Philippines, Sports, television

Goodbye AKTV

After nearly two years on air, AKTV signs off for good. But problems within TV5’s sports division continue to persist today. (Logo courtesy of ABC Development Corporation)

On May 31, 2013, the AKTV on IBC 13 block aired for the last time. As reported over a month ago, Mediaquest has decided not to renew the blocktime contract with IBC 13, which expired in May. With AKTV ceasing to exist, Sports5‘s properties are being moved to AksyonTV and Hyper starting this month.

The AKTV programming block made its rousing debut in August 2011 with the Smart All-Star Ultimate Challenge, pitting the Gilas national team and an all-PBA selection against NBA players led by Kobe Bryant. In October, AKTV became the home of the PBA, airing all of its games for the next two years. Over the next few months, AKTV aired sports events like soccer’s United Football LeaguePremier League, La Liga and Bundesliga, the 2012 London Olympic Games, the NCAA, PBA D-League and professional boxing, among others. However, mounting costs, coupled with lack of profits, forced TV5 management not to renew its block-time agreement after two years.

The signs that AKTV’s days were numbered showed after the PBA allowed to air the recently concluded Commissioner’s Cup Final on TV5. In addition, IBC decided to reduce AKTV’s programming hours during the weekends. Originally the block aired for 12 hours on weekends, but was reduced to six hours in the block’s final few months. As AKTV was winding down, Mediaquest was scrambling to find a new network for its UFL and incoming NCAA coverage, which AksyonTV was able to oblige.

AksyonTV is no stranger to airing sports coverage. In its infancy, it aired a boxing match featuring Filipina Ana Julaton, but has since deferred from airing further sports in favor of news and public affairs. However, with AKTV no longer in the equation, AksyonTV had no other choice but to air the UFL, the PBA D-League and the upcoming NCAA season.

The demise of AKTV exposed TV5’s budgetary deficiencies. By committing too much on several sports properties without giving enough time to tinker and experiment, they lost so much money, and by the time the deal expired, they scrambled to get their sports properties on another channel. The 2012 London Olympics was a broadcasting failure, both in expenses and revenue. Also their more recent venture with the NCAA had an adverse effect on its budget. The ‘AKTV Center’ before PBA games, though well-viewed, was unnecessary. Perhaps the network’s owner Manny V. Pangilinan had a full pocket that he spent lavishly on it, without realizing how to conserve them. With all that in mind, it is clear that TV5 wants to be a cut above the rest, at par with competitors ABS-CBN and GMA 7. But instead their free-spending ways betrayed them in the end.

I already wrote about GMA 7’s lack of a sports division before. Perhaps GMA should step up already. Then again, neither will GMA 7’s ownership be serious enough to acquire the sports properties that TV5 has. Until then, TV5 should remain committed with what they have now, regardless of how their budget would play a role. Otherwise it will be a long season for the still-fledgling network.

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2 thoughts on “Goodbye AKTV

  1. AKTV: Live Active logo used from June to September 2013, and the former AKTV logo used from September 2011 to May 2013. AKTV (pronounced “active”) is the defunct primetime sports programming block in the Philippines. Owned and operated by TV5, it occupies the 5:00 to 11:00pm timeslot of IBC; weekend coverage usually begins at 11:00 am to 11:00 pm. It started since June 5, 2011 until May 31, 2013 due to high airtime costs. After nearly two years on air, AKTV signs off for good. But problems within TV5′s sports division continue to persist today.
    chad_interaktv@kfyo.com password: interaktv2198/interaktv2918/interaktv2198

    http://wp.me/p4gMmL-l

    MediaQuest announces that the blocktime agreement with IBC-13 deal

    SEVERAL PBA team owners and members of the board want assurance that league games be shown on a VHF channel once TV coveror AKTV ends its block-time agreement with IBC 13.

    Rain or Shine co-team owner Raymund Yu, for one, said that once the league’s official coveror makes the switch, he stressed that `it should be to the most accessible channels.”

    “Sana dun pa rin sa mas mapapanood ng nakakarami,” said Yu, who along with co-owner Terry Que, believes in the power of the PBA as a great marketing and promotional tool.

    Television channels of the VHF range are the most common and accessible even with old TV units. In the country, the VHF channels are 2, 4, 5, 7, 9,11 and 13, where the current PBA coverage under AKTV is being aired since 2011.

    Last week, MediaQuest Holdings Incorporated chairman Manny V. Pangilinan announced that the company won’t renew its block-time contract with IBC 13 when it lapses in May.

    However, new Sports5 head Chot Reyes has assured the public in a Spin.ph interview that live coverage of the games will not be compromised despite the switch, although he declined to go into details.

    Reyes said AKTV is contractually obligated to show the games live on free television, but acknowledged that inserting the live PBA broadcast in the already heavy programming of TV5 – a Pangilinan-controlled station – may not be possible.

    But Reyes hinted the finals games of the current Commissioner’s Cup may be aired on TV5.
    As to where the games would be shown at the end of the IBC 13 deal, Reyes said: “Yan ang ginagawan pa ng paraan.”

    Even league commissioner Chito Salud said he is watching the developments closely as the channel switch nears.

    Salud said he is looking forward to sitting down with officials of Sports5 to discuss the matter and “listen to their proposal.”

    “Obviously, my primary objective is to ensure that the PBA games continue to be accessible to the TV viewing fans. Our games belong to our fans,” the commissioner stressed.

    Barako Bull team manager Raffy Casyao agreed that a VHF channel is still the only option for the PBA coverage.
    “Mas wider pa rin ang reach ng mga channels dun (VHF), hindi naman lahat naka-cable at hindi lahat capable ang TV sa mas matataas na frequencies,” said Casyao.

    “(We’d still prefer) a local channel siyempre,” said Alaska board representative Joaqui Trillo in a text message to Spin.ph. “(Dapat) `yung may nationwide reach so more people can watch the games.

    “Yung may strong signal especially sa probinsya,” he added.
    Under the contract signed by the PBA and its present coveror, games of the league should be aired over VHF channel. Any changes should be approved by the board, said San Mig governor Rene Pardo.

    “Otherwise, if there are plans to transfer it to UHF, it has to pass through the board,” Pardo said.

    During the final year of its contract with the league, former PBA coveror Solar Sports entered into a co-production agreement with giant network ABS-CBN to air the games on UHF channel Studio 23.

    The set-up reportedly cost Solar Sports an undisclosed amount in penalties from the league for reneging on their original deal.

    THE continued live aliring of the PBA games on television has suddenly been put in doubt after businessman Manny V. Pangilinan announced that his company, AKTV, will no longer extend its block time agreement with IBC 13.

    AKTV, a subsidiary of MediaQuest Holdings Incorporated, airs the league games live over IBC 13 under a block time agreement with the state-run network – a set-up that Pangilinan said his company will discontinue once the current agreement ends in May.

    In a talk with reporters, Pangilinan said the block time deal has become “too expensive,” revealing that AKTV – MediaQuest’s sports arm which also owns the rights to the NCAA games, the UFL, and, until recently, the Shakey’s V-League matches – coughs up P150 million a month for six prime time hours daily on IBC 13.
    Sources said AKTV has been losing money not just with the PBA coverage but in most of its ventures, with only a trickling of advertising revenue coming in.

    “Mas malaki talaga yung gastos kaysa sa pasok,” said the source.

    The same source said MediaQuest is now in the process of transfering the coverage of the pro league’s games – as well as other ventures of AKTV – to TV5, which is also owned by the MVP group.

    However, there are fears TV5 may not be in a position to commit to airing two live PBA games on prime time three days in a week – and four counting out-of-town matches that are usually played on Saturdays – because of the station’s own crowded programming.

    TV5 officials, in fact, had already requested a meeting with league commissioner Chito Salud to discuss the transition, even before Pangilinan made the surprise announcement on Thursday.

    “We have to meet with them, para mapag-usapan kung paano ito masosolusyunan,” said a source from the station.

    However, the transfer is encountering problems within the network since TV5 is also in transition, with Maynilad chair and longtime Pangilinan lieutenant Ricky Vargas and Patrick Gregorio set to take over the reins of the station from Bobby Barreiro.

    The MVP group owns the TV rights to the PBA games under a five-year deal worth close to P1 billion that runs until 2015.

    The ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup, which ends on May 24 in case the finals goes the full route, will not be affected by the transition, with the move to TV5 set to begin in the Governors Cup.

    WHY fix it when it ain’t broke.

    The PBA board of governors on Thursday rejected AKTV’s proposal to transfer the league’s television broadcast of the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals and finals from IBC 13 to TV5.

    In explaining its decision, the board, led by chairman Robert Non, said the sudden switch in channels could cause confusion among television viewers especially with the import-laden tournament now on its crucial stage.

    “Taking into consideration the possible negative impact on our television and live audience with respect to the abrupt change in channel and schedule of games, the board decided that the airing of (PBA) games in IBC 13 under the schedule provided by the league and as provided in the television contract shall continue to be enforced and in effect,” said the board in a statement.

    The league, however, gave its TV partner the option to air the playoff games of the Commissioner’s Cup both on IBC 13 and TV5, either simultaneously or on a delayed basis, similar to an arrangement the league had in 2003 when the games were aired on parallel broadcasts over NBN 4 and IBC 13.

    The proposal to transfer channels during the PBA playoffs was earlier made by AKTV in the hope of airing the games before an even bigger audience.

    AKTV, the primetime sports programming arm of TV5, AKTV has a block time contract with IBC 13 that gives it the primetime slot from 5-11 p.m. in the government-owned channel – a deal that TV5 head Manny V. Pangilinan said will end in May.

    The development is not expected to affect the Commissioner’s Cup coverage since the tournament would be over by the time the AKTV-IBC deal expires, but the board will have to sit down again soon to discuss on which free television channel the PBA games will be aired next.

    With IBC-13 being eyed for privatization by the government, the station can no longer agree to any long-term contract with block timers, while TV5 is currently loaded with programing during its primetime slot, including an hour-long newscast.

    Interpreting the Context of AkTV and IBC ending their Blocktime Agreement

    On Spin, Snow Badua noted that MVP made the announcement that its blocktime agreement with IBC-13 (through AkTV, which is under the arm of Mediaquest Holdings, Inc) will not be renewed when it ends in May.

    Snow’s source noted that AkTV would then move its coverage to TV5.

    When this broke, Interaksyon posted this almost one hour later. Within that, they included their business article (as a link) detailing MVP’s announcement of the end of their blocktime agreement, which was posted at 5:45pm, a couple of hours before the Spin piece was posted.

    The business post denoted that the block-timing agreement was not profiting as much as what they expected, so they decided not to renew it when it ends in May. It also clearly made it known that any commitments that AkTV is in connection with will be maintained.

    Here are things that we know:

    1. The PBA will have its All-Star Week at Digos to kick-off May, which is in the middle of a stretch of semis matches, with the finals taking place from mid-May until the end of that month. (basing it fromthis theoretical schedule tweeted out by Fidel Mangonon III)

    2. The UFL will have televised matches scheduled until June 13, and that is without the expected schedule adjustments that will have to be made due to the AFC President’s Cup and the Singapore Cup, as well as the FIFA international break.

    3. The 89th season of the NCAA opens on June 22.

    4. AkTV’s blocktime with IBC 13 is from 5pm-11pm on weekdays (except on Mondays, when they end at 1030pm), 530pm-11pm on Saturdays, and 4pm-11pm on Sundays. I am basing this on AkTV’s April schedule grid.

    5. Compare this to what they regularly schedule on TV5: They have news and public affairs shows around the 5-7pm slot and just before 11pm. In between that, Kidlat, Never Say Goodbye and Giant are sandwiched around a movie. That’s on weekdays. On weekends, they also have weekly shows at that slot as well as movies. I am basing this on TV5’s April schedule grid.

    As such, I believe that what is about to happen:

    AkTV will now be incorporated into TV5’s programming. When we know what needs to be shown, you can make adjustments accordingly. Considering what is on TV5’s schedule, it’s easy to plug in the shows. For example: PBA coverage starts at 5pm, you move the news and public affairs shows onto earlier slots just before and after it or move them to their Aksyon TV. This is probably one of the reasons why Willie’s show went from primetime to noontime, to free up primetime slots.

    Thus, you might have been wondering how come they were non-committal with the V-League coverage (which eventually went to GMA News TV) as well as possibly why the broadcasting rights for the AFC President’s Cup (which a UFL side is participating) went to ABS-CBN Sports.

    As such, it remains to be seen what exactly AkTV will be doing. I entrust to them what they have in mind when the time comes.

    Filipino

    Nag-abiso na yata ang pamunuan ng AKTV at TV5, coveror ng PBA games kay commissioner Chito Salud nung isang araw na tila hindi na mag-re-renew ng kontrata sa IBC 13.

    Masyado daw mahal ang ibinabayad ng AKTV sa airtime sa IBC para maisahimpapawid ang mga PBA games.

    Sa Mayo yata mapapaso ang kontrata ng AKTV at kung hindi mahihilot, mawawala ang PBA sa ere at hindi maganda ito para sa first pro-league sa Asia.

    Napi-feel ng Isport Lang! ang urgency na maresolba ang naka-ambang problema ng pro-league sa text message ni Kume kamakalawa.

    Sabi ng mensahe ni Kume: ‘I will sit down with our coveror to listen to their proposal. Obviously , my primary objective is to ensure that the PBA games continue to be accessible to the TV viewing fans. Our games belong to our fans.’

    Yes, of course naman at kung walang television coverage malamang sa kangkungan pulutin ang PBA na namamayagpag na sa rating game ng mga television programs.

    Although ,hindi kumpirmado kung talagang wala ng magagawa, tila i-o-offer ng TV 5 ang channel 41 sa cable para mai-ere ang mga laro ng PBA.

    Kaya lang tila salungat ito sa kontrata ng PBA at AKTV na nilagdaan na regular channel ang gagamitin sa pagsasahimpapawid ng mga games.

    Hindi man tanungin, tiyak na hindi papayag si Kume Chito at iba pang team owners na cable ang gamitin.

    Hanggang saan nga naman ang makukuhang viewers ng PBA kung cable ang gagamitin. Pa’no na lang ang mga walang cable?

    Pero sana magawan ng paraan ng AKTV ang problemang ito sa lalong madaling panahon dahil ilang tulog na lamang at buwan na ng Mayo.

    Ang television ay isang mabilis na medium para sa epektibong pag-po-promote, pero malupit din ito dahil ilang buwan lamang na mawala sa ere ay kaagad na nawawala sa consciousness ng mga tao ang isang programa.

    Isa lang ang tiyak, hindi tutulugan ng mga opisyal ng PBA ang usaping may kinalaman sa TV coverage.

    TV COVERAGE NG PBA SA AKTV NANGANGANIB

    MALAKING problema ang hinaharap ng AKTV, ang sports channel ng TV5.

    Ayon sa may-ari ng istasyon na si Manuel V. Pangilinan, tatagal na lang hanggang sa Mayo ng taong ito ang pagiging blocktimer ng TV5 sa IBC 13 kung saan doon ipinapalabas ang mga programang pang-sports ng istasyon tulad ng Philippine Basketball Association, United Football League at National Collegiate Athletic Association.

    “Masyadong mahal. Lugi kami doon,” wika ni Pangilinan sa panayam ng http://www.Interaksyon.com.

    Idinagdag ni Pangilinan na ang kanyang kompanyang MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. ay magpapatuloy sa pagsasahimpapawid ng mga sports coverages nito sa TV5, lalo na ang mga laro ng PBA kung saan limang taong kontrata ang pinirmahan ng istasyon para isahimpapawid ang pangunahing liga ng basketbol sa bansa hanggang sa 2015.

    Inamin din ni Pangilinan na nagbabayad ng P150 milyon ang TV5 para ipalabas ang mga laro ng PBA sa AKTV ngunit ang problema, walang pumapasok na komersiyal ang coverage ng liga at may ilang lugar sa bansa na malabo ang signal ng IBC dahil sequestered ng gobyerno ang nasabing himpilan.

    “We will have to make adjustments in terms of our sports coverages,” dagdag ni Pangilinan.

    Binili ni Pangilinan ang TV5 mula sa pamilya Cojuangco noong 2009 sa halagang P4 bilyon upang palakasin ang istasyon at makipagsabay sa dalawa pang higanteng himpilan na ABS-CBN at GMA Network.
    (James Ty III)

    PRESS RELEASE:

    MediaQuest block time agreement with IBC ends in May, MVP says
    InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS

    MANILA – The operator of TV5 will no longer extend its block time agreement with state-run IBC 13.

    At the sidelines of the turnover ceremony of the Road Safety Research of the University of the Philippines-National Center for Transportation Studies, MediaQuest Holdings Inc chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the company would let the agreement lapse in May, adding that the deal was expensive.

    “Hindi na siguro. Hanggang Mayo lang yun. Masyadong mahal. Lugi kami dun,” Pangilinan, who also chairs TV5, told reporters.

    Pangilinan stressed to InterAksyon.com that MediaQuest is committed to continue its airing and coverage of programs and leagues to which it remains a partner, including the Philippine Basketball Association, and is in fact considering airing the finals of the current season of the PBA live on TV5.

    But Pangilinan noted that MediaQuest Is paying P150 million a year for the right to air over Channel 13.

    In 2011, MediaQuest, which holds the media assets of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), entered a one-year block time agreement with Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation for the 5-11 p.m. timeslot seven days a week for sports shows. After a year, MediaQuest renewed the block time agreement only until May.

    Because of this, “we will have to make adjustments in terms of the coverage of PBA, NCAA and other sports events,” Pangilinan said, referring to the Philippine Basketball Association and National Collegiate Athletic Association.

    Asked if the PLDT group is interested in acquiring IBC 13 once the government privatizes the network, Pangilinan said, “We will look at it, but I’m not sure.”

    The Aquino administration plans to privatize two of its TV networks, which apart from IBC 13 also includes RPN-9, to raise more revenues. The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) earlier said it will sell the assets and franchise of IBC for P3.7 billion.

    In 2009, MediaQuest bought TV5 from the Cojuangco family for P4 billion, and acquired MPB Primedia of Malaysia, a TV5 major block-timer, for $16 million.

    InterAksyon.com is the online news portal of TV5, which is a member of the PLDT group.

    InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS

    Goodbye AKTV

    On May 31, 2013, the AKTV on IBC 13 block aired for the last time. As reported over a month ago, Mediaquest has decided not to renew the blocktime contract with IBC 13, which expired in May. With AKTV ceasing to exist, Sports5‘s properties are being moved to AksyonTVand Hyper starting this month.

    The AKTV programming block made its rousing debut in August 2011 with the Smart All-Star Ultimate Challenge, pitting the Gilas national team and an all-PBA selection against NBA players led by Kobe Bryant. In October, AKTV became the home of the PBA, airing all of its games for the next two years. Over the next few months, AKTV aired sports events like soccer’s United Football League, Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga, the 2012 London Olympic Games, the NCAA, PBA D-League and professional boxing, among others. However, mounting costs, coupled with lack of profits, forced TV5 management not to renew its block-time agreement after two years.

    The signs that AKTV’s days were numbered showed after the PBA allowed to air the recently concluded Commissioner’s Cup Final on TV5. In addition, IBC decided to reduce AKTV’s programming hours during the weekends. Originally the block aired for 12 hours on weekends, but was reduced to six hours in the block’s final few months. As AKTV was winding down, Mediaquest was scrambling to find a new network for its UFL and incoming NCAA coverage, which AksyonTV was able to oblige.

    AksyonTV is no stranger to airing sports coverage. In its infancy, it aired a boxing match featuring Filipina Ana Julaton, but has since deferred from airing further sports in favor of news and public affairs. However, with AKTV no longer in the equation, AksyonTV had no other choice but to air the UFL, the PBA D-League and the upcoming NCAA season.

    The demise of AKTV exposed TV5′s budgetary deficiencies. By committing too much on several sports properties without giving enough time to tinker and experiment, they lost so much money, and by the time the deal expired, they scrambled to get their sports properties on another channel. The 2012 London Olympics was a broadcasting failure, both in expenses and revenue. Also their more recent venture with the NCAA had an adverse effect on its budget. The ‘AKTV Center’ before PBA games, though well-viewed, was unnecessary. Perhaps the network’s owner Manny V. Pangilinan had a full pocket that he spent lavishly on it, without realizing how to conserve them. With all that in mind, it is clear that TV5 wants to be a cut above the rest, at par with competitors ABS-CBN and GMA 7. But instead their free-spending ways betrayed them in the end.

    I already wrote about GMA 7′s lack of a sports division before. Perhaps GMA should step up already. Then again, neither will GMA 7′s ownership be serious enough to acquire the sports properties that TV5 has. Until then, TV5 should remain committed with what they have now, regardless of how their budget would play a role. Otherwise it will be a long season for the still-fledgling network.

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