THE FIRST HALF of 2018 is nearly ending but before we head on the second half, it’s time for a midyear recap of the nine noteworthy and hidden-now-amplified moments of Philippine media.
Why nine? It’s the half of 18, obviously.
These stories are arranged in no particular order.
New League, New Crowd
Initiated last January 25, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League – a spiritual successor to late 1990s Metropolitan Basketball Association — was participated by 10 teams, all hailed from Luzon.
Despite no intention to be a competitor to the PBA, the geographically based basketball league drew much crowd from the professional league of corporate teams.
Since June 12, the league expanded almost thrice to 26, divided between the Northern and Southern Conference, making it difficult for S+A to cover and at the same time, crushing the ongoing FIFA World Cup.
As of press time, they are now currently playing in the Datu Cup.
Loss of Billboard PH
The last update of the localized Billboard charts was on January 15 – the same day, overshadowed, the SEC revoked Rappler’s registration.
While there is no official explanation for that inactivity, the probable reason is the breach of contract between Billboard USA and Algo-Rhythm Communications for undue obligations. Some, ludicrously, said that it was intended with the rise of Ex Battalion (which “Hayaan Mo Sila” charted No. 2 in Philippine Top 20) and IV of Spades.
Their website domain that holds it is now vacant; their loss is gain for FM radio station’s biased charts and third-party socmed-based chart aggregators.
End of the Road for Two Things
Solar Entertainment’s 2nd Avenue parked at the dead end on June 5 (until Saturday for provincial) after 12 years. On the free-to-air territory, it marked the restoration of original RJTV and at the same time, its analog transmission finally shut down, marking it as the second channel to go digital after Light Network 33.
Nonetheless, Solar introduced their encrypted digital TV box, competing against ABS-CBN TV Plus, called Easy TV Super Digibox.
Cable Shakeups and Online Streaming
The first half of 2018 trembled the local cable industry — both on cable channels and providers.
On the cable provider, Dream Satellite TV, the pioneer direct-to-home satellite television service since 2001, closed shop with mounting debts and unpaid fees.
On cable channels, fate was done in different methods:
- Renaming. After almost 19 years, Lifestyle became The Metro Channel last April 2.
- Specialization downsizing. Last May, Bloomberg Philippines’ programs were downsized and integrated to One News after their license expired.
- Shutdowns. On New Year’s Day, Jack CT (Solar) shut down. ABS-CBN closed Tag and their Regional Channel on January 15 and at the end of that month, Hero finally bade farewell for anime fans. Toonami SE Asia followed suit two months after.
While GMA did not venture further into cable, it launched its Online Exclusives (ONE). Ex Battalion did not join in the fray until last June 11.
Last February, ABS-CBN did an unthinkable tactic to kill Ika-6 na Utos’ popularity before the near end of the early afternoon teleserye that lasted a year and three months. They forced to go overtime in It’s Showtime — particularly on Tawag ng Tanghalan — with Vice Ganda spending time with his/her comedic bantering over the microphone. The tactic affected other shows that come after with GMA fought back by extending their early evening newscast (24 Oras) or Wowowin. The practice of setting time on the airing of the shows, including imposing the digital clock in GMA’s news program, was omitted.
The antics from ABS continue, trying to compete Contessa, but to no avail were better in ratings.
After IANU concluded, it’s one of the leading ladies, Ryza Cenon, jumped ship to Mother Ignacia, joining FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.
Mekeni, Mekeni, Maraming Controversy
ABS-CBN’s primetime fantasy series Bagani faced criticisms before its premiere on March 5. On casting, it was particularly over Liza Soberano (hold her “sinigang” quip) and on the portrayal of the namesake came from historical societies, indigenous groups and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). While it is too late to change casting for the former, to appease the latter, a disclaimer was incorporated to recognize the indigenous peoples using the term and drew inspiration.
Despite its derivation from Philippine mythology, the show currently did not end up as serious as other fantaseryes — either here or its rival – which drew Suzette Doctolero, the head writer on GMA, to a boil, particularly on portraying Babaylans.
Remember Brillante Mendoa’s Amo that was promised on TV5 (now, The 5 Network) last year? The show was nearly drowned out due to the sporting deal with ESPN and fixing their identity.
The network signed the deal with Netflix to distribute it over the streaming service platform to the global audience in April 9 as the first Filipino series. However, not everyone is pleased due to the message it delivers but Netflix — having an array of original and borrowed series — gives anyone choices.
After almost two weeks in the global premiere, the network finally aired the series every Saturdays.
105.9 FM: The Cursed Radio Frequency
If you’re in the Metro Manila market, you have heard about the recent change over that radio frequency.
The radio station, as Like 105.9 FM, dressed for the sixth time (fifth in the blocktimer) as an Adult Top 40 station, “trying to beat Mellow 94.7” (JRDV, 2018) without prior notice on May 26-27 weekend — not even in social media.
Ominous signs why they concelead their announcement happened since November: downsizing of DJs, the significant rise of neighbors’ recognition which translates to unsatisfied performance and unpaid debts from the last blocktimer as RETRO.
The Turf initially called it the IBC 13 of FM Radio while Kim Martin, a resident commenter of From the Tube, called it a Lindsay Lohan.
PTV under fire
People’s Television Network (PTV) caught on spotlight last April when the Commission on Audit found out in the GOCC’s audit report that 60 million pesos worth of ad placement from the Department of Tourism to Ben Tulfo’s media outfit (being a blocktimer for the network) had no proper documentation.
It made Jules Guiang, one of the network’s talents who is principled but politically different from the echo chamber, outraged. Because of that emphasis, the issue of conflict of interest between then-Secretary Wanda Teo and her brothers surfaced.
While Wanda was finally sacked, her brothers temporarily left from the limelight and returned in radio in the Philippine Broadcasting Service, covering on the television, still doing the thing they do best (or worse, depending on one’s standpoint): worshipping Duterte in high heavens. The money is never returned, despite being said.
For PTV, they are planning to air shows from mainland China as China Theatre, dubbed in Filipino, come August.
- ABS-CBN News going full HD
- Launch of ANC X
- Changes in ABS-CBN regionally produced shows due to DTT: ending Agri Tayo Dito and Mag TV Na (Kapamilya Mas Winner Ka on the weekend) and consolidation TV Patrol regionals next week
- GMA’s 24 Oras went over a week-long “dressing room” change in character generation
- Sherlock Jr., despite the criticism from the title and the style of the trailer, actually deviated from Arthur Conan Doyle’s adaptation or from the BBC.
- MNL48 formation on It’s Showtime (and underlying controversy from fans)
- Launch of LIGA
- One billion YouTube views of Wish 107.5’s YouTube channel
- Departure of DJ Gino Quillamor from Monster RX 93.1
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