ANYONE who takes videos of the Sinulog activity at the grandstand on Sunday will need the permission of a local cable TV company.

That anyone applies to private spectators, companies and media entities as stated in the paid agreement entered into between Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) and MyTV.

This is the first time that the culmination of the Sinulog Festival, a public event, has been imposed with a restriction on video taking and live coverage.

In separate letters to Leilani S. Alba, station head of ABS-CBN Cebu, and Ann Marie Tan, station manager of GMA 7 Cebu, SFI president Pericles P. Dakay informed the two networks of the “exclusive coverage agreement with MyTV as the exclusive coverage sponsor.”

Dakay wrote that as the exclusive Coverage Sponsor, MyTV “has the exclusive rights to take video and television footage of the Sinulog 2020 celebration, particularly at the grand stage at the Cebu City Sports Complex on the day of the event this coming Jan. 19, 2020.”

Permission needed

Dakay said that with MyTV’s sponsorship, “all other media, television, private persons and companies are excluded from the grand stage coverage of Sinulog 2020, unless otherwise allowed or with the consent of MyTV Inc.” through its general manager Valeriano S. Avila.

The contract between SFI and MyTV was signed on Jan. 11, 2020. Letters to the TV stations were sent Jan. 13, Monday.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, in an interview Tuesday, said SFI, GMA 7 and ABS-CBN representatives and MyTV met on Monday and “settled the matter.”

Labella said, quoting Dakay, that the two networks have agreed to credit their grandstand footage of the Sinulog to MyTV in their aired live on free TV.

“It has been settled, and everybody can take coverage as long as there is a courtesy,” Labella said.

Social media

Asked if social media can cover the Sinulog at the grandstand, Labella said there should be no problem with that.

“Wa man nay problema ang social media. Open man ang social media,” he told Superbalita Cebu.

But MyTV general manager Avila said otherwise when sought by phone Tuesday to clarify the contract with SFI.

He said live streaming via social media is covered by their exclusive coverage sponsorship since they will air the live coverage on their YouTube channel aside from the live coverage on cable TV.

He said media outlets covering Sinulog 2020 at the Sports Center can just tap their feed free of charge provided the MyTV logo appears on the live video feed.

Avila also confirmed the agreement reached between the two TV networks.

He said, however, that he cannot police private individuals from live streaming the Sinulog 2020 at the Sports Center.

He said MyTV has the best TV equipment in Cebu. He assured of a good coverage of the Sinulog 2020 celebration.

Alba of ABS-CBN said: “I already discussed my concerns with MyTV executives. We have reached an agreement.”

Chelo Vallena, supervising producer of Balitang Bisdak of GMA 7, said they are not affected by the agreement since their live coverage will be outside the sports complex.

GMA’s live point will be at Carreta and it will only receive live news reports from the sports complex.

Media sponsorship

Meanwhile, Elmer “Jojo” Labella, SFI executive director, said TV rights were offered to media companies for sponsorship, but only Avila signified his intention.

Jojo said this is the first time in 40 years of the Sinulog that there is media sponsorship.

“We accepted the offer of buying the TV rights of the Sinulog. MyTV paid the TV rights of 2020 Sinulog; however, MyTV did not actually restrict other networks to cover as long as they will acknowledge MyTV or pass through MyTV signal with the watermark courtesy of MyTV,” Jojo said.

“Social media live is no big difference, pero mas maayo unta og (but it would be better if) they will ask permission because MyTV is not asking them to pay, especially mga live stream. They can actually get access, but they have to negotiate with MyTV since they paid the TV rights. Ana man na, di ba? I think that’s the usual for business,” Jojo said.

He said that as early as 2015, SFI had contemplated getting sponsorship for an exclusive coverage. (PAC/ MVG)