New thrust in PBA coverage upBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MACAU—While the PBA made a killing at the tills in the season that ended last week, TV5, the exclusive broadcaster of the games, admitted to losing some money they expect to recover due to the prospects of grander times ahead.
Season-long ratings jumped to 9.2 percent from 6.8 percent the previous year, and with the brand of basketball continuing to improve, TV5 executive Bobby Barreiro said things should look up once the league opens shop again on Sept. 30.
“The games have become more exciting with the improved brand of play and our role is to communicate that to the public,” said Barreiro after concluding one of several meetings with the league’s board in this Asian gambling capital.
Gate receipts totaled an astounding P114 million last season, and the league has slowly but surely started returning to its once lofty perch as being in the consciousness of the public.
“Is the PBA back? We’re getting there,” commissioner Chito Salud said even as Barreiro bared that this early, sponsors have been inquiring about advertising spots for the coming season, something they did not experience at this time last year.
“That only means that the PBA remains a viable vehicle in which companies can effectively market their products and services,” said Salud.
Barreiro and his team will be introducing a new thrust in the coverage this season by featuring not only the players, team executives and the like, but the fans as well.
Taking the cue from loyal fans who have established new groups like the B-Meg Planet, the Talk ‘N Text Nation and Petroniverse to rival the oldest existing group, Barangay Ginebra, Barreiro believes that it’s high time that the loyal fans get their well-deserved 15 minutes of fame.
“The fans now are more active, more involved, so we want to tap on that energy,” said Barreiro.
TV5 bought rights to the games to the tune of almost P1 billion, more than half of it in cash and Barreiro was quick to admit that they didn’t make any money after their first year of coverage.