The Olympic season has come to an end.
The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics officially concluded yesterday with a colorful closing ceremony, followed by the turn-over of hosting rights to Tokyo, Japan. The close of the event capped off two weeks of unforgettable moments and problematic issues that tested Rio’s resolve and courage.
This year’s broadcast of the Rio Olympics was solely handled by TV5, and much like the games itself, it endured a lot of difficulties. Many expected TV5 to fill in most of their hours with Olympic coverage, yet they failed to do so.
Much of the blame is centered around their continued airing of TV shopping blocks, Tagalized movies and other entertainment programming during the two-week Olympic period (this does not include the PBA Governors’ Cup). TV5 should have preempted them just for the Olympics, but it never happened despite their best efforts.
Even sister station AksyonTV had its own share of issues, but to a lesser extent. While the Olympics were ongoing, they still showed the Philippine Super Liga finals, the PBA D-League playoffs, and the opening of the CESAFI basketball tournament, all of which were the network’s priorities.
However, during vacant hours, AksyonTV still showed a TV shopping block, ‘Relasyon’ and ‘Wanted sa Radyo’. They should have preempted them for Olympic highlights.
One thing in common about TV5’s free TV Olympic coverage was their inability to re-air events that were aired live in the wee hours of the morning. Rio’s time is similar to that of New York, and TV5’s failure to take account of the time difference and the lack of TV audience during that period proved to be their doom.
There were some positives in the network’s Olympic coverage, however. TV5, along with sister companies Cignal, PLDT and Smart, collaborated for a multi-platform broadcast that involved satellite and internet subscription.
Despite that, the free TV coverage of the Olympics remains important. Considering that not all people subscribe to Cignal, PLDT and Smart, TV5 should have prioritized their free TV platforms to benefit their competitors.
Overall, it was an F grade for TV5’s Olympic coverage this year. Their coverage was doomed from the start, and their poor planning effort was not what the viewers wanted to see from the so-called ‘Olympic Network’.
So where will the Olympic coverage in the Philippines go from here? The lack of suitable options will be biggest issue for the Philippine Olympic Committee, since a variety of issues hound all of the country’s free TV networks.
Regardless, the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics is still four years away. That said, the POC will need to think about their options very well, and for the networks, good luck in trying to snatch the rights to the 2020 Games.
As for TV5, it was an opportunity that blew right before their very eyes. Now they should look forward for the long-awaited rebuilding process, one that should put them back on track.