Philippines, Sports, television, United States

PBA’s Inconsistent Broadcasting Crews in the Finals

Big games such as the PBA Finals need only the top broadcast team, but instead the league has suffered because of its broadcast partners’ constant shuffling of their announcing teams.

The PBA has had a long history of shuffling its broadcast crews during the Finals, and the 2013 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals is no exception. Some things do not work out for the better, and for the PBA and its broadcast partners, it may be a matter of time before deciding that only one broadcast team is enough to describe the action of every Finals game.

TV5’s coverage of the PBA currently has no de facto No. 1 or No. 2 broadcast team. Instead the network assigns a variety of play-by-play announcers, color analysts, sideline reporters and studio hosts to work every game, including the Finals. That constant shuffling leads me to these questions. Who is really the No. 1 play-by-play man, Magoo Marjon or Mico Halili? And who is really the No. 1 analyst, Jason Webb or Quinito Henson?

During ABS-CBN’s recent coverage of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals, they only used Boom Gonzalez and TJ Manotoc to work every game. The duo were also assigned to cover the recent NBA Finals locally. The usage of just one broadcast team in the Finals ensures a high quality, consistent and smooth description of the action as the games get tougher. Just ask the American announcers at every sport.

Only the top broadcast teams have the honor of calling the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals. They were trained to call big games involving the great players, and their experiences at calling the game gave them the honor of being called up to announce a championship series. That is why the likes of Mike Breen, Joe Buck, Jim Nantz, Al Michaels and Mike Emrick have been so successful at their craft because they earned their stripes calling the game involving the best players and the best teams. And their broadcast partners in Jeff Van Gundy, Troy Aikman, Tim McCarver, Phil Simms, Cris Collinsworth and Eddie Olczyk proved capable of providing a deeper analysis of the game through their intuition and knowledge.

It is a different story though when it comes to TV5’s PBA Finals coverage. On some nights it would be Magoo Marjon and an assigned color man, other nights will see Mico Halili, Charlie Cuna or Rado Dimalibot work play-by-play with an assigned analyst. Even the sideline reporter and studio host assignments are a revolving door. Several of the personalities even play two different roles; Halili, for instance, worked as both a studio host and a play-by-play man. This is not the case in the United States, where the two roles are separate from each other.

TV5 has to make a decision on who is really the No. 1 broadcast team. Both Halili and Marjon have the capability to be the No. 1 guy, but in terms of experience and big-game minutes, I had to give it to Halili because of his extensive broadcast work. As for the analyst spot Henson should have been the man, but due to his part-time status and multiple roles, I had to give it to Jason Webb for his youth, exuberance and knowledge of the game. TV5 needs only ONE broadcast crew for the Finals, and the Halili-Webb partnership may be the needed answer.

The PBA needs to carefully handle its broadcasts. They have already suffered from TV5’s broadcasting issues prior to the Governors’ Cup, and now with the rigodon of personalities calling the Finals, it is clear that PBA’s television coverage is lacking in both identity and distinction, one that would put them at par with the UAAP coverage on ABS-CBN Sports.

Advertisements
Standard

5 thoughts on “PBA’s Inconsistent Broadcasting Crews in the Finals

  1. James Ty III says:

    Since the PBA was covered by Vintage, it has used different panel combinations. This is what TV5 is still doing now.

    • It’s true they’ve kept shuffling the voices during the eliminations and playoffs, but I’m talking about the Finals. The need for just the main or top team to cover every game is what I want to see. However, since the networks wanted equal pay for the announcers, they continue to assign different voices for every Finals game, for various reasons. Joe Cantada was never billed as the ‘top’ guy, and neither were his successors. Unlike in the US pro sports announcing world, where the No. 1 guy is always the most renowned and experienced, PBA broadcasters would always be of equal footing; no one is either the No. 1 or No. 2 guy, and it remains the case today. However, when ABS-CBN covers the UAAP, they would always bill Boom Gonzalez as the ‘top’ guy along with TJ Manotoc, and they will be assigned to cover big games during the season.

  2. James Ty III says:

    You’re right. Joe Cantada never anchored all the PBA finals games during his time as PBA anchor. He would always give new sportscasters the chance to shine and this was one reason why he was respected back then.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s