Philippines, satellite TV, Sports, television

With PBA Rush, League’s Future with TV5 Appears Secure

Cignal’s newest channel, PBA Rush, was launched July 17, at a time when the league’s future with parent network TV5 is in doubt. (Logo courtesy of the Philippine Basketball Association, Cignal Digital TV)

Looks like loyal followers of the PBA will have nothing to worry about as far as television coverage is concerned.

Yesterday, the league and Cignal joined forces to launch a 24-hour channel called PBA Rush. Available exclusively on Cignal SD channel 52 and HD channel 129, the channel will feature live PBA games, as well as special league-centric programming and classic games.

Prior to the official unveiling of PBA Rush, the channel had been airing in test broadcast since early July. During that period, it aired replays of the season’s two previous tournaments (Philippine Cup, Commissioner’s Cup), as well as the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament.

The decision to launch PBA Rush came at a not-so opportune time. The ongoing Governors’ Cup was to be the league’s last hurrah with TV5, and with the network enduring a lot of problems with its programming, it seems obvious that the PBA could be on its way out.

But where will the PBA go at this point? Here’s a look at how the other free TV channels stack up as far as the league is concerned (only VHF channels are listed here, as the PBA prefers to airs games on that platform only).

ABS-CBN – The Kapamilya network has expressed interest in airing the PBA games for a long time. However, what holds them back is their reluctance to air the games on primetime, the league’s long-standing decision to air games on VHF channels only, and the sports division’s loaded lineup.

PTV-4 – The PBA and the People’s Network are no stranger to each other, having been partners during the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s. But with the network undergoing a rebuilding phase under PCOO secretary and former TV5 personality Martin Andanar, it is unlikely that a reunion will take place in the foreseeable future.

GMA/GMA News TV – Sporting events and GMA have been few and far between since the network switched from a rainbow logo to a rainbow-colored heart logo. And with the Kapuso network already in a spending binge thanks to the return of ‘Encantadia’, it is unlikely that GMA will pursue the PBA (and any other sporting event for that matter) anytime soon.

RPN-9/CNN Philippines – Before RPN-9 became the home of CNN Philippines, it used to air PBA games in the 1970s and more recently in the late 2000s. However, since CNN has content rights to the local version of the channel, there is no way that a reunion with the PBA will happen as long as they’re here.

IBC-13 – The PBA and IBC has had three different stints under three different partners: Vintage/VIVA TV, PTV-4 and Sports5. But with the embattled network currently up for sale, any further return is not in the cards for now.

That said, it is a safe bet that the PBA and TV5 will renew their contract soon after the conclusion of the Governors’ Cup. Then again, any contract renewal may no longer be a possibility, since the launch of PBA Rush essentially extended PBA’s relationship with TV5 for the foreseeable amount of time.

Still, it remains to be seen if the launch of PBA Rush will pay dividends. But let’s just hope that the channel will not pose a threat to Manny V. Pangilinan’s pocket.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

VIVA-TV5 Partnership a Bust So Far

‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’ will conclude tomorrow night, part of a series of problems that plague the VIVA-TV5 partnership in the initial months of the deal. (Photo credit: Philstar.com)

The VIVA-TV5 deal is off to a slow start.

The partnership which oversaw the premiere of three new series (‘Ang Panday’, ‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’, ‘Tasya Fantasya’), a talent singing search show (‘Born to Be a Star’) and ‘MTV Top 20 Pilipinas’ has not paid dividends for the Kapatid network. In fact, ‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’ will conclude tomorrow night, with low ratings a key factor.

And if that’s not enough, VIVA had to deal with the PBA’s overwhelming presence for much of TV5’s primetime schedule, especially with the Commissioner’s Cup playoffs now well underway. Such a shame.

When VIVA announced their partnership with TV5 a few months ago, many hoped that the deal will revitalize the network’s moribund entertainment department. After all, VIVA had a great reputation for breeding successful talent and producing impactful programs and movies, which showed in prior partnerships with IBC-13, GMA and ABS-CBN.

Unfortunately for VIVA and TV5, that has not bore fruit. VIVA’s new programs made little impact in the ratings, and the supposed comeback of once-popular stars such as Richard Gutierrez and Claudine Barretto failed to deliver the desired results.

Even worse for VIVA is the fact that they are having a hard time scheduling their programs. Both ‘Ang Panday’ and ‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’ aired during non-PBA game days, but as the playoffs got underway, VIVA had no choice but to move the two dramas to a later timeslot.

The same can also be said for ‘Born to Be a Star’. Originally airing every weekend, it now only airs every Sunday, thanks in large part to the timeslot changes for both ‘#ParangNormal Activity’ and ‘Sports360’.

With so many dilemmas to begin with, it seems like the glory days of VIVA Entertainment on television has long deserted them. Still, the partnership has a long way to go, but first, they need to consult with both Sports5 and News5 in order to solve whatever issues they have right now.

Consider this a bump on the road. Hopefully VIVA can work out these problems as soon as possible, so that their partnership will not go down in vain.

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action, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ang Panday Replays Everywhere

Richard Gutierrez’s small-screen comeback in ‘Ang Panday’ is given not one, but two replays in just its first week. (Photo credit: TV5)

Seems like TV5 is overhyping ‘Ang Panday’.

Already on its first week on air, TV5 decided to take it too far by airing not one, but two replays of ‘Ang Panday’, due to insistent public demand. In addition to the regular replays every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:45 p.m., it also scheduled another slate of replays (consequentially preempting some programs), which were as follows:

  • Thursday, March 3 at 11:30 p.m. (preempted ‘Kaya’)
  • Saturday, March 5 at 3:00 p.m. (PBA plays one out-of-town game that day)
  • Saturday, March 5 at 10:30 p.m. (preempting ‘MTV Top 20 Pilipinas’)

Quite frankly, that’s a lot of replays. For a network that’s once again taking baby steps with their new partnership with VIVA, that’s not a good idea.

Starring Richard Gutierrez, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Bangs Garcia and Sam Pinto, among others, ‘Ang Panday’ airs Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. on TV5.

Other Notes: TV5 made a few changes in its schedule, the most noteworthy of which is the addition of UFC-related programming on the network. For more on these changes, visit this website.

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