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

Rudely Interrupted: T5N Does a Heidi Anew for the NFL and U.S. NCAA

Remember the infamous ‘Heidi Game’ in American football?

Back on November 17, 1968, an American Football League (AFL) game between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders was rudely cut on NBC during the fourth quarter in order to air the program ‘Heidi’ on time. The incident caused viewers to miss out on the game’s final minutes, which saw the Jets kick a field goal only to see Oakland win the game on two touchdowns.

This incident led to the NFL requiring its television partners to air the games in its entirety. Unfortunately, one Filipino television network appears to ignore this rule.

In 2014, TV5 gave NCAA fans no favors when it interrupted two of its live games in favor of news coverage. The first instance, Lyceum vs. Mapua, was cut short in favor of then-President Noynoy Aquino’s impromptu speech, while the second instance, EAC vs. Mapua, featured a bench-clearing brawl and was consequently cut in favor of ‘Aksyon Prime’.

As a result, the NCAA decided not to re-sign with TV5 and chose ABS-CBN Sports as its broadcast partner instead. But this is not the last time The 5 Network became embroiled in such controversy.

September’s NFL Kickoff Game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons was delayed by over an hour due to inclement weather. Consequently, T5N did another ‘Heidi’ and started ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ on time, although they still inserted the live feed of the NFL game during the Raffy Tulfo in Action segment.

T5N also did the same thing Wednesday afternoon when they aired a U.S. NCAA men’s basketball game between Duke and Kentucky. While they still complied in both of these cases, the fact that they pushed through with ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ didn’t sit well with some viewers.

Then again, neither the NFL nor the U.S. NCAA basketball were popular with Filipino sports fans. At this point, ESPN5 is questioning the viability of both sports, especially when the country’s pastimes now are local basketball, volleyball and to a lesser extent soccer.

Also, there is a concern regarding T5N’s insistence on a noontime newscast at the expense of live sports. For all intents and purposes, ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ is now more of a ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ spinoff, with less emphasis on news and more on citizen complaints.

If Chot Reyes were to be approached, he might as well convince Luchi Cruz-Valdes to cancel ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ and proceed with a taped-as-live TV revival of ‘Wanted’. Because who needs a noontime newscast anyway when the news gets thrown out the window.

Either way the never-ending problems within T5N are once again prevalent. Let’s face it, with such an incompetent personnel it’s no wonder they have a disorganized schedule.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

TV5 Airs One Game of NCAA Final Four. And It Sucks.

The NCAA Final Four begins tomorrow, but only one game will air on TV5. (Photo credit: Inquirer.net)

The NCAA Season 90 men’s basketball Final Four begins tomorrow, but TV5 will continue to air just one game. ONE!

The second Final Four game between the second-seeded Arellano Chiefs and the third-seeded JRU Heavy Bombers will be the only game airing on the main TV5 network. Meanwhile, the first game between the top-seeded San Beda Red Lions and the fourth-seeded Perpetual Help Altas will be relegated to AksyonTV.

Both games will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena starting at 2:00 p.m.

Having reached the critical point of the season, it is expected that TV5 will air both games of the NCAA Final Four, considering its importance. But as it turned out, old habits do die hard for the Kapatid network.

Consider this: from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m., TV5 airs Tagalized foreign films under the ‘Movie Max 5’ banner. That means for over 2 1/2 hours, the Kapatid network is airing nothing but movies that have been aired over and over again by HBO, Star Movies, and other free TV networks.

So much for being bored.

The only times that the 1:30-4:00 p.m. window became relevant was when important sports events took place. Such was the case during the recently-concluded Youth Olympic Games, FIBA World Cup and Asian Games.

That said, it would have helped TV5 if both games were to air. Instead, they balked at this opportunity, and as a result, a movie will air on the aforementioned timeslot rather than a Final Four game.

The increasing tension between TV5 and the NCAA can no longer be ignored. Three years of timeslot and channel changes, questionable scheduling and personnel decisions, unnecessary gimmicks, lack of promotion by the former, and controversial events such as the Mapua-EAC brawl, are beginning to take its toll on the relationship between the two parties.

And this latest programming decision by TV5 only compounds an already deteriorating situation.

Tomorrow, four NCAA teams will face off to determine a pair of Finals berths. But with TV5 airing just one game, don’t expect anything from their Final Four broadcasts.

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

Back to ‘Normal’ Ways for AksyonTV

AksyonTV brought back reruns of programs such as ‘Cocktales’ following the conclusion of the 2014 Asian Games. (Photo credit: Daphne.ph)

After sharing the coverage of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the Asian Games with TV5, it is back to ‘normal’ for the embattled AksyonTV.

The conclusion of these sports events means that re-runs of old AksyonTV and TV5 programs were once again occupying the network’s vacant hours.  Other than the ongoing NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the rest of AksyonTV’s content reverted back to where they were in the summer of 2014.

AksyonTV’s return to a rerun-based programming does not help their cause at all, and it is clear that they are in extremely bad shape to compete against the likes of ABS-CBN Sports+Action, 9TV and GMA News TV.

Back in May, I wrote about the need to improve AksyonTV’s programming. In summarizing the needs of AksyonTV to improve in order to be competitive, here are my suggestions:

  1. Eliminate the dependence of simulcasting TV5’s newscasts, and produce their own that do not conflict with the mother network.
  2. Make Radyo5’s ‘Orly Mercado All Ready’ as the main morning show of the network.
  3. Produce more original programs.

Since then, however, AksyonTV’s programming quality got even worse, despite the return of Radyo5 programs ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ and ‘Remoto Control’ to the fold.

In July, the network stopped producing ‘Aksyon Breaking’ and ‘Aksyon Weather’ updates, as well as ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Balitang 60’. Then in September, old programs such as ‘Cocktales’ and ‘Wasak’ were brought back.

In addition, the network decided not to air new episodes of ‘Demolition Job’ and ‘History with Lourd’, as well as a new program called ‘Unang Tikim’. Instead previous episodes of KBO were re-aired, much to the dismay of its viewers.

For AksyonTV, this is an already alarming situation. Instead of trying to improve the network’s programming quality, it seems like the management is becoming extremely casual in operating the lackluster station, especially when there are no sports events to cover.

If TV5 wants to upgrade and improve the status of its UHF counterpart, the management should start acting on this matter right now. Otherwise, AksyonTV’s days will be numbered, to the point where a permanent sign off is difficult to resist.

AksyonTV is definitely a good network to watch. But with the kind of programming they have right now, this will not help their standing among the other major UHF networks.

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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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Philippines, Sports, television

Thoughts on the NCAA All-Star Game

 

Without star foreigners such as San Beda’s Ola Adeogun, the NCAA All-Star Game is definitely not as exciting and as compelling to watch. (Photo credit: NCAA.org.ph)

On its 90th season, the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the Philippines makes its biggest surprise yet.

This Saturday, the NCAA will hold its first-ever All-Star Game, featuring the league’s key players in the seniors basketball tournament. The event, along with the Miss NCAA, Three-Point Shootout and Slam Dunk Contests, will be held at the FilOil Flying V Arena (or San Juan Arena according to Sports5 announcers) beginning at 2:30 p.m. on TV5 and AksyonTV.

Proceeds for the NCAA All-Star Game will go for the benefit of Hospicio de San Jose, the NCAA personnel assistance fund, and the NCAA players in the national team.

Controversy surrounded the NCAA All-Star Game in the days leading up to the event. Upon the release of the rosters for both the East and West teams, only the local players were included, leaving foreign players such as Ola Adeogun, Cedric Noube Happi and Dioncee Holts out of the game. Adeogun even went as far as tweeting that they should hold their own All-Star Game in the Manila Zoo.

Regarding the snub, NCAA Management Committee (ManCom) chairman Paul Supan explained that it was the coaches who were asked to recommend players, and that they should select three from each school to ensure a fair representation. In another interview, Supan and ManCom member Peter Cayco added that the exclusion of foreigners is intended to ensure a more balanced and competitive matchup.

There is a reason why it was called an ‘All-Star Game’: it was designed to attract the most productive, talented and attractive stars in the game, And with the exclusion of star foreigners like Adeogun and Noube Happi, as well as more productive players like Jonathan Grey, there is definitely nothing to excite about the NCAA All-Star Game.

There is also another concern surrounding the All-Star Game: the attendance. There is a reason why the NCAA decided to hold the event at the smaller FilOil Flying V Arena: to avoid a repeat of last March’s poorly-attended NCAA Cheerleading Competition at the Mall of Asia Arena.

But even with a smaller venue, filling it to capacity remains a daunting task to the league, considering the lack of star power. Like last March’s Cheerleading Competition, the lack of promotion by Sports5 is giving the NCAA a lot of trouble, and it will be doubtful if the All-Star Game will be filled to capacity at all.

And finally, as mentioned, only the seniors basketball players were included to participate in the All-Star Game. The NCAA is a collegiate league with a variety of other sports, but with only seniors basketball being represented in this event, what is the point of holding the All-Star Game when only this discipline was emphasized?

Worse, the All-Star Game had nothing to do with the general championship race, so it is expected that it will only be a fun track meet rather than an important date in the schedule.

That said, this NCAA All-Star Game, despite its devotion to a good cause, is just a mere a distraction to a long NCAA basketball season. And unfortunately, this is not worth watching.

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

Lack of Full TV Coverage is Hurting the NCAA

NCAA coverage on television continue to be spotty at best. (Photo credit: GMA News Online)

President Noynoy Aquino’s State of the Nation Address will take place later this afternoon. Unfortunately, it is also a game day in the 90th NCAA season basketball tournament.

The NCAA doubleheader for this Monday afternoon will feature the San Beda-St. Benilde and Mapua-San Sebastian matches for both the juniors and seniors division. The seniors games are usually seen live on television, but due to today’s SONA, tape-delay broadcasts on the TV5 family of networks will be a likely scenario.

Television coverage has always been inconsistent for the Philippines’ oldest collegiate league. During the 1990s, when government TV stations PTV-4 and IBC-13 covered the games, only the opening day and championship matches were aired in full, with highlights of the other games relegated to their newscasts.

It only got worse in 2000, when the championship matches pitting St. Benilde and Jose Rizal College were not aired. Then in 2001, despite the guarantee of PTV-4 and Media Conglomerates, Inc. to air most of the matches, the NCAA tournament was reduced to a mere 30-minute highlight show called ‘Inside NCAA’, with opening day and championship matches being aired live.

In 2002, the NCAA decided to join forces with ABS-CBN Sports, with the league’s games now being featured on a regular basis. But with the UAAP already a fixture on Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action), the NCAA was relegated to a weekday-exclusive schedule, with non-televised games on Mondays. Still, it was a marginal improvement from the PTV-MCI era.

Ten years later, the NCAA signed a deal with Sports5 to cover their games. Initially airing over IBC-13 (via AKTV), the league was forced to return to UHF television via AksyonTV once the AKTV deal expired. In addition, TV5 aired the championship matches, before receiving a select slate of elimination games this year. This time, however, all games were aired on the said network.

Still, circumstances related to national events continued to affect the television coverage of the NCAA. Examples include the funeral of the late Corazon Aquino in 2009, the recent State of the Nation Addresses, and the Janet Lim-Napoles Pork Barrel hearings in 2013, which either led to pre-emptions or delayed broadcasts of the games. And more recently, the impromptu DAP address of President Aquino led to an abrupt end of Sports5’s live NCAA coverage.

In the end, it is clear that the NCAA is at a disadvantage. While television coverage is gradually improving, it is still far from a finished product. What the league needs now at this point is flexibility, from the scheduling to the availability of the venue, in order to take advantage of live television, and to satisfy the demands of loyal fans.

NCAA management should start learning from these experiences. Otherwise, the league will continue to feel its fair share of shortcomings on television coverage.

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