entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

1995 Flashback: The Beginning of the End for PTV’s Sports Coverage

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

Sports coverage on the People’s Television Network (PTV-4) was at its peak in 1995.

That year, PTV was the major broadcast home for the following events:

  • PBA 21st season (co-produced with Vintage Sports)
  • Chiang Mai Southeast Asian Games
  • UAAP Season 58 men’s basketball (co-produced with Silverstar Sports)
  • Philippine Basketball League
  • NCAA Season 71 men’s basketball (albeit sparingly)

Of the five events, the coverage of the Philippine Basketball Association was PTV’s biggest asset. After all, the PBA was at its peak of popularity during the PTV years, with sellout crowds a regular occurrence at the ULTRA (later PhilSports Arena) and later on at the Cuneta Astrodome.

But in 1995, all that would change in the blink of an eye.

(The final two minutes of PTV-4’s PBA coverage on December 19, 1995.)

As it turned out, the 21st PBA season would be the last to air on Channel 4 for nearly a decade. That season saw a near-grandslam for the Sunkist Orange Juicers, in which they won the All-Filipino and Commissioner’s Cups, only to finish third in the Governors’ Cup won by the following season’s Grand Slam winners, the Alaska Milkmen.

At this point, the PBA’s popularity was fading, despite returning to the now-Smart Araneta Coliseum after nearly a decade away. Thus, after the conclusion of the 21st season, Vintage decided to move the PBA coverage from PTV to the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC-13), where they would drastically change their coverage in hopes of attracting the masses.

PTV’s sports portfolio gradually declined in the years following the loss of PBA coverage (the PBA did return to the renamed National Broadcasting Network in a failed partnership with IBC-13 in 2002).  Massive operating losses, along with competition from cable networks, forced Channel 4 to let go of broadcast rights to leagues such as the UAAP, and events such as the SEA Games and the Olympics.

Even though PTV Sports remained active through their coverage of lesser-known events, it is clear that they’re no longer a force in sports coverage. Today, PTV’s programming is more akin to a non-profit public broadcasting network, where they produce programs with little or no commercial support.

While the PBA is currently enjoying renewed popularity with Sports5, the years with PTV-4 will always be remembered as the glory days of the league. And even after the PBA left PTV for other networks in 1995, Channel 4’s partnership with the league will never be forgotten.

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31 thoughts on “1995 Flashback: The Beginning of the End for PTV’s Sports Coverage

  1. Gab says:

    and now the People’s Television under the hands of the PCOO, they still covered sports events, kaya lang sa blocktimers muna umaasa like Shakey’s Girls or FBA.

    Kahit may sariling PTV Sports division (headed by Mr. Marbella), less-known events ang icocover.

  2. James Ty III says:

    PTV also airs the games of the new league Filsports Basketball Association where ex-PBA player Vince Hizon is the commissioner.

    Of course, there is still PTV Sports nightly but it’s a news program. And since Snow Badua left, it has not been that nice to watch. Dennis Principe is not that alive as a host. Same with Meg Siozon.

    PTV News reporter Hadji Kaamino has been added to PTV Sports to replace Badua.

    • Gab says:

      I only like Dennis through because of the Sports journalism extensed background. PTV Sports is still the #1 sports news program even Snow left the program.

      Kaya lang umaasa sa blocktimers ang PTV pagdating sa Sports. Andyan pa naman ang Auto Review at biglang nawala sa ere ang In This Corner. Audience impact, advertisers thrust at low signal ang problema sa PTV.

      (I hope they recruit something from sportscasting to head the PTV Sports division. Pwede si Dennis. Si Marbella, masyadong gulo-gulo ang desisyon niya.)

      • James Ty III says:

        Dennis has his radio shows on DZSR and DWBR pa, as well as his Sunday radio show on Radyo Singko and his column for Manila Standard. He also writes occasionally for the sports website http://www.rivals.ph.

        As for In This Corner, sayang at wala na ang show after the death of Moy Lainez, who produced the show. Auto Review has been with PTV for a long time because its host and producer, Ron de los Reyes, was a Sports Radio pioneer.

    • But overall, today’s PTV is more of a non-profit channel, parang Net 25 and UNTV lang ang peg. Kung ang mga abuloy ang sumusuporta sa Net 25 at UNTV, ang PTV naman ay naka-depend sa mga taxes na binabayaran natin.

      • Nameless says:

        Hmmm. May advertisers din ang dalwang minor netwroks. San Miguel products on NET25 then sa UNTV naman ay ‘yung nmga hindi kilalang products (although nag-advertise ang Uratex before sa kanila). Pero kung nowadays ay puro abuloy/tithes na lang, eh di ‘dun na rin kinukuha ang sweldo ng mga employees nila? While on PTV as a tax-powered network, tila hindi naman natin nae-enjoy ang channel na ‘yun even we’re all taxpayers.

      • It’s possible that Net 25 and UNTV are now being supported by tithes from INC and ADD respectively. Kaya they’re mostly non-profit stations. Yung mga abuloy pang-sweldo na rin sa mga empleyado nila. Saka INC and ADD have millions of followers, kaya that’s more than enough to support these stations.

        PTV is another story, since the recent administrations have a history of mismanaging the nation’s budget, most of which were tax-paid.

    • That and the Cantada group’s Fistorama was a huge loss not only to PTV but also to the boxing industry, dahil they were major contributors to the grassroots propagation of the sport. Ngayo’y wala na sila, madalang na lang ang mga ganitong boxing fights sa free TV featuring up-and-coming professional boxers.

      • James Ty III says:

        News TV used to promote some fights before. I remember one fight card aired on News TV that was promoted by Rocco Nacino.

      • Kaso I doubt if they still air them. Puro replays na kasi ang mga ito after Balitanghali, and posible replay na rin sa ‘All Sports’.

        Yung mga grassroots boxing programs sa 4 at 13 they were the ones who kept boxing aficionados awake. Kung hindi maganda ang laban sa, for instance ABS’ Top Rank Boxing or Solar’s World Class Boxing, they can tune in to either 4 or 13. But with the debt the two networks are currently facing, it’s no longer the case.

      • Gab says:

        Cantada Group that were produced Fistorama, Golf Power (hosted by Gerard Cantada then) and some beach volley tournaments were now involved in the country’s volleyball body, PVF.

      • Dati may training center sila sa Taguig; mukhang nag-sara na rin ito.

        PTV and the Cantadas go a long way, since the commentator days of Smokin’ Joe in the PBA.

  3. Jake Jacinto says:

    And I think the PTV of today, despite airing some sports blocktimers, is also the peg of GTV (Government Television: 1974-1980). GTV mainly aired government propaganda and informative shows.

  4. James Ty III says:

    Replay na nga ang mga boxing bouts on News TV. As for the Cantada Sports Center, it’s still there and in fact, a beach volleyball tournament was held there recently but no TV coverage. I remember, Pinoy Extreme showed some beach volleyball games at Cantada before when the channel was under the old management team.

    The old GTV also aired PBA games before but not under Vintage. The games were under a group headed by Romy Jalosjos, who produced Eat Bulaga before. Dick Ildefonso and Emy Arcilla were the commentators. Joe Cantada followed in 1982 when Vintage took over.

      • PTV’s loss was IBC’s gain in 1996, and once the PBA went to IBC, the fortunes of both stations changed the rest of that decade. Hanggang Olympics, SEA Games, PBL at UAAP na lang ang PTV after that.

  5. James Ty III says:

    Ralph, Motoring Today is now only on Solar Sports, Sundays, 12 nn. Not on PTV anymore. Just Auto Review with Ron de los Reyes on PTV.

  6. Nameless says:

    And PTV also became a broadcaster of Sydney 2000 olympics. Oh, yes. Wala pang ABS-CBN Sports, Solar at Sports5 before pero PTV became an instant sports channel. Plus, kahit hindi ako talaga nanonood ng boxing, I’m so proud that a Nazario came to PTV’s camera thru Rod Nazario’s In This Corner.

  7. James Ty III says:

    PTV had some advertisers before. SMC products were advertised in In This Corrner while Barako Bull, Accel and Blackwater advertised on PTV Sports during Snow Badua’s time.

    ABS-CBN Sports was just starting to take shape in 2000. They were covering the MBA and UAAP already by that time while Solar Sports was airing the NBA, not BTV.

  8. Pingback: Two sporting specials on PTV begin this week | Timow's Turf

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