Philippines, Sports, television

PBA D-League Returns to Sports5

Beginning this season, games of the PBA D-League will air on AksyonTV on a one-day delayed basis. (Logo courtesy of the Philippine Basketball Association)

The PBA D-League will be the property anew of Sports5.

Starting with this season’s Aspirants’ Cup, games of the PBA D-League will air on a delayed basis on AksyonTV. This will mark the return of the PBA’s farm league to Sports5 after a two-year absence.

Last season, PBA D-League games were aired on IBC-13, in collaboration with the Asian Television Content Corporation (ATC). Unfortunately, rising debts forced the ATC @ IBC team to end its coverage after the season.

This year, the league found a willing partner in Sports5. It was perfect timing, since with the parent league’s games no longer simulcast on AksyonTV, it made things easier for the D-League to air their games on the said channel.

Nine teams, some with collegiate varsity tie-ups, will participate in the Aspirants’ Cup. Playing in the PBA D-League is a way for first-timers to join the PBA Rookie Draft, and a way for veterans to earn a PBA contract.

The PBA D-League on AksyonTV will air on most nights of the week. For more information on the league, visit this website.

news, Philippines, Sports, television

PBA D-League Shut Out of TV Coverage

Not even the presence of PBA D-League top pick Chris Banchero of Boracay Rhum, and NU-Banco de Oro’s Bobby Ray Parks, was enough to convince the big television networks to air the D-League.

The PBA D-League was supposed to enjoy its fair share of TV coverage during the 2014 Aspirants Cup. However, none of the big networks came calling.

Back in November, I wrote an article about the D-League’s lack of TV coverage at the start of the Aspirants Cup. Sports5, which has covered the D-League on television since its formation, decided to opt out due to its prior commitments to the NCAA, the PBA, the United Football League, and other sports events such as the then-upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics. In addition, GMA News TV was mentioned to have been negotiating with the PBA for the broadcast of the D-League. However, GMA’s negotiations with the PBA would eventually stall, and as a result, not even a single game of the Aspirants Cup was aired on television.

The lack of television coverage within the PBA D-League is surely a disgrace to the fledgling league. This is the league where college and amateur players converge in hopes of getting noticed by PBA teams in the near future. But with television coverage absent, the only way basketball fans and scouts can take notice is to go to the nearest arena and enter for no additional cost. And that takes a lot of miles and money.

Surely, the D-League deserves a whole lot of attention. But without any TV coverage whatsoever, what will the future hold for this league once the next conference begins this summer?