Philippines, Sports, television

Frustrating Turn on PBA Coverage

Yesterday I discussed about the recent problems the PBA endured in terms of their television coverage, even mentioning the latest proposal regarding live games on AksyonTV and live/delayed games on TV5. Unfortunately, the league board denied TV5’s request to air the live games on AksyonTV, and even stated that they would not allow a UHF channel to air their games again. Which begs me the question: Did the PBA make a mistake in renewing ties with TV5?

Back when the PBA was still negotiating for a new television contract following the expiration of Solar Sports‘ contract, the only suitor at the time was TV5. ABS-CBN’s sports lineup had been loaded with the UAAP and NBA coverage, while GMA seems reluctant in taking the PBA with them. With the lack of other suitors, the PBA decided to ink a new contract with TV5. However, with TV5’s primetime lineup already loaded, they decided to ink a blocktime deal with IBC-13 to air PBA games. Thus the AKTV block was born in August, and the PBA would be seen on IBC-13 for over a year.

However, mounting operation costs forced TV5 to go elsewhere, thus allowing the blocktime contract with IBC to expire at the end of May. The looming expiration would see TV5 pick up coverage of the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals and finals on a live or delayed basis, in conjunction with AKTV. Once the blocktime agreement expired, the debate got underway, which is still unsettled as of today.

For some reason the PBA made a mistake, because they did not know how to deal with the short-term blocktime deal that TV5 made with IBC. TV5, in particular, rebranded itself after its initial contract with the PBA expired in 2008, allowing it to compete head-on with GMA and ABS-CBN. It was this rebrand that practically made it impossible for them to air PBA games once they renegotiated, forcing them to move the games to IBC. And now they are faced with the dilemma of airing the games on the main network because of their loaded primetime lineup. Thus the PBA was put in a disadvantage with the TV5 situation, even if they enjoyed a resurgence in popularity.

If they were to follow commissioner Chito Salud‘s promise of not airing the games on UHF TV, the only other option for the PBA is to negotiate with GMA 7. GMA 7 has a VHF television station in GMA News TV, thus giving the PBA an option of airing the games on GMA’s sister network. While PTV-4 is another option, they lack the necessary clarity and reach that the ‘Big 3’ networks can offer. So the only way that the PBA can be viable is if they air on GMA News TV, provided that GMA is willing to negotiate.

For now, the PBA on TV5 is here to stay. Best of luck to TV5 management for sorting out the situation.

hits, music, songs, United States

Billboard Hot 100 – July 6, 2013

Here are the Top 10 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of July 6, 2013.

1. Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell  – Blurred Lines. No. 1 last week.

2. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky. No. 2 last week.

3. Imagine Dragons – Radioactive. No. 4 last week.

4. Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly – Cruise (remix). No. 6 last week.

5. Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop. No. 27 last week.

6. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton – Can’t Hold Us. No. 3 last week.

7. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors. No. 5 last week.

8. Bruno Mars – Treasure. No. 11 last week.

9.  Selena Gomez – Come & Get It. No. 8 last week.

10. P!nk feat. Nate Ruess – Just Give Me A Reason. No. 7 last week. 

The entire compilation of the Top 10 songs for July 6, 2013 can be viewed below.

Our thanks to BillboardClassic for providing us this week’s Billboard Hot 100 Top 10.

Philippines, Sports, television

PBA’s Television Problems

While the PBA experienced a gradual resurgence in game attendance, their television coverage has been unstable in recent years.

For the past five years coverage of the Philippine Basketball Association on television has been shaky at times. After the expiration of the first contract with ABC (now TV5), coverage moved to RPN 9 in conjunction with Solar Entertainment in 2008. However, signal problems and uncertainty in network changes hindered its coverage, which ended after the 2010-11 season, the first of the returning three-conference format. The last two conferences were moved to Studio 23, though not in a co-production capacity with ABS-CBN Sports, after RPN 9 was reformatted to ETC in February 2011. After the end of the 2011 Governors’ Cup, the league decided to find a new partner anew.

It was during the 2011 offseason that TV5 would renew its partnership with the PBA, although it did not involve the airing of games on the main TV5 network. Instead they would air the games on the AKTV block on IBC-13. The latter network aired all of the games of the 2011-12 season, and then the entirety of the 2012-13 Philippine Cup. But during the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup, the PBA’s coverage problems resurfaced.

In April, it was announced that TV5 is not renewing its blocktime agreement with IBC-13, which expired in May. Scrambling to find ways to air the remainder of the Commissioner’s Cup, the PBA reluctantly agreed to air its semifinal games on TV5 on a live or delayed basis, and then air every Finals game live on the said network. The Finals brought high ratings for TV5, but it remains to be seen whether the main network can carry the games of the Governors’ Cup.

Just recently a new proposal was made for the coverage of the Governors’ Cup. Under the submitted proposal, Sunday games will be aired live on both TV5 and AksyonTV, while Wednesday, Friday and Saturday coverage  will be aired live on AksyonTV and on a delayed basis on TV5. The TV5 management also promised to improve the signal reach of UHF network AksyonTV. If approved, this will be the setup for the Governors’ Cup which starts in mid-August.

The recent surge of popularity in the PBA is due to the infusion of new talent, growing attendance during games, and social media interaction. However, it is the league coverage on television that is having its shortcomings. I don’t blame the PBA for returning to TV5, but they should have thought twice first about other networks willing to pitch in. Knowing the uncertainty of coverage on TV5 considering its loaded primetime lineup, they should have convinced GMA 7, which has a history of reluctance in providing sports coverage, to step in and air games on its GMA News TV network. Why GMA News TV? Because it is a VHF channel with a higher reach (unlike AksyonTV), and it has enough airtime to cover the PBA. I hope GMA 7 is listening, because if they step in soon, they have the potential to be a big-time player in promoting sports to the nation.

For now, PBA’s television coverage continues to be shaky. Despite its growing popularity, the league’s games on television remain its Achilles’ heel. I hope they find a way to get a stable television partner soon in order to continue its growth and profitability. That said, it will be a long hard road for the league to stabilize its television coverage.

entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Answer to the Kiligserye Craze

Will GMA’s new ‘kiligserye’ ‘With a Smile’ match the success of ABS-CBN’s ‘Be Careful with My Heart’?

For the past year, ABS-CBN‘s ‘Be Careful with My Heart‘ has been rolling over the competition in the late morning/noontime slot. GMA’s response has been, well, little. They tried to answer ‘Be Careful…’ with ‘Ang Mga Mata ng Angelita’ and ‘Chef Boy Logro: Kusina Master‘ in that timeslot, but neither were able to solve the popularity that ‘Be Careful…’ has endured in nearly a year. And now GMA is attempting their own version of a ‘kiligserye’.

Enter ‘With a Smile’. The new program debuted this past Monday, and it starred up-and-comers Andrea Torres and Mikael Daez. The show also saw a rare acting appearance from singer Christian Bautista, whose previous acting role was in ‘The Kitchen Musical‘. Like ‘Be Careful…’, ‘With a Smile’ focuses on a female commoner trying to gain the attention and the love of a businessman. In addition, the latter tries to take advantage of the former’s lighthearted style, by minimizing drama in favor of humorous love scenes and encounters. It was this approach that helped ‘Be Careful…’ become one of the most talked-about programs on television, so it remains to be seen whether ‘With a Smile’ can capitalize on the success of the former.

While GMA finally managed to give ‘With a Smile’ the go-ahead signal, they were unable to place it on the same timeslot as ‘Be Careful…’. This is because at the time of its debut, ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, hosted by the diminutive up-and-coming child star Ryzza Mae Dizon, was locked into that timeslot, and the program usually airs live as a lead-in to ‘Eat Bulaga’. Had they put ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ on a much earlier timeslot, they would have been able to place ‘With a Smile’ head-on with ‘Be Careful…’. However, the former’s production outfit TAPE, Inc. would not allow that in the condition that Ryzza’s grade school education be prioritized. For now, ‘With a Smile’ will need to earn a following in the mid-morning slot where there is not much competition.

The show is still three episodes old, so we’ll see if the chemistry of greenhorns Torres, Bautista and Daez would click in a similar manner as Jodi Sta. Maria as ‘Maya’ and Richard Yap as ‘Ser Chief’. And we’ll also see if GMA’s new offering would likewise gain a trending topic on Twitter. Good luck.

Philippines, Sports, television

Guide to Watching Pinoy College Hoops

Mall of Asia Arena will play host to a majority of UAAP basketball matches this season. It also hosted the opening day of the new NCAA season.

The 89th NCAA season got underway Saturday with a pair of close heart-stopping matchups at the Mall of Asia Arena. San Beda squeaked past St. Benilde in the opener while Letran dispatched rookie-laden San Sebastian in the nightcap. The 76th UAAP season unwraps in five days, so before you start saying ‘Ayan Na!’ (Here we go!), here is a guide for college hoops aficionados to get familiarized to both leagues.

Courtside Reporters

For over a decade, ABS-CBN has been holding auditions over the summer break in an effort to pick new faces to report for their respective colleges. It doesn’t matter where they study, for as long as they were picked and assigned to a respective college, then their road to a bigger career begins come opening day. This year four new faces will join four holdovers for the upcoming UAAP season.

Since TV5 took over NCAA coverage in the 88th season, they eschewed the ABS-CBN way of picking new faces to represent their colleges. Instead they went the old route of using their stable of reporters, some of which already hired by the network, to report for both schools.

Rookies and Team Lineups

What better way to start the new season than to name the rookies from every college. Some were highly-touted prospects from high school, while others were spread from various continents of the world, including Africa. Still others were walk-ons, meaning that no invitation was given to them and instead tried out for the varsity team. If you want to see the lineups for every school, visit the UAAP and NCAA websites to check each of them.


For the nth time, tickets are hard to come by for the most highly-anticipated matchups of the season. Opening week, the Final Four and the Finals are a ticket buyer’s worst nightmare. In the UAAP, Ateneo-La Salle games are the hottest ticket in town. Scalpers also pose a problem, as are issues on online ticket purchasing. Whatever the reason, I wish the best of luck to those pursuing tickets for the highly-regarded marquee matchups.


And there is the long-standing issues of officiating. In recent years, commissioners of both leagues have promised a fair, clean and honest match, but sometimes the latter part was being disobeyed. Coaches have vented their ire on the referees for supposed non-calls or objectionable calls, even going as far as getting tossed out and fined for their actions. Player suspensions are usually a byproduct, especially during the most crucial matches of the season. Officiating can be inconsistent sometimes, but it is a part of the game and it is best to respect that.

TV Coverage

As mentioned earlier, ABS-CBN is the rights holder to the UAAP while TV5 is the rights holder to the NCAA. All regular season and select Final Four and Finals matches will be on UHF networks Studio 23 and AksyonTV respectively. At least one game of the Finals will be on the VHF channels ABS-CBN 2 and TV5 respectively. Reruns of every game will be on cable networks Balls and Hyper respectively. So if you are either under the weather or are busy with other errands, just change the channel for some heart-stopping college hoops action.

In addition, will provide complementary live commercial-free coverage of every UAAP game.

School Loyalty

Finally the college game is about loyalty. It is about shouting school cheers before and during games, and singing the school hymn after games. Halftime entertainment is provided by the cheering squad whose moves captivated the audience. In a college game, students, alumni and fans alike are of the same color of the school they represent, so their presence is of an urgent need to lift their school to victory.

If you read all these tips, then you are ready to watch another season of Pinoy college hoops.

hits, music, songs, United States

Billboard Hot 100 – June 29, 2013

Here are the Top 10 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of June 29, 2013.

1. Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell  – Blurred Lines. No. 1 last week.

2. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky. No. 3 last week.

3. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton – Can’t Hold Us. No. 2 last week.

4. Imagine Dragons – Radioactive. No. 6 last week.

5. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors. No. 4 last week.

6. Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly – Cruise (remix). No. 5 last week.

7. P!nk feat. Nate Ruess – Just Give Me A Reason. No. 7 last week.

8.  Selena Gomez – Come & Get It. No. 8 last week.

9. Ariana Grande feat. Mac Miller – The Way. No. 9 last week.

10. Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX – I Love It. No. 10 last week.

The entire compilation of the Top 10 songs for June 29, 2013 can be viewed below.

Our thanks to BillboardClassic for providing us this week’s Billboard Hot 100 Top 10.