Olympia in Greece is where the Olympic torch is customarily lit to start its journey to the country where the next Olympiad is to be held. That torch, figuratively speaking, has come home to TV5 as your Kapatid Network has recently been appointed as the official broadcaster for the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and the Summer Olympics of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil — two of the biggest and most awaited sporting events in the world. TV5 will be bringing these monumental sporting events to every corner of the archipelago and to all Pinoy sports aficionados through Sports5’s various broadcast platforms.
Bagging the rights to the Olympics by itself took an Olympian effort, according to coach Chot Reyes, head of Sports5. “The representatives of Dentsu, the Olympics rights holder for Asia, made a presentation to TV5/Sports5 offering the entire Olympic package and asked if we were interested to bid,” recalls coach Chot.
It was an opportunity too difficult to pass up but coach Chot knew that these major events need careful planning, hence the need to tap all platforms of the MVP group of companies. “It has to be the MVP conglomerate, thus we made a pitch to the top brass with the stipulation that the broadcast rights should include all our platforms — TV5/Sports5, cable, mobile, Internet, live stream — and the management gave the green light.”
TV5 CEO and president Noel Lorenzana sees the Olympiad coverage as a boon to Philippine sports and an inspiration for the country’s aspiring athletes. “This is wonderful news for Filipino sports fans. Sports has proven to be very effective in uniting all Filipinos; that’s why we are excited to bring to them the biggest sporting event with the best athletes from all over the world,” he stresses.
Coach Chot also sees this as an opportunity to bring to our young people’s consciousness the Olympian ideals of Citius, Altius, Fortius — faster, higher, stronger. He ascribes the same principles to TV5’s efforts in getting the Olympics. “Acquiring the broadcast rights for the first time is a perfect example. We acted faster than the rest, appealed to a higher purpose than mere broadcasting —- we want to be there when the Philippines wins its first Olympic Gold — and in so doing made a stronger case to the IOC that we are the most ideal Olympic partner.”
TV5’s Olympic coverage begins this Feb. 7 with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, which has 98 medal events in seven sports. This is the first time the Winter Games will be held in Russia and figure skater Michael Martinez from Muntinlupa will be the first homegrown Filipino competing. It marks the return of the Philippines to the Winter Games after a 22-year absence and the first time a Pinoy figure skater represents the country. Along with the 17-year-old figure skater are other Olympians with Filipino ties -— Gilmore Junio (long-track speed skater, Canada) and JR Celski (short-track speed skater, US) — performing in the biggest winter sports event.
TV5 will also air this year’s Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China. There are 222 medal events in 28 sports that include three-on-three basketball, taekwondo, swimming, tennis, boxing, athletics, football and beach volleyball happening from Aug. 16 to 28. And the grand game of them all, the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics to be held from Aug. 5 to 21, 2016. The Rio Olympics marks the first time that the games will be held in South America and is expected to carry 314 medal events in 28 sports. Coverage of the games will include the Filipino’s favorite sports, led by basketball, taekwondo, volleyball, badminton and boxing.
TV5/Sports5 cements its claim to being the No. 1 provider of the latest and best sports events for the Filipino viewers no matter where they may be in the globe. The Olympics broadcast highlights what other sports offerings the network has in store for the enjoyment of the average viewers, including the FIBA Men’s World Cup 2014 in Spain; the Incheon (South Korea) Asian Games 2014, which is Asia’s biggest sporting event with 45 participating countries; SuperBowl XLVIII (48) which is America’s largest spectacle; the Asian Men’s Volleyball Club Championships; the NCAA in its 90th Season in June/July; the UFL, which is on its third year with Sports5; Ronda Pilipinas (the biggest happening of summer 2014); and, of course, the PBA which is entering its 40th year in October.
Truly said, sports is not only for those who play it, but more so for those who watch it. This is overall what the Sports5 tagline is all about: Sports you watch, sports that matter.