NCAA to decide new TV partner this week

Is the NCAA coming back to Cignal TV- TV5?

After the network announced its partnership with the UAAP, reliable sources said the oldest collegiate league in Asia – the NCAA – is likely to follow and join the giant TV network.

The race to get the broadcasting rights of the NCAA is actually down to two broadcasting companies, the CignalTV/TV5 and GMA-7, as both made their respective pitch the previous two weeks.

A formal proposal is expected from the two, including the amount of money in the five-year partnership.

“The league met with the two TV networks via online meeting, GMA-7 about two weeks ago, then CignalTV/TV5 last Thursday,” said a source who asked not to be named since he is not in position to discuss details of the meeting with members of the NCAA Management Committee (MANCOM).

The NCAA Policy Board will discuss the matter regarding the TV partner this Wednesday.

According to the same source, between the two, the edge was evident on CignalTV/TV5 because of its established infrastructure in broadcasting games and sports events.

Aside from its latest addition in UAAP, CignalTV/TV5 – owned by telecommunications mogul Manny V. Pangilinan – is also the official broadcast partner of the PBA and the NBA, as well as the popular esports professional league The Nationals.

Also, the said network had a history of working with the NCAA as it televised the games from 2010 to 2014.

“That’s their advantage, the experience they had with the league, their own experience covering the games, and of course – I think this is the most important – is the system they have,” said the same source.

“Kumbaga sa Tagalog, kabisadong kabisado na nila ang sports.”

Another source said that what impressed several members of the MANCOM – chaired by Fr. Vic Calvo of Season 96 host Letran – is the way CignalTV/TV5 made its presentation.

The said network, the source said, mentioned the use of all its platforms – not limited to television since it has TV5 and One Sports for free channels, and the sports channels for CignalTV subscribers.

The online platform of the network will also be involved since part of the coverage is Smart Communications.

“What’s impressive about the presentation is that all their platforms would be involved. Imagine a partnership with not just CignalTV and TV5, Smart will also be part of their team,” said the source.

During the online meeting, no less than TV5 network and CignalTV president and CEO, and Smart Communications Chief Marketing Officer Jane Jimenez-Basas was present with the MANCOM members.

If given the go signal to return, Season 96 of the NCAA will feature only four traditional sports, namely basketball, volleyball, swimming, and track and field possibly early next year.