Chot assures live airing of PBA games at end of IBC 13 deal, but rest of details still unclear
"Hindi mawawala ang live airing of the PBA games. We're committed to airing all the games live on free television. As for the rest of the details, hindi ko pa masasabi," says new Sports5 head Chot Reyes. Jerome Ascano

NEW Sports5 head Chot Reyes on Thursday said the company remains committed to airing the PBA games live on free television over the next three years.

Reacting to a story that Manny V. Pangilinan's decision to end AKTV's block-time agreement with IBC 13 has threatened the live airing of the games, Reyes said the station is mandated to show the games live on free television under the contract it signed with the pro league.

"Hindi mawawala ang live airing of the PBA games," Reyes assured in an telephone interview with "We're committed to airing all the games live on free television.

"As for the rest of the details, hindi ko pa masasabi."

Reyes explained that AKTV's five-year deal with the pro league that runs until 2015 mandates the live coverage of the games on free television, and any changes to that set-up will be a breach of contract.

The concurrent Gilas coach, in fact, bared that plans have already been put in place to air the finals games of the ongoing PBA Commissioner's Cup on TV5, which is also part of the MVP group.

Reyes, however, said there are still no firm plans in place for the PBA coverage once the block-time agreement between AKTV and IBC 13 ends in May, acknowledging that it will be hard for TV5 to squeeze the live, thrice-a-week broadcast of the PBA games into the station's loaded programming.

Asked how they plan to air the PBA games live if TV5 can't find a room for the games in its prime time programming, Reyes said: "Iyan ang ginagawan pa namin ng paraan," admitting that entering into a block-time deal with another station is an option.

Reyes also admitted that they have already started talks with league commissioner Chito Salud long before Pangilinan made the surprise announcement on Thursday.

The Gilas coach said state-run IBC 13 is being eyed for privitization by the government and therefore can no longer enter into any long-term agreements with block timers.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph