Riches vs reach and royalty: NCAA choices put league in winning position
One promises riches. The other? Treatment reserved for royalty. One thing’s for sure, the network war currently going on between TV5 and GMA 7 will only have one sure winner: the NCAA.
The NCAA management committee submitted its recommendation to the policy board on Thursday on the network of its choice for next season and is torn between TV5’s enticing financial package and GMA 7’s wide reach and potential to treat the league like treasure as its only sports program.
The policy board is set to make a decision before the month ends, according to top officials.
So who’s got the edge?
“TV5 has better [financial] offer,” a source said. “But there are other items to consider.”
If it wins the bidding, GMA 7 said that it will telecast the games on its alternate channel, GMA News TV channel 27. But, to sweeten the deal, the same source said, the finals will be shown on channel 7 for the widest possible reach.
Sources inside the management committee said TV5 has the better financial package, plus the fact that the network has been more active in sports coverage compared to GMA 7. But it can work against the favor of TV5, with the NCAA wanting prime billing like the PBA and rival UAAP.
The management committee, led this season by Fr. Vic Calvo of host Letran, will consider two things in choosing a TV partner: “production and financial package.”
The TV coverage is largely focused on popular basketball and volleyball competitions, but TV5 already has a centerpiece sporting coverage in the yearlong PBA.
It also recently snagged the contract of the UAAP after the closure of ABS-CBN, and its season traditionally runs together with that of NCAA. And that has left some NCAA member schools worrying about getting enough mileage.
That concern is shared by another source inside the NCAA, saying GMA 7’s edge is that “they will be focused just on us, because we are the only [sports program].”
Either way, officials said the oldest collegiate league is expected to get the best possible deal for its 96th season, which has been trimmed down to four sports due to the pandemic, namely basketball, volleyball, swimming and track and field.
Channel 27 used to carry Shakeys’ Volleyball League before the network left sports coverage for several years.
For the past few years, the NCAA and UAAP were covered by defunct network ABS-CBN through its sports and action channel.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.