COMPLAINTS are mounting over the new television broadcast of the PBA games, which fans rued have left them confused and frustrated and - in the case of those with access only to free TV - completely tuned out.
At the center of the growing anger is the telecast of the first game of weekday doubleheaders, which is shown live on Aksyon TV 41 - TV5's sister channel on the UHF band - and on a delayed basis by the league's regular coveror, TV5, after its late-evening newscast.
Twitter was abuzz with gripes from fans over the new coverage set-up of the league's TV partner Sports5 after the season's first regular doubleheader on Wednesday. Here are just some of the tweets:
Jude Valleser: “grabeh...isang game lng ang live telecast...dpa mgnda ang pgpaplabas...tv5...mhya nman kau!!!!!”
Tyrone Johndale: @Tjisthename2817h @snowbadua bakit kailangan pa delay ang first game paano kame mga student na kailangan matulog nang maaga tapos 11 pm ang first game!!
remar oracion @xyc0920 Nov @snowbadua PBA RIP ! syang pnaghrapan mO kume sinisira na ni MVP ang lahat. #selfishnetwork #pba2014turnoff
Sports5 was forced to come up with a new broadcast setup after it ended its block time agreement with government-controlled channel IBC 13, but it had problems finding space for the coverage of the PBA games in TV5's already loaded primetime schedule.
They Said It!
“Siguro mas dagdagan pa nila yung information dissemination. And at the same time, kailangang i-amplify nila yung signal ng channel 41 para mas ma-access ng mas marami" - Raymund Yu, Rain or Shine co-owner
As a result, only the main games of double-headers will be shown live on TV5 during Wednesday and Friday playdates. The same arrangement will be followed on Saturdays, except that the games will be starting early at 3 p.m.
The only time both PBA games will be shown live by the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned network is during Sundays, where the league will have the 3 to 7 p.m. time slot all to itself.
That apparently did not sit well with the fans, who are clamoring for the return of the old coverage arrangements where all the games can be viewed live on free television.
Here's one more tweet:
Jay Sala @jay_sala16h @snowbadua nakakainis yun delayed telecast ng 1st game lalo na kapag team mo ang maglalaro. Ewan ko ba bat pumayag PBA. #PBA2014TurnOff
Prior to the start of the season, Sports5 announced that it has struck a deal with FOX Sports Philippines for the live airing of both games in the top cable channel. Still, that failed to ease the anger of fans who do not have access to cable channels.
[For full story, see FOX Sports' live airing of games adds much-needed reach to PBA telecast]
Here's another complaint on Twitter:
Cynthia B. De Guzman: @cbdg1017h @snowbadua TV channel airing of live games, kawawa naman ang 1st game scheds, hnd naman lahat may fox sports at aksyon tv. #PBA2014TurnOff
Even Spin.ph's comments section has been filled with complaints from readers. Here's one:
Dirk_miggy: "hindi na pwede ngayon ang delayed telecast dahil sa internet may mga live scores na.. pag nakita ng iba na talo yung team nila baka hindi na nila panoorin yung delayed telecast... ibalik niyo sa dati!!!"
Some fans are even questioning why they were left in the dark with regards to the new PBA broadcast plan - then left channel-surfing and frantically looking for the games when the season started.
In fact, the mother-in-law of Barako Bull coach Bong Ramos was one of those disenfranchised, saying she frantically looked for the broadcast of the Energy Cola's game against Air21 on Wednesday, with no success.
“I was trying to access the game on Channel 5. Kaso it was showing a different program. I kept transferring baka nasa iba. Kaso wala. It took me an hour doing the same routine,” said Cynthia Quimpo, 74.
“I always watch the PBA games, but it was strange last night. Because they didn’t show the game live. I have been watching the league since my daughter Joy married Bong in the early 90’s.”
Sources in the league said the board approved the broadcast plan as early as three months ago, or long before team governors left for Sydney last October for their annual planning session.
Rain or Shine co-owner Raymund Yu agreed that the league and its TV partner should do more in terms of information dissemination with regards to the new broadcast arrangements.
“I think, hindi lang alam ng tao yun. Siguro mas dagdagan pa nila yung information dissemination. And at the same time, kailangang i-amplify nila yung signal ng channel 41 para mas ma-access ng mas marami,” said Yu.
Meanwhile, a source told Spin.ph that the PBA is now collating the messages of the fans regarding the TV broadcast which the league will evaluate immediately.