Philippines, Sports, television

Sports5’s Doubtful and Desperate Future

The ‘Road to Rio’ will be a bumpy one, as TV5 essentially sacrificed its entire programming lineup just for the coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics. This year’s Olympics could decide the future of Sports5 as well. (Photo credit: PhilStar.com)

These are indeed desperate times for TV5.

It has been over a month since the Kapatid network ‘demolished’ (for the lack of a better term) almost its entire programming lineup in favor of unlimited ‘foreignoy’ movies and home shopping blocks. And while their decision may seem ridiculous, they were essentially preparing this demolition job for one particular event.

Enter the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Summer Olympics in Rio will be the fourth such event for TV5, following the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing. As early as now, TV5 is going all out, because as far as they were concerned, this could be their last chance to prove their worth as a force in Philippine sports.

Anyone who has followed TV5 over the years know how much a sports fan Manny V. Pangilinan is. The businessman is best known in the sports world as:

  • owner of three PBA teams (Tropang TNT, Meralco Bolts, NLEX Road Warriors)
  • bankroller of two collegiate teams (Ateneo Blue Eagles, San Beda Red Lions)
  • one-time president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas
  • benefactor of Gilas Pilipinas

His work on TV5 was also an extensive one. Between 2011 and 2012, the Kapatid network snared the rights to several top-flight events, which include the following:

  • Philippine Basketball Association
  • United Football League
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (Philippines)
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (United States)
  • Olympic Games
  • National Football League’s Super Bowl
  • Gilas Pilipinas basketball games

At first, MVP collaborated with IBC-13 for a blocktime deal that became AKTV. But when cash flow problems surfaced, he ended the blocktime agreement and was forced to utilize both TV5 and AksyonTV for their sports coverage.

Unfortunately for TV5, they encountered greater problems in handling such coverage. As a result, their entertainment programming was extremely compromised, while news programs on AksyonTV gradually eroded to the point that they were either cancelled or preempted.

Although the network managed to take advantage of the all-sports channel HYPER on its Cignal subscription service, it is clear that Sports5’s problems are becoming increasingly hard to overcome. Which leads to 2016, the year where the network’s contracts with the PBA, Olympics and the UFL are up for either renewal or expiration.

Considering these irreparable problems, the smart choice of action for TV5 at this point is to not renew their contracts with the said events. But with other networks enduring a variety of obstacles themselves, and with ABS-CBN Sports all too loaded to commit for more events, all signs point to a reluctant renewal.

So what’s next for Sports5? No one knows, but for the next several months, their busy schedule will be an evaluation process to see if they still have what it takes to be a big-time player in Philippine sports.

Advertisements
Standard
action, comedy, dance show, drama, entertainment, game show, humor, news, Philippines, public affairs, radio, reality show, Sports, suspense, talent show, talk show, television

FTT Year 2014 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, who made the transition from a mainstream to an alternative station this year.

The Positives

2014 was a year of change for TV5. And some changes were for the better.

A heavily-criticized coverage of the previous PBA season led to several tweaks in TV5’s current schedule. Initially made to benefit the NCAA, the FIBA World Cup, the Youth Olympics and the Asian Games, this was then implemented for the PBA, which was welcomed by fans after expressing their disgust with last season’s coverage.

The year also saw TV5 broadcast other major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, the U.S. NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the Winter Olympics. Furthermore, they aired the games of the ‘Batang Gilas’ in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, keeping in step with the moves made by ABS-CBN Sports.

TV5 viewers also witnessed the premieres of highly-praised weekly series ‘JasMine’ and ‘Trenderas’, as well as a new game show in ‘Quiet Please! Bawal ang Maingay’. TV5 also collaborated with both E! and Wattpad to broadcast ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’ and ‘Wattpad Presents’, respectively, to good reviews.

And finally, News5 garnered some awards from various bodies, particularly in the programs ‘T3: Enforced’, ‘History with Lourd’, ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ and ‘Bigtime’. ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ were also honored.

The Negatives

The transformation of TV5 was not without some obstacles, however.

When TV5 revealed its programming lineup for 2014, one of the upcoming programs mentioned was a Philippine adaptation of ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Unfortunately for the network, the project never materialized, even as they denied rumors that it was ‘shelved’.

Not all of TV5’s programs under Noel Lorenzana’s new initiative paid off. The programs that were cancelled in his first full year in charge include the likes of ‘SpinNation’, ‘What’s Up, Doods’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’, ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

TV5’s sports coverage was also not spared. Early this year, the Kapatid network introduced ‘Moneyball: Dribol op da Pipol’ to its PBA and NCAA coverage, much to the dismay of the more informative and knowledgeable viewers; eventually TV5 relented by moving ‘Sports5 Center’ to the livestream format (as ‘Sports 360’).

AksyonTV, TV5’s sister network, was severely crippled by News5’s programming changes, particularly after the cancellation of its original programs and newscasts ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Balitang 60’. As a result, the network became overly dependent on TV5’s programming, which is not a good sign for a news/sports channel like AksyonTV.

The sex scandal involving News5 anchor and Rescue5 leader Paolo Bediones in September also demoralized the network. While he left ‘Aksyon Tonite’ in the midst of the controversy (he was later replaced by Ed Lingao), he did return to host ‘Demolition Job’ and Rescue5 short videos once the impact of his scandal dissipated.

But perhaps the biggest news coming out of TV5’s camp was the departure of Sharon Cuneta. A P1 billion signee of the network a few years ago, Sharon joined TV5 with high expectations, but shows such as ‘Sharon: Kasama Mo Kapatid’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ and ‘Madam Chairman’ failed to deliver.

And finally, there is the annual issue of TV5’s overreliance on Tagalized foreign movies, as well as reruns of local programs.

Outlook

TV5 has already unveiled a list of new and returning programs for 2015, which will be discussed in detail very soon.

It was not a bad year for TV5, even with all the changes that took place. With a new year looming, Lorenzana and company now hope to build on these gains even further, though changes are still to be made as the year progresses.

Standard
entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

TV5 Airs One Game of NCAA Final Four. And It Sucks.

The NCAA Final Four begins tomorrow, but only one game will air on TV5. (Photo credit: Inquirer.net)

The NCAA Season 90 men’s basketball Final Four begins tomorrow, but TV5 will continue to air just one game. ONE!

The second Final Four game between the second-seeded Arellano Chiefs and the third-seeded JRU Heavy Bombers will be the only game airing on the main TV5 network. Meanwhile, the first game between the top-seeded San Beda Red Lions and the fourth-seeded Perpetual Help Altas will be relegated to AksyonTV.

Both games will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena starting at 2:00 p.m.

Having reached the critical point of the season, it is expected that TV5 will air both games of the NCAA Final Four, considering its importance. But as it turned out, old habits do die hard for the Kapatid network.

Consider this: from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m., TV5 airs Tagalized foreign films under the ‘Movie Max 5’ banner. That means for over 2 1/2 hours, the Kapatid network is airing nothing but movies that have been aired over and over again by HBO, Star Movies, and other free TV networks.

So much for being bored.

The only times that the 1:30-4:00 p.m. window became relevant was when important sports events took place. Such was the case during the recently-concluded Youth Olympic Games, FIBA World Cup and Asian Games.

That said, it would have helped TV5 if both games were to air. Instead, they balked at this opportunity, and as a result, a movie will air on the aforementioned timeslot rather than a Final Four game.

The increasing tension between TV5 and the NCAA can no longer be ignored. Three years of timeslot and channel changes, questionable scheduling and personnel decisions, unnecessary gimmicks, lack of promotion by the former, and controversial events such as the Mapua-EAC brawl, are beginning to take its toll on the relationship between the two parties.

And this latest programming decision by TV5 only compounds an already deteriorating situation.

Tomorrow, four NCAA teams will face off to determine a pair of Finals berths. But with TV5 airing just one game, don’t expect anything from their Final Four broadcasts.

Standard
entertainment, game show, Philippines, talk show, television

Face the People, Let’s Ask Pilipinas Return

Ogie Alcasid replaces Aga Muhlach as host of ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’. (Photo credit: Ogie Alcasid’s Instagram account)

TV5’s two standout programs are back, with new hosts eager to make a mark.

It was announced that ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ will return for another season this Monday. The former will now air at 10:15 a.m., followed by the latter.

In addition, both programs will receive new hosts. Edu Manzano will now join Gelli de Belen and Tintin Bersola-Babao as the third host on ‘Face the People’, while Ogie Alcasid will replace Aga Muhlach for ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

Edu was last seen regularly as host of ‘What’s Up, Doods’, which ceased production in December 2013, while Ogie will return to weekday programming three weeks after his tawaserye ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ ended on June 20.

Both programs were once aired as part of the now-defunct ‘Everyday All the Way’ afternoon to evening block. ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ was last seen on March 28, before it was replaced by ‘Beki Boxer’, while ‘Face the People’ aired its last episode on June 6, before it gave way to a re-run of ‘Star Confessions’.

Their transfer to the morning slot is intended towards the accommodation of upcoming sports events on the Kapatid network. TV5 is slated to air the Gilas Pilipinas matches in the FIBA Asia Cup, the FIBA World Cup, and the Asian Games, along with the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.

The return of both programs is just one of several programming changes that TV5 will implement this month. More on the other changes in future articles.

Standard
Philippines, Sports, television

No to UAAP on TV5

The UAAP’s recent surge of popularity can be attributed to ABS-CBN’s effective marketing strategies in events like the Cheerdance Competition, something that rival TV5 needs to address in its sports programs to become more competitive.

TV5 is at it again. After earning the rights to air the Super Bowl and the Winter, Youth and Summer Olympic games, its next target is the UAAP, which is currently under ABS-CBN Sports.

Spin.ph reported Saturday that a letter of intent was submitted by TV5 to the UAAP board expressing its interest to acquire broadcast rights to the league. The same article also said that ABS-CBN is determined to extend its current contract, which is expected to expire after Season 77 (2014-15).

I think TV5 is not a good fit for the UAAP. Their sports division has been frequently at odds with the entertainment department over the scheduling of the PBA and other events, and their coverage of the NCAA and UFL has often been erratic. In addition, AksyonTV is not as powerful as ABS-CBN Sports + Action in terms of reach and clarity, not to mention lacking the commercial advertisements needed to support the network. In short, the potential acquisition of the UAAP games by TV5 will only complicate matters.

Having said that, it is only appropriate that the UAAP should remain with ABS-CBN Sports. Its 14-year relationship brought nothing but growth, improvement and popularity, and keeping the said league with the Kapamilya network will only continue to foster a comfortable and loyal relationship between the two parties.

But if TV5 is really determined to acquire the UAAP coverage, they should address their programming and advertising issues first. Not only that, they need to improve their existing facilities and equipment to be at par with what ABS-CBN is currently doing. And finally, the Kapatid network must prove worthy of the coverage by airing more NCAA games in sports other than basketball (its contract with that league also expires after 2014-15).

TV5’s pursuit of the UAAP will only begin in 2015. But for now, it is ABS-CBN Sports who is responsible for the broadcasts. And as far as the rights were concerned, I hope that the UAAP will remain a Kapamilya for an extended period of time.

Standard