It’s all but over for GMA in terms of sports.
This came after the Shakey’s V-League bolted to rival ABS-CBN earlier this week, leaving GMA without any sporting events to cover (unless one counts the boxing fights on GMA News TV’s ‘All Sports’ as an event). The new deal will see all of the games aired live on Sports+Action SD, HD and on livestream every Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays starting at 4:00 p.m.
GMA News TV had been the home of the Shakey’s V-League since 2013. When GMA inked a deal with the V-League and Sports Vision that year, it coincided with the sudden rise of volleyball in the country, capped off by a sold-out UAAP women’s volleyball final series between popular rivals Ateneo and La Salle.
Once the deal began, however, problems ensued. Games were still aired on a delayed basis, primarily due to News TV’s commitment to news programming, and although later tournaments saw live broadcasts, the lack of willingness from GMA and News TV proved hard to overcome.
In the end, the V-League allowed its contract with GMA to expire, and when it came time for a new television contract, they sought ABS-CBN Sports. It was a perfect fit, and with the latter having turned the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament into must-see TV, they are now expected to do the same for the V-League.
GMA’s lack of a sports division has been well-documented on From the Tube. As ABS-CBN and TV5 continued to make strides in airing some of the top sporting events in the country, GMA is left to lick their wounds wondering what might have been.
Considering their status as the No. 2 network in the country (sorry AGB Nielsen), GMA should have been keeping up with ABS-CBN in virtually every department. Instead, their lack of resources was exposed, and thanks to the impending return of ‘Encantadia’, expect more of their hidden revenue to go down the drain.
Now that the Shakey’s V-League is out of GMA, uncertainty looms in the northern corner of EDSA and Timog Avenue. A long, rainy season awaits for the Kapuso network, and without any big-name sporting events, the possibility of a GMA Sports division is now all but diminished.