PBA commissioner Willie Marcial apologized Sunday, July 18 for the confusion surrounding the telecast schedule of the Philippine Cup doubleheader the other day that left fans upset.
Marcial begged for understanding after TNT’s victory over Terrafirma and Magnolia’s win against Phoenix Super LPG was not aired on free TV despite earlier announcements by the league on its social media accounts.
“Humihingi po ako ng pasensiya,” Marcial said in a halftime interview during the broadcast of the game between NLEX and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
“Kasalanan ko po ‘yun, pasensya po, kasi may miscommunication with my team, so may kaguluhan. Pasensya na po kayo,” he added.
The league plugged that the two games would be aired on UHF channel One Sports with additional broadcasts on PBA Rush on cable and through streaming platforms Cignal Play and Gigafest.
But One Sports showed instead the opening games of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference while TV5 had the popular 90s telenovela Maria Mercedes and two Filipino movies on its schedule.
That left fans to settle for Cignal Play, only for the app to suffer technical difficulties during the second half of TNT’s 86-79 win.
Changes were made this season with PBA games being shown online through Cignal Play and Gigafest instead of the previous livestream setup through the Facebook pages of the PBA and One Sports.
Select games are also being shown on the Smart Sports and Puso Pilipinas Facebook pages under the new arrangement.
Marcial explained that the league gave way to the request of allowing the PVL to take the PBA timeslot on One Sports, which led to the confusion.
“Kinausap ako ni Vice President (and head of channels and content for CignalTV) kung pinapayagan natin ang volleyball para makuha naman timeslot natin. Ako, oo agad. Kasi gusto nga natin, paulit-ulit ako, na makatulong tayo sa ibang sports kaya yun ang nangyari, medyo may kaguluhan,” Marcial said.
He also added that the PBA’s current television deal allows TV5 to air the games every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with other games held on days that were not mentioned to be shown the network’s other channels and online.
Marcial also said the league and its broadcast partner are doing whatever they can to assure that fans can see the games.
“Kasi may usapan kami with TV5 kahit nung hindi pa ako commissioner na every Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, two games po tayo. ‘Yun po,” said Marcial. “So ‘pag lumampas tayo sa two games, o hindi po ‘yun ang araw natin, parang nangyari po sa atin sa Clark bubble pero yung Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, sa atin po ‘yun. Nag-araw-araw po tayo so meron tayong laro Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, hindi po tayo napapalabas sa TV5 kasi may usapan po.
“Pero ginagawa naman po lahat ng TV5 na mapalabas din yung mga hindi natin games na wala dun sa oras natin. So ulit po, humihingi po ako ng pasensya, pero yun po ang usapan namin ng TV5. Ang TV5 ginagawa naman nila ang lahat para mapanood din ng mga fans na alam naman nating namiss ang basketball at lahat ng sports,” added Marcial.