news, Philippines, Sports, television

Dissecting the Filipino Sports News Landscape with Entry of SportsCenter Philippines

It has been an eventful month so far for sports news programs in the Philippines.

As of this week there are four weekday sports news programs that currently air on Philippine television. These include:

  1. The Score (ABS-CBN S+A) – anchored by TJ Manotoc
  2. Sports Desk (CNN Philippines) – morning edition anchored by Andrei Felix, evening editions anchored by Mico Halili
  3. Gametime (ABS-CBN News Channel) – anchored by Migs Bustos
  4. PTV Sports (People’s Television Network) – anchored by Dennis Principe, Meg Siozon, Angel Atienza and Arianne Mallare

On Sunday, December 17, a fifth program will emerge. As part of ESPN’s new deal with TV5, the network will officially premiere its version of ‘SportsCenter’, to be anchored by Aaron Atayde and Lia Cruz.

Before viewers can get excited about ‘SportsCenter Philippines’, here is a summary of how each current program brings to the table. These are ranked according to quality and depth.

Sports Desk

A holdover from Solar News Channel era, CNN Philippines’ ‘Sports Desk’ has by far the best content of sports news that is to offer. The program is not shy to tackle all the sports news that people should know, whether it is the UAAP, the PBA or even other local and international sports.

It also helps that it airs three times a day, at 11:00 a.m., 6:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on weekdays. However, with news of Mico Halili potentially departing CNN Philippines for perhaps a full-time role as a commentator with ABS-CBN Sports, can the show continue to deliver with regular substitute Paolo del Rosario?

PTV Sports

This program has been in and out of PTV-4’s lineup in recent years (remember Snow Badua?), but its latest iteration is simply a straight-up summary of the whole day’s worth of sports news. There are a few interviews here and there but other than that, they are more into quick bursts of reports.

However, as PTV-4 is a government station, there is a tendency for the program to be preempted whenever President Rodrigo Duterte makes an appearance on national television. Still, when the show does air, expect plenty of juice extracted in each report.

Gametime/The Score

Both shows are currently aired on ABS-CBN sister channels: ‘Gametime’ on ANC and ‘The Score’ on S+A. Unfortunately, they do not offer much in terms of sports news as they merely focus on sporting events currently handled by ABS-CBN Sports (e.g. UAAP, NCAA, NBA, ABL), not to mention they do not usually air live.

For those who seek a greater scope into sports news (albeit on a weekly basis), there is ‘Hardball’ on ANC and ‘Fastbreak’ on DZMM. It’s sad to say that both ‘Gametime’ and ‘The Score’ are a disappointment since ABS-CBN treated them like a showbiz news program that is biased towards a particular network’s artists.

So what expectations do people have for ‘SportsCenter Philippines’? For one, the show will premiere on a Sunday (a weekend no less) and it is assumed that the program will air seven days a week as opposed to a mere weekday airing that other shows do.

Also, with TV5 possibly rebranding into a full-on sports network as ESPN5, the network is expected to highlight ‘SportsCenter Philippines’ as its centerpiece program with all the sports news that people should know. That said, it will be interesting to see how this new player fares amid a crowd of sports-hungry fans.

Good luck to ESPN5. As for its competitors, there is no way to go but up.

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Thoughts on Sereno Impeachment Hearings

The central character: Atty. Larry Gadon looks on during one of the latest episodes of the impeachment hearing against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. (Photo credit: Manila Bulletin)

It is officially Week 3 of the so-called ‘Serenoserye’.

At 9:30 a.m. today, the sixth episode of the impeachment hearings against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will commence at the Batasan Pambansa. And based on the first five episodes of the ongoing series, all of the people involved have exhausted all the time and effort to reveal everything that is to know.

On average, each episode of the impeachment hearings last for seven to nine hours. Because of the severe length of the hearings, the media networks that are tasked to cover the event had a hard time keeping up, thanks in large part to other concurrent events that affect the country.

More often than not, live coverage of the impeachment hearings were rudely interrupted by a live appearance and address from either President Rodrigo Duterte or any of his staff (namely spokesperson Harry Roque). The President and his men’s constant interruptions have often made the hearings irrelevant at best.

It is always mandatory for news networks to cut from an ongoing Senate or House hearing to President Duterte once he begins to speak in public. After all, the executive branch is always a priority over all other branches of government.

But what baffles many is the treatment in which media outlets approach the hearings. On the good side, GMA News and Rappler provide an uninterrupted live stream of the impeachment hearings on YouTube, with GMA News using one that is exclusive online and not on traditional media.

However, the same cannot be said for ABS-CBN News and CNN Philippines. ABS-CBN News, in particular, provides viewers the feed from the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) and not one that is an independent online feed.

News5? Consider them extinct and moribund at this point.

With the impeachment hearings to continue until January 2018 at the latest, news outlets must find a way to maximize its coverage. There is no excuse for getting interrupted by another concurrent live event; someone should look at other manners with which the impeachment hearings are utilized.

If not, let’s just hope that Congressman Reynaldo Umali and the Justice Committee end each episode at the soonest possible time. Nine hours is just too exhausting to be honest.

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Live Blog: 2017 ASEAN Summit on ANC (Part IV)

The 2017 ASEAN Summit is up and running, as heads of ASEAN nations as well as other world dignitaries converge to discuss various political issues that affect both their countries and the world. At around the same time, the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit also takes place, focusing on business concerns surrounding the ASEAN region.

The ABS-CBN News Channel and CNN Philippines are the primary channels that will cover in detail the ASEAN Summit. For this live blog, I will focus on ANC, so keep refreshing this blog for the latest updates on their coverage.

4:30 p.m.

Newly-appointed Palace spokesperson Harry Roque just finished his press conference at the 2017 ASEAN Summit. After two weeks, it looks like the former congressman has warmed himself up to his new position.

And ‘Market Edge’ was extended for another 30 minutes. Oh well, ANC is going non-stop from this point forward.

4:40 p.m.

Karmina Constantino returns with ‘The Bureau’, and she kicks it off with live coverage of the 20th ASEAN-China Summit.

Now back to the newsroom as they close doors to the summit anew. If you were wondering why the main studio is not used after 9:35 a.m. on weekdays, it is because the set is used for weekly ANC talk shows.

5:10 p.m.

Lexi Schulze was supposed to go on board for ‘ANC Alerts’ at this time of the day, but with all the updates regarding the ASEAN Summit, ‘The Bureau’ is still up and running. Also, Christian Esguerra returned for another roundup of ASEAN Summit news.

This is just the afternoon edition of ‘The Bureau’ though. An evening edition, this time anchored by Ron Cruz, airs at 7:00 p.m. and is likewise devoted to foreign news.

5:25 p.m.

‘The Bureau’ just ended; however ‘Top Story’ will come in next. Oh well, it looks like our ANC personalities are putting their game faces on.

Day 2 of ANC’s coverage is about to enter the 12th hour. You got to give credit to these guys for staying around long enough to deliver the news on the ASEAN Summit each and every time.

5:30 p.m.

KC is still around for ‘Top Story’. Other than a 30-minute respite, she has been inside the ANC newsroom studio for the entire afternoon.

ANC anchors are like warriors in the desk, keeping a sharp eye on the news for long hours without complaint. KC has been doing this for over a decade now so we got to salute her for that.

5:40 p.m.

Speaking of warriors, Cathy Yang is back, microphone and all, interviewing BDO and SM’s Tessie Sy-Coson. She has been at Solaire for nearly half a day now.

6:00 p.m.

After another report from Christian, Lexi finally makes an appearance, doing a shortened version of ‘ANC Alerts’ during ‘Top Story’. Better late than never.

After that, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the audience at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. The whirlwind day doesn’t end yet.

6:15 p.m. 

While Prime Minister Modi was speaking, President Duterte was hosting the ASEAN-Korea Summit. Again it will be closed to public viewing after a few short minutes.

ANC is closing in on the 13th hour of their coverage. Damn this is getting even more interesting.

6:20 p.m.

Every Monday is The Explainer day. And as always, ANC’s resident commentator Manolo Quezon does his Teddy Locsin impression with his thoughts on the ASEAN Summit.

Didn’t we mention that he is related to the former Commonwealth president Manuel Quezon?

6:30 p.m.

Bill Velasco and Boyet Sison are supposed to come in for ‘Hardball’. However, ANC’s special coverage of the ASEAN Summit will force said show to air on a later date.

6:35 p.m.

Looks like ‘Hardball’ will come in after all. Oh well, another break.

7:00 p.m.

Back up and running for the last stretch. Now watching ‘The Bureau’ evening edition, and since Ron Cruz is not around for the day, Raine Musñgi is filling in for him.

If you are familiar with the ‘Voice of ABS-CBN’ Peter Musñgi, then Raine is his biological daughter. It does run in the family.

7:15 p.m.

Wonder why Raine does not appear often on ANC? According to her social media pages, Raine also acts as a producer off-camera, managing news reports behind the scenes.

At least she is very productive, so no problem. In the meantime, Michelle Ong is back to bring in the latest at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

7:30 p.m.

That will do it for the live blog of ANC’s 2017 ASEAN Summit coverage. Overall I was very impressed with their consistent and tireless presentation, going all-out with blow-by-blow reports of the goings-on in both Solaire Resort and Casino and at the CCP Complex.

There were some mistakes and issues that they endured, but other than that, it was all smooth-sailing for Team ANC. However, this is just Day 2 of their coverage, so expect almost the same type of coverage come tomorrow morning all the way to the night.

In the meantime, I am going to wait for ABS-CBN’s 2017 Christmas Station ID. I’m sure our favorite ANC personalities are here as well.

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Live Blog: 2017 ASEAN Summit on ANC (Part I)

The 2017 ASEAN Summit is up and running, as heads of ASEAN nations as well as other world dignitaries converge to discuss various political issues that affect both their countries and the world. At around the same time, the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit also takes place, focusing on business concerns surrounding the ASEAN region.

The ABS-CBN News Channel and CNN Philippines are the primary channels that will cover in detail the ASEAN Summit. For this live blog, I will focus on ANC, so keep refreshing this blog for the latest updates on their coverage.

5:30-7:25 a.m.

ANC began its ASEAN coverage last Saturday night and stepped up its game further yesterday with a more detailed analysis on the event. ‘Early Edition’ kicks off Day 3 of the ASEAN Summit.

While I was still in bed, Annalisa Burgos, TJ Manotoc and Paolo Abrera are inside ANC’s main studio to begin the coverage. Co-anchor Michelle Ong is also live at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque.

During this time, the ‘Early Edition’ team conducted interviews related to the ASEAN Summit.

Also inside Solaire Resort and Casino is ‘Market Edge’ anchor Cathy Yang. She will anchor ‘Market Edge’ on location and conduct interviews with various business personalities.

7:25 a.m. 

Christian Esguerra is inside the 8 Rockwell studio for Matters of Fact. His guest, former Foreign Affairs secretary Roberto Romulo, speaks about Donald Trump, his relationship with President Rodrigo Duterte, the South China Sea, and other ASEAN-related issues.

7:49 a.m.

What’s buzzing on social media? Maria Isabel Lopez’s controversial bypass to the ASEAN lane generated plenty of reactions on social media.

Take it away, TJ.

8:00 a.m.

‘Headstart’ with Karen Davila is about to start. As always, ‘Headstart’ takes place inside the 8 Rockwell studio.

Her guest: ASEAN expert and columnist Karim Raslan. But first, headlines on the ASEAN Summit.

8:13 a.m.

Hot Copy with Karim Raslan starts now, and he’s taking on both sides of the ASEAN story.

While the interview was going on, I was eating my breakfast. All in all, watching ‘Headstart’ is like drinking my coffee to begin weekdays.

8:28 a.m.

Although there are no classes and work (at least in the Pasay-Parañaque area), the Philippine Stock Exchange will remain open during the entire ASEAN Summit week. ANC business reporter Warren de Guzman is already live-tweeting some stock market stats during this time, indicating that he will be inside the PSE to report on the stocks and foreign exchange figures.

8:40 a.m.

As I continue to watch ‘Headstart”s interview with Karim Raslan, I always think to myself that Karen Davila is a terrific interviewer. And like TJ Manotoc who goes between delivering news on ‘Early Edition’ and sports on S+A’s ‘The Score’, Karen is a multi-faceted personality that can shift from one particular medium to another.

After ‘Headstart’, some lunch and occasional tapings for ‘My Puhunan’, Karen would go to the main ABS-CBN Broadcast Center for DZMM’s ‘Pasada Sais Trenta’ in the afternoon and ABS-CBN’s ‘Bandila’ at night. A woman of many talents indeed.

8:52 a.m.

A live shot of the ASEAN Summit opening ceremony at the CCP Complex. Today and tomorrow will be a very busy one for our top dignitaries.

8:58 a.m.

Our beloved president greeting some of his fellow subjects at the CCP, as seen on ANC.

9:03 a.m.

We are back inside ANC’s main studio with Annalisa Burgos. Sometime later on Cathy Yang will make an appearance at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, so keep an eye on her.

Meanwhile, our beloved president greets more guests.

9:15 a.m.

Oh look, Cathy Yang is now LOL (live on location) at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. George Barcelon of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry is her first guest.

Meanwhile, more guests are arriving at the CCP.

9:22 a.m.

Lost in the hoopla of the ASEAN Summit is the announcement that the ABS-CBN Christmas Station ID will air at around 7:40 p.m. on ABS-CBN and its family of networks. And yes, our ANC anchors and reporters will be there wearing the Just Love shirts.

Meanwhile, our president continues to welcome his guests.

9:35 a.m.

Traffic is a concern at the ASEAN Summit with all the closed sections. Thank goodness ANC has a traffic report to keep us informed.

Over at the CCP, the Donald is in the building, Americana and all. Plus the stock market opens higher.

9:45 a.m.

ASEAN Summit opening ceremonies is about to begin any minute now. Stay tuned.

9:48 a.m.

Now underway.

9:53 a.m.

Uh-oh. Those anti-ASEAN Summit protests are at it again. Good thing the police are prepared.

9:55 a.m.

Our president now speaks at the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Summit.

Stay tuned for Part II.

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Senate Hearing on Kian Delos Santos Killing Begins Today

A long afternoon and perhaps evening awaits news organizations in the Philippines.

At around 2:00 p.m. today, the Senate will conduct a hearing in relation to the death of Kian Delos Santos and all other drug-related killings. Expected to cover the hearings live on television will be CNN Philippines, GMA News TV (unless they break character and go with regular programming), DZMM TeleRadyo and the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).

News5, which has notoriously shunned any live broadcast of various news events on television and radio, will air the said hearing on their Facebook page and the News5Everywhere platform. And in case of unexpected interruptions by the aforementioned news networks (e.g. President Rodrigo Duterte’s live speeches), the live and uninterrupted broadcast of the hearing will be provided by the Senate’s official YouTube page.

It can be recalled that on Wednesday, August 16, 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos was shot dead by policemen during an anti-drug operation in Caloocan. Upon reexamination of Delos Santos’ corpse, it was revealed that a pair of gunshot wounds in the head and another in the back killed the youngster.

For the first of possibly many hearings conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, the following were invited to attend the probe:

  • Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa
  • Various representatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Department of Justice (DOJ) and the PNP Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS)
  • Saldy delos Santos, father of Kian
  • Caloocan policemen who were allegedly involved in the killing
  • Three witnesses under the custody of Sen. Risa Hontiveros

Today’s hearing will mark the third time that the Senate conducted a probe regarding the spate of drug-related killings in the country. The first took place during September and October 2016, and a second hearing (infamous for the testimony of Arturo Lascañas) took place in March and April 2017.

Expect another marathon of a coverage later this afternoon as the Senate begins an intense and lengthy look at the death of Kian Delos Santos. Good luck.

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Thoughts on PTV-4 Using Other Networks’ Feeds

People’s Television Network has a very interesting case going on.

Last night, while President Rodrigo Duterte fielded questions from the media, PTV-4 inexplicably used the feed of the ABS-CBN News Channel instead of their own (see example video below). The reason: Radio-Television Malacañang, the media arm of the Philippines’ executive branch, was caught off guard by the unscheduled Q&A.

As a result, they were unable to document the press conference in time, so it was up to the respective networks to shoot their own. Unfortunately, PTV-4 failed to provide broadcast equipment in time for the impromptu event, forcing them to ‘borrow’ ANC’s feed.

This is not the first time that PTV-4 used a feed from another network. On a few other occasions, they have borrowed ANC, CNN Philippines and even GMA News TV’s feeds during President Duterte and various other spokespeople’s live appearances, when in fact they should have been sourcing these material from either their own or RTVM’s.

These occasional problems made it clear that PTV-4 is not ready to be a self-sustainable project just yet. While President Duterte promised sweeping improvements for the government station, so far these are on the side of gradual and not an immediate need at the moment.

However, PCOO secretary Martin Andanar should have been aware of PTV-4’s shortcomings. Realizing that the network is still dependent on private outfits to source some of the material, Andanar needs to change that mentality by providing the much-needed budget for PTV-4’s broadcast equipment.

The station should also be in constant communication with RTVM so that they can provide the necessary equipment in the event of a live appearance from President Duterte. With RTVM’s equipment more updated than PTV-4’s, perhaps the time is right for the two outfits to join forces and supplement each other’s broadcasts.

But if RTVM will not be up to task, it is up to Andanar and the PCOO to ask PTV-4 to go ahead as it happens. In short, PTV-4 should be more prepared than ever to document these crucial events.

PTV-4 is indeed the government’s best asset. But until they shed these overdependent tendencies, all that support will be for nothing.

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