ABS-CBN should cover PFL in 2018

THE Philippine football community is very happy after the country’s biggest TV Network ABS-CBN, announced that through its Sports+Action Channel, it will air live international football matches from various leagues in Europe, like the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga and the UEFA Champions League starting next month.
Upon seeing the schedules I began to worry because all the matches lined-up are very late at night or very early dawn. Meaning, I could not afford to put my health at risk to watch the matches.
At 50, I could not even last a one hour movie. I fall a sleep right after the introduction. That is why I always bring my eleven-year-old son so that he could wake me up.
I remember in 1998 when I was in my late 20’s, I got sick right after watching the World Cup live for a month. I cringed and almost cried when France and Zidane whipped Ronaldo and Brazil in the final in Paris. But the worst part was suffering from sore eyes a day after the month long vigil ended. No way would I do that again.
Only the young hardcore football fans can watch those matches and since we are in the Philippines, they are very few.
The network’s Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena said that this deal will boost their sports portfolio, as well as advocate sports development in the country.
Of course it would boast ABS-CBN sports portfolio (meaning they will earn money), but advocate sports development? No way.
The very young footballers could not even watch those matches.
Instead of showing those European matches live very late or early dawn, why won’t ABS-CBN instead buy the TV rights to broadcast the Philippine Football League.
PFL’s decision to make PTV 4 their sole broadcaster was a disaster from the start. Why would you pay a broadcaster to show your matches live on free TV?
It should be the other way around. The English Premier League, the richest league in the world gets billions of pounds (sterling) from broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sports every year just to allow the broadcast of the EPL matches live.
Well here, the clubs are paying the broadcasters.
Out from the billions the broadcasters give to the EPL, each teams get their shares that is why the clubs could afford those expensive players.
But of course the status of football as a sport in UK is very much different from the Philippines where basketball is lord.
Covering the matches live would cost the broadcasters lots of money. But if football is marketed well, and ABS-CBN’s marketing machinery would run the league, there is no reason the PFL can not make money. Remember, aside from TV, the network also have radio stations and a very nice website. Come on ABS-CBN, give the beautiful game the boast it needs. (l.biantan@gmail.com)


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