ABS-CBN TVplus

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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GMA Has a Response To TV Plus and What Might Have Been Their Marketing Gig?


[AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following post contains a mix of confirmed and speculative content.]

ANG ABOT-KAYANG (AT KATUNGGALI NA) BLACK BOX. The prototype of GMA’s Affordabox has been released last week. While it has not yet been released commercially, this will cost less than a thousand pesos for a one-time payment.

WHEN the cat’s away, the mice will play… or another breed of cat, rather.

While ABS-CBN was not allowed to broadcast in over the free-to-air airwaves, GMA Network has taken advantage of the circumstances.

While their best-selling TV Plus is under hot water over certain features, the Kamuning Network has just released its counterpart just as the currently dominant general entertainment TV network on the analog is celebrating its 70th (broadcasting) anniversary this month.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the GMA Affordabox.

Specifications, So Far

The confirmed section takes place here.

Like TV Plus, they highlight their very own three channels with enhanced and crisp pictures: GMA, GMA News TV and the Heart of Asia. The last aforementioned — and their first digital subchannel — offering will serve as a response to the Asianovela Channel and unlike ABS’ own digital subchannels, it won’t be exclusive.

While emergency warning broadcast systems (EWBS) are found on both set-top boxes, as of their respective latest updates, there are three new functions that TV Plus lacks: a multimedia player, a personal video recorder and a functional auto-on alert feature.

The Affordabox will carry other surviving free-to-air TV stations with licit and unexpired franchises, signaling a vindication to the rival product’s first year in their market. (The hardcore members of the AlDub Nation remember what happened when Kalyeserye is on but those sets using TV Plus accused them of “sabotage.” Today, they say “revenge is sweet.”)

This set-top box will be available on the market soon on hardware chain stores, appliance centers and online shopping platforms. The price of this receiving device is said to be less than P 1,000, one-time payment with no monthly fees — a slap to Kapamilya Box Office, an encrypted and exclusive free-to-air channel that brew controversy because it was treated akin to a pay-per-view on satellite or cable.

 

Marketing Gig What-Ifs

This section contains a mix of facts and speculations.

The grand launch of the Affordabox will happen tomorrow (June 14). Had the pandemic not happened, it would have happened over on All Out Sunday as part of the grand celebration for the media entity.

After that launch, what might have been the advertising concept for their own receiver? What we do know right now, according to the recent posts by solid Kapuso fans on Facebook, is Heart Evangelista will be their brand ambassador.

The commercial concept will be different from the Mahiwagang Black Box five years ago. In my intuition, they will be simple but emphasizing out not just the features that Mother Ignacia lacks but to brag about not having to pay — albeit, voluntary — monthly fees.

For the rest of this month, two variety shows that draw amassing audience (Eat Bulaga and Wowowin) would have conducted a bunutan (daily raffle) but since crowd gatherings are forbidden right now, they are already adjusting over APT and over Wil Tower (Tutok To Win).

If their marketing gigs were successful (whether in this hypothetical pre-pandemic plan or now), they will be ready to expand further to respond to Yey! and CineMo combined (hypothetically, they may be called the Astig Channel) and to innovate for mobile counterparts (a.k.a. the rumored dongle) as a reply to TV Plus Go.

Speaking of taking advantage and the rise of network-owned digital TV apparatus, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has yet to formulate and to enforce such a harmonized policy on that hardware once and for all and make a clear and ultimate point on the conditional access system (encryption).


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Timow’s QuOP No. 12: The ECQ Survey Results


person writing on notebook

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WE are supposed to close this by June 1 but because of yesterday’s event, we closed the survey. The opinion post regarding that matter will be discussed in a separate article.

Since March 26, Timow’s Turf conducted the survey (powered by SurveyMonkey) to cut the boredom from the enhanced community quarantine. The survey contained six questions — splitting into two categories with three each — regarding the issues on Philippine television so far this 2020 before the plague broke into a pandemic.

Until yesterday, 26 respondents answered the survey, but there is a disclaimer: The answers will not have a significant bearing on the decisions to be made by network executives and/or related government agencies.

Here is the breakdown of the results from each question asked. (NOTE: The figures don’t add up to exactly 100% due to rounding to the nearest integer.)

 

(more…)

If There Is No More ABS-CBN Again (Part 2): How Will Their Competitors Respond?


[WARNING: This post contains insights that are whimsical; if you have different points, feel free to comment your differences. Read at your own risk.]

 

ABS-CBN Soundstage

One of the concerns if ABS-CBN stops broadcasting is how to maintain their Horizon soundstage in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. Will they open up for their competitors to rake in potentially lost revenue?

 

IN THE FIRST PART, we determined the background behind their hatred against Mother Ignacia and the sacrifices and the ethical questioning behind their programming operations that lead to their success for the past 10 years.

The hanging question remains unsolved: What if the keyboard and mobile chauvinists have it their way?

The short answer: FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano would finally end at last after four years. No more It’s Showtime and no more GGV and that means, no more lollygagging from Vice Ganda.

But the long answer is somewhat complicated.

Despite the rise of video-on-demand platforms, traditional TV remains the most dominant medium for information and entertainment. In other words, the loyal Kapamilyas and even avid viewers of their selected programs will have to enter cold turkey instantly.

Without a mode of exposure, artists (especially, the fresh ones) will lose an opportunity to build their careers in their resume; as a result, there will be an oversupply.

Hundreds of exclusive artists will all be, in theory, freelancers but some personalities have backup agencies. For example, Anne Curtis, Vice Ganda and Sarah Geronimo are all VIVA talents and with that, VIVA’s boss Vic del Rosario has the right to ink a deal with any remaining network and they would still get TV exposure. Those talents who don’t have a backup agency would be out of luck unless they planned ahead to take up entrepreneurial ventures like KathNiel with their barbershop business.

Thousands of employees from news and sports departments could get reassigned or get the pink slips. Newscasts, including regional ones, would undergo as exclusively digital akin to Rappler.

Current multi-year contracts with this network when it comes to sports (e.g. MPBL, NCAA and UAAP) and entertainment (e.g. Miss Universe and PMPC Star Awards) will really need to find a new home.

Sure, there is iWant to carry over the remaining episodes and some of their finished programs are ready for syndication to their soon-to-be-former rivals.

The over-all analog switch-off might be delayed and the Full HD progress would be stalled. The network have done both feats very seriously and had they continue to operate, they will be the frontrunner in testing 4K UHD.

In terms of the TVPlus’ functionality, their encryption should come to an end and the apparatus would be treated as a regular DTV converter box or it would longer be useful.

It’s not just the TV frequencies that would be gone, so too would be their radio stations under their ownership like — in the case of Metro Manila — MOR 101.9 and DZMM 630. (No more DJ Chacha for advice and no more Dos por Dos for engaging commentaries for motorists in the afternoon rush hour.)

Other non-broadcast ventures like Star Cinema, Star Music and ABS-CBN Publishing will continue to operate. Their promotion would need communication of consent with other rival TV networks.

Their facilities outside Mother Ignacia like the new Soundstage in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan could be opened up to their competitors for rentals or for lease in order to make up the lost revenue.

Competitors’ Response

With Mother Ignacia suddenly disappeared, Kantar’s and Nielsen’s database for measuring TV ratings would change drastically and so are its entertainment reports in both broadsheets and tabloids.

Losing ABS-CBN for good (or for at least two years) can make a significant difference in the Philippine TV landscape.

Before their very eyes, what will happen to the rest of the competitors? Will they replicate the silver linings or successes in certain aspects that Mother Ignacia currently enjoys?

In a short answer, three rival entities (with four VHF channels) will have an individual, significant response; CNN Philippines is out of the picture and sectarian UHF networks are barely affected.

GMA

For the simpletons, the possibly-former rival will be the undisputed winner in the new TV ratings game as it would hold the virtual monopoly on general entertainment.

Financial-wise, this media company generated 15.236 billion pesos in revenue in 2018 (which is 38% of ABS’) with the asset composition being 62% equity compared to 42% equity from Mother Ignacia. Net income was 15.1% of revenue compared to ABS’ 4.7%.

When it comes to broadcasting divisions, GMA has almost everything that ABS-CBN has except for a full-time sports department.

As this year celebrates its  70th corporate anniversary, a grand homecoming would happen. Will GMA repatriate Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez and Ryza Cenon? Assuming they have returned, will the entertainment department give the displaced talents more exposure and better roles on their upcoming projects?

In the past decade, Timog Avenue’s reality competition shows tend to be “original.” Without ABS-CBN, their mindset should be changed gradually but let’s not be surprised if they are contented with status quo.

In terms of technical aspects, GMA has a varying, inconsistent application in Full HD. While their selected shows on mobile and online are in high definition and on 16:9, TV remains at 4:3. (To borrow Nadine Lustre, ano na, 2020 na!)

 

The 5 Network

In the eyes of its apologists, the Network from Reliance is perceived as a safe harbor for the displaced artists just because it’s on the nearest neighboring frequency (if you skipped PTV). This would help Jane Basas’ intention of reinstating entertainment programs. The only threat to this opportunity is the ire for insistent, immature anime fans and loyal sports aficionados in social media.

For the time being, TV5 will be No. 2 when Deuce is suddenly gone since entertainment programs have to be pitched first before getting the green light.

A network fan pitched a comprehensive overhaul of Big Brother if the current right’s holder is gone. To be honest, that program franchise is nearly at the declining trend (although we can still continue) but his favorite show, The Amazing Race, is already at that stage. Maybe it’s time to get a new, rising franchise competition show like Lego Masters or to live on the legacy, The Masked Singer.

As of this publication date, the best of Face to Face is airing in the afternoon after Aksyon sa Tanghali. Without Dos, Tiyang Amy Perez can resume her stint and it should be aired on their last timeslot in the late morning so as not to offend the current iconic personality of the network, Raffy Tulfo.

While ABS-CBN currently enjoys the two aforementioned technical advancements, 5 has yet to undertake them very seriously (In addition, their channels are not scanned consistently or at all in DTV set-top boxes — not even on TVPlus).

 

Government-Owned Media Networks

In aggregate, PTV and IBC generate a bit more than 250 million pesos in 2018. Comparing that to ABS, they need to exert 160 times more effort to earn the level of revenue. When it comes to net income, it’s in the negative (without PCOO subsidy).

While PTV can open up commercial advertisements in the amended charter, they haven’t been that successful to keep up. Why? Public’s reputation, internal network culture, and restrictive mindset. Let’s face it, both GOCCs are not successful cash cows; they are not like PCSO or PAGCOR.

We published a proposed license fee mechanism back in 2017 to generate stable levels of revenue since home shopping, long-time infomercials, long-time blocktimers and part of Lotto games are too varying and not enough to recoup the deepest costs but we admit that it wasn’t a popular measure.

An avid viewer of this network wants to put displaced talents who happened to be a VIVA talent into the network just like in the 1990s. But with this jammed default mindset, it’s asinine, impossible, since Vasra always prioritizes the old man in Malacanang.

Special Case for IBC

Under the governance of the Kabayan’s (Noli de Castro) daughter (Kat) last year, she inherited Old Balara’s financial position under the capital deficiency territory — which means that the measured liabilities are more than its measured assets. (This is much worse than the total assets of which the majority of it is in debt that ABS currently stands.)

Throughout the period, they started to improve its programming (thanks to SMAC Television Production) but the financial performance is yet to be seen.

Last year, two Star Magic talents starred on that channel: Ritz Azul acted in the teleserye Bukas May Kahapon and Heaven Peralejo (the niece of Rica) became the co-host performer of weekend variety show SMAC Pinoy Ito. This year, Awra Briguela (Makmak of FPJAP) will join in the Gen Z-casted noontime show, Yes Yes Yow.

When it comes to Old Balara’s technical aspects in digital television, they take their tests seriously than her sister network amidst a 480i (standard definition) resolution.

That being said, for the time being, Channel 13 cannot be replicated as the #1 network as it was claimed during the first shutdown half a century ago.

Radio

Without 101.9, the newest member, DJ Chico, could come back home to Energy FM 106.7. Their loss could also mark 105.9’s opportunity, which means, it’s going to be another rebrand and reformat.

Without DZMM, Radyo Patrol reporters will be scattered to other AM radio stations or create an independent media production.

Final Thoughts

Sure, there are moral lessons in this worst-case scenario of such intervention to glean on — there is a time to swallow on one’s pride and greed.

Shutting down the major media entity’s core business segment will never be enough for their satisfaction; it’s rather a beginning set by these vengeful keyboard nationalists of a bloody battle.

For the die-hard fanatics of this embattled network, their life is now facing danger.


The financial data that was used in the calculation were from their 2018 audited financial reports that are downloadable from their investor relations page (for ABS-CBN and GMA) and from the Commission on Audit website (for PTV and IBC). The 2019 figures are not yet available as they are currently under audit.


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If There Is No More ABS-CBN Again (Part 1): Faring Mother Ignacia’s Performance and Finding the Hatred


[WARNING: The author is not a hater of the media entity in hot water. With apologies to fanatics of this particular network but let’s face it, no media entity is perfect or sacred; every network has its flaws and successes. Please read at your own risk.]

IN the opening salvo almost two weeks ago, this year is the most crucial moment in the Philippine media industry; this is the year ABS-CBN is facing a make-or-break situation — the franchise renewal is at stake.

Six days from now, Congress will resume its plenary session and the bills regarding their franchise renewal are in the bind. Some solons like Laguna Representative Sol Aragones — who was a reporter of her previous employer — wanted to put this bill as urgent and priority before March 30 strikes.

For the past three years, President Rodrigo Duterte constantly objected for their renewal by playing different mind games. Recently, he wanted the network to be sold to his business friend Dennis Uy, the Villars or Manny V. Pangilinan — despite a mix of denials and interests — in order to dilute the Lopezes out of boardroom control anew. In a nutshell, as Ryan Ortega opined, these acts seem to generate “terrible optics.”

While media professionals and enthusiasts generally saw Mother Ignacia’s success in ratings and in business strategy, not everyone is pleased (and it’s not simply because they are hardcore loyalists from Kamuning).

What if the then-fringe, now-significant hardcore supporters of this administration got what they wished for — shutting ABS-CBN down for good or for at least, two years — despite little or no effect or even silence from both the telecommunications authority and their broadcasting associate for their non-renewal.

But before we answer that big question, we will delve into why that particular hate on the network grew and how did the network fare out for the past 10 years.

When did all the hate begin?

It all began after Cory Aquino’s funeral. MMK aired the two-part story of the couple on what would have been the former beloved President’s 77th birthday in January 2010.

Due to the airing, netizens criticized the airing as an indirect platform for their unico hijo, Noynoy Aquino to victory in the polls. At that time, certain personalities were active in the network during the period like Korina Sanchez (spouse of his running mate Mar Roxas) and obviously, her sister, Kris. However, not all personalities in the network endorsed him such as Willie Revillame and Dolphy who endorsed Manny Villar.

When Noynoy won the Presidency at the inaugural automated elections, Ricky Carandang and Manuel L. Quezon III from ANC became part of the Palace’s communications team. (The latter was responsible for making the Official Gazette in touch and informative with social media.) Thus, the weekly anthology series every Saturday became a tool to propel certain candidates into victory.

The year after (2011), a YouTube creator named PinoyMonkeyPride published a series of animated videos repeating buzzwords against the network as it was owned by “oligarchs” and their story “biased” in favor of the then sitting administration.  It may have paved the way for netizens’ inspiration to create their fan pages and blog sites to hate the then-President and its actions wholeheartedly. Their accusations, however, were a mix of truths and baseless claims; it did not pay much attention in the general social media news feed but it escalated as the next presidential election approaches.

During the last days of the election campaign in 2016, this particular network aired attack ads against two candidates in two separate positions. One of them was paid by then-Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (who ran for Vice President but eventually placed dead last) attacking then-Davao City mayor. The other ad is by then-Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares (who at that time ran for Senator for the first time) who attacked against then-Senator Bongbong Marcos (wherein the latter ran but almost won the vice presidency).

After the clear and vindicated victory, the new President persistently made sporadic accusations against the network — from taking unauthorized loans from the Development Bank of the Philippines, unpaid ads and unpaid taxes despite being not true in their annual reports. These soundbites have been relayed over the cyberspace, without fact-checking and hearing the other side, and simply accepted them as gospel truth.

ABS-CBN in the 2010s

Casting aside the political colors, the 2010s on ABS-CBN made significant differences in their programming operations.

Free TV

Through cunning exploitation of absolute advantage, this network broadcast their acquired international franchises of competition shows and freely create their deviations for teens and kids like The Voice and Your Face Sounds Familiar, just to name a few.

As reality competition shows became all the rage and expanded back-to-back on weekend primetime, it pushed game shows obsolete. Regardless of that trade-off, those shows have repetitively been hosted in circles by what the Turf called, the Trinity: Luis Manzano, Billy Crawford and/or Robi Domingo. Speaking of game shows, their selection of players shifted to exclusive, non-committed stars in order to avoid defection to another network. (which became the Turf‘s first breaking point) Nonetheless, both types of shows have injected some comic relief for ratings.

Vice Ganda became the face of the network in the past decade as we see him every day of the week —  at least, on It’s Showtime and on Gandang Gabi Vice (sometimes, he performs on ASAP). His incorrigible, panlalait style of comedy has influenced his co-equals with their fans continuing to tolerate him. In the late part of the decade, his jockeying antics on their live noontime show continued without a sense of time (which became another turning point).

Throughout the past 10 years, this network was responsible for boosting up the “love team manufacturing and enhancing” industry. From their conception at Pinoy Big Brother, they ventured out into drama and anthology and without a doubt, it was successful. It’s no wonder that the reboot of Wansapanataym lost its zeitgeist as a fantasy anthology with moral lessons like the first incarnation into a springboard of kalandian. (Thank goodness, they ended it last September.)

With unified MTRCB ratings fully implemented since 2011, their network’s teleseryes were mostly classified into the SPG territory. The starting times of teleseryes every weekday shifted to pre-noontime since 2012, beginning with Be Careful with My Heart.

In 2013, during their 60th anniversary, they forge a deal with CJ ENM to broadcast O Shopping as an overnight blocktimer. It almost fills up ABS-CBN’s round-the-clock schedule except on Tuesday.

In 2014, Studio 23 became ABS-CBN Sports + Action (later shortened as S+A). In the same year, late-night newscast Bandila reported a mysterious flesh-eating disease in Pangasinan, which turned out to be false.

In 2015, their encrypted set-top box, ABS-CBN TVplus was introduced in the market and were sold hot like hotcakes; as of this publication, it sold 8.9 million units and just last year, they launch their mobile version, TVPlus Go, for commuters. On that same year, Boy Abunda’s The Buzz pulled the plug — putting an end of an era for weekend afternoon showbiz scoops. Meanwhile, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano premiered and still is the successful teleserye in weekday primetime.

The following year (2016), another TV program genre was put into the dustbins of history as Luv U was the last teen-oriented program to broadcast. Children’s programming (including cartoons and anime) was downgraded into one meager slot on free TV every Sunday morning as the rest were migrated to Yey! (their exclusive digital sub-channel)

In 2019, after 14 years, kiddie-casted sketch comedy show Goin’ Bulilit pulled the plug.

Cable Operations

Because of the trend of cord-cutters — wherein cable subscription is dropped in favor of cheaper or reasonable pricing of the promised offerings on video-on-demand platforms — ABS-CBN discontinued these cable channels within the decade: ABS-CBN Regional Channel, Balls (replaced with Liga), CgeTV, Hero (became a Web portal), Lifestyle (became Metro Channel), Tag (in favor of Cine Mo! and Movie Central) and Velvet.

Radio Operations

In 2013, the network unified the FM branding as My Only Radio (M.O.R.).

Other Ventures

ABS-CBNmobile, their exclusive mobile service provider, did not last that long; the service ran from 2013 to 2018.


 

If we were to step into their shoes, what will happen if ABS-CBN’s core broadcasting operations suddenly gone? Will their competitors replicate the success of all or certain aspects of Mother Ignacia? That will be discussed further in Part 2.

Timow’s Turf Opening Salvo for 2020: New Decade, New Uncertainty in PH Traditional Media


[WARNING: This outlook post contains visceral and offensive insights from the author’s perspective. We called a spade a spade and read at your own risk.]

THEY SAY the hindsight is 2020, yet, we are just getting started with the New Year.

While we transition into the new decade (rolling over to the year ending in zero), it must, therefore, sense a new chapter, a new paradigm, a new mindset, a new phase.

In this special opening salvo, we focus on the outlook of the traditional media not just for the head of the decade but for the next 10.

Television

In three years, the National Telecommunications Commissions directs that all TV networks must be fully digital transmitted. In other words, it’s not a “sana all” but a “dapat all” by 2023.

This is the latest deadline set in all of Southeast Asia. Brunei already shut their analog transmission in 2017, Singapore and Malaysia recently shut their analog transmission last year, Indonesia will have their analog system switched off completely by 2022. While Thailand has no clear deadline set, they will be certainly ahead of us.

The truth is: This challenge can be done easier on national television networks than regional ones like CLTV 36.

Hence, this year should mean serious business or they might have to adjust to another 10 years.

March 30: Mother Ignacia’s “Day of Reckoning”

Media professionals and enthusiasts are going to be vigilant leading to this particular date of the year. It may sound like a random calendar date but this is the day when ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise to operate their telecommunications facilities from Congress expires.

Throughout the years, there are constant objections of non-renewal with a litany of both valid and false reasoning made by the die-hard supporters of the current Duterte administration and non-supporter skeptics.

Influential names in business are sprouting to invest to ensure a renewal of this embattled media conglomerate such as Dennis Uy, the Villar family and reportedly, Manny V. Pangilinan (from neighboring TV5) — though his media empire will not be involved. They are trying anything that forces the Lopezes to divest and/or to lose control in the boardroom.

By this time, many are imagining the landscape of our media industry without ABS-CBN for the second time. How will the 8.9 million sets of their TVplus function? Will their broadcast properties — including the Soundstage in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan — be willing to lease or rent to any entity (including their rivals)?

Sure, there will be lessons to be learned before their competitors and all these and more will be tackled on a separate, comprehensive, upcoming post.

 

GMA at 70

This year, the Timog Avenue Network will celebrate its 70th corporate anniversary.

Among the programs offered this year is the return of Sen. Bong Revilla with Agimat ng Agila — the potential replacement for Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko due to Gloria Romero’s compromising health or Dingdong Dantes’ Amazing Earth.

However, Revilla’s return to the small screen happened last September when his movies were pitted against FPJ on ABS-CBN on Sunday afternoons.

This news drew ire of the netizens and rightfully so, especially for fellow Kapuso talent, Janine Gutierrez.

The bottom line is this: It is a reflection of our collective soft, forgiving and forgetful culture (that leads to the combined damaged culture) when it comes to politicians — especially who is an exclusive actor by day job — with a tainted track record of corruption. In other words, the network cares about money over the implied consequences of morality and common sense.

Meanwhile, another series to watch out for in 2020 is the local remake of Voltes V.

In fairness to the terms of digital television testing, they are reportedly stable and clear in moving objects like a bus but it remains unclear for the stationary areas. The supposed encrypted apparatus as a response to TVplus is yet to be released in the market, despite the trademark registration. While the analog signal remains good, not all programs that air there are Full HD compatible.

 

The 5 Network

With Jane Basas steering on the ship, she pledges to return with entertainment programming this year.

While Cignal’s exclusive channels will get an improvement — particularly with the launch of the Buhay Komedya “BuKo” channel (under a partnership with APT Entertainment) this Q1 — their plan on the main free-to-air channel remains vague (i.e. no specific programs or genres).

Such vagueness is nothing new since it tends to be broken because they prioritize sports, due to the influence of her predecessor (Chot Reyes) and her superior (Manny V. Pangilinan). It will happen when the Tokyo Olympics in July when Dentsu, the exclusive rights holder of the Games in the Asian continent, taps this network as our country’s official exclusive carrier.

Yet, this network has not given a hint over digital television tests and they aren’t serious in making some of their running programs in Full HD.

 

Other Networks

CNN Philippines’ brand licensing agreement has extended until 2024. While the flagship American company is on the cross-hairs due to the hostile political climate (especially the formalization of the impeachment trial against U.S. President Donald Trump and the presidential election), our domestic counterpart was mainly due to recognition and acceptance by the general public who are tired of sensationalism rendered by major commercial networks. (Albeit, I shouldn’t forget that there are some people can’t be pleased due to the “impure” programming composition.) In terms of digital broadcasting, this channel’s broadcast can be rendered on Full HD.

While government media entities will not change their pro-incumbency and pro-executive editorial orientation, PTV’s DTV tests are low signal but rendering on 1080i.

In the past year, IBC 13 tried to be relevant again with new programming from SMAC Television Production and enhanced by bagging three PMPC Star Awards after a 12-year drought. Yet — with all due respect — the privatization process becomes a running gag. In their recent developments on that issue, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said that it will happen after the tax clearance and “when their franchise is renewed.” Based on their related legislation, their franchise will expire in 2025 (three years after Duterte will no longer be the tenant of the Palace); from that year on, it would mean the process would go back to square one and it won’t get done. In fairness to the terms of digital tests, they are currently on test broadcast, rendering in standard 480i.

 

Radio

While digital television is lurking on the horizon, the same should have been done for radio (HD Radio); unlike TV, no deadline is set for radio. So far, 10 out of 26 FM radio stations in the Metro Manila market has tested this endeavor.

DZIQ 990: Another Target

The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s radio station DZIQ 990 was officially launched on September 9, 2010. Their teleradyo counterpart is aired on May 9, 2016, as a digital subchannel of BEAM TV.

In recent years, it became a high target due to the perceived news angle against the current presidential administration. In retaliation, the government forced to sell the paper’s owners (the Prietos) in Mile Long property in 2017 and Ramon S. Ang would later buy out the paper. But this was far from over, the BIR slapped a complaint against the paper for tax deficiencies with the previous joint venture with GMA on INQ7.net and a few days earlier from that complaint, Victor C. Agustin, a former contributor of this broadsheet and one of the hosts of Cocktales in then-Aksyon TV, files a syndicated estafa against the Prietos.

The losses accumulate due to the complicated episodes surely affect the future operations within and beyond the print. Hence, we go back to their radio operations where it is shortened to 12 hours a day.

Unlike in Mother Ignacia, their franchise expiration is not much in the buzz on online forums and on social media. The Congressional franchise of Trans-Radio Broadcasting Corporation, the company behind DZIQ, is set to expire this July 6.

Other Radio Stations

For Manila Broadcasting Company’s group of radio stations, this will be a challenging year for recovery after the dreadful fire in Pasay City last October.

Just a few days ago, Crossover 105.1’s signature smooth jazz format was put to a stop around the airwaves after 25 years but they are still playing on their app. It signaled a full move to Internet radio. (It’s a plot twist.)

While the lessons at 105.1 are learned, neighbor DWLA-FM 105.9 MHz (we’re not using their current branding to avoid further jinxes) has to as the previous decade harnessed four (?) R&Rs (rebrandings and reformats). Perhaps, the resolution we can give to them is to stop their indecisiveness and desperation and realize their mistakes and shortcomings. The eyebrow-raising question is: Will they ever learn at all?

 

Conclusion

We don’t know what’s in store for this year and the rest of the 2020s as the timeless adage goes, “The past is history; the future is a mystery; today is a gift and that is why we call it a present.”

To end this opening post, let Princess Elsa sing the sentiment:


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Photo courtesy of KWIQ.com

State of Emergency Broadcasts, Disaster, and Calamity Reportage


[REQUESTED BY JC Domondon]

 

k15_20519531.jpg

On September 26, 2009, Typhoon Ondoy submerged Metro Manila. Ten years on, have we really learned anything about it?

 

THIS MONTH — on the 26th, to be exact — will be the 10th anniversary of Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) that submerged Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Ever since this storm passed, we tend to show resiliency but some of us shouldn’t be contented with just that.

Geographically speaking, our archipelago is in the unfortunate double whammy in natural phenomena; we are situated both in the Typhoon Belt and in the Pacific Ring of Fire (where we are at prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions). Because of that, it is important to be prepared and listen to relevant authorities before, during and after either disaster strikes.

In this post, we address the current state of three related things in our media sphere.

 

Emergency Broadcasts

As we gear up towards full digital television transition, we already knew which standard and why it is adopted.

We adopted the Japanese-Brazilian ISDB-T International standard back in 2010. This is fitting, according to the National Telecommunications Commission, as this system has a distinctive function of alert broadcast where receivers could notify that there is a storm or an earthquake coming.

However, the materialization is slow and unclear because of the lack of cooperation between the agencies and the networks. Regarding the former, we already have Doppler radar in detecting and tracking storms but we don’t have seismographs that trigger signals to the nearest cell tower and broadcast transmitters. In terms of the latter, well, it’s obvious: commercialization, the area of coverage and unsurprisingly, tribalism.

In the first sub-reason: it’s no wonder ABS-CBN TVplus has just added a new feature: INFOPlus. The new feature contains alerts that ordinary citizens needed (e.g. weather advisory, class suspensions, traffic advisories) “without the need of an Internet connection.”

In the second sub-reason, we already tackled about the incorrigible centralized broadcasting. In the ISDB’s country of origin, Japan, they have some broadcast devolution but early earthquake warnings are projected across the country, they would see which localities are affected and newscasters on standby advise not to panic until the tremor stops.

Imagine if we apply to that over what happened last April 22 at 5:11 p.m. when a 6.1 earthquake struck Luzon, the government television network could have done that excusable regular programming disruption and the stoic newscaster read the script. Commercial broadcasters would superimpose the warnings in the ticker.

The third sub-reason does not need explanation anymore.

Disaster Reportage

This specific chapter is very risky for media professionals but it sure will be memorable to be added in their curriculum vitae.

Anyway, it is usual for newscasts to have live points where the disaster will strike, is currently or about to strike or has just struck.

In all three grammatical tenses, this is good for the fairly predictable phenomenon (e.g. typhoons and floods). This means, PAGASA is on standby. In addition, class suspensions are easily determined and displayed on the screen as effectively as when the newscaster reads the same thing from paper.

This is near — if not — impossible when dealing with the earthquakes since it could emanate in the land, in the seabed or near the volcano. Minutes after the quake, PHIVOLCS will issue the magnitude of the quake, the depth of the quake and the location of the epicenter as Disaster Risk Reduction Management offices observe any damage within their area and determine the intensity.

Calamity Reportage

After the disaster, live reporters usually continue to stay in their position to assess and to report the aftermath from authorities. They relay the declaration of state of calamity issued by the governors and mayors in the affected areas, which mean class and work suspensions would remain displayed until it is stricken off.

 

Conclusion and Digression

However, there will be watchdogs sniffing their move on this topic. For one, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) checks and publishes its journalism review; their conclusions should not be ignored for the room for improvements.

In regard to this topic, isn’t that during times of adversity, public service should not serve to just one network?

 


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Photo courtesy of Boston.com

Saving Mother Ignacia


[REQUESTED BY Miggy Tapuyao]

The franchise renewal of ABS-CBN must be discussed in the 18th Congress.

TOMORROW is the fight of Manny Pacquiao against Keith Thurman and it will be aired exclusively on ABS-CBN, the first to do so in 13 years.

But that’s not the focus of this post.

In fact, the following day, the 18th Congress will convene — alongside is the fourth State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.

While it won’t be discussed by any leaders’ speech (either from the executive or from any chamber in the legislative) come that day, as we have said in our post-mortem analysis of the recent midterm election, the network’s franchise renewal is — or must be — in the agenda as the expiration on March 30, 2020 is fast approaching.

Background

After garnering the sweeping victory of the Administration’s slate in the Senate without any from the opposition, former singer-turned-government official Jimmy Bondoc became excited that the “biggest network would close down.”

This description directly referred to ABS-CBN and Angel Locsin, one of the current talents there, fought back in the online tirade. At the end of May, the network’s former and current talents and employees joined the fray by appending their employer’s anniversary logo on their social media accounts’ profile pictures with a matching hashtag, #LabanKapamilya.

President Duterte objected the renewal sporadically over his public speeches for the past three years. Often, he accused them with promiscuous claims such as borrowing hefty loans from the government banks and not paying their dues diligently.

However, according to the corporation’s annual audited financial report in 2018, although the composition of their total assets constitutes a majority on debt, not a loan agreement is currently involved with any state-owned banks (e.g. Landbank, DBP).

(SIDENOTE: PNB used to be a government bank until it was privatized in the late 1990s and such process was completed in 2007. Their loan agreement with the Network on the said statement commenced in 2010.)

Unfortunately, this is the part of the populist-cum-demagogue’s playbook in action: threatening institutions who are deemed against them (which is refuted ad infinitum) and always accept whatever he says or from their mouthpieces (spokesperson and their media) as “gospel truth.”

We cannot discount that there are others who are self-professed to be politically moderate or not a DDS but have reservations with ABS’ franchise renewal — mainly on programming operations. But we don’t need to enumerate further; we just want to keep this post straightforward.

Though, the franchise is for legal ownership of maintaining free-to-air transmission facilities (e.g. S+A, DZMM 630, MOR 101.9). It will not affect their film (Star Cinema) and music division (Star Music) but they would lose their primary means of promotion of their wares (other than online).

Nevertheless, the cyberspace worries frantically on the big picture — the fate of Mother Ignacia’s bread and butter (specifically: the potential job loss and downsizing of operations).

Composition: It’s complicated

The components within their core business are complicated.

When their “Blip” comes, there will be loopholes regarding other forms of transmission: on cable, on TFC and on TVPlus.

Albeit, the Kapamilya network already began producing its exclusive online content to iWant and started to diversify into the food business.

Authorities’ responses

When it comes to the related agencies such as the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

They are silent about what to happen when that fateful day arrives.

Although the feared shutdown would not likely happen according to the latter organization on an interview on One News, both barely understand and exercise the meaning of contingency planning on a broadcast franchise expiration as either there are no clear, legal provisions about it or it’s a top secret.

Easy to act, hard to follow

How to avoid big uncertainty to let the President sign their renewal (or do nothing for thirty days after the Congress approve it like those from TV5 a few days ago)?

The obvious solution is divestiture of the business — either voluntary or through force.

In other words, the on-air and corporate names will be kept but the ownership would be transferred from the Lopez family to someone else.

This approach already happened in 1972 (through the Marcosian might) but as of now, they won’t budge into this. But is there another way?

Other franchise to the rescue?

This is an unorthodox approach and like the divestiture, the on-air identity and program making would continue but it’s on “guardianship” mode until the next president signs the renewal.

This is what the cunning corporate lawyers of Mother Ignacia would do if all else fails.

In the forums online, few candidates that are rumored to help the network, including:

  • Bro. Mike Velarde’s Delta Broadcasting System (DBS): Their franchise was renewed for another 25 years just last April but the news was bannered a month ago. Their television endeavor on Channel 35, as of press time, remains unknown after testing in 2016.
  • Zoe Broadcasting Network: The Jesus is Lord (JIL) -owned TV network just ended ties with GMA last June and their VHF channel frequency (Channel 11) would be open for new tenants. However, the rumor of talks with ABS-CBN began back in 2017 by Politiko and its sister site, Bilyonaryo.
  • Radio Mindanao Network (RMN). Historically, they had a tie-up with IBC 13 during the late 60s and launched Cinema Television (now BEAM Channel 31) in the 1990s. The franchise was renewed in 2016. Before this threat, they are the popular bet for the race on the ongoing privatization of IBC.
  • Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC). Putting it in temporary care would almost feel their return of TV venturing since Channel 11 was shut down in 1972. However, objections would be raised as their current radio division has a long tie-up with a manufacturing company that dominates during their commercial breaks. They feared that they would do likewise for at least two years.

Afterthought (But I Digress…)

Until this presidential administration ends, those fanatics who enjoyed at least one program from this network would realize that once they are gone for the second time, they feel that they are given a punch in their visages.

In the end, uttering remorse will not save the network; they have to accept their fate.

For the remaining competitors in television who are enjoying their status quo right now, they have to prepare for the worst. However, such things will be discussed separately in another time.

 


Savor the moment while it lasts.


 

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Photo courtesy of Philippine Daily Inquirer / ABS-CBN

Should MTRCB Ratings Apply to Local Cable Once and for All?


[Requested by JC Domondon]

SINCE October 2011, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) universalizes the rating system on television. You can see the pictograms of Rated G, PG or SPG on any corner of the screen you are watching.

Never mind the deviation of the shape or the font used, as long as the color and the letters are recognized and displayed throughout.

By the end of that month, the Board expects that all domestic channels of all kinds (main channel, digital subchannel, cable and satellite) that exclusively serves here to switch to the new graphics. As the deadline passed, it didn’t meet the expectations — either they were late to reach full or maximal adoption or not at all.

There are general exceptions, though: the foreign cable channels. National Geographic, Fox Movies and HBO used their own rating systems since they are not exclusive for our cable consumption. Cartoon Network, despite having its own licensed feed since 1995, did not employ the MTRCB ratings in order to be consistent with other international iterations.

Hence, the application is not consistent and the MTRCB just shrugged off.

There are valid excuses why the implementation is not perfect.

ABS-CBN’s cable channels are complicated. On ABS-CBN News Channel, during the ANC-X lifestyle block, they aired the advisory but (possibly) not the digital on-screen graphic.

On the other hand, in Myx, the initially-cable-intended music channel that is now available on TV Plus, does somehow the opposite. Whenever a music video is played, the DOG should be placed at the top since their signature placements of lyrics are placed at the bottom but it actually places otherwise. Nonetheless, it would be impossible to see the details in the music video with so few but so large patches, as if it looks like a windshield of a vehicle.

Another one is Jack TV (Solar Entertainment). They have their own advisory and despite the change and the compelling forces of the authority, they don’t seem to budge even if they aired those imported series.

That said, should MTRCB compel local cable companies to comply?

Instead of giving our own opinion, we decided to run a survey here:

After that, based on your decision, why or why not? And what reforms do you want to seek?


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The Filipino Decides 2019: The Review of the Campaign and the E-Day Insights


THE SEASON of campaigning — political ads on media and mudslinging in their respective miting de avance — is now behind us. The past three months of such a period and other events within it has intensified further to convince the already divided electorate.

Tomorrow, 61.8 million registered voters will troop to their voting precincts to poll on the judgment of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first half of his entrusted mandate. They are allowed to cast their ballot from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. — an hour more than in 2016.

However, this midterm election could mark a successful “endgame” or the very last if the final, agreeable form of the federal constitution will be passed and will be ratified by a plebiscite.

The Picture on the Broadcasters

For the rest of the world, election day is rather an ordinary day during daytime but as the polls are about to close, it’s a big deal of their broadcasters filled not just analysis but some gimmicks and their unique traditions as counting begins.

Only in the Philippines is when the election coverage in television usually goes on from sign-on on polling day until about midday of the following day without signing off. In radio, the coverage has just begun.

Despite no ban – save boxing, cockfighting and horse races — other sporting events are usually suspended since their eligible players are exercising such a right as citizens on their respective precincts for that particular day.

Unlike presidential election day three years ago, the midterm election day could the post-newscast primetime programming for general entertainment channels to continue like in 2013. Luckily, there are no premiering teleseryes this day but GMA’s Inagaw na Bituin will wrap on the said week.

For this year, due to aggressive competitive nature and the aforementioned voting start time, the start of the coverage will begin at 4:00 a.m. (one hour ahead than the last time), unless stated otherwise.

 

Commercial broadcasters

ABS-CBN: Halalan 2019

Just before the campaign period, the main channel aired two MMK life stories of two senatorial aspirants — indirectly (whose father is the subject) and directly. This criticized tactic is unsurprising since it was practiced back in 2010. However, they conducted the Harapan series for invited and eager senatorial aspirants (major and minor).

As the largest media conglomerate that spans over cable and radio, election day coverage will be not a problem with the most advanced technology:

  • The main channel will begin their coverage at 5 a.m. just as usual but come noon, they will continue to air It’s Showtime but resumes coverage afterward.
  • S+A will cover normally with the applicable NBA playoffs game and will become Channel 2’s pinch-hitter at noon.
  • For uncut and cerebral coverage, ANC is the key. For the TVPlus users, they have to resort with DZMM Teleradyo.

However, there will always be questionable credibility from persistent critics and haters.

Particularly on the defenders of the President, the winners of this Senatorial election wish for who block their franchise renewal, which is due next March.

In that case, this election coverage will raise a red flag as it could mark their last.

GMA: Eleksyon 2019

The “credible” and “the lesser evil” among the South Triangle Duopoly, this network had their own sole debate on the final Saturday before the campaign period (February 9) but aired a life story of an administration candidate in Magpakailanman just before that. On that day, the host did not narrate the said episode of the weekly anthology drama (as she led the panel) and in return, the character is not present in the debate.

In terms of the digital output, they tapped Internet star Dante Gulapa to disseminate the definitions and the decorum (i.e. dos and the don’ts).

Come Election Day, GMA’s coverage will proceed as usual with newer graphics but they won’t be aired in the Wowowin studio like the last time; they’ll be using Studio 5.

This is also a remarkable moment for GMA News TV as it will be their third and last under Channel 11 after their 14-year lease agreement with Zoe Broadcasting Network (8 years on current branding) before moving to UHF Channel 27.

Like ABS-CBN’s, they will continue what the sister channel will be the pinch hitter when Eat Bulaga airs. What will happen to Wowowin come tomorrow? Will they be not airing like three years ago? Let’s wait and see.

Nonetheless, they will not simulcast.

The 5 Network: Bilang Pilipino 2019

Media enthusiasts and inquisitors already knew that One News will mark its first election coverage this year, but when it comes to the flagship free-to-air channel, [TV] 5, they initially raised doubts if they will materialize and prosper due to their nature as a sports channel.

During the campaign period, the flagship channel initially showed Tol ‘Wag Troll rap battle every Sunday but suddenly replaced with Luchi Cruz-Valdes’ Aplikante during the weeknights.

Thankfully, News5 will have the multi-platform coverage that can analyze on the data; there is a Facebook live stream but when it comes to television, that will be under observation.

CNN Philippines: The Filipino Votes

If you want the straightest news but you don’t have cable, then CNN Philippines is the place to be.

This network initiated the series of the senatorial forum from December to March. Last April 27, they hosted the most-attentive Senatorial debate at the Quadricentennial Pavillion of the University of Santo Tomas (the same venue the sole Vice Presidential debate was held three years ago).

Overall, when it comes to the Election Day coverage, there will be the least of frills — graphically and in between persons — and more to the basic things: intellectuality and seriousness.

Government networks (Hatol ng Bayan 2019)

During the campaign period, PTV did not have their own special programming related to the election campaign (not even reviving the COMELEC Hour) but her sister network, IBC, did with O.O.T.D.: Opisyal of the Day.

Come D-Day, the auxiliary state-owned channel — under recent reformation under Ma’am Kat de Castro — cannot handle the broadcast all by themselves due to the obvious, haunted and inherited financial limitations. Thus, they have to rely on the simulcast of Channel 4 but there will be three 20-minute breaks for Lotto draws throughout the day (11:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m. and at 9:00 p.m.) since selling and drawing on a state-owned lottery is not explicitly illegal under related laws and supporting COMELEC resolutions.

In 2016, unlike commercial networks, they signed off as usual from their broadcast day. It is likely to happen this year.

Denomination-affiliated and regional networks

While mainstream national networks will indubitably reign supreme, denomination-affiliated national networks have their own multi-platform coverages during E-Day (except for INC TV). For one, Eagle Broadcasting Corporation (Net 25, DZEC, et al) will cover as Desisyon ng Bayan 2019.

Regional networks, like CLTV 36 (as Boto Mo, Kinabukasan Mo), will not just focus on the numbers crunched nationally but on their concerned regions.

One more (trivial) thing…

Under the Fair Elections Act, exit polls or projections are NOT ILLEGAL but are NOT COMMON.

If any firm has conducted this, they are not released on time as our clocks aren’t set to the proper standard time. Some areas might declare a “failure of election” that it may be too significant for 12th place finish.

While such a thing isn’t a big deal, the bigger deal is that you have the power tomorrow or you’ll regret that your choice will waste 3 or 6 years of your life that it would never come back… at all.


Vote as if it is your last.


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