PBA commissioner Chito Salud said on Wednesday he expects a "win-win solution" as he and the board awaits the final proposal from Sports5 with regards to the television coverage of the pro league's games, which Spin.ph sources said is headed back to PTV-4.
Sports5, through MediaQuest head Noel Lorenzana, last week presented a third proposal which the board did not find acceptable as the league stood pat on the terms of the broadcast contract which calls for the live airing of the games in a VHF channel.
The main component of Sports5's proposal had been the live broadcast of the games on Aksyon TV 41, TV5's sister channel on the UHF band, with the matches also aired on a live or delayed basis over TV5.
Salud, however, said the board has since sent a counter-proposal to Sports5 and he expects an answer from TV5's sports arm in the next few days - or early next week at the latest.
“May posisyon na rin tayo dyan, and that’s for their consideration and we are just waiting for them to get back to us,” said Salud who will immediately call a special board meeting as soon as Sports5 executives submit a new proposal.
“We are waiting for word from them. As soon as they come back (with the new proposal), I will immediately call for a special meeting for the final decision,” added th PBA chieftain.
Salud made his pronouncement as reports reached Spin.ph that Sports5 is currently ironing out a blocktime agreement with PTV-4, the home of the league during its golden years in the eighties.
Sports5 is forced to look for a new partner VHF station after ending its blocktime agreement with IBC 13 last May. The television outfit is also having a hard time squeezing the broadcast of the games into TV5's much improved and already crowded prime time programming.
Sources told Spin.ph that PTV-4 remains the only logical option for Sports5.
“Hindi kasi kayang ilabas pareho sa TV5 yung dalawang laro kada game day. And the board wants a VHF channel. Kaya we have to find a way,” said a source from the network.
The government-owned PTV-4 is also undergoing massive revitalization after President Benigno Aquino recently signed into law a new PTV charter with a fresh capital infusion of P5-billion to finance the modernization of its equipment and transmitters as well as satellite stations in the provinces.
At the same time, the source denied Sports5 is considering a return to IBC-13, a sequestered station that has been put up for sale by the government.
“Hindi na kami nakikipag-usap sa 13, although we inquired once kung open pa yung time slot ng AKTV dati (sa IBC 13). Pero hindi na kami nakikipag-negotiate ulit sa kanila,” said the source, who pointed to PTV’s superior signal and larger network of provincial stations nationwide.
At this point, showing the games on a UHF channel is already out of the question as far as the board is concerned.
"Unless the PBA owners change their minds, the broadcast of the PBA games on Studio 23 a few years back will be the last appearance of the league in a UHF channel," Salud said.
"We can't settle for a network that has a signal and frequency less superior than IBC 13," he added.
Sources said Sports5 is in the process of coming up with "different combinations" which they will present to the board once finalized.
“Syempre, gumagawa ng iba’t ibang plano para ipapakita na ready na ilalabas na plan A, plan B etc. sakaling magtanong o hindi kursunada ng board,” he said.