pbaesd - New challenge under ‘new normal’ for PBA broadcaster TV5-Cignal TV
Unlike the usual broadcasting setup, TV5-Cignal TV has to adjust to the “new normal” for the PBA bubble. (PBA Images)

When the PBA resumes with the Philippine Cup this week under the “new normal”, the way the games would be broadcasted will be a little different too.

The team of TV5-Cignal TV, the official broadcast partner of the pro league, made several changes to cover the games.

“The production is unprecedented, never before that we tackled a coverage of this magnitude. Because of the new normal, the set up is different. We have to follow the strict protocol of physical distancing,” said Dong Capinpuyan, who heads the TV5 sports production.

“Before, we used to work side by side, the director, the producer, as well as technical director. Now, we’re all linked together by communication. Well, it’s a bit challenging.”

“But when it comes to the coverage of games, it’s the same. Doon lang tayo mangangapa ng konti with the health protocols,” added Capinpuyan, a veteran director of various sports events.

Capinpuyan said the TV coverage team arrived Tuesday with a total of 74 from the broadcast team, which include the production, cameramen, slow motion operators, live TV graphics operators, engineering and ITs.

There are also 16-man for the LED TV wall panel, which will be installed at the Angeles University Foundation for the fans to view the games via online – similar to what the NBA are doing.

“The idea of doing that came naturally on how they’re doing it,” said Capinpuyan. “We just duplicate it according to what technology we have, and meron naman tayo halos lahat nung mga gamit nila.”

Capinpuyan that like the set up in the NBA, the venue will have the whole section from behind the bench with LED TV wall, as well as from behind the basket for fans to have a live viewing of the games.

The only difference for the PBA coverage itself is the TV panel – the game commentators and analysts – since they would call the game “off-tube” from the TV5 office in Reliance St., Mandaluyong City and not in the AUF.

This system isn’t new for the broadcast team, said Capinpuyan.

“When we did the FIBA games, the Asian Games or the Olympics, our TV commentators were off-tube. Because of the safety reasons wala muna tayong commentators sa bubble,” he said.

“But we’re in discussion with PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial and the PBA board to have commentators for the semifinal and final.”

The big challenge that Capinpuyan sees is the day-to-day operations since the elimination round of the PBA resumption will be played in a double-header daily from Oct. 11 to Nov. 11.

He said that because of that, they have to strategize on how to use the manpower to make sure all personnel are healthy.

“I’ve never experienced this kind of coverage everyday for the first 30 days we’ll cover the games. I told that team that this is a marathon, not a sprint. So we have to pace ourselves,” said Capinpuyan.

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