PBA Still Undecided on Coveror

On: 23 May 2008

Solar Sports vs ABS-CBNBy Zean Macamay
Journal Online, 23 May 2008

Overwhelmed by the amount of data it has to evaluate, the PBA Board of Governors yesterday decided to defer announcing the next television coveror of the league.

Commissioner Renauld ‘Sonny’ Barrios said that the Board will come out with a decision when it convenes again on Tuesday.

“The Board wanted more time to evaluate the process,” said Barrios. “The governors wanted to chew on all the data that bombarded them.”

Two outfits --ABS-CBN and Solar Sports -- have made bids to acquire the rights to air PBA games starting next season. The Lopez-owned network is offering Channel 23 for live games with replays on its main network Channel 2, while Solar Sports presented the government-owned Channel 9 as its partner.

ABC-5, the current coveror of the PBA, had announced months back that it is no longer interested in joining the bidding, saying that it is swaying into another direction.

Reportedly, both ABS-CBN and Solar Sports offered P160 million for the 2008-09 season alone. ABS-CBN proposed a four-year pact with an option to extend the contract for three years after the first season, with Solar Sports presenting a straight-up three-year deal.

While no official word is out on which network is the chosen one, Board Chairman Tony Chua of Red Bull said that the governors are closely scrutinizing both bids for the league to acquire the best possible coveror in the next few years.

“There are already some discussions among the board members,” said Chua. “Pero wala pang formal.”

The Board also received an important quantity of facts from AC Nielsen and Mindshare agencies, outfits the PBA commissioned to evaluate the viability of the two networks.

Barrios refused to bare the information AC Nielsen and Mindshare gave to the governors, but said that the facts the outfits presented were of great help to the Board.

“We wanted informative data from varied perspectives and Mindshare was able to come up with a study that is complementary to what AC Nielsen presented,” Barrios said.

AC Nielsen was the first agency hired by the PBA to make a case study of the ratings of Channel 23 and RPN-9 in comparison to the ratings of current coveror ABC-5 and past carriers Channel 4 and 13.

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