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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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

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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Philippines, Sports, television

The NCAA Season 92 on ABS-CBN Sports: An Overview

Year 2 (12th overall) of the NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports is now underway.

The 92nd season of the NCAA kicked off last Saturday with the traditional opening ceremonies and the first seniors doubleheader, headlined by the Season 91 finals rematch of arch-rivals San Beda and Letran. The ceremonies were also highlighted by the retirement of San Beda basketball legend Caloy Loyzaga’s no. 14 jersey.

Unfortunately for the fans of the league, the following day’s seniors tripleheader was not aired on ABS-CBN Sports+Action. The reason: ABS-CBN and the NCAA agreed that they will only air games every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for the season, save for last Saturday’s opener.

Not much is changed in the presentation of ABS-CBN’s coverage from Season 91. However, there is a new scheduling format, which include:

  • Seniors tripleheaders every Tuesday and Friday unless specified
  • Seniors doubleheaders every Thursday, usually preceded by juniors doubleheaders
  • Four or five-game juniors slate every Monday

In essence, a week’s worth of NCAA seniors basketball coverage will amount to at most eight games per week. The utilization of tripleheaders and five-game slates on select dates is intended on shortening the duration of the season, however, postponement of games may take place in the event of natural calamities.

Most games will be held at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Select marquee matchups will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

This season’s NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports team will include the following:

Play-by-play announcers

  • Andrei Felix
  • Martin Javier
  • Boom Labrusca
  • Anton Roxas

Analysts

  • Martin Antonio
  • Migs Bustos
  • Olsen Racela
  • Mikee Reyes
  • Renren Ritualo

Courtside reporters

  • Sarah Carlos
  • Roxanne Montealegre
  • Myrtle Sarrosa
  • Ceej Tantengco

Every game day will feature a number of interactive segments, such as halftime school and player features, ‘Smile, You’re on Cam’ and viewer tweets. If last season’s success was any indication, then expect a lot more of these throughout this season.

Aside from seniors basketball (with a mid-season all-star game to boot), the NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports will also cover the final four of women’s volleyball and beach volleyball. Highlights from other sports will also be featured on the ABS-CBN Sports+Action highlight show ‘The Score’, hosted by either TJ Manotoc or Anton Roxas.

All games will be seen on ABS-CBN Sports+Action, both in SD (channel 23) and HD (channel 166 and 701). It will also air via live streaming on the ABS-CBN Sports official website.

This season’s theme will be ‘Sports Builds Character: Achieving Breakthrough @Season 92’. San Beda College will be this season’s host.

After the unpredictable ending to Season 91, it will be interesting to see how Season 92 turns out. But if last season’s success was any indication, then wait and see what comes next this season.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

Sports360 Needs a Reformat

With the UFC essentially taking over late Sunday nights, TV5 needs to find a way to make ‘Sports360’ useful again. (Logo courtesy of TV5)

The past two months were not kind to TV5’s sports-oriented show ‘Sports360’.

Since the UFC became a property of Sports5 this year, ‘Sports360’ has been preempted regularly in favor of UFC events. With the show close to becoming an afterthought, its future was thrown into question.

As TV5’s sports-oriented talk show, it is the job of ‘Sports360’ to give Kapatid sports fans the latest updates on a variety of sporting events every week. But its constant preemptions made it difficult to stay in tune with the ever-changing sports landscape.

Look at the other sports talk shows in the country (e.g. ANC’s ‘Hardball’, ABS-CBN Sports+Action’s ‘The Score’, and CNN Philippines’ ‘Sports Desk’). While they are not here to provide some entertainment (as ‘Sports360’ usually does), at least they regularly provide updates in the world of sports to the avid fan.

This is a dilemma that the new Sports5 head Patricia Bermudez-Hizon must face. After all, they are the so-called ‘Olympic network’ (they will broadcast the 2016 Summer Olympics later this year), and if they want to live to that billing, they need to make ‘Sports360’ a constant presence on the network.

One thing they would like to see is the conversion of ‘Sports360’ into a daily sports talk show, with less focus on entertainment and more on analysis and news reporting. The current hosts may be experienced on-air talent for various Sports5 programming, but to keep the show running, they need to emulate either Mico Halili or TJ Manotoc to become useful.

Since TV5 is too loaded programming-wise, the best possible channel for ‘Sports360’ would be AksyonTV, whose sports-centric format makes it a perfect fit (signal issues notwithstanding). Another option would be HYPER, but this may not please SkyCable subscribers.

In any case, TV5 must address the fate of ‘Sports360’ as soon as possible. They don’t want to turn the show into a liability, so they need to act accordingly and turn the show into something more reliable to their viewers.

It’s up to TV5 to save ‘Sports360’. Good luck.

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news, Philippines, reality show, Sports, talk show, television

Introducing ABS-CBN Sports + Action

ABS-CBN Sports + Action will make its on-air debut tomorrow, replacing Studio 23.

Channel 23 on the UHF band has a new name. It was announced during a press conference in Makati yesterday morning that the name of the said channel will be called ABS-CBN Sports + Action, and the programming content will feature mostly sports, with occasional sprinkling of news and action series in between.

The new network will officially debut tomorrow. And as a preview of things to come, Channel 23 is currently airing replays of sporting events that occurred in the past year, along with a delayed broadcast of the UEFA Champions League and UAAP men’s football.

ABS-CBN Sports + Action will air a wide variety of sporting events, ranging from the UAAP, Philippine Azkals, Pinoy Pride and Top Rank Boxing to the NBA, UEFA, UFC and the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup. In addition, they will also produce a 15-minute sports roundup called ‘The Score’, and a 30-minute discussion-based newscast called ‘News +’.

Carrying over from Studio 23 are action-based drama series such as ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ and ‘NCIS’, as well as the movies from Fernando Poe, Jr.’s film library and WWE programs. The network will also dabble into reality programming with ‘The Ultimate Fighter’.

With the unveiling of ABS-CBN Sports + Action, viewers can expect a lot of sports coverage from all corners. And it should also serve notice to other competitors who will try to emulate the new style of the said network.

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