ONE of the longest-staying team owners in the Philippine Basketball Association has finally broken his silence on the much-maligned television coverage of the league's games.
Alaska Aces big boss Wilfred Uytengsu said the new broadcast set-up of the league's games is "an issue" which the PBA board and TV partner Sports5 need to sort out for the sake of the viewing public.
Under the set-up Sports5 adopted after ending its blocktime agreement with IBC 13, all games are carried by UHF channel Aksyon TV 41 but only some matches are shown live by TV5 and cable channel FOX Philippines.
They Said It!
“I just know in the past and for the (entire) history of the PBA, we have always brought live telecast to the fans and that should be the goal." - Alaska owner Wilfred Uytengsu
However, the Aksyon TV broadcast has drawn the ire of fans because of accessibility and signal issues, putting the pressure on TV5 and its loaded primetime programming to show more games live.
Although he assured that he has no plans to meddle in the affairs of the board, Uytengsu made it clear he is aware of the fans' wrath over the "totally different set-up of the games’ coverage."
“I think it’s an issue and the board needs to sit down and the TV coveror has to understand that there’s no really substitute for live television,” said Uytengsu.
Uytengsu pointed out that the league has aired all its games live on a VHF channel since its inception in 1975, and 39 years after, he sees no need to deviate from that format.
“I am not close enough to the situation, I just know in the past and for the (entire) history of the PBA, we have always brought live telecast to the fans and that should be the goal,” he said.
Uytengsu hinted that the current TV set-up may only be temporary as Sports5 finds the best possible telecast of the league's games as it transitions from the IBC 13 block time partnership.
“So as long as there is an interim period in which we worked through it, and there is a long-term vision that all the games are shown live and on TV stations that’s accessible to all, that should be the priority,” added the team owner who joined the PBA in 1986.
A Spin.ph source has revelaed that PBA commissioner Chito Salud is already collating the comments of the fans on the TV coverage which he plans to present to the board in future meetings.
Still, Uytengsu insisted he is leaving it up to the board to settle the issue.
“I think obviously, yours truly wants live TV. But I believe the league is sorting through that. I am not on the board … I’m gonna leave it to the board to make those decisions,” he said.
“And I think they’re gonna make the best decisions first for our viewing fans and of course for us team owners,” he concluded.