It’s undeniable that the PBA has been successful in gaining its audience back. For the past couple of years, the league has been recovering from its slump and has been experiencing a mini-renaissance since being acquired by Sports5, the sports brand of TV5. Credit better marketing or whatnot, the interest in the league is rising—and, maybe one day, could even reach anew the levels of the Jaworski Days.
With last season's highly successful closing championship series featuring powerhouses Petron Blaze Boosters and San Mig Coffee Mixers, the grand opening of the 2013-2014 Philippine Cup, and the influx of remarkable rookies (we're looking at you Terrence Romeo), a lot of people (including yours truly) expect the league to ride this momentum all the way to TV ratings heaven.
Rookie of the moment: Romeo leads this year's crop of talented newbies!
However, alongside this resurgence is the criticism amongst viewers regarding the new TV schedule of the league—with everybody in the sports industry, from players to sportscasters, absorbing a windfall of dismay from a number of fans.
What am I talking about? Take a deep breath as I explain...
Before the start of the season, all games were aired on one channel, IBC 13. First games of Face Off Wednesday and Thriller Friday were at 5 p.m., with second games at 7:30 p.m. SuperBall Sunday games, on the other hand, started at 4 p.m., and the second game follows at 6: 30 p.m. And if there's any game on a Saturday, it aired on a delayed telecast at 8 p.m.
But for reasons beyond us, it has been announced that starting in 2014, all games will just be aired on TV5 and its partner station Aksyon TV.
As of this writing, first games on Wednesdays and Fridays start at 5:30 p.m. and are aired live on Aksyon TV and are replayed on TV5 at 11 p.m. Second games are aired live simultaneously on TV5 and AksyonTV.
On Saturdays, the first game starts at 3:30 p.m. live on both channels while the second game, at 5:30 p.m., airs live only on AksyonTV. The Sunday schedule is the most fan-convenient with both games, scheduled at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively, airing on both channels without any delay.
Magulo ba? I know the new sched might take some getting used to, so let me help you guys get comfortable with it! Below are my nine reasons why the PBA's new schedule ain't that bad.
Come on, guys, kaya natin 'to! Like those people who likes to post sunsets shots on Instagram says: Every cloud has a silver lining!
Since you have to flip through TV5 and Aksyon TV to watch the games, why not consider scanning through the other channels. You might stumble on an interesting program, like, say, a new movie on HBO or a series on Warner TV or a cooking show on TLC—that's if you have cable (if not, well, get cable!). Think of it this way: Take the chance to surf through the stations and you might learn how to prepare something to munch on while you watch the replay of the first game at 11 p.m.
2) Maria Mercedes Ang Pangalan Ko!
On that note, there is this one particular show on ABS-CBN that you can actually check out. SHAMELESS PLUG AHEAD! Catch Maria Mercedes Mondays through Fridays, after Got to Believe, around 9:30 p.m. At least, when the second games on Wednesday and Friday get too intense, you can turn to Jessy Mendiola and gang for a breather. There is one particular character—her name's Lou—who's super quirky and fun that you have to watch out for.
I am also told that I look a lot like her. *Wink*
3) Talents’ Assessment Period
Having a replay at night is a good way, at least for us talents, to watch ourselves on TV and see how we do in our work. We can assess ourselves in terms of how to better our craft as communicators of the game.
Players of the first game can also catch themselves when they get home to see how they played and to scout the other team for future matchups.
Now players will get reminded more often why they
should never leave a lane open for Jayson Castro
4) Entertainment Cure for Insomniacs
Replays of the games are particularly helpful for insomniacs out there who are left with nothing to do. At least you can entertain yourself by watching basketball instead of tapping your fingers, staring at the ceiling or humming random tunes. Although with PBA’s intensity, I doubt if we can really help you fall asleep.
5) Breathing Room for the Hard-At-Work
Before the change in schedule, the first game started at 5 p.m. Whether you are a student or an office person, sometimes, 5 p.m. is too early.
At least by having the second game start at 8, you’ll have the chance to sit for a while, breathe after a long day in school or in the office, take a bath or have dinner, anything to completely prepare yourself to enjoy the games.