Rio Olympics on TV5: A Review

TV5’s coverage of the Rio Olympics was not a good one, as their free TV outlets failed to commit themselves to full-blown coverage. (Logos courtesy of the MVP Group and the International Olympic Committee)

The Olympic season has come to an end.

The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics officially concluded yesterday with a colorful closing ceremony, followed by the turn-over of hosting rights to Tokyo, Japan. The close of the event capped off two weeks of unforgettable moments and problematic issues that tested Rio’s resolve and courage.

This year’s broadcast of the Rio Olympics was solely handled by TV5, and much like the games itself, it endured a lot of difficulties. Many expected TV5 to fill in most of their hours with Olympic coverage, yet they failed to do so.

Much of the blame is centered around their continued airing of TV shopping blocks, Tagalized movies and other entertainment programming during the two-week Olympic period (this does not include the PBA Governors’ Cup). TV5 should have preempted them just for the Olympics, but it never happened despite their best efforts.

Even sister station AksyonTV had its own share of issues, but to a lesser extent. While the Olympics were ongoing, they still showed the Philippine Super Liga finals, the PBA D-League playoffs, and the opening of the CESAFI basketball tournament, all of which were the network’s priorities.

However, during vacant hours, AksyonTV still showed a TV shopping block, ‘Relasyon’ and ‘Wanted sa Radyo’. They should have preempted them for Olympic highlights.

One thing in common about TV5’s free TV Olympic coverage was their inability to re-air events that were aired live in the wee hours of the morning. Rio’s time is similar to that of New York, and TV5’s failure to take account of the time difference and the lack of TV audience during that period proved to be their doom.

There were some positives in the network’s Olympic coverage, however. TV5, along with sister companies Cignal, PLDT and Smart, collaborated for a multi-platform broadcast that involved satellite and internet subscription.

Despite that, the free TV coverage of the Olympics remains important. Considering that not all people subscribe to Cignal, PLDT and Smart, TV5 should have prioritized their free TV platforms to benefit their competitors.

Overall, it was an F grade for TV5’s Olympic coverage this year. Their coverage was doomed from the start, and their poor planning effort was not what the viewers wanted to see from the so-called ‘Olympic Network’.

So where will the Olympic coverage in the Philippines go from here? The lack of suitable options will be biggest issue for the Philippine Olympic Committee, since a variety of issues hound all of the country’s free TV networks.

Regardless, the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics is still four years away. That said, the POC will need to think about their options very well, and for the networks, good luck in trying to snatch the rights to the 2020 Games.

As for TV5, it was an opportunity that blew right before their very eyes. Now they should look forward for the long-awaited rebuilding process, one that should put them back on track.

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33 thoughts on “Rio Olympics on TV5: A Review

  1. And Kevin Trinidad indeed dubbed it, it was the “NBC of the Philippines” but to be fair, the live streaming on Sports5 YouTube channel had a bit of advantage than the American broadcaster’s.

    And yes, I affirm your cause that the POC should seriously consider some criteria not only to the top management and the athletic selection but also the viability of the official broadcaster or a consortium.

  2. Rio is an hour ahead of New York, not similar. As for Olympics, abangan na lang natin kung saan mapupunta ang rights sa 2018 Winter Olympics sa Pyeongchang, South Korea at 2020 Summer Olympics sa Tokyo (both cities are an hour ahead of Manila).

  3. They should not broadcast the Olympics anymore, then drop PBA, which only wants VHF airing, then produce a lot of Teleseryes, then split AksyonTV into two channels.

    • MVP will dislike it, especially when you consider the rumors why the TV5 top honcho is sports-obsessed, particularly in the PBA.

    • Here’s a more favorable suggestion. TV5 needs to improve their signal and power, and purchase more modern equipment so that the provinces can clearly receive them. If the PBA badly wants to air the games on VHF, fine, as long as TV5 is committed to improve its nationwide reach.

      Forget the bad programming lineup for now. TV5’s signal needs to be strengthened, period. The Olympics? Just let it go.

  4. I think, AksyonTV should be split into two channels, one news, and one sports channel, PBA should just allow them to air on UHF, and the games would be aired on the Sports5 Network, after the season ends.

    • There’s something wrong with your suggestion. We already have PBA Rush for repeats of the games. Also, Channel 41’s signal is poor. Like I told you, their signal must be improved first.

      Let’s face it, we can go back and forth with these suggestions. If you want to make some changes so bad, just go to the TV5 studios in Mandaluyong and present your proposals, provided that the guards allow you.

      One thing is clear for the moment: TV5’s signal must be improved. That’s their priority right now. Forget programming changes and new channels. They better strengthen their reach. Get it?

      Sorry if I’m getting increasingly frustrated. But that’s the truth. Any hope for new channels would be pointless if TV5 cannot upgrade their free TV reception system.

  5. First, here i how i would suggest TV5
    1: Upgrade Signals
    2: PBA must allow UHF channels
    3: Split the Sports/News of AksyonTV
    4: Stop airing dubbed programs/shopping infomercials
    5: Produce Teleseryes over importing and dubbing US series

    • Upgrading their signal is a must for TV5, not overspending in acquiring high-profile talents like Sharon Cuneta and Aga Muhlach (both have returned to ABS-CBN). As for PBA allowing UHF channels after briefly experimenting with UHF on the later years of PBA on Solar (Studio 23), ewan ko kung mangyayari yan. As for splitting the news and sports content of Aksyon TV, I think it would not happen and Aksyon TV is TV5’s best chance to compete against ABS-CBN Sports + Action. As for the airing of dubbed programming, TV5’s strategy is going nowhere and it must be stopped. Airing infomercials is fine, but relegate them to late nights (like what ABS-CBN did to fill their broadcast schedule), that’s if TV5 becomes stable again. As for producing teleseryes, PBA is and will remain in the way. No wonder why TV5’s entertainment division is a mess. Ang stable division na naiwan sa TV5 is news. Sa GMA nga, all divisions are in a huge mess. ABS-CBN’s only somewhat problematic division is news due to the usual “bias reporting” accusations.

      Looks like MVP prioritized sports a lot than entertainment and improving the signal of TV5 and Aksyon TV and TV5 paid the price. Back to Tony Boy Cojuangco-era ABC-5 na ang sitwasyon sa TV5 ngayon. MVP should sell TV5 to someone else if the problems continue.

  6. Sometimes kung mga Pinoy na lumahok sa Rio, it is either late nang nagstart o gagawin lang highlight o di kaya di ipapalabas sa mismong TV5 pero sa AksyonTV lang (except kay Diaz)

  7. If I were to be Manny V. Pangilinan, I would improve the signal, produce more news and entertainenment programming, move all sporting events to Hyper or create a Sports Channel, then turn TV5 back into Entertainement, and AksyonTV into a News Channel.

    • MVP’s “sports overspending” mentality must go. Kailangang stable ang news, entertainment at sports division, as well as good signal para maimprove ang performance ng isang TV network. Sa case nga ng TV5, news na lang ang stable and other divisions, especially its signal, are already a mess. Sa case ng GMA, nasa crisis mode na ang lahat ng division, lalo na ang news division na nakikisawsaw na sa problema ng entertainment division under motherf***ing Rasonable. On ABS-CBN’s case, the so-called “bias” accusations haunt their news division and their signal in Metro Manila is a mess, but they prevailed and went on to be the “ultimate one.”

      • The good thing about TV5 is that they’re HD-ready. Now they need to execute the most important aspect, which is a clearer signal in all areas. For now, doon muna. Wag muna yung AKTV, News5 Network or the resurrection of their so-called entertainment department. Yung signal muna nila ang dapat asikasuhin.

  8. If you’re assessment in the Olympic coverage is a big flop, well, sorry to say for the typical sports fans out there, especially you that PBA is the stumbling block.

    When a PBA game started at the same time with an Olympic event na kahit isang Pinoy ang lumalahok, it arises conflict of coverage. The league’s leadership should consider those factors on scheduling come 2020.

    • It really was a risky move on TV5’s part. The Governors’ Cup had to start late because of Gilas’ participation in the Olympic qualifiers. This has become quite a dilemma for the PBA whose commitment to the national cause is well documented.

      Their three-conference format overall is dragging them down. Although it was an economical move for them, it’s a waste of time. The PBA should have known the consequences of doing such an approach.

  9. The PBA’s late start, was due to the poorly covered Olympics, and they should not force VHF airing, then once the contract expires, they should improve signals, then separate AksyonTV into two channels.

    • Yan pa rin? Separating Aksyon TV into two channels? It would materialize IF their signal has improved. Kahit sa coverage area, talo vs. ABS-CBN S+A.

      • Justin got it all wrong. The Governors’ Cup had to be delayed because of the Olympic qualifiers. Seems like he’s not watching at all.

        This repetition of suggestions is going too far, Justin. Kung ako sa ‘yo, mag-apply ka na lang for a job on TV5, then present your suggestions to LCV, Patricia Hizon, Noel Lorenzana and most of all MVP. That’s my advice for you.

        If in case you repeated those suggestions over and over on this blog, I won’t hesitate to ban you. That’s all for this topic.

  10. Parang mas okay kung sa Solar na lang ulit mapunta ang coverage ng Olympics. Diba digital naman na ang PHTV sa 2020? Pwedeng ilagay sa digitv lineup ng solar ang Solar Sports. Tapos pwede pang makisingit sa 2nd Avenue, ETC at Jack TV ng mga event na di na kaya isiksik sa sched ng Solar Sports, bukod pa sa Basketball TV. Tapos kung ang PyeongChang 2018 ay mapunta rin sa Solar, yun nga, pwede makipalabas sa free tv channels nila (21, 29) tapos pwede rin sigurong sa GMA News TV ang Figure Skating at Ice Hockey para mapanuod sa VHF kahit replay lang pagkatapos ng Baitanghali. Marami sigurong mali sa suggestion ko pero mas okay ang Solar kesa TV5 kung Olympic Coverage ang paguusapan. Okay sana ang ABS-CBN Sports kaso siksikan na.

      • Besides, the next Summer Olympics is still four years away. There is still time for the prospective networks to improve their broadcast capabilities, and for the POC to evaluate them. Yung Winter Olympics, that’s out of the question, since we’re a tropical country.

  11. Pingback: #ZG16: The Turf’s 16 Philippine TV Memories of 2016 | Timow's Turf

  12. Just wishing that PTV will instead be confirmed as the Rights-Holding broadcaster of the PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Hoping they will upload the sports and the opening and closing ceremonies, all highlights, all sessions, etc. into video on demand for Filipino viewers to watch and share. FYI: the last time PTV became the broadcaster for the Olympics was the coverage of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece during the NBN days.

    • It will depend on their budget since the Olympics commands big bucks in this day and age. Problem is, who will step up at this point? Winter Olympics is unlikely since we might not have a representative unlike 2014 with Michael Martinez. 2020 remains another issue though since neither TV5 nor Solar want to risk it again due to their history of mismanagement, while ABS is too loaded and GMA is too unwilling.

  13. I think MVP didn’t improve the signal since we are converting to digital signal. Why would MVP invest where it will obsolete in a few years. What he could’ve done is to built digital signal nationwide and with this they can add a sports channel dedicated to sports and make AksyonTV as news channel and make TV5 as entertainment network.

    • Back in 2010 digital TV isn’t that available, and even today, converting to digital is not easy. While MVP may have had some long-term goals in mind, he was unable to think about the short term, and that is why TV5 fell off the map quickly with the way they overpay too much on entertainment and sports properties.

      Honestly, AksyonTV as an all-sports channel makes sense more than as a news channel, since they’re prioritizing sports on that channel a lot more. That channel could’ve given S+A some competition if not for screwing up their efforts to improve power and reach.

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