Philippine Daily Inquirer

ABC 5 nails five-year contract to telecast PBA games

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MANILA—ABC 5 Aksyon TV is set to nail a five-year contract for the coverage of the Philippine Basketball Association beginning with the 2011-2012 season in September following the withdrawal of ABS-CBN from the bidding process last Friday.

“After due evaluation, ABS-CBN decided that they would no longer submit a bid for the right to cover the PBA games,” PBA commissioner Chito Salud told the Inquirer yesterday.

Salud said ABS-CBN, which had earlier submitted a Letter of Intent to bid for the TV franchise, informed the league at around 4 p.m. Friday that it was pulling out of the bidding process.

He added that a little before 5 p.m. on the same day the ABC Sports 5 sealed bid came in. It was opened only yesterday.

Salud said he could not disclose the amount of the bid but revealed that ABC 5 had agreed to cover the games for five years as stipulated in the PBA board’s terms of reference.

In addition, ABC 5 also complied with the base franchise fee of P900 million for five years.

Salud described the new development as “an auspicious moment for the PBA” because ABC TV5 “believes in the product and has made a bid that satisfies at least the financial terms and other requirements of the board.”

Salud said they would ask ABC 5 to first make a presentation to the PBA’s management committee and then to the board “for its approval or disapproval.”

He said he expects the presentations to be made “hopefully within the week and to the PBA board as soon as possible so that by June we’ll have this contract signed, sealed and delivered.”

Salud and the committee met with ABC 5 COO Bobby Barreiro yesterday and set the initial presentation for Friday.

Salud conceded that the PBA had answered ABS-CBN’s clarificatory questions only on one point, “which means that we stuck to our original terms.”

PBA chair Rene Pardo said that ABS-CBN was “asked to bid based on the terms of reference so that once the bids are open we can discuss the … details.”

He said one of the issues concerned product lockouts, where brands that compete with the products carried by PBA teams were not allowed. But Pardo said the board “relaxed it a little and only allowed two brands to be locked out when a team is playing.”

He cited an example that “if Purefoods is not playing, they can get Swift to advertise on the TV coverage.”

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