live events, Philippines, Sports, television

Another Five Years for the UAAP on ABS-CBN Sports

Record crowds like last October’s NU-FEU UAAP men’s basketball title match were a key reason why the UAAP and ABS-CBN Sports decided to renew their existing broadcast deal. (Photo credit: ABS-CBNNews.com)

Signed, sealed, and delivered.

As expected, the UAAP decided to renew its existing broadcast rights deal with ABS-CBN Sports for another five years. The extended contract will begin starting Season 78 (2015-16) and will last through Season 82 (2019-20).

This will ensure that the partnership between the UAAP and ABS-CBN will reach its 20th year once it wraps up its newest contract, making it the longest tenured broadcast deal among the current sports leagues in the country.

The latest contract extension was not without any obstacles, however. Back in February, TV5’s sports division (Sports5) submitted a letter of intent to the UAAP board with regards to the league’s television broadcasts.

Sports5 would have been a great partner for the UAAP. Unfortunately, their poor handling of the NCAA broadcasts, not to mention the lack of extensive promotion and coverage in sports other than basketball, proved to be a hindrance that is too much to overcome.

The decision to renew the existing contract was based on the league’s recent spike in popularity. Leading the way are men’s basketball and women’s volleyball, which continues to be the focus of attention in ABS-CBN’s coverage.

True to form, both disciplines attracted record crowds during the past few years, especially during the championship series. In fact, in the last three title deciders in either men’s basketball or women’s volleyball, over 20,000 spectators packed both the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the Mall of Asia Arena.

Even more impressive was the fact that ABS-CBN Sports began to show weekly live coverage of men’s football and men’s volleyball via Balls HD 167, with the said sports continuing to air on tape-delay via ABS-CBN Sports+Action. As the new contract gets underway, expect an even more extensive coverage of other UAAP sports, in various platforms.

That said, the renewal of broadcast rights between the UAAP and ABS-CBN Sports should only further the league’s increasing popularity. The UAAP may now be more popular than ever before, but without the help of ABS-CBN Sports, it may have never achieved the blockbuster success that it has enjoyed today.

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Philippines, Sports, television

NCAA on TV5 Digs an Even Deeper Hole

The NCAA on TV5 received its latest black eye.

Monday saw two eventful matches with contrasting results. In the first game, the Perpetual Altas stunned the San Beda Red Lions 76-75, after which the Red Lions filed a protest claiming that Joel Jolangcob’s three-pointer at the end of the third quarter should have been nullified on the grounds that the Altas committed a prior 24-second shotclock violation.

But it was the second game between the Mapua Cardinals and the EAC Generals that stole the show, for all the wrong reasons.

With 28.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter and EAC leading 86-77, Generals playmaker John Tayongtong punched Mapua guard CJ Isit. Teammate Leo Gabo came into Isit’s defense and shoved Tayongtong, after which the bench-clearing brawl began that eventually stopped the game.

The Mapua-EAC game was shown on both TV5 and AksyonTV. But just as the arena announcer began to make an announcement regarding the player penalties and the official conclusion of the game, TV5 elected to cut the game short in favor of ‘Aksyon Prime’, and in one final measure, the station’s announcers urged viewers to switch to AksyonTV.

This is not the first time that TV5 cut its NCAA coverage short in favor of the news. Over two months ago, the closing minutes of a first-round game between Lyceum and Mapua was abruptly cut in favor of an impromptu speech by President Noynoy Aquino, which essentially kicked off ‘Aksyon Prime’.

Their latest act, while more excusable than the first, is just another way of treating the NCAA like a second-class citizen. Yes, they may be focusing their energies more on the Gilas basketball team of late, but they should have been treating the NCAA equally like their other broadcast properties.

Honestly, TV5 should have finished the airing of the game. The official announcement was seconds away, and yet they decided to do what is infamously known as a ‘Heidi moment’ in television lore, which is unacceptable to viewers.

With still a few more games to go, TV5 needs to learn from these mistakes as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the NCAA will have to find a new partner for next season.

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