Philippines, Sports, television, United States

Tipid Mode: ABS-CBN’s Call of NBA Finals No Longer On-Site in Recent Years

Talk about cutting costs.

In case no one has paid attention yet, the Filipino-language commentary of the 2018 NBA Finals on ABS-CBN Channel 2 is currently held inside the network’s studios in Quezon City. No, not in Oakland, California or in Cleveland, Ohio.

Unless you’re TJ Manotoc who made the trip to the U.S. alone for the past five years (this year’s Finals will be his first since getting the call to join ABS-CBN’s North America Bureau), the commentators have stayed home for the most part. And there are reasons why they were no longer required to take the trip stateside to call the Finals.

First off, there are concerns surrounding budget. Considering the network’s long-term vision of digitalization, anything that involves plane tickets, hotel reservations, visas and working permits for at least a three-week trip may be too much of a burden for ABS-CBN.

It also did not help that the NBA returned to a 2-2-1-1-1 setup for the Finals starting in 2014. Going back and forth to different cities between Games 4-7 only adds to the cost.

Next, ABS-CBN is on a tight schedule. They made the NBA Finals available in both Channel 2 and S+A (and in different commentary languages) for this particular reason because the former has a strict schedule to follow, whereas the latter has greater flexibility with it.

In the case of overtime games like what happened in Game 1 last Friday, Channel 2 immediately ended its broadcast within minutes of the final buzzer in order to make way for ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’. This means that the local commentators would have no choice but to immediately bid farewell rather than dive deeper into the game.

And finally, ABS-CBN changed its commentary approach in the Finals in order to appeal to the masses. Which is why, whether traditional basketball viewers liked it or not, they hired Benjie Paras to join alongside Ronnie Magsanoc and Boom Gonzalez in order to describe the game in a simpler manner to fit the average Filipino’s needs.

Sending this trio stateside may be awkward to begin with considering their more liberal and oftentimes unorthodox style of commentary. But they were promoted to call the Finals for a reason: to make the NBA game easier for Filipino masses to understand.

With all due respect to the likes of Quinito Henson and Andy Jao (who were the first to actually call an NBA Finals direct from the U.S.), times are really changing. And ABS-CBN’s rather radical decision to stay home than call the Finals stateside may be their wisest decision yet considering their plans for the long-term.

People may not like this new approach but there is no other option. ABS-CBN is thinking about the future, and viewers must understand it.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

A Filipino Viewer’s Guide to the 2018 NBA Finals

Cavs and Warriors, again.

An unprecedented fourth consecutive meeting in the NBA Finals awaits the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. On one side, the Warriors look to seal their status as a modern-day dynasty, while on the other, the Cavaliers attempt to once again even this long-running saga.

For this year, Filipino viewers will have three different options to watch the NBA Finals. Here are the following ways to experience the Finals.

ABS-CBN Sports

Both ABS-CBN Channel 2 and S+A will simultaneously air the NBA Finals live. Viewers on Channel 2 will hear Filipino commentary hosted by Boom Gonzalez, Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras, while S+A will use English commentary from ESPN in the U.S., anchored by Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke.

Much like more recent NBA Finals broadcasts, Channel 2’s Filipino commentators will call the games straight from the ABS-CBN headquarters in Quezon City. In addition, TJ Manotoc will file reports on-site on news regarding the championship series.

Basketball TV and NBA Premium

The NBA Finals will also be delivered live on Basketball TV and NBA Premium, with both channels using English commentary from ESPN. In addition, BTV and NBA Premium will air extensive pre-game, post-game and off-day coverage of the Finals via NBA TV.

Basketball TV and NBA Premium are currently exclusive to Cignal and Cablelink subscribers only. The two channels are also available on digital TV via the EasyTV digibox (P2999 for purchase and P999 for renewal of subscription), but only for Metro Manila residents.

NBA League Pass

Basketball fans on the go can also watch the NBA Finals on their mobile devices via NBA League Pass. NBALP can be accessed via the NBA Game Time App on Google Play or Apple Store.

For more information on NBA League Pass, visit the NBA official website. For a step-by-step guide on subscribing to NBA League Pass, click the following links for Globe, Smart, PLDT and SkyCable subscribers.

If the last three meetings were of any indication, then expect another compelling battle between the Warriors and Cavs. Still, it remains to be seen if LeBron James will be able to sustain his seemingly one-man act against a deeper and stronger Warriors squad that has won two of the first three championship series.

Either way, NBA fans are in for a treat. Good luck.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

A Bilingual NBA Finals on ABS-CBN Sports

English or Filipino?

That has been a long-standing dilemma for NBA fans whenever the Finals begin. For the past several years, they have two options to choose from: free TV NBA Finals coverage featuring local commentators in the Filipino language, or cable TV NBA Finals coverage featuring American commentators in the English language.

This year is different, however.

For the 2017 NBA Finals, ABS-CBN decided to air every game live on its flagship Channel 2. As always, the broadcast on Channel 2 features Filipino-language commentary, led by Boom Gonzalez and TJ Manotoc who were assigned on-site.

But that’s not where it all ended. The network also elected to air the Finals live on S+A channel 23 as well, albeit with the use of American commentators in the English language.

The main reason behind this bilingual simulcast of the finals is simple: to cater to two types of NBA fans. After all, there are some fans who like the Filipino broadcast while others choose to listen to the more natural American broadcast.

The decision also stems from the controversy surrounding SkyCable and Solar Entertainment. Thanks to the sudden pullout of the latter’s Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV from SkyCable’s lineup, ABS-CBN has no choice but to air the English commentary of the Finals on S+A to benefit disgruntled subscribers.

However, for those who have Cignal and Cablelink in their service, there is no need to worry. Solar Entertainment’s Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV are also covering the NBA Finals in its original English form.

As of June 6, the Golden State Warriors are leading the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-0 in the 2017 NBA Finals. The Warriors are also undefeated in postseason play, with 14 wins through its 14 games.

Games 3 and 4 will take place this Thursday and Saturday respectively in Cleveland. If necessary, Game 5 (at Golden State) will be next Tuesday, Game 6 (at Cleveland) on June 16 and Game 7 (at Golden State) on June 19.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

2015 NBA Finals Still a Hit on ABS-CBN Despite Delayed Broadcasts

The 2015 NBA Finals, won by the Golden State Warriors in six games, earned better-than-expected ratings for ABS-CBN. (Photo credits: NBA official Facebook, Getty Images)

The delayed broadcasts of the NBA Finals on ABS-CBN failed to dampen the spirits of viewers everywhere.

The series between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers garnered good ratings for the Kapamilya network. This despite the fact that the Finals coverage was once again aired on tape delay due to various programming concerns.

The ratings for each game of the NBA Finals are as follows:

Game 1 (June 5): 16.8% (Kantar) / 11.4% (AGB Nielsen)

Game 2 (June 8): 17.0% (Kantar) / 12.4% (AGB Nielsen)

Game 3 (June 10): 16.3% (Kantar) / 11.4% (AGB Nielsen)

Game 4 (June 12): 18.7% (Kantar) / Unavailable (AGB Nielsen)

Game 5 (June 15): 18.2% (Kantar) / Unavailable (AGB Nielsen)

Game 6 (June 17): 18.5% (Kantar) / 18.3% (AGB Nielsen)

According to Kantar, the NBA Finals on ABS-CBN earned a top 10 finish for each of the games played on a particular day. Overall, the series averaged an 17.6% rating, which was better than expected.

Over at AGB Nielsen, four of the six games of the NBA Finals managed to finish among the top 20 most viewed programs. The numbers for Games 4 and 5 have yet to be released as of today.

Last year’s NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat averaged a 16.5% rating according to Kantar, while AGB Nielsen’s numbers state that the five-game series averaged a 14.6% rating. Those finals were also aired on a delayed basis, but then again, the audience didn’t mind about it.

Overall, it was another successful season for the NBA on ABS-CBN Sports.¬†While there were still some criticisms¬†regarding tape-delay games, use of local commentary and excessive ad placement, there was little doubt about¬†ABS-CBN’s capabilities in¬†delivering the NBA games to a wider audience.

That said, expect bigger things to come once the 2015-16 season begins. And ABS-CBN Sports will be armed and ready to serve NBA and basketball fans across the country.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

The 2015 NBA Finals Broadcast Setup in the Philippines

 

The 2015 NBA Finals begin June 5, with the winner between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers receiving the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Congratulations Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Stephen Curry and LeBron James have accomplished 3/4 of their championship journey, and now, four wins separate them from the Larry O’Brien trophy. The 2015 NBA Finals¬†is just a week away from the opening tip.

Three networks in the Philippines will have the privilege to cover this year’s NBA Finals. One of them will be ABS-CBN Sports, and upon the completion of the Western Conference Finals, the network officially released their coverage schedule for the Finals.

Once again, free TV viewers¬†will have to endure a tortuous routine of delayed telecasts. The NBA Finals on ABS-CBN Channel 2 will air on a 20-minute delay, except for games on Monday with an 80-minute delay, a virtually similar routine as last year’s finals.

For the fifth straight finals, ABS-CBN Sports will be represented by Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc, part of a global media field consisting of over 200 countries that will head to Oakland, California and Cleveland, Ohio to cover the finals. This will be the 19th consective NBA Finals where the Philippines will send a media delegation.

Same-day replays will be aired on ABS-CBN Sports+Action at 8:00 p.m. News coverage of the Finals will be featured on ABS-CBN News programs such as ‘TV Patrol’, and Sports+Action’s flagship program ‘The Score’.

For those with cable subscription, Basketball TV and NBA Premium will air the NBA Finals LIVE, featuring¬†English commentary from¬†ESPN/ABC in the¬†U.S. In addition, both networks will air pregame and postgame¬†shows¬†via the NBA TV program ‘Gametime’.

The Finals will also have same-day replays on the two networks, and if possible, another encore broadcast may be scheduled during non-game days. NBA Gametime will also air media availability and practice sessions on the day prior to each game.

And for internet and mobile subscribers, NBA League Pass on Globe will air the NBA Finals as well, with on-demand replays also available.

The 2015 NBA Finals will begin on June 5 (Manila time), and will conclude between June 12 and 19.

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Academy Awards Now Delayed Broadcast on Free TV

Unlike in previous years, the Oscars were not shown live on free Philippine TV. Instead it will be aired on a six-day delayed broadcast over ABS-CBN Channel 2 this Sunday.

When Studio 23 reformatted into ABS-CBN Sports + Action last January, it sacrificed a huge part of its programming. Among those purged by the new network were its broadcasts of the Academy Awards, which took place earlier today.

This year’s Academy Awards were shown live via the Lifestyle Network, which is not available on the popular P490 plan, and can only be accessed in other SkyCable subscriptions. Consequently, due to the reformat of Channel 23, it also forced ABS-CBN Channel 2 to air the Oscars, as it is commonly known, on a six-day delayed basis as part of ‘Sunday’s Best’.

Airing the Oscars live on free TV Channel 2 has had some serious consequences. First, it sacrifices its broadcast of highly-rated programs such as ‘The Singing Bee’ and ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. Second, the three-hour event would cause it to overlap with ‘It’s Showtime’. And finally, the Oscars were not as well known to lower-class Filipinos as ABS-CBN’s other weekday live events such as the Miss Universe pageant and the NBA Finals.

Having said that, it was unfortunate that this year’s Oscars never aired live on free TV, unlike before when it was possible for Studio 23 to air it. But thanks to the internet and cable TV, movie addicts were able to witness the antics of Ellen DeGeneres and the announcement of the winners. Still, it didn’t help that some movie fanatics without any access to these new technologies were unable to witness the Academy Awards earlier today.

 

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