LEAP DAY SPECIAL: Why Is It So Hard to Align The TV Programs?

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: The first Leap Day of this blog’s existence was in 2016. Unfortunately, it fell on a presidential election year; hence, we went on The Filipino Decides mode. Hence, this second Leap Day of existence will be our first Leap Day special. The requested topic barely contribute anything.]

Feb 29

EVERY FOUR YEARS, February will contain 29 days instead of the usual 28. Well, not all years divisible by four are leap years; any year that is divisible by 100 are not leap years (e.g. 1900 and 2100) except if it is divisible by 400 (e.g. 2000).

While it may not be a big deal for others — except those who celebrate their actual, rare birthday today — the objective of having the conditional rules of a leap year is to align within the Earth’s seasons for thousands of years.

Speaking of the astronomical complexity for the sake of alignment, I have thought about why I publish this on a rare day.

No offense to the readers who are diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) but I kept asking: why is it so hard to align things in a certain period? Is it just because I am pedantic towards perfectionist or rather, stringently structural when it comes to scheduling things?

The answer is: maybe…


TV Needs Alignment

In the present reality of television programming, I found out some individual cases in different parts that would need an alignment. If I were in the shoes of the programming department or a showrunner, I would not just craft the program or its lineup within the 24-hour period but further on a 7-day, a 4-week or even a 12-month period.

Will the following be rectified and doable? But let’s delve in…


Case #1. Regional Newscasts

Remember the 5 o’clock problem in the blog From the Tube in 2016?

At that particular time of the day from Mondays to Fridays, regional newscasts will take place in their respective regional channels of the South Triangle Duopoly. It would miss the Koreanovela that is airing in the Metro (which can catch up on the following weekday morning except for the last episode) on one and the first part of Wowowin (which it won’t recover) on the other.

There is neither a Metro Manila editions of TV Patrol nor 24 Oras to separate from their main national newscast to end the annoyance of probinsyanos — especially when it comes to crime reports happening there. It would be costly to get separate newscasts but worthwhile in terms of consistency but alas, neither news departments will ever take that initiative.


Case #2. PBA

The previous (44th) season of the Philippine Basketball Association lasted a bit more than a year after facing the following disruptions: Gilas Pilipinas’ qualification and the fumbled campaign in the FIBA World Cup in China, the Southeast Asian Games and the unavailability of the main venues during the holidays.

Tomorrow (March 1) would have been the start of the new (45th) season but with the lingering scare of COVID-19, it will be postponed to next week (March 8).

One thing is for sure, it is definitely too late to change the three-conference format. Had it done to speed up the season will destroy 5’s plan of restoring entertainment programs on primetime or it would start at 9:00 p.m. on weekdays (8:00 p.m. on weekends).


Case #3. Tawag ng Tanghalan

The current iteration of the classic singing competition becomes a segment in It’s Showtime since 2016. While some don’t watch them due to the banters and antics that Vice Ganda did to the contestants, what fascinates on that segment is how its year is divided: per quarter.

Since a year is roughly 52 weeks, it can be cut into 13 weeks long.

End of story, right?

Well, not quite; in our practical broadcast calendar, we have to deduct Holy Week and the last week of the year (for the recap of the passing year) to get 50 available weeks.

Since 50 is not divisible by four, the remainder or fraction has to be disregarded; therefore, we should have 12 possible weeks (72 days) of the competition proper per quarter. It would be better if we would deduct one more week to get 11 (66 days) in order to catch some break for the judges.

The procedures of the quarterly championship will be up to the segment producers but then, the “inevitable” — as the solid network haters wish to happen — comes in a month or so.



After presenting three cases and the possible solutions, I think we have to be honest: none of them would even work or implement because the networks’ programming department is invoking the “flexibility” card.

But to be honest, are we just too flexible even though the external, cyclic environments — the climate and the calendar — are nearly defined?


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Photo courtesy of Encyclopaedia Britannica