THE PBA board declined yet another Sports5 proposal on Thursday as it narrowed down the options for the official coveror of the league's games to two: show both games live either on TV5 or IBC 13.
The board made the stand after a special meeting in which Sports5 tried to sell a plan to broadcast the first games of weekday double-headers via IBC 13 and the second games on TV5 under the league's original time slots, with both games aired live over TV5 during Sundays.
TV5's sports outfit also proposed to maintain the same set-up in the final three years of its TV contract with the league, with UHF channel Aksyon TV 41 taking over from IBC 13 beginning next season.
The league, however, put its foot down, insisting that Sports5 broadcast the matches on a single VHF channel as stipulated in the TV contract beginning with the season-ending Governors Cup kicking off on August 14.
"To simplify matters, the board simply said (Sports5 must) show our games live on one single VHF channel," said Commissioner Chito Salud at the end of Sports5 presentation at the league offices. "Whether it's on IBC 13 or TV5, it's their choice.
"That's the final position of the PBA on the matter."
Under the terms laid down by the league, the broadcast of the league games will remain in the original timeslots - 5:15 p.m. tipoff for the first game and 7:30 p.m. for the second - if Sports5 remains at IBC 13, while tipoff will be delayed 30 minutes if the broadcast is moved to TV5.
The board and Sports5 officials will meet again on Wednesday to settle the issue with finality.
The board had rejected a number of proposals from Sports5, to the point of mulling over a move to take over the broadcast of the league's games while slapping a multi-million penalty on the TV coveror. (For full story, read Sports5 faces multi-million hit as PBA board mulls takeover of TV broadcast)
Unable to squeeze the games coverage into TV5's loaded primetime programming, Sports5 was left with no recourse but to renew its ties with IBC 13, just months after head Manny V. Pangilinan announced that the TV outfit was ending its blocktime agreement with the sequestered network. (For full story, read PBA coveror staying at '13' to avert TV crisis as league board plays hard ball)
Now Sports5 only has two options left.
League chairman Robert Non said: "Those are just the two options (Sports5) can choose from and that's final. We'll see them again on Wednesday."