first_imgCarpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Sponsors have helped the PFL out but there is still no live television coverage, only a livestream service without commentators.Fan support has grown. Ceres regularly draws huge crowds at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod for both PFL and AFC Cup matches, while Kaya is gaining ground with a strong fan base in Iloilo. But it’s not enough.SMG Insight managing director Frank Saez stressed that despite the rise of other media platforms, live sports needs television more. Saez took into account the India Super League, which has now some stability after gaining a broadcast partner.Eric Gottschalk, the CEO of MMC Sports, a Dubai-based sports marketing firm, validated TV’s importance.“If there’s more football on TV, we will see more fans in the stadium,” he said. “Football needs media in order to drive commercial revenues for the clubs.”Azkals manager Dan Palami, said the league needs a shot in the arm either from a big sponsor or the success of the national team, which qualified for the AFC Asian Cup for the first time last March. Gastanes pointed out that the Philippines is just one of eight countries in Asia that has teams in both men and women’s Asian Cup.“That’s why there’s always pressure for the Azkals to win every time to keep football relevant,” said Palami.But it all goes back to a strong national league as a backbone for the sport.Palami himself owned Global Cebu, before selling the club to businessman Alvin Carranza late last year to focus on the Azkals.A strong league will generate more sponsors, which could push the sport back to primetime TV. “There is a strong football community out there already and hopefully, TV broadcasters will take another look at football and give them at least some consideration on the program schedule,” Gottschalk said. “Everyone is required to ensure we keep the fans engaged year-long and the first step would be to get the media behind the game.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ceres had a request to postpone a weekend PFL match turned down with the the domestic league schedule already compressed.“The league back home is a huge question mark,” Steuble said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownCeres, which has kept the Philippine flag flying in continental competitions, immediately apologized to the PFL for the player’s statement, but fans online said that the comments should not be taken in stride and instead should serve as a wake-up call.Philippine football has achieved success internationally. But to stay alive in an under-financed national sporting scene, it needs the help of a fledgling league—one that faces its own issues. Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES Right before the season started, two clubs pulled out of the league, Ilocos United and FC Meralco Manila—a team backed by one of the biggest companies in the country.That left the PFL with six clubs to start its second season.The problem doesn’t end there. It’s no longer a secret that Global Cebu, a club with a proud and rich history in the domestic game the past few years, has been encountering financial difficulties. It just resumed operations last week—winning only its first game of the season against Kaya Iloilo—after releasing four key players.The PFL’s home-and-away format has been logistically and financially demanding for majority of the clubs—Ceres and Davao look set financially, with cash-rich owners who love the game—and finishing the season with six clubs in existence could be nothing short of a miracle.“There are challenges,” admitted Philippine Football Federation general secretary Edwin Gastanes during the Business of Football-Philippines conference last week. “In order to promote the sport, you need to have believers of the sport.”ADVERTISEMENT Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operationscenter_img Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Balasabas ends title search MOST READ Ceres Negros captain Martin Steuble struck a chord when he said there was a huge question mark hanging over the Philippines Football League, which is just over a year old.The Busmen had just won, 6-5, on aggregate against Yangon United in Myanmar last May 15 to enter the Asean zone finals of the AFC Cup for the second straight year and Steuble, interviewed on TV shortly after the match, came out with an emotional revelation that stirred a lot of debates.ADVERTISEMENT China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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