Philippines, Sports, television

ABS-CBN Sports Erroneously Advertised Game 2 of UAAP Finals as Airing on Channel 2

Ateneo did win after all at UP’s expense.

And it was not even close. Game 2 of the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball finals ended with a 99-81 score in favor of the Blue Eagles, clinching their tenth championship and eighth in this millennium.

But in the days leading up to Game 2 there was some confusion as to which channels would air the game. A look at ABS-CBN Sports’ Facebook page and it was clear that their social media team screwed up with the announcements.

This post was taken last Tuesday.

Then they made another post hours prior to the game.

The same posts were tweeted on ABS-CBN Sports’ Twitter account, although the latter post was deleted a few hours later. Either way this was a perplexing situation.

The photo stated that Game 2 would be aired on ABS-CBN Channel 2, S+A, via live stream on ABS-CBN Sports’ official website and iWant. However, Channel 2 did not advertise the game at all, and instead aired episode teasers of ‘Kadenang Ginto’, ‘Los Bastardos’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother Otso’ and ‘Meteor Garden’ throughout the morning and early afternoon last Wednesday.

Sure enough, Channel 2 continued on with Kapamilya Gold while Game 2 ended up airing only on S+A. In short, ABS-CBN Sports social media made quite an epic gaffe over the announcement.

Since 2009, ABS-CBN Sports’ contract with the UAAP allowed for at least one game of the Finals to air on Channel 2 (usually on Saturdays). However, Channel 2 ended up airing only Game 1 on most seasons and rarely does the channel air the more compelling Games 2 and/or 3 which are potential championship clinchers.

With the addition of S+A as a secondary option in 2016, ratings of the UAAP finals on Channel 2 saw some precipitous drops, and this year was no exception. Game 1 of the 2018 Finals between Ateneo and UP on Channel 2 only finished with an 11.2% rating, whereas GMA shows ‘Wish Ko Lang’, ‘Imbestigador’ and ’24 Oras Weekend’ posted better numbers.

There are two things that are to blame for Channel 2’s low ratings of the Finals. First, viewers were more accustomed to watching the game on S+A (especially now with the addition of the ABS-CBN TVPlus), and second, Game 1 was not even significant to begin with as there is nothing on the line except the first victory.

That said, with the Finals on Channel 2 experiencing low ratings of late, perhaps ABS-CBN Sports should make some adjustments to the airing schedule. Since Game 1 is not that important, they should look at Games 2 and 3 as potential ratings draws and schedule them on a Saturday so that Channel 2 can join in.

If not, just abandon said practice and air all games on S+A only. That could be a fair deal.

The good news is that the ‘Battle of Katipunan’ UAAP finals attracted many spectators and viewers alike. But unless ABS-CBN does something smarter to make the finals more enticing, expect lower ratings in future games on Channel 2.

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