GUANGZHOU—Too much money, too little basketball.
In the end, these two factors deprived Filipino sports fans of their dose of the 16th Asian Games action.
National delegation officials said there was no one willing to shoulder the huge licensing fee needed to become an official broadcaster of the event, especially with little guarantee that there will be a heavy diet of basketball games for the viewers.
"There was an effort made but it really was beyond anybody’s budget,” said delegation chief of mission Joey Romasanta on Tuesday.
The licensing fee for the Games reportedly cost $16 million. The Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (Gagoc) dealt directly with potential broadcast partners through the Asian Broadcasting Union, of which NBN-4 is a member.
The government-owned station was assigned initial rights for the coverage and the Philippine Olympic Committee tried to help pool resources by hooking up NBN with ABS-CBN, GMA and Solar Sports.
But the Gagoc could only guarantee the showing of basketball games from the quarterfinals onward.
“There was no assurance that our basketball team would make the quarterfinals and there was no assurance that if it did qualify, it would go far enough to allow the broadcasters to recoup the fee they will pay for the rights,” Romasanta said.
The SBP tried to purchase the broadcast rights for at least the basketball games but Romasanta said the Gagoc would not parcel off events for airing.
Basketball is generally the meal ticket for television stations that want to air multi-sport events such as the Asian Games and the non-guarantee of the number of Smart Gilas games that could be aired torpedoed whatever shot anybody had of airing the quadrennial meet in the Philippines.