news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, Sports, television

Rudely Interrupted: T5N Does a Heidi Anew for the NFL and U.S. NCAA

Remember the infamous ‘Heidi Game’ in American football?

Back on November 17, 1968, an American Football League (AFL) game between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders was rudely cut on NBC during the fourth quarter in order to air the program ‘Heidi’ on time. The incident caused viewers to miss out on the game’s final minutes, which saw the Jets kick a field goal only to see Oakland win the game on two touchdowns.

This incident led to the NFL requiring its television partners to air the games in its entirety. Unfortunately, one Filipino television network appears to ignore this rule.

In 2014, TV5 gave NCAA fans no favors when it interrupted two of its live games in favor of news coverage. The first instance, Lyceum vs. Mapua, was cut short in favor of then-President Noynoy Aquino’s impromptu speech, while the second instance, EAC vs. Mapua, featured a bench-clearing brawl and was consequently cut in favor of ‘Aksyon Prime’.

As a result, the NCAA decided not to re-sign with TV5 and chose ABS-CBN Sports as its broadcast partner instead. But this is not the last time The 5 Network became embroiled in such controversy.

September’s NFL Kickoff Game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons was delayed by over an hour due to inclement weather. Consequently, T5N did another ‘Heidi’ and started ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ on time, although they still inserted the live feed of the NFL game during the Raffy Tulfo in Action segment.

T5N also did the same thing Wednesday afternoon when they aired a U.S. NCAA men’s basketball game between Duke and Kentucky. While they still complied in both of these cases, the fact that they pushed through with ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ didn’t sit well with some viewers.

Then again, neither the NFL nor the U.S. NCAA basketball were popular with Filipino sports fans. At this point, ESPN5 is questioning the viability of both sports, especially when the country’s pastimes now are local basketball, volleyball and to a lesser extent soccer.

Also, there is a concern regarding T5N’s insistence on a noontime newscast at the expense of live sports. For all intents and purposes, ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ is now more of a ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ spinoff, with less emphasis on news and more on citizen complaints.

If Chot Reyes were to be approached, he might as well convince Luchi Cruz-Valdes to cancel ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ and proceed with a taped-as-live TV revival of ‘Wanted’. Because who needs a noontime newscast anyway when the news gets thrown out the window.

Either way the never-ending problems within T5N are once again prevalent. Let’s face it, with such an incompetent personnel it’s no wonder they have a disorganized schedule.

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cable TV, Philippines, Sports, television

In 150 Words: BTV, NBA Premium Return to SkyCable

Some good news await basketball fans in time for the new NBA season.

SkyCable announced Tuesday that Basketball TV and NBA Premium will be reinstated in their lineup effective immediately. In its statement, Sky said that they welcome this development as it is in keeping with the status quo order earlier issued by the court.

It can be recalled that both channels were abruptly shut down prior to the start of the 2017 NBA Playoffs due to legal issues between Solar and ABS-CBN regarding broadcast rights. Solar claimed that ABS-CBN owed them millions of pesos in unpaid carriage fees, and in response, SkyCable claimed to have paid said carriage fees as part of the licensing fee it rewarded to the NBA.

However, the reinstatement of Basketball TV and NBA Premium on Sky will only be temporary with the court decision on the matter still pending. For now, though, basketball fans should be more than happy to catch up with daily NBA action every morning on both channels.

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Philippines, Sports, television

ABS-CBN Sports to Televise All Games of the PVL Open Conference

“WE NEED IT!”

This is perhaps the plea of volleyball fans as the Premier Volleyball League enters its season-ending Open Conference. Having said that, ABS-CBN’s decision to finally televise every match of the Open Conference came as part of a harsh lesson learned during the Reinforced Conference.

Back in May, ABS-CBN Sports received plenty of criticism for the live streaming issues that took place during a PVL On Tour stop at Tuguegarao. Reluctantly, the network was forced to air weekend games on S+A for the remainder of the tournament before it televised every game of the finals.

Regarding the PVL Collegiate Conference, the exhibition nature of the tournament meant that only the first playdate and the finals were aired on S+A while the other games were aired on live stream. But ABS-CBN Sports, for its part, was able to address its concerns on live stream access by offering the PVL games on YouTube free of charge.

Which leads to the Open Conference. In part two of getting things right with volleyball fans, ABS-CBN Sports announced that all games of the tournament will be aired on LIGA while select matches will be televised on S+A.

The coverage format goes like this:

  1. All games live on LIGA, ABS-CBN Sports YouTube channel and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/pvl
  2. Second game of Sunday doubleheader live on S+A.
  3. First game of Sunday doubleheader airs on a delayed basis after the live second game on S+A.
  4. Saturday doubleheaders air on a delayed basis every Monday at 2:00 p.m. on S+A.

The PVL Open Conference began Saturday with a doubleheader at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The opener meant that an MPBL game between the Bataan Risers and Cebu Sharks was not televised on S+A to give way to the live match between Banko Perlas Spikers and Iriga-Navy Oragons, a concession that was met with approval from volleyball fans.

The ongoing tournament will also feature Reinforced Conference champion Creamline Cool Smashers, Pocari Sweat Air Force, PetroGazz Angels, Tacloban Fighting Warays, Akari-Adamson Lady Falcons and Motolite-Ateneo Lady Eagles. Here is the entire tournament schedule.

About the only drawback here is that LIGA is only available on SkyCable and SkyDirect. But other than that, volleyball fans couldn’t get any happier.

Good luck to all the teams in the ongoing PVL Open Conference. And thanks to ABS-CBN Sports for giving the fans what they want.

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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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Philippines, Sports, television

UAAP and PVL Finals Forces MPBL Game to Air on LIGA

Here is some good and bad news for basketball and volleyball fans.

Game 2 of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Finals will be aired live on ABS-CBN’s S+A at 6:30 p.m. tonight. At the moment, UP leads FEU by one game in this best-of-three encounter and can clinch the championship with a win.

Meanwhile, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League will have a doubleheader scheduled in Bataan as well. However, only one game (Bataan vs. Valenzuela after the PVL Finals) will be aired live on S+A.

The reason: priorities over a particular sporting event. As the UAAP men’s basketball tournament is already underway, S+A considers this league as its first priority due to the UAAP’s immense popularity and appeal.

Today’s UAAP doubleheader will have UST vs. FEU followed by UP vs. Ateneo starting at 2:00 p.m. Which leads to the second priority in the PVL Finals.

ABS-CBN Sports and PVL organizer Sports Vision decided to schedule the finals on primetime so as not to conflict with UAAP basketball and to allow a wider audience to watch the game. Which then leads to the third priority in the MPBL.

Because of S+A’s aforementioned scheduling priorities not to mention that it is currently in the elimination stage, the MPBL had no choice but to air the first game in Bataan on sister channel LIGA. The game in question pits Pasig and San Juan.

This will mark the first time that the MPBL will be aired on LIGA. The good news, though, is that both games in Bataan will still be simulcast on the MPBL Facebook page.

Going back to the PVL, Game 2 of the Battle for Third between Adamson and UST will only air on LIGA and on the ABS-CBN Sports YouTube page as it will take place at around the same time as the UP-Ateneo UAAP basketball game. The match will be aired on a delayed basis this Friday on S+A after the NCAA basketball games.

Overall, S+A has a packed Wednesday lineup coming up. And it was good to see ABS-CBN resolving this scheduling dilemma in advance so as to benefit its legions of sports fans.

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Philippines, Sports, television

More Hoops: The NBL Philippines on BTV and Solar Sports

Another new Filipino basketball league has surfaced.

Last weekend the National Basketball League (NBL) played its first-ever games in Taguig City and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where they were played to sellout crowds. The league has 10 teams in all, each based on either a province, a city or a municipality.

But before making any comparisons to another regional-based basketball league in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League), the NBL runs its operations a little bit differently. While the MPBL welcomes former professional and collegiate stars to play in their league, the NBL wants no part of any of them.

Instead they focused on the homegrown and grassroots level, welcoming young players who grew up in their respective provinces, cities or municipalities. The purpose is to develop these players and create local basketball icons in the community.

As mentioned earlier, the NBL has 10 teams that currently play in their first season. They are:

  • Bulacan Makabayan
  • Camarines Sur Express
  • DasmariƱas Monarchs
  • Laguna Pistons
  • Marikina Shoemakers
  • Nueva Ecija Go Bespren
  • ParaƱaque Aces
  • Rizal Spartans
  • Quezon City Rising Stars
  • Taguig Generals

The NBL is the brainchild of chairman Soy Mercado and commissioner Nandy Garcia, who both envisioned a home-and-away league strictly for homegrown amateur players. The league’s games are currently aired on Solar Sports, Basketball TV and Net 25, and is also streamed live on the NBL-Philippines Facebook page.

Here is a look at the full elimination round schedule of the NBL.

In addition to a men’s homegrown amateur basketball league, the NBL organizers also plan on establishing a women’s counterpart that will begin in September. Considering that the Philippines does not have either an amateur or a professional women’s basketball league at the moment, the NBL will look to fill that void with its own women’s league.

Basketball fans can only hope that the NBL will bring some much-needed hope and inspiration to young ballers everywhere. Their role as a grassroots organization will be very crucial in establishing the next great hoops star.

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