Philippines, Sports, television

With NCAA Out, TV5 Focuses on International Multi-Sport Events

Coverage of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games will be held exclusively by Sports5. (Photo credit: Interaksyon.com)

The loss of NCAA rights did not stop TV5 from pursuing other sporting events.

Starting today, TV5’s family of channels will have a live and exclusive coverage of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. The SEA Games will be aired on three different platforms: VHF channel TV5, UHF channel AksyonTV 41 and livestreaming site Sports5.ph.

A majority of the coverage will be dedicated to the Philippine national teams, with major focus on the country’s basketball, volleyball and football teams. Sports5 will also provide highlights to the country’s other teams, such as athletics, boxing and swimming.

While the opening ceremonies will take place on June 5, preliminaries of events such as football, netball and table tennis will get underway today. Both the opening and closing ceremonies will take place at the Singapore National Stadium, which will also host the athletics and football events.

In the previous SEA Games at Myanmar two years ago, the Philippines endured its worst performance of the event, finishing a paltry seventh in the medal round. Much of the blame is centered on Myanmar’s inclusion of indigenous sports in lieu of other well-known disciplines, forcing the country to send a smaller-than-expected delegation.

The poor performance of the country was further justified by the lack of extensive coverage by previous coveror ABS-CBN Sports (via Studio 23), who only covered basketball, football and boxing. The reluctance and eventual unwillingness of ABS-CBN Sports to extensively cover the event marked the low point of the SEA Games on Philippine television.

With ABS-CBN Sports now focusing more on college sports such as the UAAP and the recently-acquired NCAA, TV5 decided to further its portfolio towards international multi-sporting events. And the SEA Games became their latest coup.

The acquisition of the SEA Games, along with prior additions such as the Olympics and the Asian Games, gave Sports5 the three most important events in the calendar of the Philippine Olympic Committee. Not since the early 2000s had the rights to these three events belonged to one network.

That said, it is now up to TV5 to bring back a sense of pride and honor to the Filipino athlete. This year’s SEA Games should be a proving ground for the Philippines to regain its place among Southeast Asia’s best.

The 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore will be held from June 5-16.

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Philippines, Sports, television

The Lack of SEA Games TV Coverage in the Philippines

The biennial Southeast Asian Games is a showcase where the Philippines typically excel as one the top powers in the region, along with Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. However, in this year’s event held in Myanmar, the Philippines is languishing near the bottom of the medal tally, owing to the host nation’s inclusion of indigenous sports and a fewer-than-expected athlete delegation. And the lack of television coverage justifies that.

In the past, the People’s Television Network was responsible for covering most of the SEA Games events, from the opening to the closing ceremony. However, with PTV suffering from negligence and a lack of funds, coverage of this year’s SEA Games was restricted only to the internet and print media, with a few key sports being covered on TV.

ABS-CBN’s UHF channel Studio 23 is currently airing the Philippines team’s men’s basketball, women’s football and boxing events. These events are being aired simply due to its high interest; other sports such as swimming and athletics were not included due to its lack of viewership and Studio 23’s loaded programming.

Clearly there is little attention to the SEA Games these days. The Philippine Olympic Committee is now focused on training its athletes for the Olympics, with the hope of giving the Philippines its first gold medal. While the SEA Games will remain a part of the POC’s schedule, the event is now being treated as a ‘developmental meet’ for the nation’s up-and-coming athletes, and not as an important multi-sport event.

It is unknown if Philippine TV coverage of the SEA Games will return to normal come the 2015 meet in Singapore. For now, the important matter is for the athletes to continue their improvement and succeed, in hopes of preparing for a higher level of competition.

 

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