Philippines, Sports, television, United States

FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part IPart II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: PBA at Philippine Arena

The final three games of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals were held at the Philippine Arena. Not surprisingly, the venue was packed to the rafters, thanks in large part to the presence of crowd favorite and defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

Ginebra went on to defeat the Meralco Bolts in seven games, with Game 7 becoming the highest-attended PBA game ever with over 54,000 spectators. The victory also gave San Miguel Corporation a perfect 3-for-3 in terms of championships in the 2016-17 PBA season, with the San Miguel Beermen having conquered both the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup as well.

NOT: ESPN5

TV5 started 2017 by defiantly telling viewers to ‘choose courage’ in their station ID. By the end of the year, however, courage turned to cowardice as Chot Reyes gradually turned TV5 into a sports-oriented network and stripped whatever’s left of the station’s content.

The final straw came in October when TV5 signed a deal with ESPN to rename its sports division into ESPN5. Since then, the collaboration purchased the broadcast rights to the National Football League and U.S. NCAA college basketball to go along with local sports such as the PBA and the Philippine SuperLiga.

HOT: International Football on S+A

Already with the rights to the NBA, UAAP, NCAA, FIFA football, ABL and ONE Championship among other sports, ABS-CBN Sports acquired another big fish late in the year thanks to a collaboration with beIN Sport and Triple CH. The deal brought in the Premier League, La Liga and the UEFA Champions League to S+A.

The acquisition is, in many ways, beneficial to Filipino football fans who are craving to watch some of the world’s top footballers like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for free. However, with football having one of the most expensive broadcast rights in the world, it remains to be seen if ABS-CBN Sports’ risk will become a reward.

NOT: PFL on PTV-4

Suffice to say, the inaugural season of the Philippines Football League did not work out on the television side. The league faced plenty of problems with coveror PTV-4, namely weather postponements and the unexpected live broadcasts of President Rodrigo Duterte’s speeches.

By August the PFL suddenly disappeared from television as it became fed up with PTV-4’s presidential priorities. With the first season already complete, perhaps the time is now to find a new broadcast partner for next season.

HOT: NBA on ABS-CBN

2017 was a surprisingly productive year for ABS-CBN’s NBA coverage. Beginning with the 2017 playoffs, S+A aired NBA games every day up until the finals, with a few dates reserved for doubleheaders.

Once the finals began, ABS-CBN Sports employed a simulcast on both Channel 2 and S+A. The former featured commentary from Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc live from the U.S. while the latter used the feed featuring ESPN announcers Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke.

ABS-CBN also made NBA games available on S+A’s HD platform, which was previously separate and distinct from its SD counterpart. However, ABS-CBN’s surprise increase in NBA game coverage was just a reprieve for SkyCable subscribers, no thanks in part to a brewing controversy.

NOT: Solar Entertainment/SkyCable Controversy

It was deja vu all over again as Solar Entertainment pulled out its cable channels from SkyCable amid furor over NBA broadcast rights. The network claimed that ABS-CBN owed them millions of pesos for the rights to carry Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV.

The conflict remains unresolved as of now due to conflicting statements between the two parties. This left angry NBA fans with no choice but to switch over to other cable and satellite outlets or subscribe to NBA League Pass.

HOT: Sports News Programs on TV

2017 saw two new sports news programs debut on Philippine television. In January, the ABS-CBN News Channel premiered ‘Gametime’ with Migs Bustos at the helm, while in December, ESPN5 brought in ‘SportsCenter Philippines’ with Aaron Atayde, Lia Cruz, Magoo Marjon and Amanda Fernandez as its anchors.

Meanwhile, CNN Philippines’ ‘Sports Desk’ lost one of its pillars as Mico Halili announced his departure from the network amid rumors of a reorganization. Finally, PTV-4 announced that PTV Sports would return as a standalone program after nearly a year’s absence, with Dennis Principe once again at the helm alongside Meg Siozon and Angel Atienza.

NOT: WWE on FOX

Carriage issues also got in the way of WWE programming on FOX Philippines’ family of networks as it announced that they would cease ties with the wresting promotion after a six-year run. This was due to the two parties’ inability to agree on a renewal.

Shortly thereafter, TV5 announced that they would air WWE programs on their networks, but so far, only the condensed edition of SmackDown is currently on their lineup. As for Raw, the commercial-free 90-minute edition was made available on WWE’s YouTube page (for Philippine viewers only) while other programs can be seen via the WWE Network service.

Summary and Outlook

Overall, 2017 was both a challenge and an experience for media in the Philippines. Longstanding issues and pressing concerns were all over the place as each network tried its best to resolve each and every one of them.

Looking ahead to 2018, there are still plenty more challenges to conquer and some new tasks to take. The evolution in media does not stop here and From the Tube will continue to bring in the latest news in the world of broadcasting come next year.

In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

ABS-CBN Goes All Out With Local NBA Commentary

The NBA on ABS-CBN Sports is now in Taglish on a full-time basis.

Since opening week, all NBA games on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Sports+Action are called straight from the network’s studios in Quezon City. The commentary of the games are being rotated among its four announcers: Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras, Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc.

It can be recalled that ABS-CBN began to air NBA regular season games with their commentators at the start of this year. Initially the local commentary is exclusive to Channel 2, but come the conference finals, it has been extended to its sister station on Channel 23.

During the previous season’s NBA Finals, however, ABS-CBN elected to keep their local crew at the studio instead of sending them to the United States, presumably to save costs. This seems more logical, as the finals games on the network are now broadcast on a delayed basis due to various programming concerns.

This season, ABS-CBN made the jump towards an all-local NBA coverage for all of its games. The debut of the full-time ‘localized’ NBA coverage took place on opening night last October 28, when Sports+Action aired the Cleveland Cavaliers-Chicago Bulls matchup with commentary from Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras.

This latest move by ABS-CBN Sports is intended towards attracting a more ‘masa’ audience. But for those disenchanted with this decision, don’t worry, because NBA games on Basketball TV, Fox Sports Asia and NBA Premium TV will still feature commentary from American announcers.

NBA games are currently aired on ABS-CBN Sports+Action every Friday, Sunday and Monday, and on ABS-CBN every Saturday. ABS-CBN Sports will also air a Christmas game and several late-season games if possible.

For more information on the upcoming NBA broadcasts in the Philippines, click on this link.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

The 2015 NBA Finals Broadcast Setup in the Philippines

 

The 2015 NBA Finals begin June 5, with the winner between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers receiving the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Congratulations Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Stephen Curry and LeBron James have accomplished 3/4 of their championship journey, and now, four wins separate them from the Larry O’Brien trophy. The 2015 NBA Finals is just a week away from the opening tip.

Three networks in the Philippines will have the privilege to cover this year’s NBA Finals. One of them will be ABS-CBN Sports, and upon the completion of the Western Conference Finals, the network officially released their coverage schedule for the Finals.

Once again, free TV viewers will have to endure a tortuous routine of delayed telecasts. The NBA Finals on ABS-CBN Channel 2 will air on a 20-minute delay, except for games on Monday with an 80-minute delay, a virtually similar routine as last year’s finals.

For the fifth straight finals, ABS-CBN Sports will be represented by Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc, part of a global media field consisting of over 200 countries that will head to Oakland, California and Cleveland, Ohio to cover the finals. This will be the 19th consective NBA Finals where the Philippines will send a media delegation.

Same-day replays will be aired on ABS-CBN Sports+Action at 8:00 p.m. News coverage of the Finals will be featured on ABS-CBN News programs such as ‘TV Patrol’, and Sports+Action’s flagship program ‘The Score’.

For those with cable subscription, Basketball TV and NBA Premium will air the NBA Finals LIVE, featuring English commentary from ESPN/ABC in the U.S. In addition, both networks will air pregame and postgame shows via the NBA TV program ‘Gametime’.

The Finals will also have same-day replays on the two networks, and if possible, another encore broadcast may be scheduled during non-game days. NBA Gametime will also air media availability and practice sessions on the day prior to each game.

And for internet and mobile subscribers, NBA League Pass on Globe will air the NBA Finals as well, with on-demand replays also available.

The 2015 NBA Finals will begin on June 5 (Manila time), and will conclude between June 12 and 19.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

2015 NBA All-Star Weekend Broadcast Notes

The 2015 NBA All-Star Game will take place at Madison Square Garden. (Photo credit: National Basketball Association)

The NBA’s midseason showcase is a few days away.

This year’s All-Star Weekend will take place in two different venues within New York City. The Rising Stars Challenge and All-Star Saturday will be held at Barclays Center, while the All-Star Game will be played at Madison Square Garden.

The NBA All-Star Weekend will be covered in the Philippines by the following networks:

  • ABS-CBN Sports – Rising Stars Challenge on Channel 2. All-Star Saturday and All-Star Game on Sports+Action Channel 23. Broadcast team will be Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc, augmented by Turner Sports and NBA TV International feed.
  • Basketball TV – All events, plus live coverage of All-Star practice, Adam Silver press conference, and Jam Session. Delayed coverage of Celebrity Game and D-League All-Star Game. Will use Turner Sports, ESPN and NBA TV International English-language feed. Pre-taped player interviews with Riki Flores to be aired throughout the week.
  • NBA Premium – All events, plus live coverage of All-Star practice, Adam Silver press conference, Jam Session, Celebrity Game and D-League All-Star Game. Will use Turner Sports, ESPN and NBA TV U.S. English-language feed.

In addition, the NBA All-Star events will be aired via NBA League Pass for Globe mobile subscribers.

The NBA All-Star Weekend in New York City will take place from February 14 to 16 (Manila time).

 

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

A Lesson Learned: The Success of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition

Defending champions in both the Cheerdance and Group Stunts competitions, the NU Cheering Squad will try to do one better this Sunday in the 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Competition. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

On Sunday, cheering squads of the eight UAAP schools will once again take center stage.

The UAAP Cheerdance Competition, now on its 20th edition, will take place inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum on September 14. The can’t miss event of the UAAP season besides men’s basketball and women’s volleyball, the Cheerdance Competition has been steadily growing in popularity since ABS-CBN Sports took over league broadcast rights in Season 63 (2000-01).

While it does not have any effect on the overall championship tally, fans, students and alumni will nevertheless enjoy every moment of the cheering squads’ execution of stunts, leaps, tumbles and special themes, not to mention the loud cheers and the banging drums. The unpredictable nature of the event makes for some compelling television.

So it was not a surprise to see why the recent editions of the Cheerdance Competition became social media hits. ABS-CBN Sports has done a very good job in hyping the event in advance, and the fans, whether they are watching in person, on ABS-CBN Sports+Action, on Balls HD 167, or on UAAP’s livestream website, were invested into the network’s early bird promotion.

This was in contrast to the recent NCAA Cheerleading Competition that was held at the Mall of Asia Arena last March. Poor attendance, poor viewership, lack of sponsors, and poor hype were the reasons why no one paid attention to NCAA’s own version. And TV5, the league’s coveror, paid dearly for it.

If there’s a league that can make cheerdancing a popular spectacle even for just one day, it’s the UAAP. The Cheerdance Competition is the time of the year where the cheering squads of the eight member schools try to one-up each other by performing routines that are difficult, impressive and creatively planned to near-perfection. And the fans buy into each performance.

This year’s competition will be no different, as defending champion NU Cheering Squad and the seven others will try to improve on last year’s routines. The UAAP Cheerdance Competition is expected to be another 20k-attended event, and millions will surely talk about it on social media before, during, and after the event.

One final note: For those in search of some eye candy, pay attention to Boom Gonzales’ dazzling co-host for Sunday afternoon, as well as the season’s courtside reporters in their respective schools’ gear. The Cheerdance Competition will not be complete without them.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

A Viewer’s Guide to the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend

 

This year’ NBA All-Star Weekend in the Philippines will again be shared by both ABS-CBN and Solar’s Basketball TV.

On February 15-17 (Manila time), the NBA will once again stage its annual All-Star Weekend. And at the midseason classic in New Orleans, hundreds of media outlets around the world, including the Philippines, will be on hand to cover the proceedings.

Here’s is a viewer’s guide on how to watch the NBA All-Star Weekend in the Philippines.

ABS-CBN, Solar Will Use Separate Feeds

ABS-CBN will send Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc to cover the All-Star Game. Like last year, the duo will also be on hand to call the All-Star Saturday events. As a result of Boom’s assignment to the All-Star Game, the UAAP women’s volleyball play-by-play for the rest of the eliminations will be handled by Anton Roxas and Eric Tipan. The Rising Stars Challenge on ABS-CBN will likely use TNT’s broadcasters.

Basketball TV and NBA Premium will use the TNT play-by-play for all three events. In addition, BTV will send Riki Flores to do player interviews and document other All-Star events such as Jam Session. Riki’s All-Star coverage will be used on the short segments ‘The Grind’, ‘One on One’, and ’24 Seconds’.

Both networks will be using the NBA TV International feed for all three events.

All-Star Saturday and All-Star Game on Sports + Action

Unfortunately, ABS-CBN Channel 2 will only broadcast the Rising Stars Challenge. The rest of the All-Star events will be handled by sister network ABS-CBN Sports + Action on Channel 23, as the broadcast of these events will be in conflict with ABS-CBN programs such as ‘Matanglawin’, ‘Kapamilya: Minute to Win It’ (last two weeks), and ‘Be Careful with My Heart’.

Expanded Coverage on Basketball TV and NBA Premium

And finally, from February 15-17, most, if not all programs on Basketball TV and NBA Premium will be related to All-Star Weekend. This includes Jam Session, the All-Star Celebrity Game, the NBA D-League’s own All-Star Weekend, Commissioner Adam Silver’s press conferences, pre-event and post-event coverage of the Rising Stars, All-Star Saturday and All-Star Game, and the player practices for the All-Star Game. The NBA TV feed will be used for most of the programs.

With that, I expect both networks to give their best in broadcasting the annual NBA All-Star Weekend. The showcase is a fun and exciting event that basketball fans will surely not miss. After all, it is an ‘All-Star Weekend’, where the league’s best players converge in one roof.

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