The PBA has plenty of reasons to smile these days.
On Tuesday, the league reported that its 2021 Philippine Cup games have been attracting millions of viewers – not just on television, but on social media.
“‘Pag nakita mo ‘yung mga social media views natin, we have performed very well not only on TV but also on Facebook,” said Chairman Ricky Vargas.
The amiable executive shared that one game even reached 39 million views – Game Seven of the semis between TNT and San Miguel last Sunday.
The Tropang Giga won, 97-79, to set up a Finals clash with Magnolia.
“For the seventh game of the San Miguel-TNT, in Facebook alone, we had about 39 million views,” said Vargas, who’s also TNT’s governor, regarding the Facebook views on Smart Sports.
Commissioner Willie Marcial seconded his boss’ statements as well. He then enumerated the average TV views from TV5 and One Sports combined.
Elimination round games, per the league chieftain, had 1.5 million, with NLEX-NorthPort and Alaska-Terrafirma games garnering much attention.
“Merong one million, NLEX-NorthPort; merong kulang-kulang one million pa rin, Alaska-Terrafirma,” Marcial said.
The quarterfinals, meanwhile, received an average of two million.
A norm of nearly three million came in the semis, including four million in the Hotshots’ booting-out Meralco in Game Six last October 15.
“Halos lahat pinapanood na ng mga tao,” proudly shared Marcial, who’s now in his fourth year as commish.
“So, buhay ang PBA.”
The league expects those figures to shoot up come the best-of-seven title bout between two of the most storied teams. The clash starts Wednesday.
“I think this Finals is going to have exceptional reach sa nakikita namin sa TV at sa Facebook,” Vargas said.
“This Finals has the makings of an exciting series.
“So, I wish all the players well. Play your best,” the long-time sports figure added. “Your best is what will bring the PBA back to life.”
Another reason behind the PBA’s elation is the optimism surrounding the second conference, which could start later on November.
“The other reason why I’m happy for the PBA is already now, we are hopeful that we will have a second conference with imports,” said Vargas.