Philippines, Sports, television

UAAP Final Four and Finals to Stream Only on iWant and ABS-CBN Sports Website

Talk about making some restrictions.

The UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball Final Four is currently in progress with Ateneo already clinching the first slot of the Finals while Adamson and UP continue to dispute the other ticket. Unfortunately for viewers who are on a road trip or are away from home, they only have two choices to watch the rest of the tournament.

On ABS-CBN Sports’ official YouTube page, they posted a live stream of rolling advisories redirecting viewers to watch the UAAP Final Four on iWant and ABS-CBN Sports’ official website. The statement that will greet viewers is as follows:

“Watch all the games of the Final Four live on sports.abs-cbn.com or iwant.ph!”

In short, there is no live stream of the UAAP Final Four on ABS-CBN Sports’ YouTube channel at all. Instead, viewers can only watch the games online for free on the ABS-CBN Sports website or the iWant app (the latter requires user registration).

The same approach will apply during the UAAP women’s basketball stepladder playoffs, of which ABS-CBN Sports began covering in earnest. Considering last week’s debacle during the cheerdance competition (the YouTube stream crashed on occasion due to the heavy volume of viewers), it only made sense for ABS-CBN to avoid a repeat of such incident.

It also encourages the network to take full use of other sporting events that would have otherwise been inaccessible to the public. For instance, the Premier Volleyball League and the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball tournament will still be available live and free on the ABS-CBN Sports YouTube channel, because the network wants to promote the sport of volleyball very seriously.

As for the possibility of airing the men’s basketball finals anew on ABS-CBN Channel 2, it remains to be seen if the network will still push through with the plan. Considering ‘It’s Showtime”s recent penchant for working overtime, ABS-CBN Sports executives might as well stick with only S+A and live stream for the series.

The UAAP men’s basketball Final Four continues Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. with Adamson and UP disputing the last Finals slot. Game 1 of the Finals will begin Saturday.

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Philippines, Sports, television

Amid Fan Demand, UAAP Men’s Basketball Finally Schedules Primetime Games

A night game between La Salle and NU on September 13 marked yet another first in the history of UAAP men’s basketball. (Photo credit: Interaksyon.com)

Welcome to primetime basketball, UAAP.

On September 13, the first night game in the history of UAAP men’s basketball took place inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The historic game pitted the De La Salle Green Archers and the National University Bulldogs, both of which went on to play in the season’s Final Four alongside the Ateneo Blue Eagles and FEU Tamaraws.

The historic night game was necessitated since the four teams on that day’s doubleheader were contending for a Final Four slot. With the stakes at its highest, and in anticipation of a possible sellout, the league decided to have two separate games on the same day instead of a traditional doubleheader, something they’ve been using during Ateneo-La Salle matches.

But instead of a morning and an afternoon game, the league experimented with a 2:00 p.m. game and a 6:00 p.m. game, in hopes of attracting more spectators. And on September 13, history was made in the UAAP.

Scheduling night games in Philippine college basketball is not a new concept. The NCAA experimented with this approach in Seasons 88 and 89, but abandoned it once TV5 joined alongside incumbent coveror and sister station AksyonTV in the coverage of the games.

Too bad few fans showed up to watch a primetime NCAA game, further compounding its issues in television coverage.

While the UAAP men’s basketball tournament is increasing in popularity, the league still needed something to spice up fan interest. This is where night games come to the picture.

Fortunately for coveror ABS-CBN Sports+Action, their scheduling flexibility allowed them to air this historic live match. And for the league’s legion of fans, the night game between La Salle and NU only adds to the UAAP’s growing popularity.

Tomorrow’s do-or-die Final Four matches (Ateneo vs. NU; La Salle vs. FEU) will again have a night game on the schedule. This time, however, three matches will be on the bill, thanks to the inclusion of the first game of the women’s basketball finals between FEU and NU.

In fact, all three games will be aired live on Sports+Action, furthering its commitment to the UAAP cause.

For a league that continues to grow with every season, the historic night of September 13, 2014 will always be remembered in UAAP annals. It was a night that the UAAP and its fans will never forget, and the legend will only rise from here.

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