REMINDER: This post is both an author’s response and opinion to Ralph Domingo’s From the Tube regarding the end of NBA on free TV.
IS IT YOU or is it déjà vu? The San Antonio Spurs just won the NBA Western Conference finals and they will face the two-time NBA Finals Champion Miami Heat Friday morning (Philippine time).
Sports analysts, sportswriters and fans have their own say who will win the coveted Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Some fans wanted San Antonio Spurs to win in order to prevent the Heat’s “Grand Slam” (i.e. winning the Finals for the third consecutive season) and to spit against the opponent’s coach, the Filipino-American Erik Spoelstra, as instructed by politically motivated social media scholars (PMSMS). Others wanted the opposing team, the Miami Heat, due to the naïve instincts based on the record of recent accomplishment on the championship series and of course, the coach’s maternal blood.
Since the NBA fan base is still alive and kicking in the Philippines, this Finals, unfortunately, would ring the final buzzer on TV after the series.
According to ABS-CBN News dated February 11, 2011, a power-sharing contract was signed with Solar TV. The agreement stated that Solar’s BTV will air the scheduled and live NBA Games and ABS-CBN and Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action) air selected games live or delayed (read: via satellite). The contract will last until this current season (2013-14), lasting three and a half years.
The contracting network’s perilous protests
During the contract period, despite of good ratings game, objections from NBA fans without cable (for the sake of saving money) arrived at the doorsteps of ABS-CBN, where most (if not all) of the messages are ignored to respond. Complaints from fans are mostly devoted to programming that delays the 48-minute action, particularly, Kris TV, the youngest Presidential sister’s 90-minute lifestyle program or as most critics called, “90 Minutes living in morning TV hell.” She was favored by the management (including the letter-reading Ma’am Charo) and was given a renewal of contract much longer than the basketball association that we are supposed to talk about.
If ABS-CBN fails to dunk, who’s next?
If ABS-CBN failed to score a fast break of renewal, the NBA games will be written in the chapter of sports in Philippine TV history. With that scenario will return ABS-CBN’s Team Animazing.
Other network-contenders of Dos, if the deal fails to shoot the hoop, include (according to sports broadcasting strength):
- TV5. Manny V. Pangilinan, a sports fanatic and a speculative buyer of an NBA team, would be interested in airing NBA on TV5 in the morning but the drawback is the potential operating losses in the end causing MVP to cease the offer after a contractual term.
- IBC 13. IBC was once housed basketball games of our own, PBA, through Vintage and AKTV block. The weekday mornings in the government station, currently housed the boring and ridiculous EZ Shop home-shopping block, would make viewers interested and to gain trust on the “Sick Broadcaster.” Its disadvantage is the potential operating (licensing) costs will translate into undue liabilities and surely, with the current lampayatot (lame) rate of settlement, Channel 13 would crash again to capital deficiency.
- GMA 7. The network, described by Mr. Domingo’s site, of having a lack of sports division, would be impossible to shoot the ball into the basket and the management would rather air repetitive classic animes unless Ramon Ang grabs the equity stake from the troika of the programming demolition team.
After the final buzzer of the championship series ring, this would mean the loss of significant slice of viewers for the next NBA season. As the final seven games or less draws near, we, or almost all of us, should savor the best of the last games of hoops on free TV unless we need to call overtime.
Let the poster speaks for itself, dear NBA fans:
[Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Keep Calm Poster generated by Author-Admin through The Keep Calm-O-Matic]