NCAA meets two broadcast candidates one last time

The NCAA Policy Board has directed the Management Committee (MANCOM) to accept the sealed bidding documents from the remaining two broadcast networks who are eyeing to strike a deal with the oldest collegiate league in the country.

Giant broadcasting companies CignalTV-TV5 and GMA-7 made their final presentations on separate online meetings with Policy Board members from the 12 NCAA schools Wednesday.

A source told Manila Bulletin that officials of CignalTV-TV5 presented first, before top honchos of GMA-7 made their pitch.

“Both were impressive, both made a strong case as to why they want to be the partner of the NCAA,” said the source, adding that the two separate meetings lasted more than four hours.

The same source said that the two TV networks are expected to submit their respective proposals next week before league officials decide on the matter as to its TV partner the next five years.

The proposal is expected to include the franchise fee in the five-year deal.

Now on its 96th Season, the highlight of the five-year contract is the 100th anniversary of the NCAA, the first college league not just in the Philippines but also in Asia.

However, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the 96th Season has been reduced to only four traditional sports, namely basketball, volleyball, swimming and track and field.

League officials are hoping to start the games in March next, though NCAA MANCOM chairman Fr. Vic Calvo said the only way for the league to push through is to have a vaccine for COVID-19.

Between the two TV networks, CignalTV/TV5 – owned by telecommunications mogul Manny V. Pangilinan – has the expertise in broadcasting sports with its long tie up with the PBA.

The league and the network, formerly ABC-5, were also partners for a few years that began in 2010, before the NCAA moved to ABC-CBN.

CignalTV/TV5 recently inked a five-year deal with the UAAP.

In a statement, CignalTV/TV5 president and CEO Robert Galang reiterated the network’s desire to add the NCAA to its growing family in sports since it is also the broadcast partner of pro esports league The Nationals.

“Yes, we are in talks and it is our earnest desire to build a long-term partnership with the NCAA,” said Galang.

After scrutinizing the proposals, the league is expected come up with a decision early next month.