23 December 2010

Football finally outrates PBA

by Ronnie Nathanielsz

We were pleasantly surprised and pleased at the television ratings of the first match in the Suzuki Cup semifinals between the Philippines and Indonesia staged in the 80,000-seat Bung Karno Stadium, which was built in 1960 and is the 9th biggest football stadium in the world.
ABS-CBN’s top honcho Gabby Lopez had earlier instructed vice president for sports Peter Musngi to somehow get the Philippine games for telecast on Studio 23 after realizing the potential of the sport and the newfound public interest in it.
The interest was stirred, no doubt, by the quality with which we played the game and the roster of good-looking young men who donned the country’s jersey in the tournament.
If the results of the telecast of Game 1 is any criteria, then Lopez certainly made the right decision. But that would clearly never be enough. It cannot be a one-shot deal.
ABS-CBN, or any other TV network for that matter, needs to follow through on what has been an initial breakthrough.
The sport needs a well thought-out and sustained program to build on the gains achieved in the Suzuki Cup, while at the same time shunning the internal struggles and debilitating politics of Philippine sport.
Indeed, a powerful TV network’s involvement and its persuasive influence in football is likely to help remove politics from the sport and allow it to grow because it is indeed in the service of the Filipino.
* * *
The ratings should also open the eyes of the members of the PBA board to the harsh reality that the pro cage league is not the attractive proposition it used to be—although teams like Ginebra, B-Meg Derby Ace (Purefoods to many) and San Miguel Beer continue to draw fans to the venue.
Overall, however, the PBA board must realize that they don’t have a product that networks and advertisers will chase, like they used to at a time when Vintage Enterprises’ Carlos “Bobong” Velez lifted the PBA telecast to unequalled heights over a long period of time behind a total dedication to producing a top-class coverage.
The board also needs to appreciate the TV medium as it is today and not be swayed by unsubstantiated if not unintelligent claims that a UHF Channel like Studio 23 cannot match the reach or the audiences of a free TV channel like RPN 9.
That misconception, and a little additional money in terms of a franchise fee, saw the PBA board—which had first indicated it would go with ABS-CBN—turn around and award the coverage rights to Solar Sports.
* * *
The ratings of the football match last Thursday were, according to Musngi, “amazing.”
Imagine. The RP-Indonesia match on Studio 23 outrated the PBA games the previous day.
The PBA first game rated 1.0 percent and Game 2, 1.7 percent in Mindanao while football rated 1.8 percent.
In the Visayas, the PBA rated 1.4 percent and 1.7 percent while the football match rated 4.4 percent.
In Mega Manila the PBA rated 1.4 percent and 2.6 percent while football rated 3.0 percent.
Finally, in the suburbs the PBA rated 1.6 percent and 3.5 percent in the triple-overtime game between Meralco and Rain or Shine while football basically on the main game timeslot rated 4.0 percent.
Figures tell the story.
It may not be the whole picture but it certainly indicates that football has an exciting future. And if PBA basketball is to revive the glory days, the board itself and the teams must imbibe the dynamism of league commissioner Chito Salud, whose grasp of the nuances and commitment to excellence will surely help pave the way for a turnaround.
Time is of the essence.



  1. come on Philippines! They'll be beating the likes of South Korea and Japan in no time. Need to get pacquiao to hook up a Nike sponsorsip ;-).

  2. What a smart idea! geniiiuuuuussss!

  3. But let's not put up a pro football league here. Remember, we were among the best in basketball UNTIL a pro league started.

    Focus on the national team became secondary and led to us being what we are today. Still dominant in southeast asia, among the better ones in Asia but nowhere near the lofty standing we once enjoyed despite our height disadvantage. Now we can't get the best players playing for the national team for long periods of time because of PBA commitments and priorities.

    If we put up a Football league, we'll be going the same downward spiral. Mas maganda kung focus ay national pride.

  4. @anonymous
    you have a point but i still want a pro league. a pro league will expose good players. how can we discover good players without a league. and how about good players who are good enough for the league but wont make it to national team. they got to keep on playing.

  5. I disagree, that is a nonsense idea. We can still have the basketball league but we should also develop our own football league. Im sure we could still be successful with basketball even if we have this football league. The impact of football is extremely beneficial for us. look at the impact of the economy if we could have football matches here, that would lead to more tourist and more income. Lets just say 50,000 tourist will come here to watch football.

    We have to open ourselves for progress. There are so many benefits to mention. Lets just support this anyway it is for everyones benefit.

  6. And i also disagree with the statement the professionalism ruined basketball, the game deteriorated because everyone caught up with us and the stagnation or even deterioration of the national basketball team was not specifically because of the PBA or professionalism but for many reasons, one reason that may come to mind is the question of height.
    On the contrary, amateurism ruined football in this country. Put it this way, if a “local” football club enters regional competitions like the afc champions league the prize money alone should be more than an incentive to go professional. In the Group stages a team maybe guaranteed Win: $40,000, Draw: $20,000. For Round of 16: Participation: $50,000 for each club. The Quarter-finalists are guaranteed $80,000 each. Semi-finals: $120,000, Runners-up: $750,000 and the Champions: $1.5 million. The amount of the prizes alone should justify the creation of a full blown professional league. How can armatures compete with seasoned pros.
    Adding to this, Professionalism will not only exponentially increase level of the individual players let’s be honest, no company, club or owner would pay for a mediocrity. On a business stand point clubs may earn from commercialism a professional league. This may usher Increase exposure can bring revenue from television and from shirt sponsorships.

  7. I love to watch both. But football makes you crazy all year round.

    I have been a fan of both sports , as far as I can recall "Baketball" is Crispa-Toyota Era (Jaworski,Atoy Co, Francis Arnaiz , Fernandez and the likes)...Funny Thing I still Have the Crispa T-shirt memorabilia...
    Though, I also have WORLD CUP Souvenirs , this will be the First time I MIGHT have a "Philippine Football Team" Keepsake and memento ... I will be waiting... suggestion lang po "AZKALS" not so good name...Don't get me wrong I totally respect the team and their effort, using (AZKALS) "ASONG KALYE" , quite degrading for me as Filipino. Parang "PUSAKAL" Pusang Kalye (sound like lang po).

    But I have a strong feeling that "FOOTBALL can surpass the popularity of Basketball in the near future here in our country...
    The Generation now are more exposed to the World (IT.,Call Center Agents,OFW ...) , unlike our time when We used to follow or copy what the U.S. dictates to us even their Sports (Basketball)...
    Football is the World and the WORD NOW !!!
    Countries like...
    France, the Middle East , Far East , Asia is more the "IN" thing now than U.S.A

    What do you think MR. Hyena

    -Humble fan-

  9. Mr. Hyena , I just like to ask About your opinion about "FUTSAL" and "Street Football" (homeless). It Seems like the Sports had put the name of Philippines in the Football World... Yet they are underrated as compared to "FOOTBALL" . If my sports history was right their achievement and ranking surpassed our Philippine Football Team...why the Silence...It maybe new to us as compared to Football --- but we can use this achievement as part of the Campaign to promote and support "Football" as a whole.

    -humble fan-

  10. We surpassed India as the world's biggest call center country in terms of income and workers.

    But we cant erased the idea that they still have the edge because mostly of their call center agents are engineers thats why India before, now and in the future is still on the top of I.T.

    Some of the best footballers in the world started from playing FUTSAL like my fave KAKA.
    Honestly I havent followed any FUTSAL matches in the country and sorry to say that but I've been watching FUTSAL of our neighboring countries with the likes of Japan and Thailand since they always had these International Futsal matches but oftentimes I prefer Thailand since they are good with it and their ranking is really high.
    I mean I prefer watching the competitions in Thailand.

    One of my friend had told me that Thailand always train with it and according to em you can see the Thais playing in the school ,park and even under bridges since the space for playing is not that wide.

    I think the progress of Football in the country will also affect the progress of Futsal. But as of now, we must put stability in all football/futsal leaders in the country and no more corruption talks.

  11. I think the PFF has to address this immediately. We need to strike while the iron is hot. They need to promote the next tournament so that the nation will take notice. Take the "guwapings" around the Philippines and visit the schools both private and public. Have them do commercials. Now you need agents. Going commercial is the only way we can improve. Sorry to say, we will not develop without a professional league. Not one single country (except for North Korea which is not a model we can replicate) has sent a team to the world cup without a professional league. There are so many good players out there who have no more options after graduating from college. And everyone knows you dont hit your peak until you reach your mid to late 20's. If they can have a career in football it would create a new generation of football players as even the younger players will be encouraged to play as they know it can be a way of living. Damm if that was a possibility when I was in college , maybe I would have tried harder. Now I am not even a weekend warrior anymore.

    Anyway, going back to a professional league or even a semi pro league, you can only develop one if it makes business sense. Sponsors must continue to come in knowing they will make money also. I hope the new PFF will take a look at what can be done and move quickly. Its better to try and fail rather than not doing anything at all.

  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqwybBG2MiQ&feature=related

    Mr.Hyena / Mr.jay
    check out this sight, it might help in the future commercials of the "guwapings"...this kids are from london...it might help lift up the patriotism and spirit of the AZKALS as most of them are half-Filipino. Call me sentimental but it really made an impact on me... thanks

    humble fan

  13. We'll check on this. thanks

    Humble fan also