PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial apologized for the confusion surrounding the airing of Saturday’s 2021 Philippine Cup games that upset fans.
The league’s second day of the season saw TNT beat Terrafirma and Magnolia edge Phoenix Super LPG. but the matches weren’t enjoyed by a greater audience as they were nowhere to be found on free television.
This, despite earlier announcements by the league itself across its official social media pages — thus the disappointment felt by the fans.
“Humihingi po ako ng pasensya,” the fourth-year league chief said Sunday during the halftime of NLEX-Ginebra.
“Kasalanan ko po ‘yun, pasensya po, may miscommunication with my team, so may kaguluhan. Pasensya na po kayo.”
It was announced that games will be aired on UHF channel One Sports, but shown instead was a replay of Gilas Pilipinas’ 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers clash with South Korea and the PVL Open Conference opener.
Shown on flagship network TV5, on the other hand, was 90s hit Mexicanovela Maria Mercedes, and a couple of Filipino movies.
Games were shown on Cignal Play, but that, along with other livestream providers such as SMART Sports and Puso Pilipinas, faced difficulties.
“Ulit po, humihingi po ako ng pasensya,” said Marcial. “Ang TV5 ginagawa naman nila ang lahat para mapanood din ng mga fans na alam naman nating namiss ang basketball at lahat ng sports.”
The three aforementioned platforms, together with SMART Gigafest, will be airing PBA games online as per the new arrangement of the coverage.
The amiable executive also explained that the league gave way to the PVL, thus the change in the telecast schedule of their games.
“‘Yung nangyari kahapon, kasi last couple of months nagusap na kami ni boss Ricky Palou regarding sa volleyball. So tinatanong niya yung mga protocols natin, proseso, tinutulungan naman natin. Kasi bago pa naman tayo magbubble sa Clark, sinabi ko na umpisahan na sana ‘tong PBA para makatulong tayo sa lahat ng sports. Yun ang gusto nating gawin.
“So, yun, kinausap naman ako ni VP Sienna Olaso, kung pinapayagan natin ang volleyball para makuha naman yung 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.
Still, Marcial vowed that the league and the TV5 are doing what they can to deliver the games to the fans.
“Pasensya muna po. Pero siguro, after August, nakapako na tayo sa One Sports, at sa Rush naman po dire-diretso po tayo. At mapapanood niyo kami sa gigafest.smart. Live po yun, mapapanood po niyo. Tapos meron pa kaming isang platform na ginagawa pa po ng TV5,” he said.
“Ginagawa po namin lahat para mapanood niyo. Humihingi po ulit ako ng pasensya.”