(from my Monday May 26, 2008 column in the Business Mirror)
Scene: The Boardroom of a Pro Basketball League
Commissioner: There are several networks bidding for the rights to air our league. There’s the incumbent Alphabet Channel and new bids from the Showbiz Network, the Sun Sports network, and the Great Movies Airing network.
Governor 1: Okay so which one looks best for us?
Governor 2: We should choose the one that will pay us the most money.
The Board (collectively): Yeah!
Commissioner: First things first, gentlemen. (Signaling for order) The incumbent Alphabet Channel…
Governor 3: Well, it looks like we’re the only show worth watching on their channel and we’re only on thrice a week! Is that a plus?
Governor 2: Maybe. Since they heavily promote us.
Governor 4: But if no one watches on the other days how does that help us? I think they portrayed us as too “masa” so we lost our upscale viewers.
Governor 1: Good point. They were good for us but maybe its good to look elsewhere.
Commissioner: How about the Showbiz Network?
Governor 1: They’ve got the highest rating channel nationwide and the biggest cable network. We could reach a wider audience.
Governor 6: Wider reach means more viewers and more viewers means more advertising opportunities. And more advertising opportunities means more money for us.
Governor 3: That’s great. That way I’ll have the money to pay my players. I can’t keep losing them to other teams since I can’t keep up with rising player salaries.
(Snickers from some Governors)
Governor 2: Partner, I like them because they’re the number one network but isn’t their forte more on showbiz? They’ve done a good job with college ball but how does that translate to professional basketball?
Governor 7: I saw Semi-Pro with Will Ferrell. The more gimmicks you do the more fans you bring to the games.
Governor 3: Yes, with their resources and stable of actors and actresses they can do anything. They can even dramatize the life stories of our players. People will empathize with them and become fans of the teams.
Governor 4: But won’t that take away from our own stable of superstars? Fans might become confused. Where does basketball begin and acting end?
Governor 1: Well, we already have ballers who are good actors when it comes to flopping inside the paint.
Governor 7: That’s right. And I’m not so sure I want their reporters shadowing our players and reporting to the world what our players had for lunch and what they do in their spare time.
Commissioner: Yeah, all that ahem – chismax -- might backfire on the league. Baka ma-over yung pagka-madrama. So up next we have the bid of the Sun Sports.
Governor 8: But they’re cable. Not everyone has cable?
Governor 9: I beg to disagree. Everyone has cable. Remember that commercial years ago about “bawal kumabit?” They said that a lot of households have illegal connections which is why they don’t register.
Governor 5: “Kabit.” I’m not sure I like that word. Wasn’t it the cable arm of the Showbiz Network that came up with that ad?
Governor 9: All the more I’m not sure about this showbiz angle. Maybe we can consider Sun Sports. They have an exclusive basketball channel.
Governor 8: But isn’t showbiz what Filipinos want?
Governor 3: Maybe before but judging by the last elections, even guys like Money Pakyawan didn’t win.
Governor 9: Let’s not forget that Sun Sports has the NBA.
Governor 1: How does that help us? Isn’t the NBA where amazing happens?
Governor 10: Pero aren’t we a clone of the NBA? After all we copy a lot of their innovations – we can come up with something similar… like, “PBA. Hanep!”
Governor 8: Astig!
Governor 10: No. Hanep.
Governor 8: Yeah. Astig.
Governor 10: No. Hanep.
Governor: Ah, I meant astig yung “hanep.”
Governor 10: That’s what I said.
Commissioner: Ah, gentlemen, how about the bid by the Great Movies Airing network?
Governor 2: Parang ayoko. People might associate the network’s initials with our head of state. With our chief executive’s popularity rating at an all-time low, I’m not sure it’s an association we want.
Governor 4: Oo nga. We might be co-terminus with the administration.
Commissioner: So whom are we going with? Have we reached a consensus?
Governor 1: Yes, we have. We recommend that we go with Sun Sports. After all, they got the World Cup and the Beijing Olympics. Maybe we can tie up with the NBA and they can send a team overseas to play our teams. Like what they do in Europe.
Governor 8: But won’t we lose?
Governor 1: Not at all. We’ll be seen in the USA and Europe and that increases our profile and awareness. Besides, we already opened our doors to more Fil-foreigners. With Mexican and Middle Eastern imports already playing, we’re going to become more global.
Governor 10: Hanep!