After a brief break in the action due to the Philippine Azkals’ participation in the 2014 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup, the United Football League resumes Division I action tonight at Taguig’s Emperador Stadium. However, the league will now have a new TV schedule thanks to a new agreement between the UFL and Sports5.
Under the new schedule, UFL games will now be seen from Tuesday to Friday at 8:00 p.m. on AksyonTV. However, only the second Tuesday and Thursday matches will be seen live, while the opening matches on those days will be seen on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. Saturday fixtures will remain non-televised.
The new UFL broadcast deal came after the league and AksyonTV were criticized for prioritizing the UFL broadcasts over the Philippine Basketball Association. During the Philippine Cup quarterfinals, the first game of Tuesday doubleheaders were not aired live due to the UFL matches, forcing irate basketball fans to vent their anger on social media.
As a result, Sports5 was forced to prioritize the 5:30 p.m. broadcasts of PBA games on AksyonTV, beginning with the Commissioner’s Cup. However, this also led to late-night telecasts of UFL games, with some of them airing at 10:00 p.m. or later.
UFL President Randy Roxas believes that by promoting the UFL games into a ‘nighttime habit’, they hope that the league’s fanbase will grow. And the UFL’s new schedule should benefit football fans coming from work, since the 5:00 p.m. matches may pose a problem to their hectic schedules.
The UFL, a young and promising football league, has a long way to go in terms of quality and popularity. A four-day weekly broadcast over AksyonTV should help matters.