Philippines, Sports, television, United States

In and Out: TV5 Announces, Then Pulls Out NFL

Unless things change, the NFL will not be seen on Philippine television in the foreseeable future after Sports Illustrated Asia backed out and TV5 pulled out any scheduled games from its lineup. (Photo courtesy of the National Football League)

America’s most popular sport appears to be on its way out of the Philippines.

Sports Illustrated Asia, formerly the All-Sports Network (ASN), dropped the NFL from its lineup of programs at the start of the 2017 season. The channel best known for airing the National Hockey League, U.S. NCAA college football and college basketball had been broadcasting NFL games for nearly a decade now.

Almost simultaneously, TV5 announced that they will carry NFL games this season. But as soon as they placed the schedule of NFL games on its website, they decided to pull them out at the last minute in favor of ‘Movie Max 5’.

This means that for the first time in decades, the NFL will not be seen on Philippine television this season (unless one network will air the Super Bowl this February). It’s a shame considering that the league has had a long and distinguished love affair with Filipino sports fans and American expats, even though it falls behind basketball, volleyball and soccer in terms of local popularity.

Going back to TV5, the last-minute pullout of NFL games is the latest in a series of blunders committed by the network this month. Last week, TV5 ceased airing Cartoon Network and Boomerang shows in favor of TV shopping and movies, then in another last-minute move, they postponed anew the premiere of Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Amo’.

These moves are typical of Chot Reyes’ incompetence as a network executive. Once lauded for promoting the network’s ‘Choose Courage’ mantra, Chot’s questionable decisions has now turned the slogan into a joke.

The NFL, despite its lack of popularity in the Philippines, would have filled TV5’s suddenly moribund schedule. Had it aired as scheduled, people would have praised Chot Reyes for this fearless and courageous move.

Instead, Chot retreated like a coward and instructed his staff to pull them out in favor of endless Tagalized movies and TV shopping blocks. Which leads to where TV5 is now, a network lacking any sense of direction.

Considering the expensive broadcast rights of the NFL, perhaps TV5 was right in not pursuing the league. But without a ‘Plan B’, all signs point to Chot Reyes becoming a pariah in the world of Philippine television.

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63 thoughts on “In and Out: TV5 Announces, Then Pulls Out NFL

      • John says:

        Any idea on when those rights are up for bidding again? Last I heard PBA was 2011/2012 to 2016/17. Was it renewed?

      • Actually the contract was renewed before the 2016-17 season. If you recall, the PBA had a very short offseason due to the FIBA Olympic qualifiers delaying the Governors’ Cup. That made it impossible to bid for a new TV contract. Also, the management behind TV5 launched PBA Rush on Cignal before the said tournament, and had the bidding process began after that, TV5’s effort on putting a satellite channel dedicated to the PBA would have gone to waste.

        In short, the PBA decided to renew TV5’s contract just to benefit the newly-launched PBA Rush channel. Simple as that. As for when, wait until after the 2018-19 season to see what happens next.

    • John says:

      Thanks for the reply @Ralphierce. I can’t help but think that much of TV5’s problems are due to nepotism, or at least favouritism. Perhaps if they hadn’t spent so much money on PBA then maybe they would have spent more money on entertainment, much like when they fired almost all professional journalists and replaced them with Marga Vargas (daughter-in-law of Ricky Vargas, MVP’s chief lieutenant) who has, as far as I can tell, no journalistic experience whatsoever.

      • Actually they spent a lot of money on entertainment before the PBA contract arrived. Remember the billion-peso contract they gave to Sharon Cuneta and Ogie Alcasid? That truly brought them down. Now they don’t have an entertainment division because of those contracts that failed to pan out.

  1. Jose Tiamson says:

    SPORTS5 HAD A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO INCH CLOSER ON ABS-CBN SPORTS. BUT JUST LIKE OUR GOOD OLD FRIENDS FROM THE ATLANTA FALCONS, THE AGGIES OF TEXAS A&M, THE CLEVELAND INDIANS AND THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS.. CHOT REYES AND COMPANY CHOKE THAT CHANCE. OLD PAYING BILLIONS OF PESOS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE PAST THEIR PRIMES ARE LIKE OTHER SPORTS TEAMS WHO PAY FOR OVER TALENTED ATHLETES WHO CAN DELIVER GOOD PERFORMANCES ON A CONSISTENT BASIS. I PREDICT THAT THIS NETWORK WOULD BE SOLD TO A NEW OWNER.

    • Actually it didn’t start with Chot himself. We have to go back to the Vitto Lazatin and Patricia Hizon days where they overpaid broadcast rights for the NCAA, UFL, and perhaps the worst sins of the regime, NFL’s Super Bowl, U.S. NCAA men’s basketball and the Olympics. Unfortunately, ads didn’t come to save them and worse, the networks’ power and reach is poor. Sports5 simply didn’t have the marketing and engineering acumen that ABS-CBN Sports possesses and as a result, their product suffers. And Chot made it worse with his reputation for mismanaging the networks’ programming.

      • They should give the Olympic rights back to PTV. BTW AksyonTV is airing Crime Klasik again. Not to mention Radyo5 is no longer relevant. I mean, MVP NEEDS TO WAKE UP.

      • Airing the Olympics is not easy unlike before. Their rights are so expensive PTV might not afford them. It’s very problematic that we don’t have that many networks who can cover sporting events. ABS may be the worthiest at this point, but they’re too loaded. Solar is also a good option but like Sports5 they have their fair share of financial issues. And GMA? They’re too focused on fantaseryes that they have no time dipping their feet for sports.

        Regarding AksyonTV, old shows on the network are common now that they don’t have the budget to produce new ones. And Radyo5? You know the story: inability to hire new hosts, leaving vacant slots open for an all-music block. That’s all she wrote for TV5.

      • TV5 doesn’t have a Johnny Manahan, Lilybeth Rasonable, Ging Reyes, Marissa Flores, Armie Jarin Bennett or Peter Musngi to enhance both their radio and television division.

      • Obviously. They did hire some recognizable names like Wilma Galvante, Vic del Rosario, Vitto Lazatin, Luchi Cruz-Valdes and Patricia Hizon, but despite their impressive credentials, they made plenty of questionable moves that further tore TV5 down.

      • Actually the station would be better off adopting Easy Rock’s format because their Slowdown music block is like what Easy Rock plays. Love songs here and there.

        Anyway let’s just hope that something needs to be done within TV5. We’ve been suggesting these things over and over, but unless they finally do something about it, like you said, they might become bankrupt.

      • I think you’re starting to state the obvious. Rather than go back to these problems over and over again, why don’t you just hope for the best that they can one day rebound from this. These issues are meant to be solved, but if you’re so fed up with TV5’s issues, I suggest you visit their studios in Reliance and try to voice your concerns to them.

    • Well, NFL season is already in Week 3 so I wonder what was the logic about TV5’s move anyway. They should’ve started two weeks ago but for whatever reason they were still negotiating at the time. Remember, NFL rights is so expensive that’s why TV5 thought twice about acquiring the league’s television deal. In the end, they took the risk, even if it means draining their already fragile finances further.

      Now the question is, can they pull it all together? We’ll find out soon enough.

      • Yep. Let’s waste a s*** ton of money with NFL!

        Chot Reyes and his usual mismanagement on TV5. The problem would be its popularity among masses.

        Forget about my mentions about TV5 being the reincarnation of Studio 23. Make TV5 a viable candidate for the next IBC 13, alongside GMA 7.

      • In Chot’s defense, other networks are unwilling to pick up the NFL at this point either due to lack of space, financial problems or simply lack of interest. That’s why TV5 have to salvage the league’s games for the benefit of hundreds of American football fans in the country, even if problem no. 2 exists in them right now.

        Besides, it will be a shame to miss out on the ever-popular Super Bowl halftime show had they not pick up the rights. Oh well, good luck to them.

  2. Jason says:

    They’re too focused on sports that it hurts their quality of programming. Not all people like sports. There needs to be a balance of entertainment,news and sports.
    Now they’re losing some of their demographic with all of their changes from parents/kids(due to the sporadic airing of the Disney and Dreamworks block and the pull-out of CN and Boomerang), the anime fans(due to the pull-out of the Animega block) and the cult followers from their tagalized US series(which will likely take a backseat due to the Govs Cup playoffs).
    Yung lack of press release and promotion sa ibang time ko na lang i-ra-rant.

    • TV5 is trying to be like Studio 23/S+A, but they’re not even at par with said channel. Let’s face it, the network’s transformation is inevitable. Blame Chot Reyes for turning TV5 from a general entertainment channel to a men’s channel, because he’s after all a sports-minded guy.

      • It’s really obvious that Derek Ramsay is one of their remaining contract artists. He just hosted their recent New Year special last December 31 and is expected to be part of Amo.

      • Loyal eh. He doesn’t care if TV5 is struggling or not. He wants to stick around even if it means losing his fame and fortune. That’s what he owes to TV5.

      • TV5 will always be remembered for being the king of high-profile kid-oriented shows during its glory days (e.g. Barney, Bob the Builder, Hi-5, Thomas and Friends, Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues, Handy Manny, Special Agent Oso, Jungle Junction).

      • It was unfortunate that when MVP purchased the network, the quality of kids’ shows went down. Again you can blame those overpaid celebrities and overly aggressive programming tactics for hurting TV5 in the long term.

      • Indeed, TV5 was seen as a Tagalized version of Sprout or Discovery Kids speaking of the shows I have mentioned. And Jasmine Curtis still remains identified with the Kapatid network, thanks to the success of Forever Sucks, a digital show on D5 Studio.

      • One thing that sets those American networks apart is that they have sister networks with clear focus on news and sports. TV5 doesn’t have that kind of a plan right now because their overall reception is poor, not to mention those questionable programming decisions that scratch our heads. No wonder this network is having an identity crisis.

    • We’ll wait and see. In the meantime, why don’t you give your thoughts on other articles. Hindi naman pwede dapat laging nakatutok ka lang sa TV5. Contribute your opinions on articles relating to other networks such as ABS or GMA.

    • At first TV5 was reluctant to air NFL games, but they finally did starting Week 3 of the 2017 season. But for those who still want to watch a full slate each week, there’s NFL Game Pass for you.

      • I have a question. Do you understand Filipino? Kung naiintidihan mo naman ang Tagalog, then good. Pwede mo naman basahin ang mga iba’t ibang artikulo dito sa blog na ito. Hindi lang basta TV5 ang narito, pati na rin ABS-CBN, GMA at iba pang istasyon. Pati mga artikulo sa mga istasyon ng radyo nandito na rin. Hindi lang Radyo5, may iba’t iba pang FM at AM station na narito. Kung may iba ka pang nalalaman, huwag nang magatubili at sumulat ng komento rito sa blog na ito. Salamat sa pagtangkilik.

  3. Oo naman. I can speak Filipino too. BTW thanks too. Nag post ako dito to air my grievances about television and radio.

    P.S. FM2 104.3 is already battling Retro 105.9 in the classic hits format.

    • Good to hear. At first I thought you were some foreigner who suddenly knew about Philippine television and radio, that’s why I tested you a bit.

      Anyway, regarding Retro, they needed a worthy opponent and they got one in FM2. Should be healthy competition for the two of them. But let’s leave it at that because that has nothing to do with the article. Better post them on a more appropriate article the next time you visit. The search section should be handy for you.

    • Unless of course TV5 buys out his contract. If he’s no longer satisfied with the direction of the network, he can convince the network to buy his contract out. Simple as that.

  4. I wonder what happened to the likes of their homegrown talent which haven’t transferred to ABS, like Eula Caballero, Chris Leonardo, Nicole Estrada, Akihiro Blanco, Alberto Bruno, Malak So and Marvelous Alejo. By the way, Aira Binas who used to be a member of Hi-5 Philippines is now a DJ on 96.3 Easy Rock under the name Francine.

  5. What’s your opinion on Hi-5 members like Charli Robinson and Aira Binas becoming radio personalities? Hi-5 first aired on TV5 from November 2009 to November 2011, airing repeats of the eleventh season, and returned in January 2015 airing repeats of the thirteenth season while waiting for the local version which ran from June 2015 to April 2016.

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