Solar Sports and Basketball TV are the main Philippine broadcasters of the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Meanwhile, rival networks ABS-CBN and TV5 will share the free TV coverage of the event.
On Wednesday, July 30, ABS-CBN Sports announced their schedule of games for the upcoming FIBA World Cup on their Facebook account. The list of games on both ABS-CBN 2 and ABS-CBN Sports+Action include those of the United States men’s basketball team, as well as Gilas Pilipinas national team. The said network will also air the knockout games that would lead up to the medal rounds.
TV5 will also have the rights to the FIBA World Cup, but they will only air the games of the Gilas Pilipinas team. Per the set-up made by both parties and Solar Sports, TV5 will air the Gilas games live while ABS-CBN Sports will follow suit on a delayed basis.
The announcement of both networks caused confusion and uncertainty when it was first reported back in June. TV5 even went as far as saying that the games of Gilas Pilipinas will be EXCLUSIVELY aired on the network, a ‘fact’ even confirmed by Gilas head coach and Sports5 management director Chot Reyes on Twitter.
But according to an article on Spin.ph, it was ABS-CBN Sports who were first awarded the free TV rights to the FIBA World Cup. It was only after Gilas qualified for the World Cup that Solar decided to strike another deal with TV5.
This was indeed a false advertising move by TV5. By insisting that their coverage of the Gilas matches in the Worlds would be exclusive, and not knowing about rival ABS-CBN’s own coverage, they simply alienated viewers and made fools out of their own management. In the end, they replaced their previous advertisements in favor of modified versions.
The truth is, Solar’s decision to simultaneously award both networks only intensified a fierce rivalry between the Lopez Group and the MVP Group. While their rivalry has been well-established in the corporate world, the two parties took their feud to a whole new level, simply because of Gilas Pilipinas.
Let’s just hope that both networks will work together to deliver a consistent and well-produced coverage of the national team’s matches. After all, the fans only expect nothing but the best for Gilas Pilipinas, and the coverage of their games is essential towards maintaining that support.