Philippines, Sports, television

What’s Wrong with the NCAA on Sports5?

The 89th NCAA season in the Philippines recently concluded with De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde winning the overall seniors title, and San Beda College-Taytay winning the high school title. However, the season proved to be a dud in a broadcasting standpoint, and as NCAA’s television contract with Sports5 enters its final year, a lot of issues had to be resolved.

Scheduling Concerns on Seniors Basketball

Like in Season 88, Sports5 scheduled the elimination round games at 4 p.m. The eliminations were aired on AksyonTV after the dissolution of AKTV on IBC-13. However, during the playoffs, they were moved to a less favorable 12 p.m. slot to accommodate TV5’s loaded primetime programs.

Obviously, neither viewership nor attendance increased despite the move to primetime, and it became even worse when the games were moved to the less powerful AksyonTV. In addition, the decision to air the Final Four and Finals at 12 p.m. on TV5 caused a backlash; one particular Final Four doubleheader was affected by the Janet Lim-Napoles hearings, forcing the games to air only on AksyonTV. The early afternoon broadcasts of the Finals, like in the eliminations, did little to attract viewers.

It also didn’t help that the NCAA basketball season extended to November due to the FIBA Asia Championship and the typhoons that forced the postponement of games, thus leaving fans impatient.

Lack of Publicity

Last Thursday’s Cheerleading Competition at the Mall of Asia Arena was a prime example of Sports5’s lack of publicity with the league, with attendance figures sharply less than the consistent sellout crowds of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition at the said venue. The event, unlike its UAAP counterpart, was a non-factor in social media circles.

Sports5’s lack of promotion extends beyond the cheerleading competition. Women’s volleyball, already a centerpiece in the NCAA’s second semester, was given little to no attention by Sports5 due to the PBA, and as a result only a few games were aired at the unconventional 12 p.m. slot. Other events were also given only spot highlights during commercials.

Announcers’ Problems

As I have noted in a previous article, Sports5 announcers had the tendency to speak just before the commercial gaps end. This was none more evident than during the NCAA basketball finals, and the problems extended beyond the NCAA games.

If these announcers learn to cue themselves before the end of a commercial, then Sports5’s NCAA coverage would have been smoother and more consistent. But instead the announcers became impatient, and that ruined the viewers’ experience.


The NCAA on Sports5 enters a contract year in Season 90, and through the first two years, coverage has not been good. With its contract expiring, Sports5 needs to improve on these aspects in hopes of extending its deal with the league, otherwise the NCAA may begin considering a new partner for Season 91.

Good luck with that.


11 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with the NCAA on Sports5?

  1. James Ty III says:

    Sports5 also ditched the student courtside reporter scheme in the NCAA coverage. That’s why we saw purely Sports5 talents like Rizza Diaz, Mara Aquino and Ai de la Cruz doing courtside reports for the NCAA. ABS-CBN, for its part, tapped students to do courtside during the time Studio 23 was airing the league.

    I think Solar Sports should get the NCAA coverage and air the games on Solar News Channel 9 and BTV.

  2. Gabby says:

    According to a report by PTV Sports, Mapua Cardinals have plans to delist to the participants of the NCAA (dahil nagloloko ang broadcast set-up ng NCAA sa Sports 5 at dahil kumukonti lang ang sumusuporta sa NCAA)

  3. mitrockz says:

    I can’t say it, but if I am going to ask, their tenure with ABS-CBN Sports was better than their tenure with Sports 5, especially with the Finals. The reason why NCAA can’t get enough attention is because of the fact that UAAP has a bigger fan-base because most of the schools are Universities meaning they have larger population of students than NCAA. Yes, NCAA came first than UAAP, but who is dominating on today’s time? I hope NCAA despite of being given less attention in ABS-CBN, would decide to go back their. ABS-CBN Sports is better in their basketball coverage than TV5. Also, I hope they would find student court-side reporters for NCAA like in UAAP to give opportunity to young NCAA students as well to shine in front of the camera.

  4. Nameless says:

    Good thing na nakita ko ang article na ‘to! As a fan of San Beda Red Lions, nakaka-frustrate din ang situation na ‘to, kasi nowadays ay parang hindi na nabibigyan ng justice or regards that NCAA is much older than UAAP, at “kung hindi dahil sa NCAA ay walang UAAP ngayon”. Even the Philippine sports history defines it. Even on social media at sa maraming fans’ clubs ng teams/ players, tila nagkakaroon na rin ng network-related rivalry between NCAA (tv5) & UAAP (ABS-CBN). Ang maganda lang kasi sa UAAP: ramdam ang presence nila in all media platforms, from print (magazine) to social media. While NCAA: ‘yung “the more the merrier” nilang line-up ng teams na etup to 10. So nakakalungkot talaga. Even ako, as a Blue Eagle fan at UAAP, minsan ay naguguluhan rin ako whether I continue support UAAP or switch to NCAA na.

  5. James Ty III says:

    The NCAA on Sports5 has former UAAP courtside reporters in its fold like Judy Saril and Bea Fabregas.

    In addition, another ex-UAAP CSR Apple David is now with the PBA also on Sports5.

  6. JRDV says:

    GOODBYE, SPORTS5 na for NCAA since they signed a ten-year deal with ABS-CBN Sports.

    The question is kung worth it ba ang pagbabalik ng NCAA sa ABS? Noong nasa Sports5 pa ang NCAA, mukhang disaster na ang NCAA.

    • Well, nagpursige pa rin sila kahit alam nilang magiging disadvantageous ang TV coverage para sa kanila. But give credit to both parties. Ginawang long-term ang contract para naman maayos ang mga gulo and to improve the coverage, unlike the three-year deal with TV5 that depended on ‘quick fixes’ alone para maging relevant sana ang liga. The collapse of the AKTV on IBC really doomed the TV5-NCAA partnership from the start.

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