INTERNET LIVE STREAMING: NEW HORIZON FOR SPORTS BROADCASTING
By Manny Piñol
Sat, 25 Apr 2009
On April 25, two firsts will unfold for Philippine boxing.
For the first time in the history of Philippine boxing, a locally-made professional boxing gloves, the Tibay Gloves made in Cebu, will be used in a major boxing event that features two regional title fights: the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Interim Oriental Bantamweight Championship between North Cotabato's Rolando "Smooth Operator" Magbanua and Thai Wan Sithsaithong, and the WBO Junior Flyweight Oriental Title Fight between defending champion Bert "Ninja" Batawang of Cebu and challenger Edrin "The Sting" Dapudong of North Cotabato.
And for the first time in professional boxing, perhaps all over the world, fans will be seeing professional boxing fights (for free this time) through the Internet, courtesy of a technology called Live Streaming where action in the ring captured by professional television cameras will be uploaded to the Internet and could be seen by just logging in to www.pinoyboxingtv.com.
Both developments are causing a lot of excitement.
The Tibay Gloves have been in the market for so many years but never made it big because of the makers' failure to come up with a standardized production of gloves. Gloves produced by Tibay have largely been utilized for practice and sparring mainly because the weight of the sets of gloves is not uniform. Each glove is weighed individually to conform with the 8 ounce, 10 ounce, 12 ounce and 16 ounce standards.
Last year, following the death of the patriarch of the Tibay family whom I befriended through boxing journalist Salven Lagumbay, I met with the widow and her children and encouraged them to look at the possibility of acquiring a glove mold that would ensure that the gloves' weight is uniform. In Thursday's press conference for the Thriller in April, the Tibay family presented to us a set of the new gloves and after conferring with my co-promoter Sammy Gello-ani and the representative of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), I decided it was time to give the Cebu-made gloves the big break that it needs to make a name in the Philippine boxing industry.
Internet Live Streaming is not new. In basic application, it is no different from the computer camera that Internet cafes have in their computers, or in personal computers, where the user is able to see the face of the person he or she is communicating with.
But in as far as Philippine sports is concerned, this will be the first time that a fast-paced sport like boxing will be shown using this technology.
The head of the technical group, Ely Saavedra who runs a computer school in the Visayas Region, said he friends Salven Lagumbay and Edward Ligas, proposed the coverage scheme and tried it first by hooking up to GMA Channel 7 for their delayed coverage of the Nonito Donaire and Brian Viloria fights.
There were problems encountered in the test broadcast as the Internet speed could not consistently catch up with the fast-paced action inside the ring resulting in slo-mo movements on screen.
Learning from this, the technical team will implement modifications and improvements for the coverage of the Magbanua-Sithsaithong and Batawang-Dapudong WBO Oriental title fights.
If successful, the Internet Live Stream coverage of a boxing event would mark the great leap in sports coverages from the days of the transistor radio, to black and white television, then colored television, and lately the pay-per-view TV.
Tibay Cebu-made boxing gloves and Internet Live Streaming boxing coverage are indeed bold steps that we are taking for Philippine boxing but we are willing to take the risk.
After all historic feats are made by those who are brave and daring.
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