Philippines, Sports, television

Remembering the NCAA on TV5

Adios, NCAA on TV5.

In one month, the 91st season of the NCAA will get underway. The league will have a new (or old) media partner going forward, as they joined forces with ABS-CBN Sports beginning this season.

But before we look ahead to the league’s return to the Kapamilya group, let us reflect on the three-year relationship between the NCAA and TV5.

Ambitious Beginnings

The NCAA joined forces with Sports5 prior to Season 88. The games were first broadcast on the AKTV on IBC-13 block, with a Monday-Thursday-Saturday schedule and a 4:00 p.m. start time.

The league also held a pair of provincial playdates in an effort to attract new fans. But to fans’ dismay, neither of the out-of-town games were aired on AKTV, a predicament that continued the next season with AksyonTV.

AKTV also employed full-time sideline reporters as opposed to student representatives/OJTs used by ABS-CBN Sports. They also deviated from ABS-CBN’s practice of showing cheering squads at halftime, and instead used the time to read netizens’ tweets and talk to fans of opposing schools.

And of course, a new partner means a new broadcast staff. Sports5 elected to employ a younger cast of announcers, as opposed to a more veteran-laden team during the ABS-CBN era, in hopes of connecting to younger fans.

Brewing Troubles and Change of Stations

The first sign of trouble for the NCAA on Sports5 took place in the Season 88 Finals. Game 3 of the San Beda-Letran series was aired on TV5 but on a more unfavorable early afternoon slot, a scenario that was repeated in the following year’s finals between the same two teams.

Then in May 2013, Mediaquest and TV5 decided to end their blocktime deal with IBC-13. This forced Sports5 to move the league’s games to AksyonTV, a decision that didn’t sit well with the viewers due to the station’s poor reach and accessibility.

Worse, the lack of an online livestreaming platform only exacerbated the situation, especially during heavily prioritized live news events such as the State of the Nation Address. Although Sports5 managed to provide a livestreaming platform by Season 90, the damage was already done at that point.

A Last-Ditch Effort By TV5

Season 90 saw a select number of games aired on the flagship TV5, in hopes of addressing the need for wider access. Still, a few games that ran overtime were cut off TV5 in favor of Aksyon Prime (a decision known as the ‘Heidi Moment’), something that was not experienced when ABS-CBN Sports (via Studio 23, now ABS-CBN Sports+Action) had the rights.

The TV5 games also featured the infamous Moneyball game that was first implemented during the network’s PBA coverage. The presence of Moneyball took away the school spirit aspect of the game, as it prevented the league’s fans from watching the performance of the cheering squads at halftime.

Even though TV5 aired a select number of games that season, AksyonTV still had a major presence on the NCAA coverage. The addition of TV5 did little to increase attention to the league’s games, despite a major promotional campaign that signified the NCAA as ‘Ang Larong Tunay’ (A True Game).


In the end, the ambitious plans of TV5 for the NCAA backfired. The demise of AKTV proved too much, as it affected whatever grand plans the Kapatid network has had in making the NCAA more competitive and attractive to viewers.

Promotion of the league was also a problem, as Sports5 continues to prioritize the PBA. Furthermore, the constant change in channels, along with the use of unorthodox gimmicks such as Moneyball, the lack of modern technologies, and the use of full-time reporters as opposed to student representatives, only hastened the decline.

The final straw for the NCAA on TV5 took place once their regular on-air announcers were elevated to the PBA. In hindsight, it was clear that TV5 has had enough; even though they tried to offer an extension, the NCAA felt the time to move on was now.

And so it did. From now on, it’s ABS-CBN Sports’ turn once more. And the NCAA couldn’t be happier.

country, news, Philippines, politics

Reviewing the Big Three SONA Coverage

President Noynoy Aquino’s State of the Nation Address may be one of the longest, but he made sure that every issue and accomplishment is tackled before he vowed that improvements to the nation are needed.

President Noynoy Aquino‘s State of the Nation Address was among the longest in the history of the event, and every network had the privilege of covering this event. Let’s look back at how the ‘Big Three’ networks fared during the event.


The Kapamilya Network claimed to have the ‘most-watched’ coverage of the SONA, according to Kantar Media. ‘Sa Gitna ng Daang Matuwid’ garnered a 14.8% rating. However, this only applied to the main Channel 2 network. In terms of overall coverage, the network produced three separate coverages: one on the AM radio station DZMM, and another on the cable network ABS-CBN News Channel, the latter of which had a livestream on UHF channel Studio 23 and on Yahoo. Looks like they were trying too hard to cover the SONA in three different platforms, in both English and Filipino, and in all social classes. Despite the ‘high’ ratings that they claimed, they did not deliver on what is expected: consistent and pure coverage.


The Kapuso Network also claimed to have the ‘most-watched’ SONA, this time citing old reliable Nielsen. ‘SONA 2013’, a title deemed too simple for the Kapuso Network, garnered a 12.8% rating. Like ABS-CBN, GMA delivered three separate coverages: on Channel 7, GMA News TV 11, and AM radio station DZBB, with a livestream on GMA News Online. Again, this was a case of trying too hard, but this time it only covers two social classes, which is the lower middle and the low-income classes. Let’s face it, I didn’t want Mike Enriquez and Jessica Soho hosting two separate SONA coverage when in fact it is possible that the both of them can be on the same page. Again this is like ABS-CBN’s coverage: inconsistent and uneven.


They did not report high ratings during the SONA. However, the production of ‘Pagbabago’ is just what I wanted: consistent, even and pure. So I commend TV5 for covering the SONA in a unified manner. All three of its platforms, from Channel 5 to AksyonTV and 92.3 News FM received the same broadcast feed of ‘Pagbabago’, handled by none other than the lead Aksyon tandem of Cheryl Cosim and Erwin Tulfo. In addition, the same broadcast feed was seen online through its new website News5 Everywhere.

As expected, the entire nation tuned in to nearly two hours of President Aquino talking at the Batasan Pambansa regarding his accomplishments from last year and the plans for the next. Whether his plans will be accomplished in the near future remains to be seen. But for now, what he said in the SONA was clear: he vowed that improvements need to be instituted in order to make the nation better and more attractive. And Monday afternoon’s SONA was the first step towards the gradual improvement of the nation’s standard of living.