In Huddle

New TV5 head hurdles first test

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Despite the inclement weather, TV5 PR head Peachy Guioguio felt the acquaintance lunch with new TV5 president/CEO Noel Lorenzana, set as far back as over a month ago  was  canceled, postponed and reset,  had to push through once and for all.

And so last Monday, we braved the rains, sloshed through floods to meet close up  and in depth the man  on whose hands the fortunes of the network is expected to flourish.

On my way to the venue, I tied a tiny red ribbon around my pinky,  a reminder for me to congratulate him.  Noel looks so unassuming and low key  but in his short, two-month tenure,  he has passed his baptism of fire   with flying colors.

The acid test was the television  production and coverage of the recently concluded 27th Fiba Asia Men’s Championship staged here in Manila.

Never has a local basketball  TV coverage  enjoyed such high viewership ratings especially the  Philippine games  against Korea and Iran last Aug. 10 and 11, respectively.

The Philippines-Korea game garnered 33.1 percent audience share while the championship match between the Philippines and Iran drew a higher share at  38.1 percent. These are figures provided by Nielsen Media Research.

I asked TV5 sports manager Vitto Lazatin  how these numbers compared to the last Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight and  the sixth and seventh  games of the NBA championship series between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs.

Vitto obliged by providing me with well-researched data that showed that the local  viewership ratings of the two biggest international events (as far as Filipinos are concerned) were not at great variance compared with the Fiba Asia.

The successful TV coverage of the Fiba-Asia  and the resolution of the  PBA TV coverage  which was in dispute at the time of his appointment both merited a pat on Noel’s back.

* * *

Last Monday, I found out that the new TV5 head  is a rabid sports enthusiast who  firmly believes that sports is a powerful vehicle towards nation building.

That’s why his approach to sports is wholistic,  involving  not only the body but the mind and spirit as well.  Noel plays tennis, and is good enough to coach the game. He encourages his children to indulge in sports  because as he previously mentioned, sports  teaches discipline and develops character.  Noel’s eldest boy is into four disciplines: taekwondo, football, basketball  and tennis.

“I don’t believe  in winning at all cost. I believe in fair play,” he said.

Noel was formerly  president and COO of NutriAsia which he turned around by almost doubling the business in three years. He has been the chair of Unilever Malaysia and Singapore and has  had over 16 years experience in marketing management where he worked his way up from management trainee in Unilever to brand director in Asia for Oral care. He graduated from UP in 1988 with a degree in BS Chemical Engineering.

If he had  one wish for Philippine sports,  Noel said it would be a first Olympic gold. He wonders why Onyok Velasco, who won a silver in boxing,  never aspired for one by continuing his training.

Onyok went into show biz instead.

I never got to congratulate Noel … or even pat his back for a job well done. But I know there will be future opportunities.

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  • PHtaxpayer

    “He wonders why Onyok Velasco, who won a silver in boxing, never aspired for one by continuing his training.” – hmm, for a network executive, he knows very little about boxing and other “amateur” Olympic sports. Fact is, Onyok can easily earn much more being an artists than winning cash prize for an Olympic gold cuz the actual training costs will just eat away the prize money.

  • Komentador

    Another PR…OK lang sana if only few paragraphs of this column were devoted to the TV5 executive (who seemed to be very qualified for the job, so no argument about that), kaso entire column..with flying colors pa ha…Dati (or should I say often) the Romero guy and other big bosses in sports, now the TV5 president…..more to come…tsk tsk tsk..sayang ang space at ang pagbabasa ko…

  • archerfan

    and why would that FIBA coverage a hurdle? it was an easy sell, knowing pinoys passion for the sport. am assuming a fat envelope was given out during the meeting, what with this praise release. the hurdle is to build up their own talent and be profitable. and please, stop spending coz the mvp group will just recoup these expenses by raising the rates for electricity and water.

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