ABS-CBN

[350th Post Special] Alternate PHTV Timeline: What If COVID-19 Never Happened?


[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post is a piece of fiction based on a handful of facts. Please take this with a grain of salt.]

WE CAN ALL agree about these two maxims: We can neither change the past nor regain the lost time.

During our (normal, face-to-face) school days, we keep asking questions to our history teachers “hows” and “whys,” over significant happenings of places but a few dared to ask “What if” or “What could’ve happened…?”

Those few belong to an academic realm of alternate history, a type of speculative fiction consisting of one or more different historical events. For those who will take this genre, the decision lies up to one’s belief and others have some reservations. On YouTube, you can find these genres with supporting maps; others have showcased in DeviantArt or in related forums.

However, in this specific AH, we will not include maps.

This idea came from a comment by Twitter user @tootongjomartin back in January after publishing the second part of the series “If There Is No More ABS-CBN” where the remaining competitors respond in a normal (non-pandemic) setting.

Now it happened.

Therefore, in retrospect, The main question of this AH project is: “What might have happened to the media networks if the COVID-19 pandemic never happened?”

The constraints: You cannot change the weather patterns from May 6 to the present.

BEAR IN MIND: In a supporting YouTube video, the acronyms A.E.T. stands for “Alternate Earth Timeline” (the situation of what and R.E.T. stands for “Real Earth Timeline,” as in what happened in reality.


THE ALTERNATE TIMELINE

Before May 4

The daily Laging Handa public briefing from PCOO would simply not exist.

SMAC Television Production’s shows would have rolled: one on IBC 13 (Yes! Yes! Yow!) and two on GMA News TV.

On PTV, Lotto draws would’ve conducted as usual while on IBC, El Shaddai would have been airing.

On TV5, Aksyon newscast branding would’ve stayed. The Buhay Komedya Channel on Cignal would’ve been launched as scheduled.

May 2020

Wednesday, May 6

  • Emergency meetings were summoned from advertising agencies, KBP to media networks like GMA and TV5.
  • Two months after finishing Season 95, the NCAA Policy Board was shocked by the news as they were literally halfway through the contract.
  • Roberto P. Galang, president of TV5, would be hinted to the press about their plans, “Our entertainment programming will be revived perhaps after the Tokyo Olympics.”
  • Meanwhile, the master control on GMA Network logs that programs were finished on time as promoted after a bit more than two years of being head-to-head.

Tuesday, May 12

  • One month before the 2020-2021 season tipoff, MPBL faces a dilemma on which broadcaster be their new home. PTV is next in option.
  • ALTERNATE EARTH HEADLINE: Palawan nixes division

End-May

The UAAP 82 women’s volleyball is finished — with Liga carrying the Finals. With the five-year contract of UAAP and ABS-CBN expired, the prestigious collegiate league’s board faces jitters.

June

Sunday, June 14

On GMA, All Out Sundays threw a grandiose party on their network’s 70th anniversary with the formal launch of GMA Affordabox (12 days earlier than in real time). Tomorrow, Heart of Asia becomes the first digital subchannel other than GMA News TV to formally launch.

July

Saturday, July 5

NCAA Season 96 (host school: Colegio de San Juan de Letran) would proceed without a terrestrial broadcast partner.

Friday, July 10

With the House of Representatives denied the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN, the UAAP board summoned an emergency meeting on determining who will be their new broadcast partner.

Friday, July 24

The Tokyo Olympics would’ve begun. Though the country’s broadcast rights are awarded to MVP Media Group, the opening ceremony was aired on One Sports instead of TV5 because of PBA because the league doesn’t respect the international multi-sporting event.

Saturday, July 25

In gymnastics qualifying, Carlos Yulo was qualified on the men’s floor competition. The coverage aired on both TV5 and One Sports.

Friday, July 31

Because it was a holiday and due to the qualification, TV5 decided to cover Carlos Yulo’s final competition on the main channel instead of their sports channel. Thankfully, it was in the morning. He won the first Olympic gold for the country, the Filipino audience was jubilant. The Philippine national anthem was played for the first time, Yulo wept tears of joy.

Monday, August 10

Just as Galang promised, the first wave of programs from TV5 began (one week earlier than in real life) to roll.

ALTERNATE EARTH HEADLINE: [Carlos] Yulo to get hero’s welcome, meet Rody

Monday, August 31

As ABS-CBN Regional Group folded, GMA Regional TV’s programs in the morning began to expand.

Saturday, September 5

UAAP Season 83 (host school: De La Salle University) would’ve tipped off — not canceled — on a new broadcast partner, TV5 / One Sports. During the week leading to the season, Cignal subscriptions go higher.

Late September

  • The Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC), despite the panic due to affiliation of publicists with the fallen giant, announced the nominees for the 34th Star Awards for Television. Most of the nominees are from GMA. The winners were to be awarded in New Frontier Theater in Araneta City with a delayed telecast a week later on PTV.
  • DJ Chacha and Ted Failon joins Radyo 5 one week earlier than in real life.

October

Early October

Miss World Philippines would be airing on PTV, instead of long-time partner GMA, to avoid beauty pageant monopolization.

Late October

  • On the awards night of PMPC Star Awards, GMA would’ve won the Best TV Station after seven years. The streak would go on until at least 2022.
  • The new NBA season tipped off on One Sports (two months earlier than today).

November

Sunday, November 1

REAL NEWS: Super Typhoon Rolly battered Bicolandia.

GMA News TV would’ve responded away — instead of airing non-news programs that became a source of ridicule in real time — and converted into a 24-hour news channel.

Mid-November

Thanks to the windfall, GMA’s net profit for the first nine months of 2020 would be about 85% higher than the same period last year — 6 percentage points more than in the real world.

Late November

Like in real life, Miss Earth 2020 was aired for the first time on TV5. Like in Miss World, Carousel Productions, the organizer behind the pageant, didn’t want GMA to go into portfolio overload.

December

  • Miss Universe 2020 was aired exclusively live on GMA Network after ABS-CBN fell. Our contingent, Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo City, finished in the Top 20.
  • GMA covered a Christmas special — the only network to have an all-star holiday special since TV5 was just restarting.
  • AGB-Nielsen released the result of the nationwide TV ratings, Voltes V: Legacy would’ve been the No. 1 in the weekday primetime program.

What’s the Difference than In Real Life?

Without the pandemic, GMA would’ve gotten a bigger rate of growth in revenue for the first nine months than in real life. Regional news services would’ve been established ahead of time before the storm. The main channel’s entertainment programs would’ve gone ahead of time but their shows go and prouder than we harnessed right now. Network fanatics take revenge with more awards but others would still get angrier.

The revival of local entertainment on TV5 in three phases would’ve started one to two weeks ahead.

Even with Martin Andanar’s promise, PTV would’ve started ahead but no viewer would care (other than the pro-admin fanatics) and dare to watch them, save the Lotto draw and PTV Sports.

Even if the displaced technical and creative employees would invite the offer, IBC 13 would still be an unwatchable channel because of pay issues and financial stature. (Company culture matters!)

NET 25’s new programs might not have been on the air today or they would go earlier. The segments of their noontime show, Happy Time, would be really different.

Had not for the pandemic that rechanneled their funds for response, community broadcasters would’ve emerge further. More entities would register and file their franchises to Congress before getting the revoked frequencies.


What would be your TV timeline if the COVID-19 never happened?


Timow’s Turf wishes every reader a contemplative Christmas.


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A Different Christmas: The Traditional, Unofficial PHTV Holiday Programming Guide for 2020-2021


LONG BEFORE the surreal and baffling RC Cola commercial, a public service advertisement that forever etched the minds of childhood said that after a tumultuous year, the country needs a “different Christmas.” In that ad, the drawing of Santa Claus at the start was erased and replaced with significant details to become Jesus Christ.

That concept was made somewhere in December 1997 — at the height of the Asian financial crisis but the message remains applicable now with the global pandemic.

To our dear readers, this is the first Christmas of the new decade and yet, this is also the first under a new violent shift in Philippine television.

The events you always looked forward to during the Yuletide season might not happen this year. Despite that, the Turf’s tradition continues to chronicle the insights for the outlier.

This year, we will classify them into categories that will transpire from today (December 11) until January 3, 2021.

The Programming Situation Right Now

After a few years’ hiatus, the Christmas Cartoon Festival Presents on GMA is back, serving as a comfort show for kids and kids at heart akin to the Yule Log and classic holiday specials in the United States. On weeknights, Paano Ang Pasko becomes TV5’s first Christmaserye, as part of Primetime Todo (the third wave of the network’s local entertainment renaissance this 2020).

12.12 Sale Super Show

The two super shows from two leading e-commerce platforms (Lazada and Shopee) are in one national TV network — GMA. (Duh, do we even have a choice?) Tonight, Lazada — despite Kathryn Bernardo (a local brand ambassador but a Kapamilya) and Lee Min Ho (the regional ambassador) — will have a star-studded special counting down to the big day (in place of Bubble Gang?) while Shopee will go all out in the late morning on that big day before Eat Bulaga!

Two days ago, Kris Aquino — the other ambassador for Shopee — appeared on TV5’s Lunch Out Loud to win prizes for solid Kapatids. (Is that a hint for next Christmas that TV5 will take Shopee while GMA gets Lazada?)

Shows Ending

One local show will end at the two-week holiday period wherein they are generally not concluded. The local adaptation of the Korean drama Descendants of the Sun on GMA — whose production was stalled but resumed last November — will wrap up on the night of Christmas Day.

 

Categories in Concern

Entertainment Gatherings

Due to the community quarantine regulations under the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), mass gathering events during the holidays — from network Christmas specials to New Year’s revelry — are forced to be canceled, downscaled or go fully virtual.

At this usual time, the annual Kapamilya Christmas special in Smart Araneta Coliseum would’ve drawn a spectacular audience with enthusiastic screams from fangirls holding up their fan signs as their favorite love teams performed. Now, the media conglomerate fell down and the Big Dome is dead silent. It continues in their Broadcast Center and will be aired online and cable on December 20 but not in A2Z. (Had it not for COVID-19, GMA could’ve done that in their own backyard while TV5 is still on revival mode.)

This year’s Giant Lantern Festival, which is the only live non-news telecast of CLTV, is scaled down digitally with seven barangays participating this December 16 (the first day of Simbang Gabi).

Meanwhile, traditional and the grandest star-studded New Year’s countdown on GMA, held usually on the grounds of SM Mall of Asia, may be forced to lock into their headquarters in Kamuning.

The 46th Metro Manila Film Festival

For the first time in 45 years, the country’s Yuletide film festival goes online through Upstream PH.

This year, they, three stars — Vic Sotto, Coco Martin and Vice Ganda — of opportunists are NOT coming to the very first fully digital iteration. The first one is a senior citizen, the second doesn’t have enough time to do so due to taping protocols and the last one didn’t finish the film on time despite the organizing committee’s approval. All of them impliedly realized that running movie houses below full capacity meant less revenue in their pockets as loyal fans can’t go out due to the fears of the virus. Not to mention, the last two lost their means to promote their wares had the contagion not happened.

Therefore, the lineup of 10 films (including four originally slated for what would have been their inaugural Summer edition) would be deemed the next best since the 2016 edition.

The two major events of the festival: the Parade of Stars and the Gabi ng Parangal (Awards Night) will go virtual. The Awards Night usually comes on the third day of the festival (i.e. December 27) is, fortunately, falling on a Sunday; it would mean TV5 has some free time on primetime (they can substitute Onstage).

Religious Gatherings

This is Quiapo Church last Friday (Dec. 4) for the final First Friday Mass of 2020. The devotees outside the church complied with physical distancing protocols. If this can be done, then what more from December 16 to 24? (Photo courtesy of GMA News / Danny Pata)

Even though the whole country is mostly under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) — Metro Manila is at a higher level (GCQ) — religious authorities still take no chance when it comes to dealing with the pandemic and religious gatherings including the unique tradition of Simbang Gabi.

In pre-COVID and the old Philippine TV network rivalry, ABS-CBN was the leading network when it comes to airing the novena Masses for those who can’t come physically to their local churches (in addition to the Christmas Midnight Mass and New Year’s). Now, under a limited reach and in fading memory, they cannot be aired on A2Z due to religious stipulations with Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc. but it can be done on their Kapamilya Channel on cable and satellite, it may be aired on Kapamilya Online Live.

For those who don’t have cable or satellite or the luxury of livestreaming but you own at least a digital TV receiver, TV Maria, under RJ DigiTV, is there to cover but often, their digital coverage (the signal and quality) is not satisfied. Therefore, TV5 must take the initiative but they have to go before the daily Word of God Network program or in substitution thereof, which in turn comes before Ted Failon and DJ Chacha sa Radyo simulcast (on weekdays) and cartoons (one Saturday). One can be determined through a hint in their movement music video, which is deemed sufficient as a Christmas station ID for the network.

In the Vatican this year, due to the severe second wave, you will neither see a jam-packed public audience inside St. Peter’s Basilica nor outside at St. Peter’s Square to see Pope Francis saying the Mass (early morning, Christmas Day, our time) and receive the Apostolic blessing later in the noon (7:00 p.m. local), respectively. Normally, CNN Philippines covers these two events live and GMA does it combined and taped-delayed before they sign off for their broadcast day. Will both networks continue the tradition?

Sports

PBA has just finished its 45th season with one conference — the Philippine Cup — where Barangay Ginebra San Miguel defeated TNT Tropang Giga in 5 at the AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Angeles City (serving as the league’s bubble).

Meanwhile, NBA’s slightly reduced regular season (72 from the usual 82) will kick off on December 23 (our time) for the first time on the Kapatid network. The traditional Christmas Day games will continue with, fittingly, one game on the main channel as it falls on Saturday and another on One Sports.

Commemorations and Situations Re: the Country

Commemorations involving the country like Armed Forces Day (December 21) and Rizal Day (December 30) would be downscaled or be canceled. Generally, PTV is responsible for coverage as long as the main star — President Rodrigo Duterte — is present at the ceremony wherever he may be.

However, his focus will be the declaration of community quarantine status throughout the country for the first month of the New Year. This will likely be announced on the last Monday of the year (December 28) — during the weekly late-night session.

In the old normal, the primetime Lotto draws on the eve of Christmas and the New Year comes early so that PCSO employees and lottery agents can come home to prepare and to spend with families as no sales and draw are conducted the following day. Will this arrangement happen even in the new normal?

 

Year in Retrospect?

From December 26 to 31, a retrospect of this year would normally be made in certain programs as having a network’s year-in-review special on a Sunday night is a thing of the past. Given the heavily-defined circumstances that transpired this 2020, some programs (and some bloggers and other outlets) will be skipped but others (including us) will strive to continue.

For one, Atom Araullo Specials on GMA will present Dos Mil Bente this Sunday (December 13) afternoon but the saying “Expect the unexpected” will resonate with the two and a half weeks remaining of the year.

 

What We Can All Agree? What’s Next?

Despite our differences, we can all agree that this Christmas is not the same as it was before with our old habits and scenes we are used to like traffic rush, crowded malls and packed hangouts. Moreso, our TV landscape has the same atmosphere.

Can the next year’s holiday programming insights be better under the post-new normal arrangement? We’ll all see.


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Featured image courtesy of Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Other photos are courtesy of GMA

Will a People’s Initiative for a Broadcast Franchise Prosper?


[Requested by Charles Michael Tapuyao]

“LABAN KAPAMILYA!”

That is the battle cry of ABS-CBN supporters that continues to surge on the streets and online almost seven months after they were off the air, almost five months since Congress rejected the broadcast franchise renewal and almost two months under the new blocktime agreement with ZOE Broadcasting Network as A2Z.

But that is not enough. All they wanted is to restore to its pre-shutdown state — at least on TV (since radio could be easily taken away to new applicants).

Other than the two approaches that will end up being fruitless and dismissed as noise, another mode is made through a petition, dubbed as PIRMA Kapamilya.

The aim of PIRMA Kapamilya is to get enough signatures by the end of this year (27 days from now). Despite the negative limelight during his stint in public office, former Vice President Jejomar Binay took part.

While some are brave enough to go outside and wrestle their pen on paper, others are scared to do so because of the real concentration of political power that will lead to calculated, certain failure.

In this post, we might ask the following questions: How does the People’s Initiative work? How do some professionals see the situation? How will the remaining media outlets respond? Are there any other ways and when will they come back if ever?

 

What is the People’s Initiative?

The People’s Initiative is a broad term that is divided into classes: a mode of amending the Constitution or a mode of pushing an initiative (national or local) to become a statute of its own, aside from those passed in the traditional procedures in Congress.

To amend the Constitution, Article XVII, Section 2 provides:

Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered votes therein. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter.

The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.

For the legislative initiative or referendum, Article VI, Section 32 states:

The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body after the registration of a petition therefor signed by at least ten per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters thereof.

The enabling law is cemented and reaffirmed in Republic Act No. 6735, passed on August 4, 1989.

The Characteristics and the Process of People’s Initiative

In the present case, this is considered a national initiative. The petition must include the following (Sec. 5, RA No. 6735):

  • contents or text of the proposed law sought to be enacted, approved or rejected, amended or repealed, as the case may be
  • the proposition
  • the reason or reasons therefor;
  • that it is not one of the exceptions provided herein;
  • signatures of the petitioners or registered voters; and
  • an abstract or summary proposition in not more than one hundred (100) words which shall be legibly written or printed at the top of every page of the petition.

To get it passed, it should get a signature of 10% of registered voters nationwide, of which a part (legislative districts) must be represented at least 3%.

Within 30 days from the receipt of the petition, the Commission of Elections (COMELEC) will determine the sufficiency of the petition. If it’s sufficient, it will publish the same in Filipino and English at least twice in newspapers of general and local circulation and set the date of the initiative or referendum not be earlier than forty-five (45) but not later than ninety (90) days.

If a majority passes, it becomes a law of its own with the usual effective date (15 days after publication in the Gazette or two newspapers in general circulation). If it fails, the prevailing law maintains.

The Recent Attempt for a P.I.

The recent attempt for a People’s Initiative arose from the Million People March in August 2013, arising from the Napoles pork barrel scam bombshell report a month ago. From June to August 2014, a multisectoral alliance-driven proposition wants to criminalize pork barrel fund creation and spending. However, the Supreme Court made the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

Despite the unconstitutionality of both mechanisms, Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma (who lead that particular people’s initiative) reiterated the importance as members of Congress continued to enjoy other forms of discretionary funds and often, under different names.

The initiative failed to turn out because other than the lack of knowledge of the situation, some families who had children enrolled in schools under politicians’ pork-funded scholarships refused to sign the proposition. In other words, they were threatened.

 

The Effectiveness of the PIRMA Kapamilya (present) situation

Media enthusiasts (who are not network fantards or serial haters) and related professionals (e.g. electronics engineering) are divided on this matter.

Political scientists but are non-lawyers have a split opinion on the matter, even if they have otherwise convictions, but they mostly agree that it couldn’t happen with the remaining 18 months of the presidential mandate.

Those who took up law and became attorneys have doubts about the legalistic perspective of this initiative. For one, two attorney-commentators of a radio show in DWIZ 882 kHz wouldn’t see this prosper. Their main argument is that granting a broadcast franchise of a private corporation will depend exclusively on the desire of Congress. Other lawyers have seen no explicit provisions prohibiting it — meaning a potential loophole exists that would allow PIRMA Kapamilya to proceed.

 

The (Impossible) Media Coverage

Should this particular movement happen, even though it would sound surreal and impractical, it would play a role in the media coverage. We can agree that no surviving media networks would hold ever hold a marathon for this prospective initiative as it is not like in Election Day. However, each network has a different response if the PIRMA Kapamilya gets in the way:

Surviving TV networks

  • GMA, their former competitor, would be hesitant to cover; not even on GMA News TV or their news website.
  • For TV5, where a chunk of the Kapamilya talents took refuge through blocktimers, it won’t happen on the main channel but One PH would tackle it on every radio program simulcast. Their news site, InterAksyon, could cover with updates.
  • CNN Philippines, where some of their personalities used to work on ABS, could cover in certain newscasts and some programs (e.g. The Source).
  • Government media networks like PTV and IBC wouldn’t cover the matter as their newscasts favor the incumbent President and defend with all their hearts and minds. The former may have enough time but the latter cannot as it is committed to the DepEd TV distance learning program.
  • SMNI, the “enabler” media outlet behind the fall of Mother Ignacia due to the opinions and news angles against the former media giant, would not deliver it; if it did, they would comment in a pessimistic angle. Other denomination-influenced UHF networks wouldn’t care.

Radio

As we said on DWIZ 882, this will be skeptical due to the personalities, even though one displaced Kapamilya talent (Vic de Leon Lima) was there. DZRH, where Dos Por Dos is on right now, will be a 50-50. For those who are asking about DZBB 594 or Radyo 5 92.3 News FM, look above for GMA’s and TV5’s insights, respectively. Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS) AM stations will follow PTV’s path (ignore ’em).

Social media news sites

Rappler — the closest ally of Mother Ignacia as they are one of the common critical media outlets of this incumbent administration — would be interested.

 

Another Ways or Wait until 2022

Should this prosper, there would be taking objections from lawyers and they will file petitions to the Supreme Court. Let’s face it, in the end, judicial rulings are mostly decided on technicalities and often, the influence of the appointees rather than on the spirit and sentiment based on historical facts.

Jojo Ragragio’s column on Malaya Business Insight and few members of the legal academe on Twitter thought that this particular movement would not prosper but instead use that mode to review, repeal and replace the legislation behind the weaponization: Act No. 3864, a.k.a. Radio Control Law, which was enacted in 1931 – four years before our country became the transitionary Commonwealth – that was subsequently amended in 1950.

In Congress, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman immediately filed House Bill 299 after the committee’s rejection but they need a replacement to comply with the more modern framework for frequency spectrum management. At this juncture, it will be impossible to proceed as it is not considered a priority — even if there is a congressional leadership putsch after the change of speakership from Alan Cayetano to Lord Allan Velasco — and it may not be the attention as long as the power is virtually absolute at the helm of the strongman in the Palace.

For some netizens, it was their final straw and they decided to join the organizations that advocates for a total rewrite and rectification of the Constitution where its aim is to remove the protectionist provisions (ICYDK, under the present charter, media ownership must be fully-owned and maintained by Filipino citizens and corporations) and shifting to a new form of government before they proceed with this. While it has gained momentum lately, this push might not succeed due to the remaining time left until the next election and other measures to tackle within their club.

That being said, the safest (yet disappointing) way would be to put it into the wish list (open letter) for the next presidential administration — even if a candidate wouldn’t care about the heavily-defined incident during their future campaign. We hope that whoever we choose on May 9, 2022, can hear about this on his or her maiden State of the Nation Address on July 25, 2022.


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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN

Pilipinas, Are You Not Overentertained (and Underinformed)?


[Requested by Gian Paolo Dela Cruz]

ABS-CBN News Chief Ging Reyes made an admission in her employer that their offerings made its audience “overentertained and underinformed” on a virtual forum last October 23.

OVER A MONTH AGO, — October 23, to be exact — ABS-CBN News Chief Ging Reyes admitted during a virtual forum where the audience is “overentertained and underinformed” and the employer was felt “guilty” for that.

Opinions on her divulgence are very sharp as knives.

Serial haters would admonish her and her employer hardly and eat their humble pie after the media giant “rightfully deserved” to lose their free-to-air broadcast license a bit more than half a year ago.

Others had different yet valid views on their different aspects like the association of language and straightforwardness and the structure of segments (showbiz segments before every commercial break and light news item to wrap up the hard news).

Others wanted to go escapism — simply put, staying away from newscasts (even before the pandemic) — as they are fed up with the “he said/she said” type of journalism that surviving media entities espoused under the reign of populist demagoguery with spokespersons making possible spins and excuses to cover up possible harm. In other words, they are tired of gaslighting.

The way we consume the news is changing from newspapers to radio to TV to web and to mobile. All media entities have to capitalize on the use of modern technology to keep up with the times. In this era, you can tell which outlet it comes from, judging by their color schemes and fonts on their posts; the common ground on all outlets is that they emphasize the headline and the summary of the story (with the link appending). This is a common psychological argument.

Because of social media, screenshots of the trending list on Twitter were shared and so are the picturesque scenes with proper attribution.

Thanks to this medium, they are prone to disinformation. Thankfully, fact-checking outlets like Rappler and VERA Files worked hard to refute most false claims that are posted like wildfire. However, die-hard supporters don’t matter and it won’t stop posting praises for their political idols as if every act is always right in their eyes.

But things became different afterward…

Challenging the claims, a month after

One month after Ms. Reyes made that remark, significant events transpired.

Super Typhoon Rolly (November 1)

One week post-confession, Mother Nature gave a challenge. On All Saints’ Day, Supertyphoon Rolly (international name: Goni) battered Bicol and two provinces of Calabarzon (i.e. Quezon and Batangas).

While the common argument spewed by the incumbent administration supporters that “there are other media entities,” they failed to include the factor of two R’s — reach and reputation.

In terms of reach, not everyone — even in far-flung areas like Catanduanes — has cable or satellite. Internet connectivity from the telco towers is severely affected. The AM/FM radio is accessible but it does not get the full picture; television depicts how deadly the storm is and how the damage on the trail is conveyed that cannot be expressed in words.

Assuming that all networks had the same reach as ABS was, the reputation come into play:

  • GMA is, therefore, next in line and people expected better. Alas, that was not the case. Their News TV didn’t cover the swathe of destruction throughout that Sunday as, after airing the press briefing, they aired an anime block, a Lakorn and a Christmas movie (in that order), let alone covering hourly updates. Let’s face it, the channel’s daytime simulcast of DZBB from mid-March — when the lockdown began — until September was their best feat. The funny thing is that their Affordabox has an emergency warning broadcast system (EWBS) feature.
  • TV5 was committed with Brightlight Production programs on that day but they have their news advisory in the free-to-air platform but One News PH, which is exclusive on Cignal, delegated most of the coverage. *verification needed*
  • PTV — despite being the “best” media entity, according to fanatics — did not really do well; they waited until 10:00 a.m. for the NDRRMC press conference. During that coverage, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara said that the typhoon has just passed from the province. People wouldn’t watch that, aside from the most obvious hint that the network’s news items are always defensive of the sitting administration (either through Spokesperson Harry Roque or Senator Bong Go on the Laging Handa Public Briefing).
  • CNN Philippines would have done a better job had it not for being preoccupied with the recently contested US presidential election. The public under class C and below would not understand because the majority of their newscasts are delivered mostly in English and the network is straightforward and deemed intelligent.

Typhoon Ulysses (mid-November)

Two weeks after Rolly, Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) battered Luzon once again and this time, the denuded terrains of Sierra Madre (the natural typhoon barrier) splurged brown floodwaters and as a result of evaporation, mud, over Marikina City, Quezon province and — at worst — Cagayan Valley. GMA covered it right this time over the wrath and damage.

In an interview with ANC the following Monday, Isabela governor Rodito Albano III bemoaned the absence of ABS-CBN’s news crew. Christian Esguerra, the anchor, lectured out that his brother (Antonio) was involved — with four other congressmen in the province — in killing the franchise renewal bid last July 10 that consequentially killed the whole Regional Network Group on August 31.

When Vice President Leni Robredo showed up and requested AFP for rescue, President Duterte didn’t show up as he was busy with the virtual international summits via video conferencing.

Days after the loud trend of #NasaanAngPangulo, he spouted pettiness in his weekly address to the nation. Going too far, netizens are enforcing the lessons learned from the U.S. presidential election, to step up the game.

An opinion piece from a guest has posted on Rappler last Monday, giving a hint on what media should do when the President consistently lies. This was written in light of the defeat of incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump, who still denies and refuses to concede publicly to his opponent, President-Elect Joe Biden in the recent contest.

For one, few influential netizens easily accused GMA Network’s Palace correspondent Joseph Morong of being a mere transcriber sifting any trash before posting the summary than as a journalist with guts like his fellow, Atom Araullo (who ventured now in documentaries), has tweeted:

If one could put an American comparison, they want someone more of a Jake Tapper or a Jim Acosta over a Chanel Rion.

 

Back to the Question! (Conclusion)

With these challenges transpired and finally manifested by the cases and arguments from different faces of the dice (instead of a coin as it has just two), are we overentertained and underinformed?

We cannot make a judgment; we all understand what has happened. Like what Anime Kabayan (a.k.a.) Marlo Magtibay said ahead of us, the answer is now up to your discernment.


 

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Timow’s QuOP No. 14: How Long Should Christmas Station IDs Last?


UPDATED: November 18, 2020 @ 09:33 (UTC+8)

[This post is dedicated to the former and current employees of the Creative Communications Management Division of ABS-CBN and the competitive counterpart of GMA.]

AT THIS TIME of the year, normally, we would see the two national TV networks in South Triangle pitting out each other through Christmas station IDs (CSIDs) to lure viewers. These materials determine which production value is the most eye-catching and is the most earworm. In addition to their show of altruism, this is where they show their star power and personality recall. After each song was performed, the sound trademark of their respective network is integrated.

However, this year is different due to the two heavily-defined events with oxymoronic expectations. First, the lingering pandemic and reeling recovery from the destruction of Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) and Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) would mean a somber yet guarded mood but the second, loss of a trailblazing player’s license to free-to-air broadcast would translate the other competitor to rub it in.

In this quarterly open pit, we will relive the track record. Our goal is to determine the regression model and find duration on their respective official song and music videos that could be earmarked in the future.

 

The Track Record of South Triangle’s CSIDs

ABS-CBN

The production of their renowned CSIDs lies in the efforts of their Creative Communications Management Division, in which the workforce was decimated from 170 to 15. While their campaign began in 2002, the continuing streak of musical CSIDs started in 2009. Here are their annual Christmas songs from that year onwards:

  • 2009: Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko. This is the most inspiring and the most popular slogan, based on the post-TV Patrol primetime drama May Bukas Pa. It delivered a motivating message of reeling from Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma).
  • 2010: Ngayong Pasko, Magniningning ang Pilipino. Performed by Toni Gonzaga and Gary Valenciano backed by the UST Singers, this is the first Christmas song of the 2010s with a sun in the Philippine flag appending their lantern (perhaps, associated with the first automated election that landed the victory of Noynoy Aquino as President — one reason of controversy that leads to the downfall of the network today). The music video has appended the chorus of the preceding year’s official Christmas song.
  • 2011: Da Best ang Pasko ng Pilipino. This holiday song is performed by Maria Aragon, a then-11-year-old Fil-Canadian sensation who covered Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way.”
  • 2012: Lumiliwanag ang Mundo sa Kwento ng Pasko.
  • 2013: Magkasama Tayo sa Kwento ng Pasko. Part of their TV’s 60th anniversary, their CSID was released two days before Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) lashed out at Eastern Visayas. After the storm, their lyrics are modified and uploaded to the Pagbangon version.
  • 2014: Thank You, Ang Babait Ninyo. Named after the carol that was sung by children after receiving loose change or small treats, they were performed by The Voice Kids Top 12 finalists about the acts of generosity at the year of recovery.
  • 2015: Thank You for the Love. This song was performed and emphasized by their network’s love teams.
  • 2016: Isang Pamilya Tayo Ngayong Pasko. The song was performed when The Voice of the Philippines was at its peak.
  • 2017: Just Love Ngayong Christmas.
  • 2018: Family is Love.
  • 2019: Family is Forever. Their final CSID on the owned-and-operated era contained a mashup of at least three songs of their CSIDs past. The theme was the longest and, in hindsight, subtle before the network’s contrived fate the following May.

 

GMA

On the other hand, GMA didn’t catch up to the trend until 2015 when Kalyeserye on Eat Bulaga was at its peak.

  • 2015: MaGMAhalan Tayo Ngayon Pasko. Interpreted by Alden Richards.
  • 2016: Magic ng Pasko. Interpreted by Julie Anne San Jose, there is no corresponding official music video but they are separated into three animated IDs, which is a very distinct feature.
  • 2017: MaGMAhalan Nang Buong-Puso. From this year, the official music video is longer than and separate from its recording session counterpart. The former video is introduced by Jessica Soho before the song proper.
  • 2018: Ipadama ang Puso ng Pasko. 
  • 2019: Love Shines. The music video includes the staff from GMA Regional TV.

 

Data collection

We obtained data through a YouTube search. However, caution is made to record the real duration of both the official song and the music video as ABS took advantage of the features in YouTube video uploads (e.g. end slates playing the chorus of their song for up to 20 seconds) while GMA did not (save 2016).

Factoring out the YouTube features, we have this treated data table for the two TV networks:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Finding a Reasonable Regression Model

There are several regressional models to choose from to determine the duration of future editions. To choose a reasonable regression model, one must determine the fate of extrapolation. In this post, we decided to examine three regression models and examine the disadvantages:

  • Exponential regression is the worst model to use to predict the future duration of CSIDs in both forms. As the year passes, the duration grows with a certain percentage that they will reach 30 minutes (a minimum running time of a TV program) soon.
  • Linear regression is a better option whereas the years go by, few seconds are added but it won’t stop and reach the maximum someday.
  • Polynomial regression could give more coefficient of determination (R-squared) but the downside is that there would be extreme points of calculated duration. Their extrapolated prediction will sometimes reach more than 24 hours; sometimes, negative, which both are impossible. Therefore, it has to be ruled out.

What’s the best regression model?

Logistic regression is another regression model where it determines the asymptote — in other words, the minimum and/or maximum duration of both materials. This will require more effort than the preceding three that are found on Microsoft Office Chart. In that case, we use the Desmos graphing calculator.

Plotting the points on the data table above, this model has proven the strongest coefficient rating as proved in the tables below. Therefore, this will be the model for extrapolating the future.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

How Long At Least? At Most?

Here is the output graph of each network on each product (the song and the music video).

Legend: The dashed color lines are the regression models: red for logistic, blue for linear and green for exponential. The purple vertical line represents the current year.

  • ABS-CBN:
  • GMA:

Had ABS granted another lease in life on free-to-air broadcast, the official song would last at least 5.461 (5:28) minutes — rounding at the half-minute intervals, 5 1/2 minutes. However, the official music video should last at most 12.946 (12:56) minutes or in the nearest 30-second intervals, about 13 minutes. Extrapolating for 2020, we would’ve expected their official music video to last about 12:22 (not counting the end screen).

For GMA, their Christmas station IDs in the future shall have a calculated minimum limit of 3.308 (3:18) minutes or 3 1/2 minutes. In their MV counterpart, the calculated maximum limit would be 8.472 minutes (8:28) or 8 1/2 minutes. Extrapolating for 2020, we would expect to listen for about 5 minutes for the pure song and almost double that duration for the official video. With the rescheduled premiere yesterday, the official MV this year was clocked in at 7 and a half minutes; the official song uploaded on their official YouTube channel four hours later from our initial publication lasted 5:27 minutes.

 

Conclusion

With ABS out of the league on its core operation but continued its Yuletide tradition online, GMA dominated with its creative juices without any virtual competition (on free-to-air). Had the tragedies not happened, the dominant network would still rub it in further at the expense of the former rival.

Meanwhile, momentum-gaining TV5 didn’t revive their own CSIDs after being frozen in the mid-2010s. They might not even have one, even if they have two (soon: three) waves of local entertainment blocktimers running in the bag. As of this publication, “Tuloy Pa Rin Ang Pasko,” their official song was officially released hours ahead of GMA’s rescheduled premiere; the official video is yet to be released.

But we digress, if a local supermarket (i.e. not like SM, Robinsons, AllDay, WalterMart or Shopwise) played at least one of the previous editions in the speakers of supermarkets, it means they still have an impact on its patrons or it is in their discretion of the management. Had the Giant Lantern Festival continued to be held normally in my hometown of San Fernando, Pampanga, at least one competing barangay would integrate it at the individual round.

Whoever network got the most plays in the establishments, well, they earned the general reputation.

*Sigh*

I guess we all know who is that media giant.

Nevertheless, the model offers motivation for the creative department for producing the annual audio-visual masterpiece.


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Featured image courtesy of Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Data table created on Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

Graphs provided by Desmos graphing calculator

 

[#PHTV67 SPECIAL] MTRCB in Desperate Measures?


[Requested by Gian Paolo Dela Cruz]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Every October 23, we mark the anniversary of television in the Philippines. Since 2017, Timow’s Turf tackles topics exclusively about the media platform.]

NEXT TARGET: With the fall of review fee revenue due to the fall of ABS-CBN, The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) is desperately targeting Netflix (and other streaming platforms) to adapt to the domestic rating scheme to offset any losses.

THIS YEAR has proved to be a turning point for the country’s television industry even though we have more than two months to go. Originally, we thought that the premeditative loss of a major player, ABS-CBN, (which somehow returned as A2Z under a blocktime agreement with Zoe Broadcasting Network, Inc. almost a fortnight ago) but we did not expect a global pandemic.

Nevertheless, the fate of Mother Ignacia manifested a domino effect not just in the shops in the streets that surrounded the compound but also to vital regulatory agencies.

The National Telecommunications Commission, who ordered two cease-and-desist orders against the media giant and revoked their frequencies (giving Mother Ignacia the mercy shot), have realized what they have done. Consequentially, the scheduled analog shut-off in 2023 will be pushed to another date that surely cements the place as the last country to go fully digital in the Southeast Asia region. (Ha, I told you so.)

Another government agency that suffered the domino effect is our media censorship body: the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

 

The Background Check

During the budget hearing exactly three weeks ago, they told before the senators, presided by Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares (who formerly served as the chair of the agency), the hard figures and estimates.

In 2019 (their final full calendar year), ABS-CBN remitted P 22.74 million in review fees to the agency. Until June 30 (the final day of their owned-and-operated TV broadcast), they paid about one-third of that amount. Besides, with delayed movie releases and closure of movie houses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency expects an over-all 40% dip in earnings this year.

It is no wonder that the agency wanted to regulate and to adopt Netflix, iWant-TFC and other video-on-demand streaming platforms to our ratings to counteract any further losses.

A media law expert said that such a move is not in their jurisdiction as they don’t cover such platforms explicitly.

Binge-watching viewers, who are afraid to go outside anymore and with shorter attention spans were quick to object and blustered in their minds, “Why bother wasting ten seconds for that?”

The quandaries of the agency they are facing right now have not even resolved the three problems stacked on the table: inconsistent rating scheme, lack of time restrictions and uneven application for networks.

 

Inconsistent Rating Scheme

The MTRCB issues an advisory before each exhibition of every film or TV program.

For the films, they are rated as G, PG, R-13, R-16 or R-18. In free-to-air and digital television (since 2011), however, they are rated as G, PG or SPG (with six subfactors: themes, language, violence, sex, horror and drugs).

On TV, the review is not made by each program but by each episode. When the episode of a certain show is rated SPG, the advisory is reiterated twice (before the show and in the middle) rather than once. Wowowin (GMA) has a special status to air the PG advisory twice because GMA’s regional stations will join the Metro Manila station after their local newscast.

Streaming platforms have different ratings. For one, in Netflix, both modes rate ranging from ALL, 7+, 13+, 16+ and 18+.

The main reason why the streaming platforms’ system (i.e. Netflix’s four-tiered system) is deemed superior to ours (three-tiered) is that they tend to follow the psychological reasonings of the individual at specific ages; we’re vague.

No wonder, Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development still functions after being formulated for more than half a century.

 

Lack of Time Restrictions

Since the universal implementation of TV ratings in 2011-2012, the commercial networks’ program lineup is dominantly rated SPG from mid-morning for movies until late nights. This would mean that parental guidance is strictly recommended throughout the day but younger viewers are not discouraged to watch such scenes. Non-general entertainment networks (PTV, IBC, CNN Philippines and denomination-based networks) reach up to PG rating.

In most countries, they don’t just give them the ratings but they have time restrictions depending on which rating of a particular show is to be aired. Sadly, the Philippines has NONE of that — hence, the aforementioned observations — but that might not be the job of MTRCB (if you read the agency’s legal basis in strict interpretation) but it would be decided to the industry per gentleman’s agreement.

 

Uneven Applications for Some Networks

In normal circumstances, every program or movie block must display the advisory before the proper except for newscasts; they must display the standard pictogram and the corresponding text on the available corner. Breakfast shows are mixed; they air the MTRCB advisory before the start of such a program and display the pictogram except during their newscast segments.

While surviving commercial and non-commercial religious networks applied the aforementioned general rules, state-owned networks like PTV and IBC doesn’t always follow (so much for “leading by example”). In one instance, PTV aired an English-dubbed Japanese educational show but without an advisory or a pictogram (but with corresponding text). Before PTV’s newscasts, they aired an advisory but never the pictogram and supporting text.

As of this moment, DepEd TV on Channel 13 has no ratings announced and imposed but it is deemed safe for all considering the circumstances.

 

Conclusion

If they fail to rectify their mistakes, the last resort, according to netizens, is the abolition of the agency (due to intrinsic, historical reasoning) and calls for each production company and/or TV network for self-regulation.

While that option is impossible to happen, let it be reminded that MTRCB is currently under the parent agency of the Office of the President of the Philippines, which is the most powerful agency in the country because it is closest to the President (a.k.a. the ultimate decider of our country’s fate), and not on a somehow sensible executive department — the Department of Information and Communications Technology.


Dear readers, what would you do with MTRCB’s quandaries? How can you resolve them?


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Photo courtesy of Manila Bulletin

A2Z: Will It Save ABS-CBN from the Debris?


[Requested immediately by Inna Kim]

WELCOME HOME? A2Z Channel 11 launches today, signalling a somewhat return of ABS-CBN after their franchise renewal was denied and their frequencies were revoked.

TODAY is the unique date combination that happens in our lifetime and it will never be repeated. Moreso, today marks the return of the talked-about media entity this year on free-to-air television after five months.

Well, somewhat.

The reaction to the launch of A2Z Channel 11 is generally elated since streaming online – whether on Kapamilya Online Live on YouTube or iWant-TFC – is a hassle. Of course, some people are skeptical and extremely unhappy with this news.

But how did we end up with this development?

 

The Contingency Game Plan

In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte began to sputter constant vendetta against the media giant in public engagements for different reasons. In response, ABS-CBN and ZOE Broadcasting Network reportedly talk about the possible airtime lease if the former loses the franchise renewal, which happened last May 5 and reaffirmed exactly three months ago today when the House of Representatives rejected it.

The gossips in news sites heighten with September 28 as the launch date but missed the specific date. A few days later, Vice Ganda announced on It’s Showtime that the rumored deal will finally happen.

 

Programming on Offer

As part of the blocktime agreement, A2Z will primarily include selected ABS-CBN programs and movies. Moreover, A2Z will feature content from ZOE TV’s sister channel Light TV and content partners CBN Asia (where Superbook reboot is) and Trinity Broadcasting Network.

The noontime variety staples like It’s Showtime and ASAP Natin ‘To are airing this opening weekend. The former has to enforce a more careful approach with this brokered deal, particularly for Vice Ganda.

As of press time, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, Ang Sa Iyo ay Akin and Walang Hanggang Paalam will go on marathon airing before setting to weekday primetime.

Two programs launched in Kapamilya Channel will be included in this roster like Iba ‘Yan and Paano Kita Mapapasalamatan? Knowledge Channel programs will be included as blended learning in public schools has just formally started.

On October 26, Bagong Umaga will be a new teleserye under this arrangement.

 

#MajorDowngrade

While it is good news for most viewers who are yearning for its return, the big disappointment comes from digital terrestrial TV enthusiasts and from outside Mega Manila.

Before the materialized deal, ZOE TV was able to test digital broadcasts with a test card on digital TV receivers (e.g. TV Plus, Affordabox) but with this news, A2Z downscales to pure analog. Therefore, it is not available for wide access; you have to get cable or satellite (that includes Cignal) to reach it.

 

With Loopholes beget Violence

The quasi-return on another frequency meets with hostility from die-hard supporters not only from the former media rival but those in the government, particularly to the solons (Rep. Rodante Marcoleta and the Gang) who demolished Mother Ignacia during the 12 prolonged hearings in the House of Representatives.

Such people invoked the calls of “usufruct” or shutdown ZOE. Unknowingly, the legislative franchise of ZOE was renewed in 2016 (expiring in 2041) as it was lapsed into law without the President’s signature due to the recent change of hands. Nevertheless, they will go the extra mile by hurling the offensive against the Villanueva’s or CIBAC Partylist and convinced their peers not to vote for any of them in 2022.

 

Conclusion

With the formerly dominant media giant lost 3 billion pesos this first half of the year from the loss, this quasi-return could cushion further losses but because of the limited reach, we don’t know until the periodical financial highlights are publicly announced next year. We can’t say about the percentage that ABS and ZOE agreed on because of the non-disclosure agreement.

Former competitors in the VHF, like TV5 (where a part of Kapamilya talents are heading now in two production companies), are admitting their deficiencies from the now-former benchmark but are facing some threats before their new programs roll in a week.

In other words, will it save ABS-CBN from any prolonged damage? Well, that depends on you.


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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN Corporation, ZOE Broadcasting Network and The Summit Express

The State and the Future of Franchised Programs in the Philippines


[Requested by JC Domondon with slight modification]

ON the Quarterly Open Pit (QuOP) a bit more than a week ago, I whimsically tinkered about the fate of five international franchised programs that had a run here in the Philippines.

Of the five TV show franchises I selected, three were on the recent hands of ABS-CBN and one each that used to be on GMA and on TV5.

In the past 10 years, the most-talked media conglomerate had the virtual monopoly on these specific types of programs because they have the money to afford it and in return, make better yields.

The library of program franchises that Mother Ignacia had in the past decade is split into two: the game show group and the reality/competition show (R/CS) group.

The GS group contains Bet on Your Baby, Deal or No Deal, Family Feud, and Minute to Win It.

This particular cluster, save Bet on Your Baby, was mired with criticism for having their non-committed stars playing as contestants while barring ordinary folks for the same opportunity. As they knew the scheme, this group of shows was ditched before the decade ended in favor of the next group.

The R/CS group contains the likes of Pilipinas Got Talent, World of Dance and Your Face Sounds Familiar.

On that group, some of them made an offshoot from the regular editions like having teens’ and kids’ versions; such offshoots are counted as official versions.

Some of them were memorable (Pinoy Big Brother‘s live weekly eviction nights) and few would just be forgettable (Idol Philippines and their selection of judges).

In both groups, the most irksome of these is the eliciting humor for at least a few moments every episode from any of the hosting trinity (e.g. Billy Crawford, Luis Manzano and Robi Domingo).

I Can See Your Voice (season 2) and The Voice (Teens 2) were the last franchised programs that aired on free-to-air Channel 2 before getting interrupted by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the broadcast license denial. The latter was able to finish through the Kapamilya Channel with four co-champions (one for each coach); for the former is now in limbo after realizing how their first season lasted more than a year.

 

Who will get the ‘buried treasure’?

Now that Channel 2 is no more, it could mean the division of spoils — for that matter, the unfinished and yet-to-be-started contracts between the elephant in the room and the respective production companies — between the remaining, qualified rivals (TV5 and GMA.)

Although there are online platforms like Kapamilya Online Live to utilize as their digital TV broadcasting project is prohibited, the production companies of franchised programs USUALLY PREFER free-to-air coverage, as far as the Turf is concerned.

Why? The primary reason for that is to get the maximum, possible reach; second is for copyright issues.

Anyway, what would be the pros and cons of Kamuning and Reliance on getting that precious booty?

GMA

Logically speaking, the sole TV giant from Timog Avenue is next in line since they have an equal reach as its former competitor. The track record there was conservative. With the declaration of the corporation’s operation “debt-free,” it should be another logical parameter that this network should get that treasure.

There are obvious setbacks:

  • As they are not a KBP member for a bit more than 17 years now, this would turn off viewers as the network accept unlimited ad loads without regard to the attention span of the viewers. (No wonder, KMJS viewers keep complaining over this.)
  • Entertainment executives in Kamuning seem to be contented with what they have (i.e. resting on their laurels) and are hesitant to take the risks.
  • The reality shows they desperately pitted against the former rival tend to be “original” — like Centerstage and The Clash. With the tables turned and they are given the offer, will Direk Louie Ignacio decide to give in?

In case you don’t know, before the quarantine period, the network acquired the franchise rights to have our version of South Korea’s famous Sunday variety show Running Man.

Regardless, placing in their own hands would incite an online dumpster fire between staunch Kapuso loyalists and displaced solid Kapamilya viewers blending in.

TV5

TV5, which gained programming momentum since last month, could continue where Dos left off since they would reach out their hands for displaced talents and personalities like a Good Samaritan. There’s a solid nutcase who presented a strong case of the network to be the new home for Big Brother with improvements and rectification of the errors of the ways the previous network has done for 15 years.

One big challenge: When PBA resumes action at least this October, such shows would have to wait until at least 9:00 p.m. on the affected game days.

When it comes to blending in, they wouldn’t mind unlike in the case of GMA.

Another Option and Afterthought

In both cases, this may not be materialized for now because of the prevailing prohibition of gathering a live audience and/or walk-in auditions.

If some learners who are not ready in adapting to the new normal in education called for an “academic freeze,” then why not have a “programming freeze” for this specific genre?

That being said, if someone would ask if we will have our local version of The Masked Singer, then the answer to this question, for now, is we just don’t know and shrug. (But I heard PEP.ph last Thursday that TV5 secure the rights in partnership with VIVA and air it next month. Anyway, best of luck.)


NOTE: This is the third and last post of the very dense week of post-mortem thoughts on the post-Kapamilya Philippine television. In fact, it filled up all the slots that are calculated for the whole month and the next scheduled post would be published in October. Urgent topic proposals that happened or will happen for the rest of the month will depend on our discretion.


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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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The Possible Next Steps for ABS-CBN


[REQUESTED BY Zyle]

abs-cbn-broadcasting-center

The transmitting tower (right) of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Centre in Mother Ignacia has been off for 65 days, as of this publication. The main question is: When will it be back on?

TWO MONTHS ON (and four days) since Channel 2 — and 23 — was off the air has triggered the consequential domino effect.

While losing a major player may not be affected by those who have no love lost due to their solid conviction of “making the Philippines great again”, those who served in the advertising industry are. Also, it has affected the job prospects not just for Mass Communication graduates but also for electronics communications engineers (ECEs).

Like what the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas’ president Jun Nicdao feared, this shutdown stalls the overall progress of digital terrestrial television. The National Telecommunications Commission, who issued the two cease-and-desist orders, will face a dilemma on whether the national analog switch-off in 2023 will proceed as planned or will push back sometime later. Neither the concerned agency nor its parent department, the Department of Information and Communications Technology knew that we are the last country in Southeast Asia to transition to digital terrestrial television.

In one of ABS’ group of companies, ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. is losing out since they rely on their sister companies’ profits to stay afloat. Other than the losing sources of revenue to alleviate this pandemic, this will put their Bantay Bata 163 hotline at risk of discontinuing operation after 23 years and it might be relinquished to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

An Esquire article published a week ago mentioned that its employees are allowed to transfer to other networks. It notes that the management will not be held to the non-compete clause in their work contracts. With three weeks until the ax, the days of being one of the best employers in the country will be over.

For the (entertainment) talents, their exclusive contracts got suspended from this lingering controversy, in addition to project abeyances. One time, comedian Pokwang played as the contestant on Bawal Judgmental on Eat Bulaga. While netizens think this is a sign of her move to the then-rival-for-now-dominant network, she has proper permission and the show is actually produced by TAPE and not by GMA.

The 12 prolonged, dramatic House hearings over the franchise renewal, spearheaded by ringmaster Deputy Speaker Rep. Rodante Marcoleta and company, has come to a close. For Speaker Alan Cayetano, he wished that all hearings on granting individual broadcast franchises be as “exhaustive” as this one.

THE JOINT COMMITTEE MEMBERS WILL DECIDE ITS FATE.

But after this — and if they rejected their franchise renewal — what will be the next possible steps?

  • This coming Monday (July 13), the Supreme Court will hear the network against the NTC on why they got the cease and desist order when other broadcasting and telecommunication entities who have theirs lapsed continue to serve.
  • The executives of Mother Ignacia can convince ZOE Broadcasting Network to lease the inactive Channel 11 frequency for two reasons: (1) they have more money than the former and much loyal tenant, GMA, and (2) The Kapamilya Channel is not accessible to viewers since they have to pay their monthly cable fee.

If the few options end up not in their favor, the media conglomerate can safely say that its primary operations have shifted and downscaled from radio and television to producing for streaming services (on iWant) and their newscasts into social media accounts. In other words, it’s Netflix and Rappler combined.

This means new broadcast partnerships — from UAAP to Miss Universe Organization — for the remaining networks must be made. It will never be the same as it has done for many years.

That being said, we could acclaim that we are now living in a “new normal” for the Philippine TV broadcasting industry and the hardcore demagogue apologists got what they wished.

 


Ladies and gentlemen, in a few moments, we will be on the post-Mother Ignacia phase of the Philippine broadcasting industry. Please stand by.


 

Do you have any possible next steps for Mother Ignacia? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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