TELEVISION outfit Sports5 will propose to keep the broadcast of PBA games on IBC 13 to avert a long-drawn crisis that has threatened to break up its partnership with the pro league, industry sources told Spin.ph on Thursday.
Sports5, the sports arm of the Manny V. Pangilinan-controlled network TV5, will make the proposal in a meeting with the PBA board on Thursday in a last-ditch effort to secure an agreement on the broadcast of the league games after a number of proposals have been turned down.
The TV coveror's final proposal, which was to carry the first game of double-headers either on IBC 13 or PTV 4 and the second game on TV5, was flatly rejected by the board as some team owners moved to have the league take over the broadcast of the games, sources said.
Such a move would cost Sports5 millions in penalties under the multi-year, P917 million deal it signed with the league in 2011. (For full story click Sports5 faces multi-million hit as PBA board mulls takeover of TV broadcast)
To break the impasse, Sports5, sources said, has prepared different presentations for the board on Thursday with the main proposal centering on keeping the coverage to IBC 13 at the usual timeslot of 5:15 p.m. during weekdays and 4 p.m. during Sundays.
Ironically, the move to keep the PBA broadcast at IBC 13 comes just two months after Pangilinan announced that MediaQuest, which controls the PLDT group's media assets, was ending its blocktime agreement with the sequestered channel due to the rising cost it entailed.
Pangilinan's announcement had triggered the broadcast crisis, with Sports5's proposals to bring the games to Aksyon TV 41 - TV5's sister channel on the UHF band - turned down by the board which had insisted that the TV contract had precisely called for a broadcast in a VHF channel.
Not even a sweetener thrown in by Sports5 to broadcast games either on a live or delayed basis over TV5 could convince the board to say yes.
Now, a return to IBC 13 may get the PBA board's nod, but sources from the network insisted the set-up will only be for the season-ending Governors Cup kicking off on August 14 and ending on October 27, assuming the playoffs reach the full route.
By next season, Sports5 will once again propose that the league broadcast be moved to Aksyon TV, which it hopes would be more acceptable to the board by then given the massive improvements on its reach and signal strength the company claims to be undertaking, sources said.
League insiders, however, doubt if the board will agree to such a move.
There is also concern over the government's plan to sell IBC 13, which could jeopardize the league broadcast once it pushes through.