Philippines, Sports, television

Relegated to the Sidelines: PVL in Tough Position Due to UAAP

The maiden season of the Premier Volleyball League saw its coverage relegated to live stream on most of its games, severely affecting its ability to gain a wider audience. (Logo courtesy of Sports Vision)

Talk about a rough first season.

The debut season of the Premier Volleyball League (formerly the Shakey’s V-League) will officially conclude this month following the season-ending Collegiate Conference. Unfortunately for organizer Sports Vision and broadcast partner ABS-CBN Sports, it was a frustrating introduction for the rebranded league.

When the then-SVL and ABS-CBN joined forces last year, it was hailed as a promise in the right direction. During that first year, ABS-CBN (through UHF channel S+A) was able to bring a majority of the league’s games live, and in doing so, gave the SVL some much-needed recognition after years of TV coverage issues from previous partners.

After Sports Vision renamed the Shakey’s V-League into the Premier Volleyball League earlier this year, ABS-CBN stepped up its game as well. The network announced that the league’s games would air live on S+A and also online through the ABS-CBN Sports website, using a separate set of announcers for the two media.

So far, however, the coverage of the PVL has been a rocky one. Most of its games were relegated to live streaming online, mainly due to ABS-CBN Sports’ priority with UAAP women’s volleyball and men’s basketball.

And even when the UAAP took an offseason break from late May to August, the PVL remain buried behind the pecking order as ABS-CBN chose to re-air UAAP women’s volleyball games instead of giving the PVL a chance. That said, even with main attraction Alyssa Valdez carrying the PVL on her shoulders, the league still lacked the exposure it deserves.

What ABS-CBN did is similar to Sports5’s approach with the Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) in which some games are aired only on livestream. If this is the treatment they wanted for the PVL, then they’re not helping its cause.

While this is only Year 1 of the PVL’s TV/live stream experiment, the warning signs were evident. ABS-CBN Sports failed to account the fact that many people still depend on television for their viewing needs, and although mobile devices are becoming plentiful by the day, nothing can beat the easy convenience of television.

Come the 2018 season, expect wholesale changes from both the PVL and its broadcast partner. Still, it remains to be seen if next year will bring a much-improved scope and exposure into the Premier Volleyball League.

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Philippines, Sports, television

Sports5’s Disservice to the Philippine Superliga

 

The ongoing PSL Grand Prix has been hindered by the lack of full live coverage on AksyonTV, particularly during the 3:00 p.m. games. (Logo courtesy of the Philippine SuperLiga)

The ongoing PSL Grand Prix has been criticized for the lack of full live coverage on AksyonTV, particularly during the 3:00 p.m. games. (Logo courtesy of the Philippine SuperLiga)

Women’s volleyball in the Philippines is as popular as ever.

While the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament usually garners the biggest headlines from January to May, two other leagues also vie for the top spot in the sport’s hierarchy. On one corner is the 12-year-old Shakey’s V-League, and on the other corner is the FIVB-recognized Philippine SuperLiga.

Although the SVL has become a hot commodity of late with the entry of ABS-CBN Sports, the PSL also gained some traction thanks to its participation in the just-concluded FIVB Women’s Club World Championships. Unfortunately for the PSL, one obstacle prevented them from gaining the ultimate respect of volleyball fans.

That obstacle happens to be the league’s delayed coverage of select games on AksyonTV. The PSL usually schedules 3:00 p.m. games on a select number of dates, but for whatever reason, AksyonTV does not air the games live in favor of EZ Shop, a filler show whose broadcast is optional at best.

In contrast, Wednesday and Saturday 4:00 p.m. games of the SVL on S+A were aired on tape delay at 8:00 p.m. instead, due to conflicts with ABS-CBN Sports’ coverage of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament. Overall, ABS-CBN Sports had a valid excuse for their SVL coverage, whereas Sports5’s PSL coverage had no alibi to show for.

The non-coverage of select live PSL games only adds to the poor reputation of AksyonTV. Already criticized for its overreliance on TV shopping blocks and old news programs, AksyonTV’s unreliability only got worse with this snub.

At this point, the PSL may never catch up to the older SVL in terms of overall popularity. While the PSL does have the game’s first superstar in Rachel Ann Daquis and the championship core of the DLSU Lady Spikers, the SVL has Alyssa Valdez, the superstar whose charm and unparalleled power packed big arenas during her years as an Ateneo Lady Eagle.

That said, it is up to both Sports5 and PSL to work together and promote the league further. After all, they deserve a lot of respect from the volleyball community.

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