Philippines, Sports, television, United States

Tipid Mode: ABS-CBN’s Call of NBA Finals No Longer On-Site in Recent Years

Talk about cutting costs.

In case no one has paid attention yet, the Filipino-language commentary of the 2018 NBA Finals on ABS-CBN Channel 2 is currently held inside the network’s studios in Quezon City. No, not in Oakland, California or in Cleveland, Ohio.

Unless you’re TJ Manotoc who made the trip to the U.S. alone for the past five years (this year’s Finals will be his first since getting the call to join ABS-CBN’s North America Bureau), the commentators have stayed home for the most part. And there are reasons why they were no longer required to take the trip stateside to call the Finals.

First off, there are concerns surrounding budget. Considering the network’s long-term vision of digitalization, anything that involves plane tickets, hotel reservations, visas and working permits for at least a three-week trip may be too much of a burden for ABS-CBN.

It also did not help that the NBA returned to a 2-2-1-1-1 setup for the Finals starting in 2014. Going back and forth to different cities between Games 4-7 only adds to the cost.

Next, ABS-CBN is on a tight schedule. They made the NBA Finals available in both Channel 2 and S+A (and in different commentary languages) for this particular reason because the former has a strict schedule to follow, whereas the latter has greater flexibility with it.

In the case of overtime games like what happened in Game 1 last Friday, Channel 2 immediately ended its broadcast within minutes of the final buzzer in order to make way for ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’. This means that the local commentators would have no choice but to immediately bid farewell rather than dive deeper into the game.

And finally, ABS-CBN changed its commentary approach in the Finals in order to appeal to the masses. Which is why, whether traditional basketball viewers liked it or not, they hired Benjie Paras to join alongside Ronnie Magsanoc and Boom Gonzalez in order to describe the game in a simpler manner to fit the average Filipino’s needs.

Sending this trio stateside may be awkward to begin with considering their more liberal and oftentimes unorthodox style of commentary. But they were promoted to call the Finals for a reason: to make the NBA game easier for Filipino masses to understand.

With all due respect to the likes of Quinito Henson and Andy Jao (who were the first to actually call an NBA Finals direct from the U.S.), times are really changing. And ABS-CBN’s rather radical decision to stay home than call the Finals stateside may be their wisest decision yet considering their plans for the long-term.

People may not like this new approach but there is no other option. ABS-CBN is thinking about the future, and viewers must understand it.

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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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