entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

Evaluating the First Month of the NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports V.2

The NCAA’s return to ABS-CBN Sports has been a good one so far. (Logo courtesy of the NCAA)

The second incarnation of the NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports is now a month old.

The oldest collegiate league in the country returned to ABS-CBN Sports in hopes of getting back on track. So far, though, viewers were treated to a slightly similar broadcast approach as the one that Sports5 previously handled, with a few differences of course.

Here’s a look at how ABS-CBN was able to make their mark on the league so far.

Use of Taglish

Unexpectedly, the network decided to use Taglish while calling the games. In their first run from 2002-12, ABS-CBN Sports announcers called the NCAA games in English, but with Sports+Action increasingly attracting a mass audience, the use of Taglish was necessitated.

This was the same approach that TV5 used when they covered the NCAA, but unfortunately for them, they failed to catch on for various reasons.

Emphasis on Social Media

The NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports also tapped in a new market called social media. Throughout each game, tweets and Instagram posts from players, fans and even basketball enthusiasts are read by the announcers in relation to the game at hand, with an official hashtag to boot.

They even allow announcers to take pre-game selfies (a novel practice in sports broadcasting), which are then posted to their individual Instagram accounts. And for the curious viewers, graphics of the announcers’ names now include their Twitter and/or Instagram accounts.

New Announcers

Speaking of announcers, ABS-CBN Sports employed a mix of young and experienced broadcasters to the NCAA game. Anton Roxas and Andrei Felix were carried over from the original incarnation, while Boom Labrusca, who also doubles as a courtside reporter, is a neophyte to the play-by-play profession.

Unlike TV5 which used former professional players as analysts, ABS-CBN hired mostly former collegiate standouts in order to relate better with the college game. The network has used Mikee Reyes, Migs Bustos, Martin Antonio and Olsen Racela to analyze the games, with Racela having also worked with the Sports5 crew in the past.

Familiar and Not-So Familiar Courtside Reporters

Those who have watched the NCAA so far may notice some familiar and unsuspecting faces to the courtside reporter spot. Before the season began, ABS-CBN Sports announced that cosplayer, Hero TV jock and former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ housemate Myrtle Sarrosa would be one of the courtside reporters for the season.

Since then, Myrtle was joined by the aforementioned Boom Labrusca, followed by Ceej Tantengco and Rox Montealegre. Quite a familiar bunch, but one with little experience to the world of sports.

The ABS-CBN Sports courtside reporters have three different responsibilities:

  1. To report on the teams’ strategies,
  2. To interview a player’s family members and friends, school alumni, students or fans, and
  3. To interview players and coaches during pregame and postgame (if applicable)

The said strategy is similar to what TV5 employed, but with less on-cam time.

Halftime Presentations

Halftime of each game usually consists of a brief glimpse of a school’s cheering exhibition, followed by a special feature and an analysis of the first half. For the viewers who had enough of TV5’s radical changes (e.g. Moneyball), this is a welcome development to bring back the intended mission of the NCAA: to promote loyalty, camaraderie and school spirit.

HD Broadcasts and Return of Smart and PLDT

In a surprise move, ABS-CBN welcomed Smart and PLDT as sponsors. The two telecommunications outfits are a sister company of ABS-CBN’s competitor TV5, which is a stunning move to say the least.

And finally, the NCAA games are now broadcast in its full 16:9 HD glory. While ABS-CBN Sports was the first to broadcast an event in HD, they did not fully take advantage of the new technology until this year.

So far, it’s been a beneficial first month of NCAA coverage. And while some would disagree with these moves, ABS-CBN is clearly intent on taking serious steps to make the NCAA more appealing to the masses.

The season is still a long way to go, but from the looks of it, the NCAA has found a perfect partner to thrive with. With a few tweaks, expect this partnership to last a lot longer.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, talk show, television

ABS-CBN Brings Back ‘The Buzz’

Looks like ABS-CBN forgot to use the phrase ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

As announced this week, the Kapamilya network decided to rename ‘Buzz ng Bayan’ back to ‘The Buzz’. The rebranded program will be hosted by original hosts Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino, and are joined by Toni Gonzaga, who was Boy’s final co-host of the first version of ‘The Buzz’, which ended on October 13, 2013.

The first sign of ‘The Buzz”s return came via Kris Aquino’s Instagram, stating that ‘true love has a habit of coming back’, and mentioning the date ‘May 18, 2014’. Moreover, her recent contract with ABS-CBN also stated that Kris has a list of three programs, two of which (‘Kris TV’, ‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight’) are currently on the air.

Soon after, teasers for the upcoming return of ‘The Buzz’ aired during ABS-CBN’s commercial gaps, as seen in this short video below.

The return of ‘The Buzz’ came at just the right time, as ABS-CBN’s flagship Sunday showbiz talk show enters its 15th year. In addition, the rebrand means that viewers will finally see the long-awaited rivalry between ‘The Buzz’ and GMA’s ‘Startalk,’ which has been halted by ‘Startalk”s initial foray into Saturday afternoons, and the launch of ‘Buzz ng Bayan’.

Despite the fact that ‘Buzz ng Bayan’ earned higher ratings than ‘Startalk’ since the latter’s return to Sundays, it was clear that the audience had a hard time recognizing its concept that emphasized on a panel discussion and audience interaction. And while Carmina Villaroel and Janice de Belen decently played their roles well, viewers were not receptive to them either.

In the end, ABS-CBN decided to bring back ‘The Buzz’ for good reason. The program has had the longevity and the popularity that ABS-CBN’s other showbiz programs never had. And hosts Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino had great chemistry.

In other words, ABS-CBN should have KEPT ‘The Buzz’ rather than reformatting it. ‘The Buzz’ is always an icon and a symbol to the Kapamilya network’s afternoon viewing pleasure, and should never be changed even as it ages.

‘The Buzz’ returns this Sunday afternoon on ABS-CBN.

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comedy, humor, Philippines, television

Social Media and ‘Ikaw at ang Ina’

In a world where social media is becoming a force in the history of technology, television programs tried to take advantage of this new medium. ‘Bubble Gang”s ‘Ikaw at ang Ina’ is no exception.

During each sketch, the titular character Donya Ina (Michael V) questions her children’s use of social media with the phrase ‘paki-explain’, only to finish with an exclamatory ‘labyu’ with a confused reaction from her children. The sketch immediately proved popular from the first skit, due to Donya Ina’s amusing and timely delivery of jokes. And even when ‘Bubble Gang’ was off the air, Donya Ina continued to deliver the jokes through her Facebook fanpage.

In the previous week’s episode of ‘Bubble Gang’, Donya Ina criticized her daughter (Sef Cadayona) for using Facebook and Instagram for her personal enjoyment. In case you missed this joke, watch the video below.

Throughout its 18-year history, ‘Bubble Gang’ has found new ways to adapt to changes in culture and society, taking advantage of recent trends and styles. With the use of social media, it is no wonder why the writers decided to use it as a skit for ‘Ikaw at ang Ina’. And in keeping with the times, ‘Bubble Gang’ has been able to maintain its status as the top gag show in the country today.

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entertainment, Philippines

In 100 Words: Another Chito-Neri Sex Scandal

Yesterday afternoon, another sex video of Parokya ni Edgar frontman Chito Miranda and actress Neri Naig made the rounds of social media. This time the video was raunchier and more revealing. While the video spread like wildfire, Miranda immediately posted on Instagram that he felt unfazed with the incident, saying such cases only made his relationship with Neri stronger.

A few months earlier Miranda filed a complaint to track down the purported individual who uploaded the first private sex video. As of the moment the said individual’s identity remains unknown. In the meantime, this incident should only give another lesson to those who intentionally create and spread videos of celebrities in their moment of privacy, whose only purpose is to exploit the reputation of the said celebrities.

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