Philippines, Sports, television

Sports5’s Disservice to the Philippine Superliga

 

The ongoing PSL Grand Prix has been hindered by the lack of full live coverage on AksyonTV, particularly during the 3:00 p.m. games. (Logo courtesy of the Philippine SuperLiga)

The ongoing PSL Grand Prix has been criticized for the lack of full live coverage on AksyonTV, particularly during the 3:00 p.m. games. (Logo courtesy of the Philippine SuperLiga)

Women’s volleyball in the Philippines is as popular as ever.

While the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament usually garners the biggest headlines from January to May, two other leagues also vie for the top spot in the sport’s hierarchy. On one corner is the 12-year-old Shakey’s V-League, and on the other corner is the FIVB-recognized Philippine SuperLiga.

Although the SVL has become a hot commodity of late with the entry of ABS-CBN Sports, the PSL also gained some traction thanks to its participation in the just-concluded FIVB Women’s Club World Championships. Unfortunately for the PSL, one obstacle prevented them from gaining the ultimate respect of volleyball fans.

That obstacle happens to be the league’s delayed coverage of select games on AksyonTV. The PSL usually schedules 3:00 p.m. games on a select number of dates, but for whatever reason, AksyonTV does not air the games live in favor of EZ Shop, a filler show whose broadcast is optional at best.

In contrast, Wednesday and Saturday 4:00 p.m. games of the SVL on S+A were aired on tape delay at 8:00 p.m. instead, due to conflicts with ABS-CBN Sports’ coverage of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament. Overall, ABS-CBN Sports had a valid excuse for their SVL coverage, whereas Sports5’s PSL coverage had no alibi to show for.

The non-coverage of select live PSL games only adds to the poor reputation of AksyonTV. Already criticized for its overreliance on TV shopping blocks and old news programs, AksyonTV’s unreliability only got worse with this snub.

At this point, the PSL may never catch up to the older SVL in terms of overall popularity. While the PSL does have the game’s first superstar in Rachel Ann Daquis and the championship core of the DLSU Lady Spikers, the SVL has Alyssa Valdez, the superstar whose charm and unparalleled power packed big arenas during her years as an Ateneo Lady Eagle.

That said, it is up to both Sports5 and PSL to work together and promote the league further. After all, they deserve a lot of respect from the volleyball community.

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Philippines, Sports, television

The Super Liga Is Now on Sports5

The Philippine Super Liga will have a new partner in Sports5. (Photo credit: Business Mirror)

After a two-year partnership with Solar Sports, the Philippine Super Liga decided to switch gears for the benefit of free TV viewers.

Starting this season, the PSL will be seen exclusively on Sports5’s free TV outlets. Most games will be aired live on AksyonTV, with select games to be simulcast on TV5.

Sports5 is no stranger to airing the PSL. During the volleyball league’s first season, a select number of playoff games were aired on the Sports5 channels, with Solar Sports then responsible for the production.

This time around, however, every game will be produced by the Sports5 team. The move to free TV should benefit not only the viewers, the fans and the volleyball community, but also the league itself, as it aims to sustain the growth and popularity of women’s volleyball in the country.

The 2015 PSL All-Filipino Conference will kick off this Saturday, March 21. Six teams will participate in the tournament: Cignal HD, Petron Blaze, Philips Gold, Shopinas.com, Foton, and Mane ‘N Tail.

Most games of the tournament will be held at the two Pasay City venues: Mall of Asia Arena and the Cuneta Astrodome. A few other games will be held outside Metro Manila, all for the benefit of provincial fans.

A new season should bring bigger opportunities, and for the Philippine Super Liga, a move to free TV will mean a lot to the league’s growth and success.

UPDATE: The Philippine Super Liga will continue to air on Solar Sports, with live games on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The games on the Sports5 channels will feature Taglish commentary, while the games on Solar Sports will feature English commentary. However, Solar Sports will now carry the Sports5 feed, similar to the arrangement made during PBA games in both Sports5 and Fox Sports Philippines. 

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