news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, Sports, television

AksyonTV Needs a Spinoff Channel

A revival of the AKTV brand on Channel 41, plus a new News5 Network on Cignal, should solve the identity crisis of AksyonTV. (Logo courtesy of TV5)

The time for AksyonTV to spin off into two separate channels is now.

The past few months saw AksyonTV increase its emphasis on sports coverage. Just recently, Sports5 acquired broadcast rights to the FilSports Basketball Association, the Philippine Commercial Basketball League*, the League of Legends World Championship, and the International Premier Tennis League.

This, in addition to existing broadcast rights to leagues such as the Philippine Super Liga, the United Football League and the Women’s National Collegiate Athletics Association, gives AksyonTV a more sports-oriented lineup than in past years. Further proof of the network’s ongoing evolution is the presence of instructional segments such as ‘TiuTorials’ and ‘Power Tips’, as well as other sporting highlights.

But while AksyonTV is now focusing more on sports, news programming remained a constant presence. Simulcasts of Radyo5 programs, TV5 newscasts and public affairs programming continue to air on the said network, as it has been the case since 2011.

The increasing imbalance between news and sports programming on AksyonTV should be a cause of concern to News5 and Sports5 heads Luchi Cruz-Valdes and Chot Reyes, respectively. As AksyonTV moves further and further into sports coverage, it is clear that they need to make a change.

Remember the AKTV block on IBC-13? Perhaps TV5 should revive the AKTV brand, and place it on free TV channel 41, in order to give ABS-CBN Sports+Action a run for their money.

If TV5 can improve that channel’s signal, AKTV-41 should pose a challenge to ABS-CBN’s free TV sports-oriented channel. That is a big if, since Sports+Action has the bigger sporting events such as the UAAP, NCAA and NBA to back it up.

As for the news half of AksyonTV, the best possible solution is to turn it into a Cignal-exclusive channel. Perhaps the name News5 Network (N5N) could fit the bill.

That channel should be News5’s answer to DZMM TeleRadyo and ABS-CBN News Channel, as far as Cignal subscribers are concerned. Focusing mostly on Radyo5 simulcasts, TV5 newscasts, and even Digital5 exclusives should be the said network’s priority.

That said, the identity crisis on AksyonTV needs an immediate solution. Splitting it into two separate channels should benefit both News5 and Sports5 in the long term.

One can only hope that TV5 can make the right decision on their UHF counterpart. After all, they don’t want Channel 41 to look so cluttered.

*AksyonTV has dropped the PBA simulcasts on TV5 since the start of the 2015-16 season, in favor of airing the FBA and PCBL.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

ABS-CBN Goes All Out With Local NBA Commentary

The NBA on ABS-CBN Sports is now in Taglish on a full-time basis.

Since opening week, all NBA games on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Sports+Action are called straight from the network’s studios in Quezon City. The commentary of the games are being rotated among its four announcers: Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras, Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc.

It can be recalled that ABS-CBN began to air NBA regular season games with their commentators at the start of this year. Initially the local commentary is exclusive to Channel 2, but come the conference finals, it has been extended to its sister station on Channel 23.

During the previous season’s NBA Finals, however, ABS-CBN elected to keep their local crew at the studio instead of sending them to the United States, presumably to save costs. This seems more logical, as the finals games on the network are now broadcast on a delayed basis due to various programming concerns.

This season, ABS-CBN made the jump towards an all-local NBA coverage for all of its games. The debut of the full-time ‘localized’ NBA coverage took place on opening night last October 28, when Sports+Action aired the Cleveland Cavaliers-Chicago Bulls matchup with commentary from Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras.

This latest move by ABS-CBN Sports is intended towards attracting a more ‘masa’ audience. But for those disenchanted with this decision, don’t worry, because NBA games on Basketball TV, Fox Sports Asia and NBA Premium TV will still feature commentary from American announcers.

NBA games are currently aired on ABS-CBN Sports+Action every Friday, Sunday and Monday, and on ABS-CBN every Saturday. ABS-CBN Sports will also air a Christmas game and several late-season games if possible.

For more information on the upcoming NBA broadcasts in the Philippines, click on this link.

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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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Philippines, Sports

In 100 Words: No Euroleague on BTV, Again

The Euroleague is arguably the second most widely recognized basketball league in the world, next to the NBA. But its coverage in the Philippines has been rather patchy, at best.

In the past, Basketball TV covered Euroleague matches from the eliminations all the way to the finals. But there have been two instances where BTV did not air any Euroleague games.

In the 2009-10 season, the now-defunct ESPN Star Sports group covered the Euroleague games. This season, the Euroleague was shut out of any sports-centric cable network in the country, presumably due to its lack of popularity among basketball aficionados in the country.

Nobody knows when will Euroleague basketball return to Philippine shores, but for a league so highly regarded, they surely deserve some respect, even from the PBA and Philippine basketball.

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live events, news, Philippines, Sports, television

The Last Home Stand That Never Was

The PLDT Last Home Stand was advertised as a tuneup game for the Gilas Pilipinas basketball team, until a last-second announcement forced the players to engage in practice drills with the NBA selection. (Poster courtesy of the MVP Group of Companies)

The PLDT Last Home Stand was supposed to be a tuneup game for the Gilas Pilipinas basketball team in preparation for the FIBA World Cup. However, it did not turn out as advertised.

Last night’s event, which involved the Gilas team and a contingent of NBA players led by All-Stars James Harden, DeMar DeRozan and Damien Lillard, was turned into a practice drill. The announcement came after the NBA threatened its players with suspensions and fines if they played in an ‘unsanctioned’ match, or in Filipino terms, ‘ligang labas’.

The unfortunate turn of events did not sit well with fans, who paid as much as P23,000 just to watch a significant tuneup game. As a result, boos rained down the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with some fans demanding refunds for their tickets.

With the event taking a turn for the worse, PLDT executive vice president Ariel Fermin announced later that night that ticket refunds for disgruntled fans will be honored, but still reminded fans that the event was for the benefit of victims of Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda. He even added that ‘there was no mention of a game’, but media outlets who promoted The Last Home Stand in advance said otherwise.

In the aftermath of the poorly-received event, PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan apologized to fans for the turnout of the event. He then said that PLDT will be responsible for the repercussions surrounding the event.

Despite the unexpected change of plans, TV5 still aired The PLDT Last Home Stand as scheduled. But with tonight’s events already cancelled, the usual filler programs featuring Tagalized movies will be aired instead.

The PLDT Last Home Stand was supposed to be the follow-up to the successful Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend in 2011. However, the latter event that also involved an NBA selection was held during an NBA lockout, in which player contracts were suspended while negotiations were ongoing.

All in all, it was a public relations nightmare for the MVP Group of Companies, particularly PLDT. The event was hyped for months, beginning with the PBA and NCAA games, and culminating with the appearance of NBA players on the noontime show ‘Eat Bulaga’ last Monday. But all that hype went down the drain as the NBA decided to get involved with the charity event.

In the end, it was harsh lesson learned by the MVP Group, something they will remember for years to come. Let’s just hope that the unfortunate aftermath of the event will in no way affect the FIBA World Cup preparations of Gilas Pilipinas.

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