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

FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part IPart II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: PBA at Philippine Arena

The final three games of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals were held at the Philippine Arena. Not surprisingly, the venue was packed to the rafters, thanks in large part to the presence of crowd favorite and defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

Ginebra went on to defeat the Meralco Bolts in seven games, with Game 7 becoming the highest-attended PBA game ever with over 54,000 spectators. The victory also gave San Miguel Corporation a perfect 3-for-3 in terms of championships in the 2016-17 PBA season, with the San Miguel Beermen having conquered both the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup as well.

NOT: ESPN5

TV5 started 2017 by defiantly telling viewers to ‘choose courage’ in their station ID. By the end of the year, however, courage turned to cowardice as Chot Reyes gradually turned TV5 into a sports-oriented network and stripped whatever’s left of the station’s content.

The final straw came in October when TV5 signed a deal with ESPN to rename its sports division into ESPN5. Since then, the collaboration purchased the broadcast rights to the National Football League and U.S. NCAA college basketball to go along with local sports such as the PBA and the Philippine SuperLiga.

HOT: International Football on S+A

Already with the rights to the NBA, UAAP, NCAA, FIFA football, ABL and ONE Championship among other sports, ABS-CBN Sports acquired another big fish late in the year thanks to a collaboration with beIN Sport and Triple CH. The deal brought in the Premier League, La Liga and the UEFA Champions League to S+A.

The acquisition is, in many ways, beneficial to Filipino football fans who are craving to watch some of the world’s top footballers like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for free. However, with football having one of the most expensive broadcast rights in the world, it remains to be seen if ABS-CBN Sports’ risk will become a reward.

NOT: PFL on PTV-4

Suffice to say, the inaugural season of the Philippines Football League did not work out on the television side. The league faced plenty of problems with coveror PTV-4, namely weather postponements and the unexpected live broadcasts of President Rodrigo Duterte’s speeches.

By August the PFL suddenly disappeared from television as it became fed up with PTV-4’s presidential priorities. With the first season already complete, perhaps the time is now to find a new broadcast partner for next season.

HOT: NBA on ABS-CBN

2017 was a surprisingly productive year for ABS-CBN’s NBA coverage. Beginning with the 2017 playoffs, S+A aired NBA games every day up until the finals, with a few dates reserved for doubleheaders.

Once the finals began, ABS-CBN Sports employed a simulcast on both Channel 2 and S+A. The former featured commentary from Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc live from the U.S. while the latter used the feed featuring ESPN announcers Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke.

ABS-CBN also made NBA games available on S+A’s HD platform, which was previously separate and distinct from its SD counterpart. However, ABS-CBN’s surprise increase in NBA game coverage was just a reprieve for SkyCable subscribers, no thanks in part to a brewing controversy.

NOT: Solar Entertainment/SkyCable Controversy

It was deja vu all over again as Solar Entertainment pulled out its cable channels from SkyCable amid furor over NBA broadcast rights. The network claimed that ABS-CBN owed them millions of pesos for the rights to carry Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV.

The conflict remains unresolved as of now due to conflicting statements between the two parties. This left angry NBA fans with no choice but to switch over to other cable and satellite outlets or subscribe to NBA League Pass.

HOT: Sports News Programs on TV

2017 saw two new sports news programs debut on Philippine television. In January, the ABS-CBN News Channel premiered ‘Gametime’ with Migs Bustos at the helm, while in December, ESPN5 brought in ‘SportsCenter Philippines’ with Aaron Atayde, Lia Cruz, Magoo Marjon and Amanda Fernandez as its anchors.

Meanwhile, CNN Philippines’ ‘Sports Desk’ lost one of its pillars as Mico Halili announced his departure from the network amid rumors of a reorganization. Finally, PTV-4 announced that PTV Sports would return as a standalone program after nearly a year’s absence, with Dennis Principe once again at the helm alongside Meg Siozon and Angel Atienza.

NOT: WWE on FOX

Carriage issues also got in the way of WWE programming on FOX Philippines’ family of networks as it announced that they would cease ties with the wresting promotion after a six-year run. This was due to the two parties’ inability to agree on a renewal.

Shortly thereafter, TV5 announced that they would air WWE programs on their networks, but so far, only the condensed edition of SmackDown is currently on their lineup. As for Raw, the commercial-free 90-minute edition was made available on WWE’s YouTube page (for Philippine viewers only) while other programs can be seen via the WWE Network service.

Summary and Outlook

Overall, 2017 was both a challenge and an experience for media in the Philippines. Longstanding issues and pressing concerns were all over the place as each network tried its best to resolve each and every one of them.

Looking ahead to 2018, there are still plenty more challenges to conquer and some new tasks to take. The evolution in media does not stop here and From the Tube will continue to bring in the latest news in the world of broadcasting come next year.

In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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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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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

2015 NBA All-Star Weekend Broadcast Notes

The 2015 NBA All-Star Game will take place at Madison Square Garden. (Photo credit: National Basketball Association)

The NBA’s midseason showcase is a few days away.

This year’s All-Star Weekend will take place in two different venues within New York City. The Rising Stars Challenge and All-Star Saturday will be held at Barclays Center, while the All-Star Game will be played at Madison Square Garden.

The NBA All-Star Weekend will be covered in the Philippines by the following networks:

  • ABS-CBN Sports – Rising Stars Challenge on Channel 2. All-Star Saturday and All-Star Game on Sports+Action Channel 23. Broadcast team will be Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc, augmented by Turner Sports and NBA TV International feed.
  • Basketball TV – All events, plus live coverage of All-Star practice, Adam Silver press conference, and Jam Session. Delayed coverage of Celebrity Game and D-League All-Star Game. Will use Turner Sports, ESPN and NBA TV International English-language feed. Pre-taped player interviews with Riki Flores to be aired throughout the week.
  • NBA Premium – All events, plus live coverage of All-Star practice, Adam Silver press conference, Jam Session, Celebrity Game and D-League All-Star Game. Will use Turner Sports, ESPN and NBA TV U.S. English-language feed.

In addition, the NBA All-Star events will be aired via NBA League Pass for Globe mobile subscribers.

The NBA All-Star Weekend in New York City will take place from February 14 to 16 (Manila time).

 

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

Fan Complaints on NBA Coverage

The NBA is responsible for assigning the games to its international partners, giving all 30 teams the needed exposure.

The live NBA games in the Philippines are currently aired on four different channels. Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV air the games on a daily basis, while ABS-CBN Sports and Fox Sports Asia air the games at least twice a week. However, not all fans are happy with the selection of games that each channel gets.

Almost everyday fans voice their grievances on social media over the assigned game, claiming that the game of their favorite team should have been aired. Some even go as far as blaming the network for its supposed favoritism over the also-rans, or teams with a recent history of futility. Others also complain over the delayed broadcast of some games. Whatever the reason, the fans’ anger over the network’s featured game is usually unavoidable.

For your information, the office of the National Basketball Association is responsible for assigning the games to its international distributors. While the NBA has the right to assign the most compelling matchups to American networks ESPN, ABC and TNT, this is a different case outside the United States and Canada. Thus for all intents and purposes, the NBA always tries its best to give all 30 teams its fair share of airtime to its partners around the world.

In addition, the NBA also promotes the NBA League Pass as an alternative outlet for fans. NBALP is an out-of-market subscription outlet that airs up to 40 regular season games every week. And while the price may be more expensive than an ordinary cable subscription, this latest venture should help the most loyal of fans in getting their NBA fix.

With these options, fans can enjoy watching their favorite teams almost every day, no matter the record. But for fans still yapping on NBA’s selection, just write a letter of complaint to the commissioner’s office for an explanation. After all, this is just a game. 

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

No Monday NBA Games on Studio 23 for December

Last season ABS-CBN deferred from airing NBA games on Monday during December and early January, for no apparent reason. And basketball fans were obviously unhappy with the network’s belated move. Fast forward to this season, and ABS-CBN was again up to the same old tricks.

The game between the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers, which was finished hours earlier, was advertised to air at 10:30 a.m on Studio 23. However, basketball fans were surprised to see the Asianovela ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal‘ instead, followed by a re-run of ‘Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata‘ and then the movie block ‘Lunch Box Office’. Enraged by the non-airing, basketball fans flooded the Studio 23 and ABS-CBN Sports pages on Facebook in hopes of an explanation, but ABS-CBN has yet to release a statement at this hour.

In my opinion, ABS-CBN’s old trick was simply ridiculous. By pulling the advertised game off the air, and not informing the viewers in advance, it angered many loyal basketball fans. Had ABS-CBN been able to inform the viewers as early as Friday, they would have been busy catching up to today’s other business. But instead they were busy awaiting for Studio 23’s 10:30 a.m. program, and what they got was a ‘Jewel in the Palace‘-like series, an old sitcom and an old comedy movie. And that is how ridiculous their decision is.

ABS-CBN has a lot of explaining to do. And while the NBA on Studio 23 won’t be airing on Mondays for this month, basketball fans can still catch up to their favorite team’s games in any of these platforms: Basketball TV, NBA Premium TV, Fox Sports Asia, or NBA League Pass. The NBA will still air on the ABS-CBN free TV networks, but for this month, they will only air on weekends, and possibly on the day after Christmas and New Year.

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