Coverage of Sinulog Grand Parade: Labella cancels broadcast rights
CEBU, Philippines — Four days before the big event, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella cancelled the exclusive broadcast contract the Sinulog Foundation, Inc. (SFI) entered into with local television channel, MyTV, for the Sinulog Grand Parade and showdown on Sunday.
“No more exclusivity… all media outlets are free to cover… no more qualification, no more condition,” Labella said in a press conference yesterday following criticism on the broadcast arrangement.
Labella, himself the chairman of the Sinulog Governing Board he created last year, said he was not informed of the contract SFI entered into with MyTV.
MyTV reportedly bought the rights to an exclusive broadcast of the Grand Parade and showdown for P800,000.
The mayor’s brother, Elmer Labella, the executive director of SFI, has said they accepted the offer because SFI has not been earning money from media outlets covering the festival for the past 40 years.
Yesterday, the mayor said he was able to persuade SFI – after a long talk with foundation president Pericles Dakay – to back down from the contract. He thanked SFI and MyTV for honoring his request.
“I really did not have a hand on this. But when I learned about this… na there is such an exclusivity contract unya nadunggan sad nako ang mga reklamo sa katawhan, sa akong tan-aw, kinahanglan gyud that I will come in as mayor. That exclusivity contract must not be implemented,” Labella said.
Labella said MyTV is still a major sponsor of the Sinulog and will get to choose the spot at the Cebu City Sports Center where it can put up equipment for the Grand Parade coverage.
“There is no such thing as exclusivity when it comes to the Sinulog festivity. This is for all of us,” Labella said.
Vice Mayor Michael Rama, the former chairperson of SFI, also does not agree to an exclusive broadcast arrangement for the Grand Parade. He said he was not aware of the contract even as he sits as trustee in the SFI Board.
“Sinulog is for all. It’s not exclusive… nahibung ko nganong naingon ana na,” Rama said.
MyTV General Manager Bobit Avila told The Freeman they are keeping their options open as far taking legal action is concerned, especially that MyTV has already paid SFI for the broadcast arrangement.
“Unless they come up with something better for MyTV,” Avila said. JMO (FREEMAN)