Philippines, Sports, television, United States

Another Mayweather Blunder within GMA; UAAP Cheerdance

Another Floyd Mayweather fight, another blunder by the Kapuso network. For the past few days the GMA Network has been promoting the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fight on its television and radio commercials with much hype. Unfortunately, the airing of the bout wasn’t quite what boxing fans expected.

The Kapuso network decided to air the bout only after their Sunday variety show ‘Sunday All Stars’ (around 2:00 p.m.), airtime uncharacteristic for a boxing card aired in the Philippines. By tradition, 10 a.m. is usually the airtime reserved for boxing matches, whether major or minor cards; ABS-CBN’s ‘Pinoy Pride’ series is an example. However GMA did not want to sacrifice airtime, so they placed the ‘Kapuso Movie Festival‘ block instead, after which they proceeded to ‘Sunday All Stars’, which unlike its ABS-CBN counterpart ‘ASAP‘, usually airs on a taped basis. As far as the 2:00 p.m. airtime is concerned, GMA shunned away from airing undercards and focused on the main match instead.

Unlike before when GMA shared broadcast rights with Solar Sports for Mayweather bouts, the Mayweather-Alvarez fight will only be seen solely on the GMA Network; another good sign that the network is trying to establish its own sports division. I have written about GMA’s lack of a sports division in the past, especially considering that its counterparts in ABS-CBN and TV5 have been able to establish their own sports divisions by inking airtime contracts with various professional, collegiate and amateur leagues in the country. However, with the Mayweather-Alvarez fight, GMA is now looking to make a name for itself in terms of covering a variety of sports events, which may eventually lead to a new ‘GMA Sports’ division in the near future. Perhaps adding the PBA to its coverage may legitimize its claim as a sports broadcasting power.

Meanwhile, HD subscribers at SkyCable can avail of the live broadcast of the fight for free via SkyCable channel 195. Unfortunately, with a majority still without HD digiboxes, they can only depend on internet live-streaming for the comprehensive live coverage of the event; otherwise either tune in to GMA’s delayed broadcast or go through various social media outlets for the blow-by-blow coverage.

At around the same time as GMA’s delayed broadcast of the Mayweather-Alvarez fight is the much-anticipated UAAP Cheerdance Competition. The event, to be aired on Studio 23 and Balls 167 HD beginning at 1:30 p.m., will again feature cheering squads of the eight participating universities, led by defending champion UP Pep Squad. The hype surrounding the event has been so significant that every seat at the Mall of Asia Arena has been sold out, and they plan to sell a few standing room only tickets to waiting patrons.

As with every UAAP Cheerdance Competition, the assigned courtside reporters will be dressed in the pep squad attire of their respective universities. Prize money, gifts and awards will be given to the three podium finishers and to the most stunning female member of the pep squad (the Stunner award). Judges from various cheerleading organizations will be present to evaluate every move of each cheering squad, whose routines usually last ten minutes. And there will also be a Group Stunts Competition for select cheering squads, which will likewise merit prize money, gifts and awards for the podium finishers.

Expect the event to trend via social media, and with so much hype surrounding the Cheerdance Competition, the event will likewise be a highly-anticipated television spectacle.