Studio 23 was officially launched by ABS-CBN on October 12, 1996. Dubbed as the "Premium Network," Studio 23's programming was deemed upscale at the start. The network gradually targeted the youth and young adult markets through the airing of English-language shows such as Smallville, Charmed and Dawson's Creek.
|Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer - October 12, 1996|
Acting as ABS-CBN's extension, Studio 23 eventually produced original programs such as the talk show Y Speak and the news programs News Central and IbaBalita. Tagalog movies, Tagalog-dubbed anime and Asian drama series, were also broadcast on Studio 23.
During its 17-year existence, Studio 23 underwent numerous slogan changes. From "Premium Network," the slogan became 'This is My Channel." Other slogans were "Cool TV," "Watch U Want!," "Kabarkada Mo,"and "Get It Here!" At the time of its dissolution, the slogan was "IbaKabarkada!"
|Source: Studio 23 website|
The transition to ABS-CBN Sports+Action is not that surprising considering that Studio 23 has a long tradition of covering sporting events. Studio 23's first major sports coverage was the Metropolitan Basketball Association or Metroball games from 1998 to early 2000s. When ABS-CBN acquired the broadcast rights to the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) games, Studio 23 covered the basketball matches. Studio 23 also covered the Philippine Azkals football team.
|Source: Facebook page of ABS-CBN Sports+Action|
In accordance with the slogan "Play Hard," ABS-CBN Sports+Action will continue the coverage of the UAAP games and the Azkals. Top Rank and Pinoy Pride bouts will still be seen by boxing fans on the new sports channel. Major international sports tournaments such at the National Basketball Association games, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and FIFA World Cup will also be covered.
During ABS-CBN Sports+Action's January 16 trade launch, non-sports programs such as News+, The Ultimate Fighter: China, Zero Hours, and Fernando Poe Jr.'s memorable films were also announced as parts of the new channel's lineup.