Philippines, Sports, television

Is UAAP Women’s Basketball Being Slighted by ABS-CBN Sports?

UAAP Season 81 is well underway.

But while the men’s basketball tournament always gets the attention of ABS-CBN Sports due to its popularity and appeal (that along with the eight courtside reporters for the season), the same cannot be said of the women’s side. There are three factors as to why UAAP women’s basketball tends to get an unfair treatment from ABS-CBN and sports fans in particular.

Lack of Popular Appeal

For the most part, women’s basketball has never been popular in the Philippines. Part of it was due to the absence of a legitimate women’s basketball league and a still-overlying perception that only men can play ball.

UAAP women’s basketball, in particular, only attracts around hundreds, if not less, fans in each game. Which leads to the second factor.

Disparity in Scheduling

Unlike men’s volleyball which is always scheduled before women’s volleyball matches, UAAP women’s basketball schedules always vary in terms of dates and venues. For example, here is the schedule for first round of Season 81.

Looking at the schedule closely, there are three playdates of at least three games that will be held at either the Blue Eagle Gym or the FilOil Flying V Centre. The rest are scheduled on the same day as the men’s basketball games at either the Mall of Asia Arena or the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The fact of the matter is, basketball remains a more popular sport than volleyball and the UAAP usually places the former sport for men in big venues because of its immense appeal. It would be tough for women’s basketball games to be scheduled on the same venue and on the same day as the men especially when popular rivalries such as Ateneo-La Salle come into play.

Loaded Schedule for ABS-CBN Sports

This September alone ABS-CBN Sports has an extremely busy schedule to attend to. In addition to UAAP men’s basketball, the network also covers the NCAA seniors’ basketball, the MPBL and the PVL among others.

ABS-CBN is also expected to air the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season next month. That said, with so many commitments left and right, the network has no room to cover UAAP women’s basketball on television and can only settle for live coverage of the finals come December (but at least it still airs the WNBA as part of its contract with the NBA).

It remains to be seen if ABS-CBN Sports will be willing to change its perception towards the UAAP women’s basketball tournament. For now, though, women’s basketball in the Philippines is a painful work in progress and it desperately needs the public’s help.

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2 thoughts on “Is UAAP Women’s Basketball Being Slighted by ABS-CBN Sports?

  1. JW says:

    IMO, its not because of the lack of a major league, but rather it is the appeal of the people. Right now, according to a survey, they noticed that some Filipinos tend to watch more when there is a guy on TV, as the audience would compose of bigger numbers both genders. But when there is a female, the numbers decrease and majority were women. Anyways this is just what I heard from a fellowship service as they try to explain why there were only a handful of women preachers.

    Moving on, I think they should give Women’s basketball league a chance too. They should elevate the Womens Basketball as part of the Philippine Basketball Evolution. Hopefully, ABS might try to reconsider somehow. Hopefully it would take time

    But, as I thought, it can be that the lack of appeal would be due to the too much basketball in TV. Right now, there are the NCAA, UAAP, PBA, ABL, FIBA (Gilas) games. Oh and dont forget the MPBL. Right now, the people have the power to change these.

    • If so, then why is women’s volleyball in the Philippines becoming a thing now? Based on what that fellowship group said they may have overlooked the aforementioned sport which grew exponentially thanks to the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Rachel Anne Daquis and the DLSU Lady Spikers.

      Anyway, the newly-established NBL (you can watch these games on BTV, by the way) did say that they will plan a women’s league soon, which is a good first step. The women playing hoops deserve some attention as well, but for whatever reason, people think that it’s still a men’s game. That perception needs to change.

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