DESPITE missing out on the opportunity to be the official broadcaster of the recently concluded Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, TV5 remains undeterred and expressed readiness to take on coverage duties for the regional biennial sporting meet happening in the country in 2019.
In a talk with a group of sportswriters on the sidelines of the homecoming press conference for SEA Games gold winner Gilas Pilipinas last Thursday that was hosted by staunch backer Chooks-to-Go, TV5 President and Chief Executive Officer Vincent “Chot” Reyes said that while they rued not ending up with the main broadcasting duties for the Philippines of the 29th SEA Games, they will still pursue the next one.
“There was a problem with that (Malaysia Games) coverage that was awarded to us I think more than a year ago and at the last minute it was pulled back by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and offered to PTV-4, which turned out did not have the facilities nor manpower nor the time to mount a coverage… We ran to a lot of complications leading up to the Southeast Asian Games,” said Mr. Reyes, referring to an “understanding” they had with the POC last year coming on the heels of a successful partnership to bring the Olympic Games in Brazil to the Filipinos in 2016.
In the lead-up to the SEA Games, published reports said that the POC decided to keep its options open, offering coverage duties to other television networks before picking government station PTV-4.
Nevertheless, Mr. Reyes underscored their group’s commitment to continue channeling focus on the Filipino athletes and expressed hope that they get to bag the broadcasting rights for the 30th SEA Games here in the Philippines on the strength of their good track record of doing such.
“Hopefully for 2019 we get it because we have been faithfully spending money to bring to the Filipinos our athletes’ feats. It’s no secret, and I’m not saying this because I’m with TV5, we are the best among the best in Asia. FIBA has said that. The Malaysian organizers thanked us. They love the production and coverage of the games we do on Sports5. The quality they say is world-class. Hopefully we get the chance to get the coverage for 2019,” Mr. Reyes said.
In relation to this push of theirs, the TV5 top official said they have had initial talks with the 2019 Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee, headed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.
“We already had some talks with Secretary Cayetano but nothing is official yet. Until it is signed we can never be sure,” Mr. Reyes said.
In the just-concluded SEA Games, the Philippines ended up at sixth place with a medal haul of 24 gold, 33 silver and 66 bronze medals. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo