Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The PBA Chooses Solar!

There has been a lot of speculation circulating with regard to who should get the TV rights for the PBA.  Now that Solar was given the priviledge, I am posting some elements of the presentation for many to appreciate why the board decided Solar. 

In my opinion, the process was already questionable with ABS-CBN being given an exclusive window to deal with the PBA.  This is why ABC5 pulled out noticing the inherent advantage of being able to negotiate exclusively.

Reach & Ratings.  This in my opinion was the biggest concern of the board.  There is an erroneous perception that Studio 23 rates higher than most channels outside 2 and 7.  Solar used actual AGB Nielsen ratings from the last 3 years which showed that RPN has better reach and ratings than Studio 23.  Overall, GMA is the clear leader with ABS in 2nd place.  QTV is in 3rd while ABC and RPN have been contesting the 4th spot all year.  Studio 23 at the time of the presentation was actually in 7th place behind the combination of all cable channels.  The latest numbers from early May had RPN in 4th place with the NBA playoffs in full swing and Studio 23 still in 7th behind the combination of all cable channels.

The board commissioned AC Nielsen to do a study in reach.  RPN was ahead of Studio 23 in Megamanila while the opposite was true in the provinces.  But overall combined, RPN was higher.  In fact, based on the surveys, Studio 23 reach in Megamanila was lower than ALL the VHF channels ABC, NBN, ABC, RPN, IBC, QTV and of course ch2 and ch7.  It was a glaring advantage that made a difference in actual reach and ratings.  The PBA also asked Mindshare, one of biggest and most respected media agencies in the world with brands like Ford, Gatorade, and Nike in their fold.  They are also the media planning agency of of Smart Communications, one of the PBA teams.  The agency overwhelmingly recommended RPN 9 over studio 23 based on their projections and data (also from AGB Nielsen).

The most convincing statistic on ratings was when Solar showed actual ratings of the one program that was shown on both RPN and Studio 23, which were the PBL games.  Ratings for the the PBL Finals in 2007 (on Ch9) more than doubled that of the the PBL Finals in 2006 (on St23).  Same program.  Different Channels.  Twice the ratings.  

Another erroneous perception that had to be dispelled by actual data was that the UAAP games rated higher than PBA or even NBA.  Actual UAAP average ratings on Studio 23 were only 1/3 that of PBA on ABC, and 1/2 of NBA on RPN.  In fact, even the cheering competition rated higher than the actual UAAP finals.  Even the boxing matches shown on Studio 23 rated lower than those that were shown on RPN.  Among sports programs, the RPN boxing slots rated the highest (outside of the Pacman fights which were even higher), followed by the PBA games on ABC, then the NBA games on RPN.   So the UAAP, even with all the cross promotions, has never even come close to rating better than the NBA and the PBA.

So until the time ABS-CBN decides to put all the games live on Channel 2, RPN was the better network vs Studio 23 for reach and ratings based on AGB Nielsen data.   (more reasons in the next few days)


Anonymous said...

Hey Jude

This is good news. I hope you do a more-English type of coverage. As mentioned before, the masa will still watch the games no matter what language is used. The hard thing is to attract the more discriminating AB Market and I believe this medium would cater to them more.

I also hope the graphics and coverage would be at par with the NBA. Honestly the PBL coverage is not that appealing in these aspects.Of course the PBA is a different thing so improvements should be made.

Anonymous said...

Solar's winning the bidding process brings about two reunions:

1. Jude Turcuato, after serving the league as its Marketing Head, is back with the league but now as an officer of the coveror.

2. The PBA goes back to its old home RPN 9. Back in the pioneer years of the league, RPN 9 (then called KBS 9) was once the carrying network of the PBA. The broadcasters back then were Raffy Mejia and the late Frankie Abao, Jr. That was before long-time PBA broadcasters D*ck Ildefonso and Emy Arcilla took over. In essence, the PBA was covered by the following networks: BBC / City 2, MBS / PTV / NBN 4, ABC 5, RPN 9, and IBC 13 in its 33 years of existence.

During the bidding process, I thought ABS would win the bidding but my heart was with Solar - especially since they were the underdogs here (and because Ronnie Nathanielsz has given me a reason to be partial to Solar). Jude cited how the PBA Board practically was giving the coverage to ABS, allowing them two months to complete its bid while giving only ABC and Solar two days. Solar has made so much inroads the past few years - from the Pac fights, to the Beijing Olympics, to the NBA and PBL coverages and they've done extremely well in each one. They're not perfect, and have plenty of room for improvement but I feel they'll do an exceptional job covering the crown jewel of them all - the PBA.

What do I like to see in Solar's coverage? Here are some:

1. Updated graphics shown on screen. TNT and ABC USA have the scores flashed all the time during active play but I hope Solar would be able to come up with clearer graphics for this. The NBA boxscores are simply too small to be seen clearly on screen. The shot clock and game clock should also be seen with the boxscores. Player stats and relevant information like college studied, height, weight, etc. would also be a major plus especially when the player is taking a free throw.

2. Better analysts. We have a lot of good anchors around and Solar, with Vitto Lazatin, Noel Zarate and Jude Turcuato in their stable, would have three of these already. The addition of Ed Picson, Mico Halili and Charlie Cuna (yes, I find Cuna the third best anchor in ABC today, just that he's been flying under the radar covering only the first game on Wednesdays and some provincial sorties) would make the lineup a truly formidable one. But it's the analyst panel that leaves a lot to be desired. The best analysts the PBA has ever had were mostly Americans (Compton, Kattan, Jacobs, Cone, Black) or top-flight articulate coaches (Reyes, Jacobs, Cone, Black, Guiao, Jao) but none of these are in the present ABC panel today. ABC's best analyst is undoubtedly Jason Webb so he should be a shoo-in. Quinito Henson is a PBA staple and even if I never got impressed with him, should be part of the team simply because of his name. Hence, if they get to add Compton and Black in the mix, that's four already. The remaining slots may be given to active PBA personalities who can act as guest analysts like Jao, Ryan Gregorio, Ronnie Magsanoc, Guiao, among others. They can cover the games during non-Purefoods and non-Red Bull matches. The common denominator among these guys is that they won't hesitate in telling us what's on their mind without fear of hurting the feelings of a player.

3. More tv cameras. I'm hoping cams would be put up on top of both boards, a couple to cover the benches and the reactions of the coaches and players, one located somewhere in the Upper Box section among others. I'm also hoping that the crowd volume won't be drowned out, meaning the decibel level in the coliseum should come out crisp clear on air as well.

4. Courtside reporters. I'm not a fan of female courtside reporters unless they bring something substantial through the mic. Chiqui Roa Puno would perhaps be the finest lady courtside reporter in history as she knows the game well and can articulate what went on in the bench huddles instead of just practically echoing what the coaches said or giving us useless trivia about the players' personal preferences. Another asset would be Patricia Bermudez Hizon, who would come close to Puno in terms of expertise here. I never liked any of the courtside reporters of ABC - whether its Peter Martin, Dominic Uy, Eric Reyes, Paolo Trillo, Miakka Lim, etc. A pretty face is important I would agree but what matters more to me is the substance than the looks. Richard Del Rosario would make a good courtside reportage as well after having honed his skills at ABC. Gender shouldn't be a primary consideration here - what matters is what the information they give.

5. Pre-game and halfcourt analysis. Pre-game reportage is extremely important and one of the things I didn't really like about ABC is how they try to come up with a caption as its heading to highlight the pre-game. I'd prefer someone who can just dish it off straight - an in-depth analysis and expectations of what the teams should do to win. At halftime, the panel discussion has become a staple at TNT and ABC while doing the NBA and won't hurt if Solar utilizes this. However, they should get interesting personalities to make the discussion lively - panelists who are never afraid to speak up, straightforward, blunt to the point of being ascerbic-tongued, can criticize coaches, players and booboo plays, among others. Richard Del Rosario would be a good fit as the moderator of this group but I can't think of any other personalities who would fit the bill.

6. Game previews and highlights. What makes the NBA such an interesting coverage is that they're able to make exceptional MTV's out of the games utilizing great editing and exceptional music choices and captions that creates drama and flair. While ABC, Vintage and Viva have all done that, it seems they prefer the slow-type approach while doing the MTV. While this isn't a problem, I would want more action-packed videos that are fast-paced to highlight the true essence of what basketball is all about.

7. History. Solar would need exceptional researchers who can tell us that 30-0 roll by one team broke the previous PBA record, that an aerial move by Cyrus Baguio is reminiscent of Danny Florencio's hangtime, that Asi Taulava hauling down 30 boards would beat the previous rebounding record of Jinky Simbulan, or that having Dennis Espino in the starting lineup would be his 226th time he started for Sta. Lucia. Added trivia like Nic Belasco playing for his fourth team in the PBA, referee Mario Montiel is already in his __th year in the league, etc. would also be highly appreciated.

8. Creativity in making monickers. I can't believe how pathetic we have been in making nicks for players like "Skyscraper," "The Demolition Man," "Mighty Mouse," "The Jet" among others. Surely, a lot of improvement can be made in this regard. While Cyrus Baguio's "Skryus" is good, we can also describe him as "Altitude 8" referring to his jersey number and how high he flies.

Anonymous said...

congratulations - jude and solar, you just made the tieng family several millions richer.

never was for abs-cbn, too much to too few. a real monopoly, a true "buaya". serves them right, not even having PBA scores on the nightly newscast.

just make sure the pictures are clearer, abc 5 picture looks like digitized vhs tapes rebroadcast.

keep benji paras and richard del rosario for comedic values, sometimes being too serious is a bad thing. Even potit and the ex-shell center would be Ok. But, no mico halili and chino "loudmouth" trinidad on the air. barry pascua is even fine. less of "the dean", sounding more and more like the late max soliven, too know it all.

but, please replays on btv, too much selections on tv, keeps me crazy changing channels. maybe one can come up with a tv with five or six pip channels along with tivo capabilities.

how about one website for all of solar entertainment schedules.

James said...

Again, congrats, Judester! Hope the PBA finally gets back on track with Solar as its new broadcaster! Don't listen to the criticisms of the other losing bidder. We are solidly behind you and your efforts to improve RPN and the league.

Anonymous said...

"keep benji paras and richard del rosario for comedic values, sometimes being too serious is a bad thing. Even potit and the ex-shell center would be Ok... barry pascua is even fine"

This I think would not be in line with Solar's goal in making the PBA a classy league again. Not a good idea

Anonymous said...


sana live po at sana dagdagan ang mga cameras like the NBA. para astig ang dating. tapos updated lagi ang mga stats.

Anonymous said...

James is balimbing! Before you were praising ABS-CBN and you wanted them to win so your so favorite celebrities will be at the venue.


James Ty III, 11. April 2008, 13:51
With ABC pulling out of the PBA bidding, Studio 23’s chances of getting the PBA telecast are brighter now.

Solar Sports, the other bidder, wants to put the games on RPN-9, which is a sequestered network.

At least with Studio 23 and ABS-CBN, there’s better security for the league.

Channel 2 can even air one game on Sunday nights as part of the package.

Anonymous said...

the pba will never go back to being a class A crowd favorite, what with the numerouse options available on cable and the internet.

in the 70's cable and the internet was sci-fi, PBA lorded it over the scene, since it was the only game in town.

don't waste your time chasing the A and B crowd. keep the PBA para sa masa approach, we need Philippine basketball, not a reworked NBA for Filipino players.

the PBA could learn a lesson from the PBL when it comes to basketball excitement.

Anonymous said...

mabuti naman solar get the rights!!


Anonymous said...

PBA basketball astig sa BTV..

we hope ipalabas niyo din ang mga greatest games nila jaworski,patrimonio,vergel meneses or even the crispa vs toyota rivalry sa BTV..

mabuhay ka sir jude!

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