Sports5‘s job of covering the PBA games just got tougher. Having adjusted to a new broadcast setup, the network announced that the special Thursday doubleheader will only be aired live on AksyonTV, with replays on TV5 later tonight and on Friday afternoon.
The first game will feature the Alaska Aces and the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters at 5:30 p.m., followed by the much-anticipated matchup between the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the Globalport Batang Pier at 8:00 p.m. Both games will be played at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The two games were supposed to be played on the normal Friday playdate. But due to the lack of an available venue for tomorrow, the PBA had no choice but to move the doubleheader to Thursday. Unfortunately this is also the day where TV5 teleseryes ‘Positive’ and ‘For Love or Money’ normally air, and with no available options, Sports5 decided to air the games only on AksyonTV. In addition today’s live games will also be streamed through the internet at http://www.interaktv.ph.
In relation to today’s PBA games on AksyonTV, the scheduled United Football League Cup quarterfinal doubleheaders were moved to IBC-13. The two games in Taguig‘s Emperador Stadium will feature Philippine Air Force FC facing against Union Internacional Manila, and Stallion FC versus Pachanga Diliman. This will be the second sports event covered by IBC-13 in cooperation with another broadcast partner since the end of the AKTV era; they aired a replay of the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios fight last Sunday with Solar Sports. The temporary move to Thursday was another highly-criticized move that has affected Sports5’s broadcast relationship with the PBA.
Last season the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned network and the league had an argument over channel assignments after the expiration of Sports5’s blocktime rights with IBC-13. Then two weeks into the new season the network aired only a handful of live games on TV5 because of its loaded primetime lineup, an adjustment made out of necessity.
But in an era of growing cable and internet subscription, Sports5’s moves were needed to push the PBA coverage to a new level. And the PBA allowed this arrangement so that they can be flexible with TV5’s current schedule, even as viewers continue to complain over the new arrangement.