NEGOTIATIONS for a new television deal for the PBA games have hit a stalemate with the league board and coveror Sports5 still far apart approaching another Monday deadline.
Sports5, TV5's sports arm, is still not keen on accepting one of two options laid down by the PBA board: airing the games live on IBC-13 under its original schedule, or moving the coverage to TV5 with a new schedule that would have the first game airing at 5:45 p.m. and the second at 8 p.m.
On the other hand, the league has turned down the last of Sports5's many broadcast proposals, which would have the coverage of the first game starting at 4 p.m. on TV5 and the second game at 7 p.m., with the station's 45-minute newscast squeezed in between.
The league has once again extended its deadline to Monday, a move which one official said was "not a sign of weakness (since) we only want to give our broadcasting affiliate a chance to think about the matter."
The crisis started after MediaQuest, the Manny V. Pangilinan-led firm that owns the five-year broadcast rights of the PBA, discontinued its blocktime agreement with IBC-13, which had been the home of the sports programs telecast by its subsidiary AKTV.
Sources say Sports5 is no longer keen on entering into another blocktime set-up since it is bent on cutting down its losses, the reason other coverages like the NCAA basketball tournament have been moved to Aksyon TV 41 - TV5's sister station on the UHF band.
However, efforts to bring parts on the entire telecast of the PBA games to Aksyon TV have been thwarted by the board, which has invoked a clause in the P900 million television contract which guarantees the live coverage of the matches on a "single VHF channel."
A move to air one game on IBC-13 and the other on TV5 has also been rejected by the board.
Sports5, sources said, is losing millions from the PBA coverage because of the lack of advertising money coming in despite the high ratings the games have been getting the past conferences.
In contrast, ABS-CBN's coverage of the UAAP matches has been raking it in.
Asked about the secret of the network's success, ABS-CBN vice president for Sports Peter Musngi said: “We have kasi a lot of support divisions from creative communication to marketing to online, news and current affairs - lahat yan nagtutulong tulong.
“It’s a company-initiated project. If there is any credit at all, the credit is to the entire company. Sa amin. every division wants to help."
Musngi also gave credit to the network's solid sports production team.
“I think 'yan ang isa sa mga key sa success. Hindi mo naman kasi pwedeng i-micro manage yan. Yung mga teams naming sa production pwedeng iwan yan, sabihin mo lang gagawin. They’re united and they’re the best,” Musngi said.