Philippines, Sports, television

Barely Recognizable: PBA News Seldom Mentioned in Other Networks

Hardly mentioned: News surrounding the PBA is a seldom occurrence in ABS-CBN and GMA newscasts. (Photo credit: Philippine Basketball Association)

News surrounding the Philippine Basketball Association is hard to come by these days.

Once one of the Philippines’ national pastimes, the league has fallen on hard times in recent years due to a bevy of controversies. Nowadays, the PBA is barely mentioned at all in  TV networks outside ESPN5, a byproduct of declining interest that has alarmed the league of late.

One network, in particular, has repeatedly shunned the PBA when it comes to sports news. Enter ABS-CBN and its family of networks.

In ABS-CBN’s most recent year-end sports report, there was not even a single mention about the PBA. The network, in particular, failed to account the 50,000 or so crowd that saw Barangay Ginebra San Miguel win Game 7 of the Governors’ Cup finals over the Meralco Bolts, or the two championships won by the San Miguel Beermen last season, or the Christian Standhardinger-Chito Narvasa controversy.

It has been a pattern that is constant for the past several years. Instead of the PBA, ABS-CBN’s TV newscasts focused more on its sports properties such as the UAAP, NCAA, NBA and ABL, as well as national teams such as the Gilas basketball team and the Azkals football team.

In fairness, ANC’s Hardball, DZMM’s Fastbreak and ABS-CBN’s sports and news websites always make up for the newscasts’ oversight by mentioning and even talking about the PBA in greater detail. But even that is not enough to slap some sense in ABS-CBN’s mindset.

Now what about GMA? While they also report about the PBA on their news websites, they also do not mention the league’s news on their newscasts, and worse, they barely care about the world of sports at all since they do not even have a sports division.

Which leaves us to the only two networks that do take a look at the PBA on a regular basis: PTV-4’s ‘PTV Sports’ and CNN Philippines’ ‘Sports Desk’. Much like the PBA, they are hardly recognizable in the viewers’ consciousness, but at least they are doing their best to cover the league’s latest news with consistency and detail.

But for the two network giants in South Triangle, not mentioning the PBA on television is an disgrace to the league. Yes its popularity may have slipped of late due to these internal issues, but the PBA is still an important part of the Filipino sporting landscape and something needs to be done to rekindle the league’s interests.

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news, Philippines, Sports, television

Dissecting the Filipino Sports News Landscape with Entry of SportsCenter Philippines

It has been an eventful month so far for sports news programs in the Philippines.

As of this week there are four weekday sports news programs that currently air on Philippine television. These include:

  1. The Score (ABS-CBN S+A) – anchored by TJ Manotoc
  2. Sports Desk (CNN Philippines) – morning edition anchored by Andrei Felix, evening editions anchored by Mico Halili
  3. Gametime (ABS-CBN News Channel) – anchored by Migs Bustos
  4. PTV Sports (People’s Television Network) – anchored by Dennis Principe, Meg Siozon, Angel Atienza and Arianne Mallare

On Sunday, December 17, a fifth program will emerge. As part of ESPN’s new deal with TV5, the network will officially premiere its version of ‘SportsCenter’, to be anchored by Aaron Atayde and Lia Cruz.

Before viewers can get excited about ‘SportsCenter Philippines’, here is a summary of how each current program brings to the table. These are ranked according to quality and depth.

Sports Desk

A holdover from Solar News Channel era, CNN Philippines’ ‘Sports Desk’ has by far the best content of sports news that is to offer. The program is not shy to tackle all the sports news that people should know, whether it is the UAAP, the PBA or even other local and international sports.

It also helps that it airs three times a day, at 11:00 a.m., 6:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on weekdays. However, with news of Mico Halili potentially departing CNN Philippines for perhaps a full-time role as a commentator with ABS-CBN Sports, can the show continue to deliver with regular substitute Paolo del Rosario?

PTV Sports

This program has been in and out of PTV-4’s lineup in recent years (remember Snow Badua?), but its latest iteration is simply a straight-up summary of the whole day’s worth of sports news. There are a few interviews here and there but other than that, they are more into quick bursts of reports.

However, as PTV-4 is a government station, there is a tendency for the program to be preempted whenever President Rodrigo Duterte makes an appearance on national television. Still, when the show does air, expect plenty of juice extracted in each report.

Gametime/The Score

Both shows are currently aired on ABS-CBN sister channels: ‘Gametime’ on ANC and ‘The Score’ on S+A. Unfortunately, they do not offer much in terms of sports news as they merely focus on sporting events currently handled by ABS-CBN Sports (e.g. UAAP, NCAA, NBA, ABL), not to mention they do not usually air live.

For those who seek a greater scope into sports news (albeit on a weekly basis), there is ‘Hardball’ on ANC and ‘Fastbreak’ on DZMM. It’s sad to say that both ‘Gametime’ and ‘The Score’ are a disappointment since ABS-CBN treated them like a showbiz news program that is biased towards a particular network’s artists.

So what expectations do people have for ‘SportsCenter Philippines’? For one, the show will premiere on a Sunday (a weekend no less) and it is assumed that the program will air seven days a week as opposed to a mere weekday airing that other shows do.

Also, with TV5 possibly rebranding into a full-on sports network as ESPN5, the network is expected to highlight ‘SportsCenter Philippines’ as its centerpiece program with all the sports news that people should know. That said, it will be interesting to see how this new player fares amid a crowd of sports-hungry fans.

Good luck to ESPN5. As for its competitors, there is no way to go but up.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Live Blog: 2017 ASEAN Summit on ANC (Part IV)

The 2017 ASEAN Summit is up and running, as heads of ASEAN nations as well as other world dignitaries converge to discuss various political issues that affect both their countries and the world. At around the same time, the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit also takes place, focusing on business concerns surrounding the ASEAN region.

The ABS-CBN News Channel and CNN Philippines are the primary channels that will cover in detail the ASEAN Summit. For this live blog, I will focus on ANC, so keep refreshing this blog for the latest updates on their coverage.

4:30 p.m.

Newly-appointed Palace spokesperson Harry Roque just finished his press conference at the 2017 ASEAN Summit. After two weeks, it looks like the former congressman has warmed himself up to his new position.

And ‘Market Edge’ was extended for another 30 minutes. Oh well, ANC is going non-stop from this point forward.

4:40 p.m.

Karmina Constantino returns with ‘The Bureau’, and she kicks it off with live coverage of the 20th ASEAN-China Summit.

Now back to the newsroom as they close doors to the summit anew. If you were wondering why the main studio is not used after 9:35 a.m. on weekdays, it is because the set is used for weekly ANC talk shows.

5:10 p.m.

Lexi Schulze was supposed to go on board for ‘ANC Alerts’ at this time of the day, but with all the updates regarding the ASEAN Summit, ‘The Bureau’ is still up and running. Also, Christian Esguerra returned for another roundup of ASEAN Summit news.

This is just the afternoon edition of ‘The Bureau’ though. An evening edition, this time anchored by Ron Cruz, airs at 7:00 p.m. and is likewise devoted to foreign news.

5:25 p.m.

‘The Bureau’ just ended; however ‘Top Story’ will come in next. Oh well, it looks like our ANC personalities are putting their game faces on.

Day 2 of ANC’s coverage is about to enter the 12th hour. You got to give credit to these guys for staying around long enough to deliver the news on the ASEAN Summit each and every time.

5:30 p.m.

KC is still around for ‘Top Story’. Other than a 30-minute respite, she has been inside the ANC newsroom studio for the entire afternoon.

ANC anchors are like warriors in the desk, keeping a sharp eye on the news for long hours without complaint. KC has been doing this for over a decade now so we got to salute her for that.

5:40 p.m.

Speaking of warriors, Cathy Yang is back, microphone and all, interviewing BDO and SM’s Tessie Sy-Coson. She has been at Solaire for nearly half a day now.

6:00 p.m.

After another report from Christian, Lexi finally makes an appearance, doing a shortened version of ‘ANC Alerts’ during ‘Top Story’. Better late than never.

After that, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the audience at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. The whirlwind day doesn’t end yet.

6:15 p.m. 

While Prime Minister Modi was speaking, President Duterte was hosting the ASEAN-Korea Summit. Again it will be closed to public viewing after a few short minutes.

ANC is closing in on the 13th hour of their coverage. Damn this is getting even more interesting.

6:20 p.m.

Every Monday is The Explainer day. And as always, ANC’s resident commentator Manolo Quezon does his Teddy Locsin impression with his thoughts on the ASEAN Summit.

Didn’t we mention that he is related to the former Commonwealth president Manuel Quezon?

6:30 p.m.

Bill Velasco and Boyet Sison are supposed to come in for ‘Hardball’. However, ANC’s special coverage of the ASEAN Summit will force said show to air on a later date.

6:35 p.m.

Looks like ‘Hardball’ will come in after all. Oh well, another break.

7:00 p.m.

Back up and running for the last stretch. Now watching ‘The Bureau’ evening edition, and since Ron Cruz is not around for the day, Raine Musñgi is filling in for him.

If you are familiar with the ‘Voice of ABS-CBN’ Peter Musñgi, then Raine is his biological daughter. It does run in the family.

7:15 p.m.

Wonder why Raine does not appear often on ANC? According to her social media pages, Raine also acts as a producer off-camera, managing news reports behind the scenes.

At least she is very productive, so no problem. In the meantime, Michelle Ong is back to bring in the latest at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

7:30 p.m.

That will do it for the live blog of ANC’s 2017 ASEAN Summit coverage. Overall I was very impressed with their consistent and tireless presentation, going all-out with blow-by-blow reports of the goings-on in both Solaire Resort and Casino and at the CCP Complex.

There were some mistakes and issues that they endured, but other than that, it was all smooth-sailing for Team ANC. However, this is just Day 2 of their coverage, so expect almost the same type of coverage come tomorrow morning all the way to the night.

In the meantime, I am going to wait for ABS-CBN’s 2017 Christmas Station ID. I’m sure our favorite ANC personalities are here as well.

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business, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

A Look at the ‘New and Improved’ ANC

The ABS-CBN News Channel continues to get better.

The past few months saw a gradual makeover in ANC’s programming lineup. It all started in late January when the sports-centric newscast ‘Gametime’ premiered with ABS-CBN Sports analyst Migs Bustos at the helm.

To give way to ‘Gametime’, ANC needed to make some sacrifices. First, the network’s flagship newscast ‘The World Tonight’ was shortened back to its original 30-minute duration, then ‘Market Edge with Cathy Yang’ made some slight changes to their running time; the 9:00 a.m. edition was cut to 30 minutes, while the 3:00 p.m. edition was extended to an hour.

Late February saw another new addition to the ANC family, as longtime international news anchor Annalisa Burgos joined the network. Her arrival also led to a rebrand of ANC’s early morning newscast, with ‘Mornings @ ANC’ morphing to ‘Early Edition’.

The following week, ANC shored up its afternoon and primetime lineups as well. Here is a look at the 4:30-8:00 p.m. weekday schedule:

  • 4:30 p.m. – Hot Copy on Headstart
  • 5:00 p.m. – ANCalerts
  • 5:30 p.m. – Top Story
  • 6:30 p.m. – Hardball (M), Green Living (TU), Mukha (W), Dayaw (TH), Cityscape (F)
  • 7:00 p.m. – The Bureau
  • 7:30 p.m. – Talkback (M), Beyond Politics (TU), Future Perfect (W), The Boss (TH), Shoptalk (F)

To summarize, ‘ANCalerts’, ‘Top Story’ and ANC’s human interest shows were bumped by 30 minutes, while ‘Hot Copy on Headstart’ was moved two hours earlier. A primetime edition of ‘The Bureau’, anchored by Ron Cruz, was added, while ‘Talkback’, ‘Beyond Politics’ and ‘Shoptalk’ were shortened to 30 minutes.

Finally, the ‘Early Edition’ segment ‘Matters of Fact’ was given replay schedules as well. Hosted by Christian Esguerra, ‘Matters of Fact’ replays are aired on weekdays at 11:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.

The weekend schedule was slightly tweaked as well. Other than replays of ANC’s talk and human interest programs, the only significant move by the network came when ‘On the Money’, a financial advice program hosted by Edric Mendoza and Salve Duplito, was moved to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

After all that analyzing, it is pretty clear that the ABS-CBN News braintrust has done a very good job improving what has been a very superior product. Kudos to Ging Reyes and Nadia Trinidad for once again playing key roles in maintaining ANC’s status as the Philippines’ premier news network.

The process, of course, was a long and carefully thought one. But at the end of the day, there is no stopping the ABS-CBN News Channel in their continuous quest to innovate and satisfy the needs of business leaders and decision makers.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

Sports360 Needs a Reformat

With the UFC essentially taking over late Sunday nights, TV5 needs to find a way to make ‘Sports360’ useful again. (Logo courtesy of TV5)

The past two months were not kind to TV5’s sports-oriented show ‘Sports360’.

Since the UFC became a property of Sports5 this year, ‘Sports360’ has been preempted regularly in favor of UFC events. With the show close to becoming an afterthought, its future was thrown into question.

As TV5’s sports-oriented talk show, it is the job of ‘Sports360’ to give Kapatid sports fans the latest updates on a variety of sporting events every week. But its constant preemptions made it difficult to stay in tune with the ever-changing sports landscape.

Look at the other sports talk shows in the country (e.g. ANC’s ‘Hardball’, ABS-CBN Sports+Action’s ‘The Score’, and CNN Philippines’ ‘Sports Desk’). While they are not here to provide some entertainment (as ‘Sports360’ usually does), at least they regularly provide updates in the world of sports to the avid fan.

This is a dilemma that the new Sports5 head Patricia Bermudez-Hizon must face. After all, they are the so-called ‘Olympic network’ (they will broadcast the 2016 Summer Olympics later this year), and if they want to live to that billing, they need to make ‘Sports360’ a constant presence on the network.

One thing they would like to see is the conversion of ‘Sports360’ into a daily sports talk show, with less focus on entertainment and more on analysis and news reporting. The current hosts may be experienced on-air talent for various Sports5 programming, but to keep the show running, they need to emulate either Mico Halili or TJ Manotoc to become useful.

Since TV5 is too loaded programming-wise, the best possible channel for ‘Sports360’ would be AksyonTV, whose sports-centric format makes it a perfect fit (signal issues notwithstanding). Another option would be HYPER, but this may not please SkyCable subscribers.

In any case, TV5 must address the fate of ‘Sports360’ as soon as possible. They don’t want to turn the show into a liability, so they need to act accordingly and turn the show into something more reliable to their viewers.

It’s up to TV5 to save ‘Sports360’. Good luck.

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