PCOO questioned as state-run PTV fails to obtain rights for SEA Games coverage
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) officials were grilled by senators on Thursday after it was revealed that state-run PTV-4 failed to obtain rights for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games coverage.
During the hearing for PCOO’s budget for 2020, Senator Francis Tolentino asked how PCOO arrived at this situation, considering that the SEA Games is a major sporting event which the country is hosting this year.
“Why was this lost? Why were you not able to obtain it? These events sponsored by the government, international sporting events, it should be exclusive to PTV-4,” Tolentino said.
“Because you will have how many events? More than a hundred. Did we fail to get the contract ahead of others? This is a government event, we should be the one showing the talents of the Philippines,” he stressed.
What also drew the ire of Tolentino was PTV’s inability to secure the airing of the opening ceremony and most of the events, as they only have permits to show the BMX and the skateboarding competitions—a mere two out of the 56 sports.
He said it goes contrary to the government efforts in hosting the meet, including the construction of the New Clark City Sports complex where most of the events would be held.
PTV said the failure to grab the contract was due to budgetary constraints, but Tolentino noted that had PCOO secured the rights for the more popular games, then it would have helped the agency in terms of income generation.
“This is supposed to be our chance, your chance not just to show our support to the Southeast Asian community, but to also get the top spot,” the senator said.
“Had they cornered the contract with the basketball game, the volleyball game, revenues from advertising would be immense, PCOO can earn so much that it is enough to fund its global division office. Just in the opening ceremonies, you are surely at the number one spot,” he added.
The 2019 SEA Games kicks off on November 30 with opening ceremonies scheduled at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. It is slated to end on December 11.
Preparations are currently underway for the event, with various government offices tasked to check the infrastructure, road management, and security aspects of the event.
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