GAMES of the coming PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals will now be carried live by TV5 instead of IBC 13 after the switch was approved by the league board in an emergency meeting on Thursday.
The TV channel switch was announced by PBA commissioner Chito Salud after a meeting attended by the league board led by chairman Robert Non and the PLDT group headed by Talk 'N Text governor Ricky Vargas.
TV5 is part of Manny V. Pangilinan's group of companies.
Game One of the Finals is scheduled on May 15 (Wednesday), while Game Two will be on May 17 (Friday). Both games will be aired at 7:30pm.
The board had initially turned down the switch, airing the concern that fans may end up being disenfranchised with so little time to spread the word about the move from IBC 13.
But on Thursday, Salud said the board gave more weight to the "stronger, clearer, and more widespread signal and reach of TV5" which he said is "appropriate and more consistent with the league's thrust to reach out to reach out to the league's fans nationwdie on a broader basis."
New Sports5 head Chot Reyes also eased fears that the switch will sow confusion among fans, saying "Tingin ko hindi naman magkakaruon ng confusion - kasi finals yun eh. Hahanapin talaga ng mga tao yun. Maski sa channel 555 mo ilagay yun mahahanap ng tao yun.”
Reyes also stressed that the PBA will benefit from the wider reach of TV5, which has improved its signal since Pangilinan’s MediaQuest company took over the station in 2010.
“Mas maganda nga sa TV5 kasi malawak ang reach. The reach of TV5 is about 90 percent of the country compared to only 50 percent ng IBC,” explained Reyes.
“So more people can watch. Mas malinaw pa,” he added.
MediaQuest's block-time agreement with IBC 13 is ending this month and Sports5 has yet to make an announcement on where it plans to move the live broadcast of the games.