comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, Sports, television

UAAP Cheerdance Expected To Be Overshadowed by AlDub-Pastillas Battle

The NU Cheering Squad will try to win their third consecutive title in tomorrow’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition. The beginning of the event will be up against the highly-trended AlDub and Pastillas Girl skits. (Photo credit: GMA News)

The ever-popular UAAP Cheerdance Competition will now face some tough odds this year.

The 22nd edition of the event will now be held in the middle of the men’s basketball tournament, unlike in previous years where it was held at its conclusion. In addition, the event will be held on a Saturday, as opposed to Sundays in past editions.

This means that the Cheerdance Competition will now have to take place on a day when some member schools still hold classes. But that’s not the only problem the event will face.

The early portion of the Cheerdance Competition will take place while noontime shows ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Eat Bulaga’ are still ongoing.  The highly-trending Pastillas Girl and AlDub skits are expected to make life tough for viewers of this year’s Cheerdance Competition, especially considering the combined 37 million tweets of both skits last Saturday.

This does not mean that this year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition will no longer be a juggernaut for netizens everywhere. With the help of a livestreaming service provided by ABS-CBN, there is still a possibility that the event would end up in Twitter’s trending topics.

After all, whenever the Cheerdance Competition takes place, there are four things that the viewers will always point out in this event:

  • courtside reporters in cheering attire
  • elaborate props and risky maneuvers
  • a beautiful guest host
  • suspense and uncertainty of announcing the top three finishers

That said, a good challenge awaits the UAAP Cheerdance Competition this year. More than the performance of the eight cheering squads, the event is about making an impact amid all the odds stacked against it.

The 2015 UAAP Cheerdance Competition will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena. It will air on ABS-CBN Sports+Action, Balls HD 195, iWanTV and ABS-CBN Sports official website beginning at 1:00 p.m.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

A Lesson Learned: The Success of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition

Defending champions in both the Cheerdance and Group Stunts competitions, the NU Cheering Squad will try to do one better this Sunday in the 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Competition. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

On Sunday, cheering squads of the eight UAAP schools will once again take center stage.

The UAAP Cheerdance Competition, now on its 20th edition, will take place inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum on September 14. The can’t miss event of the UAAP season besides men’s basketball and women’s volleyball, the Cheerdance Competition has been steadily growing in popularity since ABS-CBN Sports took over league broadcast rights in Season 63 (2000-01).

While it does not have any effect on the overall championship tally, fans, students and alumni will nevertheless enjoy every moment of the cheering squads’ execution of stunts, leaps, tumbles and special themes, not to mention the loud cheers and the banging drums. The unpredictable nature of the event makes for some compelling television.

So it was not a surprise to see why the recent editions of the Cheerdance Competition became social media hits. ABS-CBN Sports has done a very good job in hyping the event in advance, and the fans, whether they are watching in person, on ABS-CBN Sports+Action, on Balls HD 167, or on UAAP’s livestream website, were invested into the network’s early bird promotion.

This was in contrast to the recent NCAA Cheerleading Competition that was held at the Mall of Asia Arena last March. Poor attendance, poor viewership, lack of sponsors, and poor hype were the reasons why no one paid attention to NCAA’s own version. And TV5, the league’s coveror, paid dearly for it.

If there’s a league that can make cheerdancing a popular spectacle even for just one day, it’s the UAAP. The Cheerdance Competition is the time of the year where the cheering squads of the eight member schools try to one-up each other by performing routines that are difficult, impressive and creatively planned to near-perfection. And the fans buy into each performance.

This year’s competition will be no different, as defending champion NU Cheering Squad and the seven others will try to improve on last year’s routines. The UAAP Cheerdance Competition is expected to be another 20k-attended event, and millions will surely talk about it on social media before, during, and after the event.

One final note: For those in search of some eye candy, pay attention to Boom Gonzales’ dazzling co-host for Sunday afternoon, as well as the season’s courtside reporters in their respective schools’ gear. The Cheerdance Competition will not be complete without them.

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Philippines, Sports, television

ABS-CBN Must Prove UAAP is Here to Stay

The Ateneo-La Salle first round matchup will take place on July 20 at 11:00 a.m., presumably to allow ABS-CBN Channel 2 to broadcast the game. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN News.com)

UAAP Season 77 is four days away, but the bidding rights for Season 78 are already underway.

The men’s basketball tournament begins this July 12, marking the fifteenth season of the fruitful and lengthy relationship between the UAAP and ABS-CBN Sports. However, the upcoming tournaments will be the first for ABS-CBN Sports+Action, formerly known as Studio 23, which was replaced in the middle of the previous season’s women’s volleyball tournament.

Entering the final year of the five-year contract signed in 2010, ABS-CBN made it clear that they will not stand pat and will do whatever it takes to keep the UAAP. And it became pretty evident when the revised UAAP schedule was released last week.

In the revised schedule, the highly anticipated Ateneo-La Salle duel was moved to July 20 from the original playdates of August 2 and July 19, and will be played at 11:00 a.m. The rescheduled game, according to observers, is aimed towards a potential live broadcast on Channel 2, the flagship channel of ABS-CBN.

Even though ABS-CBN 2 has aired the men’s basketball finals in the last five years (and the women’s volleyball final game last season), the VHF network has never aired a single Ateneo-La Salle match in men’s basketball. The game on July 20 could change all that.

Game-changing moves like this are no stranger to ABS-CBN Sports. Since becoming the broadcast partner of the UAAP in 2000, the network has made significant milestones over the years, some of which contribute to the league’s overwhelming popularity.

Whether it was the addition of student courtside reporters, the introduction of the Cheerdance Competition as a side event, the first-ever high definition television broadcasts, or Channel 2’s coverage of the men’s basketball finals, ABS-CBN’s shrewd moves at improving the UAAP coverage appear to pay off. And increasing attendance during games was the result of these moves.

But what will happen if the UAAP suddenly cut ties with ABS-CBN? For sure, there will be sweeping changes for the other coveror, which may threaten the consistent growth of the league.

Among those bidding for UAAP rights is TV5. The Kapatid network has been aggressively courting the UAAP for awhile now. However, they don’t have the attributes that ABS-CBN utilized in promoting the league. Worse, their scheduling issues with both the PBA and NCAA pose a great risk to their bid.

If ABS-CBN Sports wants to renew their rights with the UAAP, they must prove that the gains from last year are no fluke. During Season 76, the men’s basketball and women’s volleyball finals posted high ratings for the Kapamilya network, and virtually every game became a trending topic on social media sites.

The network also aired a ‘game of the week’ for men’s football and men’s volleyball, along with the finals of badminton, tennis, beach volleyball, baseball and softball, and various other events. In all, ABS-CBN gave the UAAP their most comprehensive coverage of the league’s games to date, and should give them the necessary inspiration for the upcoming season.

The UAAP on ABS-CBN Sports enters a pivotal moment in its 15-year history. For both parties, it is time to deliver their best performance yet.

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Philippines, Sports, television

What’s Wrong with the NCAA on Sports5?

The 89th NCAA season in the Philippines recently concluded with De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde winning the overall seniors title, and San Beda College-Taytay winning the high school title. However, the season proved to be a dud in a broadcasting standpoint, and as NCAA’s television contract with Sports5 enters its final year, a lot of issues had to be resolved.

Scheduling Concerns on Seniors Basketball

Like in Season 88, Sports5 scheduled the elimination round games at 4 p.m. The eliminations were aired on AksyonTV after the dissolution of AKTV on IBC-13. However, during the playoffs, they were moved to a less favorable 12 p.m. slot to accommodate TV5’s loaded primetime programs.

Obviously, neither viewership nor attendance increased despite the move to primetime, and it became even worse when the games were moved to the less powerful AksyonTV. In addition, the decision to air the Final Four and Finals at 12 p.m. on TV5 caused a backlash; one particular Final Four doubleheader was affected by the Janet Lim-Napoles hearings, forcing the games to air only on AksyonTV. The early afternoon broadcasts of the Finals, like in the eliminations, did little to attract viewers.

It also didn’t help that the NCAA basketball season extended to November due to the FIBA Asia Championship and the typhoons that forced the postponement of games, thus leaving fans impatient.

Lack of Publicity

Last Thursday’s Cheerleading Competition at the Mall of Asia Arena was a prime example of Sports5’s lack of publicity with the league, with attendance figures sharply less than the consistent sellout crowds of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition at the said venue. The event, unlike its UAAP counterpart, was a non-factor in social media circles.

Sports5’s lack of promotion extends beyond the cheerleading competition. Women’s volleyball, already a centerpiece in the NCAA’s second semester, was given little to no attention by Sports5 due to the PBA, and as a result only a few games were aired at the unconventional 12 p.m. slot. Other events were also given only spot highlights during commercials.

Announcers’ Problems

As I have noted in a previous article, Sports5 announcers had the tendency to speak just before the commercial gaps end. This was none more evident than during the NCAA basketball finals, and the problems extended beyond the NCAA games.

If these announcers learn to cue themselves before the end of a commercial, then Sports5’s NCAA coverage would have been smoother and more consistent. But instead the announcers became impatient, and that ruined the viewers’ experience.

Outlook

The NCAA on Sports5 enters a contract year in Season 90, and through the first two years, coverage has not been good. With its contract expiring, Sports5 needs to improve on these aspects in hopes of extending its deal with the league, otherwise the NCAA may begin considering a new partner for Season 91.

Good luck with that.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

Another Mayweather Blunder within GMA; UAAP Cheerdance

Another Floyd Mayweather fight, another blunder by the Kapuso network. For the past few days the GMA Network has been promoting the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fight on its television and radio commercials with much hype. Unfortunately, the airing of the bout wasn’t quite what boxing fans expected.

The Kapuso network decided to air the bout only after their Sunday variety show ‘Sunday All Stars’ (around 2:00 p.m.), airtime uncharacteristic for a boxing card aired in the Philippines. By tradition, 10 a.m. is usually the airtime reserved for boxing matches, whether major or minor cards; ABS-CBN’s ‘Pinoy Pride’ series is an example. However GMA did not want to sacrifice airtime, so they placed the ‘Kapuso Movie Festival‘ block instead, after which they proceeded to ‘Sunday All Stars’, which unlike its ABS-CBN counterpart ‘ASAP‘, usually airs on a taped basis. As far as the 2:00 p.m. airtime is concerned, GMA shunned away from airing undercards and focused on the main match instead.

Unlike before when GMA shared broadcast rights with Solar Sports for Mayweather bouts, the Mayweather-Alvarez fight will only be seen solely on the GMA Network; another good sign that the network is trying to establish its own sports division. I have written about GMA’s lack of a sports division in the past, especially considering that its counterparts in ABS-CBN and TV5 have been able to establish their own sports divisions by inking airtime contracts with various professional, collegiate and amateur leagues in the country. However, with the Mayweather-Alvarez fight, GMA is now looking to make a name for itself in terms of covering a variety of sports events, which may eventually lead to a new ‘GMA Sports’ division in the near future. Perhaps adding the PBA to its coverage may legitimize its claim as a sports broadcasting power.

Meanwhile, HD subscribers at SkyCable can avail of the live broadcast of the fight for free via SkyCable channel 195. Unfortunately, with a majority still without HD digiboxes, they can only depend on internet live-streaming for the comprehensive live coverage of the event; otherwise either tune in to GMA’s delayed broadcast or go through various social media outlets for the blow-by-blow coverage.

At around the same time as GMA’s delayed broadcast of the Mayweather-Alvarez fight is the much-anticipated UAAP Cheerdance Competition. The event, to be aired on Studio 23 and Balls 167 HD beginning at 1:30 p.m., will again feature cheering squads of the eight participating universities, led by defending champion UP Pep Squad. The hype surrounding the event has been so significant that every seat at the Mall of Asia Arena has been sold out, and they plan to sell a few standing room only tickets to waiting patrons.

As with every UAAP Cheerdance Competition, the assigned courtside reporters will be dressed in the pep squad attire of their respective universities. Prize money, gifts and awards will be given to the three podium finishers and to the most stunning female member of the pep squad (the Stunner award). Judges from various cheerleading organizations will be present to evaluate every move of each cheering squad, whose routines usually last ten minutes. And there will also be a Group Stunts Competition for select cheering squads, which will likewise merit prize money, gifts and awards for the podium finishers.

Expect the event to trend via social media, and with so much hype surrounding the Cheerdance Competition, the event will likewise be a highly-anticipated television spectacle.

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