel 13 which, I heard, will be a sports and news channel.
* * *
The guy said he was not referring to the TV coverage of the world’s most popular basketball league.
“MVP is planning to buy into the franchise of the Sacramento Kings. There are other interested parties, but the Kings management decided to offer it first to a Filipino businessman because they know of the Filipinos’ passion for basketball. MVP is seriously interested in the offer,” he said.
Now he got my full attention. I was having dinner with my family at the time my source touched base, but I had to push my half-eaten meal aside to process the information I had just received.
“No kidding?” was all I could manage to say. It was too good to be true. “No fooling please, April Fool’s day is long over!”
* * *
I never got back to my unfinished meal. I got to work immediately to confirm the report I got from out of the blue.
From subsequent information I gathered, I found out that the Sacramento Kings representatives came to Manila recently, bringing with them a complete financial portfolio which they presented to MVP.
“The balance sheet and the cash flow looked good,” according to MVP’s financial advisers, the initial investment coming down to a ballpark figure of about $260 million, give or take a few millions.
And the ROI? “How great are the risks of going into the NBA business?” I asked.
My source, a sports VIP, said MVP could expect some gains.
“The Sacramento Kings franchise is a corporation and MVP will come in as a partner. He will of course aim for majority stakes,” said the sports VIP.
If ever the deal pushes through, this will be the first time that an NBA franchise will be owned by an Asian.
This may also be the first time that a Filipino player will don an NBA jersey
* * *
“Yes, indeed. If this deal pushes through, the Filipinos may see some of their wildest dreams coming true in this lifetime,” said the sports VIP.
As I write this, it is not far-fetched that MVP and his sports group may be animatedly discussing the possibilities. He could sit down with the Kings board to haggle for a Filipino assistant coach or for transfer of technology and a Filipino player or two in the team. After all, he owns it.
By now the Sacramento Kings representatives have returned to the California capital.
Logically, the next move would have to come from MVP’s group, I presume.
Perhaps MVP’s group will have to fly to Sacramento to inspect the assets.
A business lawyer told me that if and when MVP decides to buy into the NBA franchise, he will first have to sign a nondisclosure agreement, which means none of the parties can publicly disclose the contents of the sale—or whatever is unearthed during the due diligence.
MVP is expected to decide within the next two months.
Ms. Patricia Hizon tweet last Friday
When you're an MVP.... You are KING!
If this ever pushed through, I can see some good Filipino talents taking the road of NBA.