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PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial: Fans are not leaving

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PBA Commissioner WIllie Marcial during the PBA Philippine Cup pre-Finals press conference

PBA Commissioner WIllie Marcial during the PBA Philippine Cup pre-Finals press conference. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—PBA commissioner Willie Marcial is not concerned about what seems to be dwindling live attendance at the games especially with the Philippine Cup Finals coming up.

In fact, Marcial believes that more fans are supporting the league these days contrary to popular belief.

“We’re not being left behind by our fans. They’re even increasing,” said Marcial in Filipino during the pre-Finals conference for the showdown between Meralco and San Miguel.

READ: PBA’s problem: Translating large TV viewers into live audience

“They might have difficulties with the economics, venues or the weather. But at least, they’re still there,” added Marcial when explaining why the viewership isn’t translating to gate attendance.

There are concerns that the upcoming series won’t be as big of a crowd draw especially with Barangay Ginebra, PBA’s most popular team, out of the running.

But Marcial is confident that with the way Meralco is playing, fans will appreciate the kind of fight it is putting up this conference in a bid to win the franchise’s first ever title.

READ: PBA seeks return to old glory with changes, improvements

“Ginebra’s different but Meralco is also giving us a different brand of basketball right now,” Marical said.

The PBA recently reported an increase in TV viewership since the league’s move to RPTV9, which peaked during the all-Filipino conference’s semifinals which featured San Miguel against Rain or Shine and Meralco against Ginebra, which went all seven games.

According to a report from the PBA, the RPTV broadcasts are garnering an average of 1.2 million viewers every game.

That number came up to a spike when Ginebra and the Bolts faced off in Game 5 of the PBA semifinals with about 2.8 million viewers tuning in.

Meanwhile, Game 7 eventually won by Meralco drew 2.4 million viewers.

Marcial remained thankful to the league’s fans for the viewership, which he said also extends to Cignal TV’s Rush channel and via online.



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“It’s heartwarming and this will definitely inspire us all the more to bring the best games possible, especially as we near the league’s 50th season.”





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