Through the unwavering support of its fans, the 75-year-old collegiate league continues to lord over competition in three significant areas – television ratings, gate attendance, and online engagement.
Based on the results of Kantar Media’s nationwide survey for the period of June 23 to September 15, 2012, UAAP basketball games on Studio 23 enjoy an average viewership of 124,690. This is 151 percent higher than NCAA’s average of 51,580 viewers per game. UAAP also reigns supreme with a 50% reach advantage over the competing league in the national (urban and rural) level, enabling more sports fans in the country to catch the games.
Viewers also showed preference of UAAP when the two leagues had simultaneous telecast of games. In the 16 times this has happened, UAAP won the ratings battle each time.
In terms of reach beyond television, UAAP is also the most watched spectator sport in the nation with well-attended games in two of the biggest stadiums in Metro Manila – the SMART-Araneta Coliseum and the newly-opened SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.
One of the most attended games was the second round meeting between the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the UST Growling Tigers, which drew almost 17,000 fans to the gigantic MOA Arena.
UAAP also continues to score in the world of social media. Fans have been very active posting about the games and its players on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as on message boards like www.pinoyexchange.com.
Some of the buzz-worthy topics on UAAP talked about online include the dunk of guard Kiefer Ravena of Ateneo Blue Eagles over Cameroonian center Karim Abdul of the UST Growling Tigers, DLSU Green Archers’ super-rookie Jeron Teng’s 35-point game, UE Red Warrior Chris Javier’s consecutive game-winning jumpers, and the thrilling replay between the NU Bulldogs and the FEU Tamaraws.
Page views of http://uaapsports.studio23.tv spiked to 461,000 during September 1 – 10 that featured Jeron Teng, Chris Javier, and RR Garcia’s buzzer beaters in one weekend, while live streaming also spiked to 13,736 online viewers per game during the UAAP Cheerdance Competition.
These unprecedented achievements are credited to the continuous patronage of UAAP fans, most of them followers of their respective teams for decades.
Ed Trinidad, an alumnus of the University of the East, could still recall the euphoria during the basketball reign of the Warriors in the time of Robert Jaworski and Baby Dalupan. He never outgrew his passion for the team up to this day.
“Hindi mauubos ‘yung suporta ko eh. I love the game. Iba yung spirit sa UAAP, exciting,” he shared.
De La Salle University graduate Emman Bocoling also felt the same way. Since he was a freshman in college, he has been an ardent supporter of the Archers.
“The loyalty is different, the support is different. That’s what makes the UAAP different,” he said.
Studio 23 head March Ventosa said it’s the unbreakable fervor of the fans that has made the league what it is today – a tourney that’s so popular even to people outside the eight member schools of the UAAP.
“The UAAP has the right mix of drama, action, and history that is so appealing to the Filipino audience. But the league will not survive if fans stop going to games to watch their teams live, or if they do not open their televisions to catch the telecast. The success of UAAP is because of them,” he explained.
Ventosa said they expect the ratings to soar even higher as UAAP’s senior men’s basketball division enters the semifinal round, more popularly known as the Final Four.
Defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles (12-2) and UST Tigers (10-4) both enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage after posting the two best records in the elimination round. This means they only have to win one game against their semifinal rivals to reach the UAAP finals.
Ventosa said with the stakes higher in the Final Four, people can expect more high-octane action and dramatic finishes, both of which the fans have been enjoying all season.
Catch University of Santo Tomas vs National University live this Saturday (September 29) at 12nn, followed by the airing of the highlights from the 2012 UAAP Samsung Cheerdance Competition at 2:30pm, and the semifinal match-up between Ateneo De Manila University and De La Salle University at 3:30pm on Studio 23. Watch the games on High Definition on Balls SkyCable Channel 167 or online via live streaming at http://uaapsports.studio23.tv. For blow-by-blow game updates, follow @UAAPSportsTV on Twitter.