State of the Philippine Television Address 2020

[Requested by Zyle]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post is intended for the effects of the events in this year to date.]

MY DEAR READERS OF TIMOW’S TURF:

This new decade is supposed to mark the optimism of waves of the future but instead, we enter waves of the pandemic.

Noong nagsimula ang taon at ang dekada nito, ang outlook natin ay naka-focus sa uncertainty sa pagkawala ng isang malaking media conglomerate nang dahil sa marupok na ego ng isang makapangyarihang tao.

Well, nangyari na or in one police report turned into a meme, “WALA NA, FINISH NA.”

Yumanig na at nagbago ang landscape ng pambansang telebisyon.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now in the post-Mother Ignacia era. Kung may “new normal” dahil sa pandemya, ganun din sa nasabing industriya.

Pagkatapos ng ilang dekada ng digmaan ng mga numero sa South Triangle, natigil na ang putukan, este, ang pag-crunch ng data sa Kantar and Nielsen. Sa entertainment section ng mga pahayagan at online websites ay nakapahinga din sa wakas.

The era of a three-legged stool analogy — showing their strong suits in their particular genre — is now archaic.

 

The Obstructionist Institutions to Innovation

The National Telecommunications Commission, who ordered the shutdown of ABS-CBN under the undue influence from Solicitor General Jose Calida, has yet to learn the lessons not just from the flaws of what the Lopezes did but from the Tiengs’ 11 months prior regarding the exclusivity of their own channels. Hanggang ngayon, hindi pala gumawa ng IRR o final stance tungkol sa conditional access systems (CAS).

Little did they know, the one-two punch decision creates a dilemma of whether their target date of the analog switch-off in 2023 will proceed as planned or will it be pushed back. Pero, wag kalimutan na we are the last countries in Southeast Asia to do so.

For some, you would say: “Anong punto nito kung meron namang Netflix, iflix, iWant, etc?”

While many will call you for being a “privileged” person, I cannot blame you for getting the point.

That being said, I believe that from those 12 prolonged, premeditated hearings a nd their unsurprised “cooking show” outcome plus a post-vote plan of action by the “Gang of Four” to continue their humiliation by property takeover in a Zoom meeting that was caught on the record has realized that the 18th Congress is an impediment for broadcasting innovation.

Their collective analog mindset — and the deliberate singling out — has proven to us na hindi talaga tayo handa for dissemination about digital terrestrial television. Sa palagay natin, hindi ito dadalhin ang mga isyu na nito sa mga budget interpellations against the Department of Information and Communications Technology for 2021.

 

Hesitant VHF Survivors

Hindi madali ang sumusunod sa yapak ng Dos. Habang natuto tayo sa kanilang pinakamahusay na kasanayan, wag sanang kalimutan ang leksyon mula sa kanilang mga pagkakamali.

It’s not easy to step into Channel 2’s shoes; while we learn from the best practices, we should also learn the errors of their ways.

Marami ang pagkukulang sa mga dating kalaban pero matigas pa rin ang ulo, even if we remove the major factor of this pandemic.

Sa dating karibal sa Kamuning, sila na ang may korona at advertising money bilang dominant media conglomerate pero hanggang ngayon, ang diskarte ng pananalapi at operasyon nila ay konserbatibo. In other words, they’re just complacent or playing safe until they wait for Mother Ignacia to fall to its knees.

When teleserye filming resumes with safety measures, who would benefit under the current state of the industry? Hindi po ba sila.

Noong Hunyo 26, pormal nang nag-launch ang kanilang Affordabox habang itinigil na ang pagbenta ng TV Plus na nakapagbenta ng 9 million units sa limang taon. Ang expectation ng GMA New Media nila ay 600,000 units ang ibebenta — pero dahil sa positibong reviews at dahil sa bagong features, baka sa katapusan ng taon o dalawa, aabot ng 6 million — putting a zero right after the initial figure.

It would have been better if they had launched when they got their franchise renewed three years ago. Moreso, they should have gone up the ante by establishing a full-time sports division — separate but equal status as to their respected News and Public Affairs. Yun nga lang, hindi pwede maging full-time si Chino Trinidad kasi kailangan din siyang mag-operate at mag-manage sa Pilipinas HD. If I were Kenneth Duremdes, the commissioner of MPBL, I would rule out this network as the new home for the league.

They may have been turned 70 this year (59 if on TV) but still the working axiom remains: “Once they played safe, they’ll always play safe.”

On the other hand, to the rescue si Manny V. Pangilinan para sa mga displaced talents to TV5. Let’s face it, his network is a member of KBP just like Dos was.

It sounds promising, had not for the perennial internal organizational drawbacks. Unlike GMA and its sturdy yet so stubborn pillars, the turnover in their organization chart happens more often.

Their local entertainment division, effectively dissolved in 2016, will be restored pero as one die-hard fan of Channel 5 would advise that they should hire technical crew first (e.g. electronic communications engineers, 1st class radio telephone operators) before writers.

Noong Enero, they had the honor of covering the 24th Asian Television Awards for the first time in the country as host and when he got the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television, napuno ng puntirya sa comments section ng Facebook na wala namang kinalaman sa TV o kaya’y walang ginawa ng tama sa Singko.

Now that the chapter is sealed, the mindset sa pagiging non-revenue driver ang Channel 5 must come to an end, whether he likes it or not. Kamakailan lang po, sila na ang official broadcaster ng NBA at ONE Championship.

Yun nga lang, expect grumbling of certain factions of the existing solid Kapatid: those who wanted AniMEGA to return, those who wanted the PBA to resume, those who are tuning to Idol Raffy Tulfo and two fans who want The Amazing Race Philippines to have a third season.

I believe they will do better and learn from that after that scrounging criticisms. Boss MVP, the whole Philippine TV community is now rooting for you.

Last but not the least, aminado ni Krizette Laureta Chu (isa sa mga constructive supporters ng administrasyon) na mahusay ang mga writers ng Dos na pwedeng maisalba ang PTV mula sa pagiging propaganda machine ng Palasyo for almost half a century. Ito ang dapat na ginawa noong unang SONA niya para maging editorially independent at impartial. Pagkatapos ng apat na taon sa Kwatro, na-improve po ba ang overall image ng PTV o the same pa rin?

No wonder, Mr. Jules Guiang snapped out and expose the double standards on the government channel he was working on. He unravelled the truth on the broken system-cum-real company culture in Vasra that ran nearly half a century. Mr. Guiang, your honesty and bravery has inspired us.

If PTV deserved this kind of audacity, then don’t get me started on IBC 13.

 

Educational TV

Ang kasalukuyang pandemya’y apektado ang edukasyon. With the school year starting in our country by the near end of this month, blended learning will be the mode of public instruction, according to the Department of Education, so that no learners are left behind. However, the survey says otherwise: modular learning.

We all know the Knowledge Channel was two decades ahead of its time and they are compliant with the prescribed curriculum. However, some of you have sown to disdain for connecting the dots despite that you have watched them (hypocritically) at least once during your childhood days. Few of you were taught to despise because of your implanted brand hatred since birth.

Well, then, last June, I published about the prospects of IBC 13 into a full-time educational channel — from what PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar initially proposed — if the promised privatization of that channel fails to speed up.

The pace of my post was set for a year but we are rushing in a couple of weeks until classes begin. We are not certain if their endeavor will be successful considering the failing infrastructure and financial standing of the tail-end of the VHF spectrum.

Noong Hunyo, pagkatapos ng 28 taon, nagpaalam na ang El Shaddai sa Trese — it was really a religious programming institution.

While The Manila Times loves to jab at ABS even after the media conglomerate’s “death,” they left out the “real opposite” that is currently running at low-power and neglected, which most of us barely even notice. Since two weeks ago, Hataw Tabloid published an ongoing series by Ms. Rose Novenario calling the management in Capitol Hills (no longer in Old Balara) as “Mega web of corruption” and she is very doubtful if this opportunity will materialize and prosper.

But I digress, the people who benefit from this are those who have that channel on Cignal or your provincial cable. If you have a digital TV box, needless to say, you might not get IBC but instead, you’ll get Solar Learning, which is on the test broadcast.

 

Eyes on 2021 and Beyond

The frequencies of VHF Channel 2 and UHF 23 in the Metro might be ready for auction to “worthy applicants.”

Sabi ng isang business report ng the Philippine Daily Inquirer, mga 6 hanggang 12 buwan ang kailangan bago maghanap ng bagong may-ari ng frequency.

Dalawang buwan bago natigil ang ere ng Dos at Bente-Tres, nailantad ang expose mula sa isang AM radio commentator (hindi po galing DZMM) na “done deal” ang kapalaran sa Mother Ignacia at ibibigay kung sino sa mga matalik na kaibigan ng nakaupo sa Malacanang.

Kung ibibigay yan, lalo lang iikli ang waiting time like negotiating with a fixer. If that is true, then, well, so much for their “law is law” mantra.

When it’s done, will they have the same audience impact as the former tenant has performed for almost 34 years? The answer is “We do not know. We will all see.” Less than two years may be considered a short time but such amount of time is a pretty big deal to watch out for.

If ABS-CBN finally gets a franchise under the next presidential administration (at least, H2 2022), Mother Ignacia might have to wait until the new holder of the franchise of Channel 2 expires or fold up after suffering losses or voluntarily cede the frequency to its pre-2020 state. That’s a three-way road they will encounter. Picking up the pieces is another story.

As former ANC boss, Jing Magsaysay, best puts out: Content creation is a whole different ball game.

As of this moment, the remaining drama units of Dos are now pitching their products to the former rivals — financially-healthy man o “walking dead.” Whatever the fate might be, best of luck and tuloy po ang pagbabantay.

I am through, thank you. Have a good day.


 

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