PBA commissioner Willie Marcial gets fresh term after Season 47 success
PARIS—The annual planning session of the PBA started on Friday here with Willie Marcial getting a fresh three-year term as commissioner and his office reporting the unprecedented success the league had last season.
Net profits in the ball park of “more or less P200 million” highlighted the end of Marcial’s fifth season at the helm as the league broke boundaries on several fronts, counting its foray into international play and an impressive mark in television reach in the Governors’ Cup Finals.
But like everything that goes up, some of those numbers are bound to come down.
“We expect to lose around 30-percent of that in the coming season,” chairman Ricky Vargas said after the first round of the board’s marathon meeting. “It’s our sacrifice for the national team for the coming Fiba World Cup.”
With the country to cohost the global classic in August, Season 48 opening in October will play just the Commissioner’s Cup and will end with the All-Filipino, doing away with the Governors’ Cup which Vargas’ TNT side won over Barangay Ginebra.
The PBA also participated in the East Asia Super League—where San Miguel Beer and TNT represented the league—and will continue to do so this year, even as six total games of the Commissioner’s Cup eliminations are set to be played in Macau and will be televised live.
The board also heard reports from TV5 president Guido Zaballero and Sienna Olaso, Cignal’s VP for content about how the league reclaimed its throne of being the best sports show in the country.
“We reached an average of 4.2 million fans (in the Governors’ Cup finals),” Vargas said of the TV report, “and that represents something like 10-something percent share on television audience.”
TV5 is in the last year of a six-year term.
Marcial started his reign on Jan. 25, 2018 as the league’s 10th commissioner and his new deal will assure him of being the third longest-tenured bossman of the PBA after Jun Bernardino and the great founding commissioner Leo Prieto.