The shorter-than-expected offseason could keep the PBA within TV5’s hands.
The 2015-16 season came to an end Wednesday night, when Barangay Ginebra San Miguel broke an eight-year title drought by winning the season-ending Governors’ Cup title over the Meralco Bolts. Game 6 of the Governors’ Cup Finals would have marked the end of a five-year contract that TV5 signed with the PBA back in 2011.
Instead, another year of coverage looms in the seemingly fruitful relationship between the PBA and the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned network.
Two weeks from now, the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft will take place at the Robinsons Place Manila. The draft will be conducted in two batches: a regular draft for early entry applicants, and a special draft for amateur players who were invited to the Gilas pool.
Then on November 20, the season-opening Philippine Cup will get underway. Thus, it will be a very short offseason for the PBA, owing to a long break from late May to mid-July due to the FIBA Olympic Qualifiers that Gilas participated.
With a short turnaround from last season, it is expected that TV5 will remain the main home of the PBA. And there are three reasons why the league could still air on the MVP-owned network, which are:
- The PBA Rush channel, which was only established prior to last season’s Governors’ Cup.
- The lack of other network options due to a variety of circumstances.
- The promotion of Chot Reyes to the role of head honcho within TV5.
With all these situations coming into play, it is clear that the PBA has no other choice. Despite the past issues that the league faced during its initial five-year tenure with TV5, the latter’s progressive steps to improve its coverage indicate that the relationship is an otherwise successful one, contrary to the critics’ perceptions.
One month from now, a new season of the PBA begins. Unfortunately for the league, there is not much time to plan, so it’s safe to say that next year, it will be TV5 who will once again bring the PBA to every television set in the country, for now.