The new PBA season got underway Sunday with a three-city slate. The Manila leg pitted the San Mig Coffee Mixers and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the ‘Manila Clasico‘ rivalry, while at the same time sibling rivals Meralco Bolts and Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters faced off in Cebu. And in Davao, the Alaska Aces took on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. All of that was preceded by the customary opening ceremonies that kicked off the new season.
This season a majority of the PBA games will be aired on TV5, with some on AksyonTV and cable network Fox Sports Asia. Under the new arrangement, the second or the ‘marquee’ game will be seen live on TV5 during weekdays and Saturdays, with the first game airing live on both AksyonTV and Fox Sports Asia. On Sundays both games of the doubleheader will be seen live on TV5.
This new arrangement was made so that TV5 can still air their weekday news and entertainment programs in the late afternoon/early evening slot. Most importantly, it enables the network to select the matchups that are more compelling and intense for the viewer-rich 8:00 p.m. slot. As such, the San Miguel franchises, Alaska, Talk N’ Text and Rain or Shine will be featured regularly in the evening game.
As for the first game of the weekday doubleheader, it will air live on AksyonTV (and presumably Fox Sports Asia) to satisfy basketball fans’ demands, with the replay airing on TV5 later in the evening. The new setup is considered a test broadcast for the PBA in hopes of bringing a more versatile television coverage in all platforms. Viewers may not agree on this considering the weaker signals on the UHF band and the expenses of cable subscription, but it should benefit the PBA in the long run.
This is already the third season of the PBA’s television contract with TV5, and expectations should rise a bit after the banner season of 2012-13. And with the new broadcast setup, expect great matchups and high-end basketball action in all platforms.