entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

Sports5 Center Goes Online

An essential element to the PBA coverage on TV5 takes its act to the World Wide Web.

Since taking over the PBA games on a full-time basis this season, TV5 has made an all-out commitment to improve and liven its coverage. And that includes ‘Sports5 Center’ (formerly ‘AKTV Center’), the studio show that debuted in 2011 during the AKTV on IBC era.

But thanks to the TV5 networks’ congested schedule, and to the seemingly popular halftime game show ‘Moneyball: Dribol op da Pipol’, it became clear that ‘Sports5 Center’ has no place on TV5’s lineup. As a result, Sports5 management decided to improvise its presentation of ‘Sports5 Center’.

The end result is an online-exclusive broadcast of TV5’s flagship studio show, which debuted on October 19, the opening night of the PBA’s 40th season.

The now internet-only ‘Sports5 Center’ retains the basic elements of the original show, featuring pregame and postgame analysis from Sports5’s pool of analysts, with some semblance of humor in between. In addition, each postgame show will feature coach and player interviews.

The move of ‘Sports5 Center’ to the internet should give a huge sigh of relief to the more demanding and knowledgeable basketball fans. For those who are willing to learn about the performance of their players and teams at an even deeper level, this is the show to watch.

More importantly, it should relieve TV5 of a major burden, since the lack of available programming space prevents ‘Sports5 Center’ from even airing during PBA game days.

Already in the fourth season of its five-year deal, the PBA on Sports5 continues to be a work in progress, but the improvement in game coverage has taken notice. For the management of Sports5, bringing ‘Sports5 Center’ online should provide a huge boost to the network’s quest for a more comprehensive and advantageous coverage, something they clearly lacked in previous years.

Indeed, this is good news for knowledgeable PBA fans. And to Sports5, keep up the good work.

Note: ‘Sports5 Center’ will continue to air in between PBA games every Sunday on TV5. For more information, visit www.sports5.ph.

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The End of Sports5 Center?

Sports5 Center was shelved during this year’s PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals in favor of ‘Money Ball: Dribol Op Da Pipol’, as mounting costs loom.

Last week, TV5 introduced the ‘Money Ball: Dribol Op Da Pipol’ trivia game at every halftime of PBA games. However, the debut of the Android-based game also led to the ‘cancellation’ of the analysis segment ‘Sports5 Center’, which despite its entertaining and loose nature, has proven costly to Sports5’s production.

One of the first acts of Sports5 upon its reacquisition of PBA coverage in 2011 was to create a more entertaining pregame, halftime and postgame segment that was initially titled as ‘AKTV Center’. Here, the studio host and analyst(s) interact with various guests (namely current and former PBA players, and occasionally showbiz personalities) in discussing the games in general, with showbiz-related topics thrown on occasion. It also allows the viewers to interact with the hosts via social media through a question posted prior to each game.

Originally, ‘AKTV Center’ aired during most game days, except during provincial and non-Wednesday, Friday and Sunday matches, and was produced at the TV5 studios in Novaliches and at the game venues during the Finals. However, when TV5 decided not to renew its blocktime deal with IBC-13 nearly two years later, the segment was renamed as ‘Sports5 Center’, and was aired only on select games at the venues, before reducing it to only Sundays and eventually eschewing it in favor of ‘Money Ball’.

The ‘cancellation’ of ‘Sports5 Center’ hurts a lot. Why? Because this was the first time that the PBA experimented with a pregame, halftime and postgame show, similar to what the NBA’s national broadcasters are doing these days.  ‘Sports5 Center’ is essentially part-educational and part-entertainment, in a way that it has become very similar to ‘Inside the NBA’. But with TV5 still trying to solve its programming dilemma in hopes of airing all PBA games at its main outlet, and with the logistical consequences of setting up a temporary studio at the game venues, it appears that these segments will be out of the picture for the foreseeable future.

For now, there is no such thing as a halftime report in the PBA. In that case, good luck with the not-so entertaining halftime show known as ‘Money Ball: Dribol Op Da Pipol’.