TWO top executives of TV5 said PBA games rated well on television during the Philippine Cup but do not see imminent changes to the current broadcast format of the league on the 'Kapatid' network.
Noel Lorenzana, chief executive officer of TV5, said the PBA games shown on the Manny V. Pangilinan-controlled station enjoyed tremendous following from viewers, particularly the semifinal series between Ginebra and San Mig and the Mixers' finals face-off with Rain or Shine.
“Everybody knows it. The semis of San Mig and Ginebra and the finals of Rain or Shine and San Mig were received (by viewers) very well,” Lorenzana told Spin.ph.
In fact, Lorenzana said Game Six of the San Mig-Rain or Shine Finals was the highest-rating show of TV5 this year with a 32.1 percent audience share or about 4 million viewers.
“Yun ang pinakamalaki namin this year, we’re very happy with the turnout,” added Lorenzana.
Chot Reyes, head of Sports5, the sports arm of the network, said the PBA coverage is enjoying a following that is more than double than what it used to receive when it was aired on other networks.
“Oo, malakas talaga (ang ratings ng PBA). Malakas talaga kahit yung elimination, there’s no question, kaya nga inilagay natin siya sa primetime ng TV5,” Reyes said.
The high ratings were unexpected considering the mounting complaints from league fans, who have rued the delayed airing of some games on TV5 as well as the limited reach of Aksyon TV 41 - its sister channel on the UHF band which showed both games live.
However, Reyes pointed out that the one game shown live on TV5 drew more viewers than the two live games that used to be shown on IBC 13, which used to beam the matches under a blocktime agreement with Sports5.
“We’ve never had these (TV) ratings ever in history, kaya kung ipagsama mo yung nanonood ng dalawang games sa IBC 13 noon as against sa isang game sa TV5, mas madaming nanonood sa TV5 ngayon,” said the multi-titled coach turned TV executive.
“Kelan ba nalagay ang PBA sa major network? Di ba dati PTV 4, IBC, Studio 23, Solar … they’ve never been on a major network except now,” Reyes added.
“We asked viewers kung mas mabuti ba yung schedule dati na live pareho sa IBC-13 o mas mabuti na yung live ang one game sa TV5 at yung both games sa Aksyon," said the Gilas Pilipinas coach. "The answer was mas maraming nakakapanood ng games ngayon.
“Pero alam ko maraming nagagalit, kasi hindi live (sa TV5) yung first game … pero pwede naman nilang hanapin sa Aksyon,” he added.
But for now, Lorenzana said the broadcast format of the league will stay the same in the Commissioner's Cup beginning on Wednesday.
“Sa ngayon, same set-up pa rin tayo. Pero it (changes in the programming) is always being discussed, whatever is good for our viewers. Pero we can’t reveal it now, it involves a lot of moving parts,” said the soft-spoken network executive.
“The best thing to say is it’s gonna be the same but we are always talking about it. Same set-up pa rin (ang TV coverage),” he added.
Reyes admitted that having two games shown live on primetime television is "too difficult," even for other major networks all over the world.
“You won’t see anywhere in the world, na double-header on primetime television na sports. It’s just too difficult,” Reyes said.
Still, Reyes said the high ratings are proof that the current programming is received well by fans, adding he sees no need to fix something that isn't broke.
“(The high rating) was a resounding yes, with the current schedule. So we don’t see any need to change it at this point,” said the Sports5 big boss.