NCAA, AKTV sign deal; battle of networks begins
- Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran () - April 22, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The National Collegiate Athletic Association and TV5’s sports channel AKTV have just boosted their stock as they sealed a deal for the exclusive coverage of the varsity league’s all sporting events for the next three years.

And as the NCAA moved over to a new network, the country’s oldest collegiate league revised its play dates, scheduling weekend games that will clash head-to-head with those of the UAAP which airs on a different channel.

“We’re not worried (about the clash). We have prominence on our side,” said NCAA policy board Fr. Tamerlane Lana.

The Letran president and rector, however, explained later that the clash was not on their mind in crafting their new schedule. “The main intention is what’s good for the league,” Lana said.

“We’re ready for any battle. We don’t back down from any challenge,” said TV5 executive vice president and chief operating officer Bobby Barreiro for his part.

In a previous setup with their old TV coverors, the NCAA played during weekdays, with weekends reserved for the UAAP.

In the coming collegiate season, the NCAA and the UAAP go head-to-head, playing weekend games covered by their respective exclusive TV partners.

The 88th NCAA season fires off June 23 at the brand-new MOA (Mall of Asia) Arena in Pasay City with the San Beda Lions chasing a third straight basketball championship.

The NCAA and TV5 held their formal contract signing yesterday at the Letran TV Studio inside the Letran College campus in Intramuros.

Present were Barreiro and TV5 president CEO Atty. Ray Espinosa for the network and, for the NCAA side, Lana, Perpetual Help’s Anthony Tamayo, St. Benilde’s Bro. Victor Franco, JRU’s Vincent Fabella, Mapua’s Reynaldo Vea, San Beda’s Fr. Aloysius Maranan and San Sebastian’s Frank Gusi.

“The NCAA is definitely a major boost to our effort to engage all audience segments in our sports platforms. Given NCAA’s track record over the last 87 seasons, they are a welcome addition to our growing lineup of sports affiliates,” said Espinosa.

“We can see this partnership growing in the next three years given the goals and vision we laid out for the NCAA when we’re still in talks with the policy board and the management committee. Everything is now in the pipeline and we’re so driven to meet our goals,” said Barreiro.

 Other sports in NCAA calender are swimming, taekwondo, track and field, chess, tennis, table tennis, volleyball and beach volleyball, outside of basketball. Its 10 member schools also engage in a highly anticipated cheerleading competition.

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