From the Tube

Is There a Downtrend of Full Blocktime Agreements with Third-Party Broadcasters?

[Requested by Gian Paolo Dela Cruz]



THE IMBALANCED FIGURE. GMA News TV has resided on VHF Channel 11 in Metro Manila for eight years. By Tuesday, it will be moved to Channel 27.


(UPDATED, June 3, 2019)

GMA NEWS TV, for the Metro Manila viewers and its neighboring provinces, will no longer be on Channel 11.

After 14 years (eight, under the current identity), the block time agreement with ZOE Broadcasting Network (the owner of Channel 11) has ended.

Beginning Tuesday (June 4), aside from being the start of classes in public elementary and secondary schools, GMA News TV will move to Channel 27 — a  frequency held by their network’s subsidiary, Citynet Network Marketing and Productions, Inc. for 24 years would be awake from the 18 years of dormancy.

For media enthusiasts and critics, this is “long overdue,” since it was “unfair” and “imbalanced” for a major national network to operate two VHF frequencies. In the perspective of From the Tube, it is perhaps the same sentiment after his publication regarding the holding of that inactive UHF frequency almost four years ago.

However, that is not their primary reason. It had something to do with increasing lease payments for the past three years to ZOE, according to the media entity’s 2018 financial report.

Program-wise, there will be a major cleanup of their offerings after they realize that they aired non-essential programs (such as Wagas), movie blocks and home shopping.

On that day, DZBB will launch new programs for the extension of days and hours of Dobol B sa News TV (from weekday morning to daily morning and noon).

Nonetheless, this case is not new. Well, under the standpoint of viewers (fawning fans or independently thinking).

Almost exactly a year ago almost this date, Solar Entertainment’s 2nd Avenue ended their free-to-air broadcast on RJTV Channel 29. When it expired, RJTV ended its analog broadcast and resume their airing of their own programs according to their own time.

Another deal involving Solar Entertainment is RPN 9. In 2007, the network entity announced the partnership with the local cable operator and by next week, it was christened as C/S 9. In 2011, they became ETC (a specialty feminine channel) but two years later, it switched places with Solar News Channel. The deal of RPN and Solar ended in 2014.

Back to the main question: Is there really a downtrend of full block time deals with third-party broadcasters?

Well, there is.

It is based on business decisions of both parties, which in turn are based on external and internal environments (in addition to the aforementioned finances):

For one, the market segment veers away from the traditional television to video-on-demand services (e.g. Netflix, iFlix and HOOQ). Another one is the sense of urgency from respected authorities. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has set the mandate that the digital television transition across the country must be completed by 2023.

In the current case with GMA, this should have happened and formulated their master plan a long time ago if they did not smug over their ratings and looked on the constant problem of the video output of pan-and-scan 4:3 glory.

Follow-up, though: What would happen to Channel 11 afterward?

Some say it will be rendered obsolete as GMA’s digital television broadcast will have to broadcast on UHF Channel 15 (479.143) — now under testing phase. Other reports say that the frequency will simulcast the first digital TV network, Light TV, but it was deemed one step backward.

We are not sure but we’ll see about it on Tuesday. In the meantime, rescan your devices and the TV sets.


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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / GMA Network Inc.

‘The Cure’ Fails Its Experiment To Subside FPJAP Supervirus

A CAT may have nine lives but GMA’s such a numerical attempt failed to beat down the unstoppable supervirus of Mother Ignacia (i.e. FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano).

By Friday (July 27), The Cure (dir. Mark A. Reyes) will close out with 65 episodes with, unsurprisingly, no signs of finale fanfare from social media handles.

Here is an except from From the Tube‘s on the series:

The story of ‘The Cure’ involves an experimental drug that kills cancer cells, but the side effect of it is that a highly dangerous and contagious virus called Monkey Virus Disease (MVD) will mutate and cause seizures and violent outbreaks to infected people. The disease quickly spreads throughout the country and will only continue to do so unless a cure can be found.

Married couple Charity (Jennylyn [Mercado]), a former registered nurse, and Gregory (Tom [Rodriguez]), a clinical research associate in a pharmaceutical company, are living a happy life with their daughter Hope (Leanne Bautista), until Greg’s mother Agnes (Irma Adlawan) is diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Agnes is given an experimental drug, but her health got worse as she is infected with MVD.

That drug, in turn, was discovered by Dr. Evangeline Lazaro (Jaclyn Jose), who works in the same company as Greg. With MVD continuing to wreak havoc across the country, it is up to Charity and Greg to find the necessary cure and prevent the inevitable.

The Cure’ also stars Mark Herras, LJ Reyes, Jay Manalo, Ronnie Henares, Glenda Garcia, Diva Montelaba and Arra San Agustin, with a special participation from Ken Chan.

Kantar registered The Cure‘s recent rating, from July 17 to 20, 2018, ranging from 15.5-16.6 while their adversary took advantage with 42.1-44.4 when at the latter’s primary storyline, the vow of Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) and Alyana (Yassi Pressman) was renewed.

Like their eight attempts since September 2015, the “Cardo Curse” triumphed. In other words, they are not immune to fight against an institution amidst a very devious storyline and genre.

Its replacement, the 10th competitor, Victor Magtanggol (starring Alden Richards, dir. Dominic Zapata) will be tackled in the Turf later this week.

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The Wrongdoings of PH News Channels

[Requested by and assisted with JC Domondon. NOTE: The writer would like to apologize to CinemaSins but the content you are about to read is serious than humorous.]

NO NEWS CHANNEL — whether cable or free — is without sin.

In the Philippines, we currently have six news channels and each channel has a disadvantage.

To be fair, the errant yet unavoidable common ground of the four comes from journalist watchdog Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR). They called them out last year for sleeping on the news cycle during Holy Week.

In this series, let’s imagine if you are a news channel purist or prudent (NCP), believing that news channels should focus more on news and lifestyle akin to UK’s BBC World or Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia and investigate deeply on what each news channel’s flaws.


The veteran news channel of the country would point out — other than political angle — their religious programs: such as Kerygma TV and The Word Exposed.


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Aside from that, a handful of live entertainment specials like Mr. and Ms. Hannah’s Beach Resort Eco Tourism Ambassadors every summer (also carried on PTV) and the Star Magic Ball every September that aired there should have been moved to their mother network. Unfortunately, both would need a lot of throughput time for producers to condense and fit over the limited time before putting to the earliest available Sunday’s Best slot.

Luckily the former has done it but the requester still opined if ANC would remain to cover the Ball fun this year — even if the new Metro Channel exists.

Aksyon TV

Launched a week ahead of GMA News TV in 2011, they used to air 24/7 until 2013.

If we step into their shoes, the purity of news channel ended when AKTV on IBC ended its deal on May of that year (5 years as of press time) and decided to put sports in that channel — but the worst has yet to come.

They lack new episodes of most of their public affairs programs (whether regular or vignette) and thus, they have no choice to but to air reruns, movie blocks and home shopping. In addition, some plugs are outdated but they are not updated. Worst of all, a handful of talents were served in the government, particularly Martin Andanar, as his voiceover remains.

From the Tube (FTT) made a laundry list last year to the concerned management but to no avail, they did not resolve all of it. Ever since the deal with ESPN, the carrying over their overflowing deals with sports leads to such utter neglect.


GMA News TV needs no explanation as FTT and this blog discussed their programming for a very long time.

Obviously, you are not happy on this channel with religious programming. In practice, GMA News TV is a tenant as the channel is owned by the Villanuevas and their Jesus is Lord Church.

We already listed last August on the 11 programs that are no-nos. Weekend movie blocks, though not included there, are not exempted to this detailed criticism. In addition, the airing of the Tagalog-dubbed Sonic X also fails to live up to its name.

Not to mention, what makes it irritable is when GMA News TV’s newscasts continue to roll the long credits after their news — which is permissible during Christmas and New Year’s Eve for the camera crew to greet their families who cannot come home — and disrupt them to the pre-program MTRCB advisory a few seconds later.

CNN Philippines

Thought to be a paragon of a news channel — despite the compliance from Media Newser Philippines (MNP) over entertainers masquerading as journalists (EMAJ) without sacrificing the quality — you would beg to differ and argue that airing SM Megamall’s Sunday TV Mass is an impeccable sin.

F4 Southeast Asia Championships

Just last Saturday, they aired F4 Southeast Asia Championships. Petron, which is owned by the channel’s long-time dominant advertiser San Miguel Corporation, was one of the sponsors over the racing highlight. The requester thought this incident was nothing new as it has been done months or a year ago.

As long as Ramon S. Ang will continue to mingle, as Domondon opined, it’s a “helpless situation.”

DZRH News Television

Many people do not know that this news channel exists but few know about it because of Mocha Uson and her banter last year.

Other than that, you would also criticize for covering the Aliwan Fiesta every April and other events hosted in the Aliw Theater, where Manila Broadcasting Company’s three radio stations (DZRH-AM 666 kHz, Love Radio 90.7 FM and Yes 101.1 FM) are situated.

Global News Network (GNN)

This news channel, owned by First United Broadcasting Corporation, may have the purpose of nation-building with more emphasis over Congressional affairs than the rest but for you, the only speck of dirt will be the syndicated airing of Oras ng Himala.

Thoughts on One News Channel

Come Monday, this new Cignal-exclusive news channel will be the seventh overall – fourth in cable — in the country, replacing Bloomberg Philippines after their full license is expired. They still carry programs from the said international business channel but lesser than before but they will include BusinessWorld Live.

How will the Turf say about it?

By its name, it is vague and it can confuse with those from New Zealand’s public broadcaster.

In terms of talents, they include current News5 talents such as Ed Lingao, repatriates such as Jove Francisco and limelight comebacks such as the Probe Team’s Cheche Lazaro and former ANC anchor Cito Beltran. However, carrying over Shawn Yao is another story.

It makes MNP patrons disgusted as she was classified as an EMAJ. However, smart-sounders, who are outside of the group, expressively and radically begged to differ that game show hosts or entertainers can be journalists as voice quality and recognition is concerned.

Nonetheless, whatever MVP is investing on this new venture, good luck but if it fails or lasts at a short time — well, imagine our surprise.

Don’t forget to answer our survey. It will take about two minutes.

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[Screengrabs are from requester JC Domondon]

POST NO. 200: A Hodgepodge of Dreariness

Hello everyone, Timow here.

Finally, Undas is over. Thus, it is safe to say that we are now preparing for Christmas. Speaking of the holiday season, I have a hodgepodge of important thoughts to you, dear Turfers. So let’s roll away…


Quick Musings

  • During the last fortnight, the encryption of DTV boxes became a talk of the PHTV Group. One of our members blurted over the abuse and exploitation of a dominant network at the expense of others due to a technicality on Conditional Access. For me, it does get in the way.
  • On IBC 13, the perceived basket case in DTT, they finally get in after winning the bidding phase to 8BTSI. The testing ground on this pariah of a TV network is now on UHF 26 (13 x 2).
  • On Lorenzo Kiel Cerin (the PHTV aspirant who keeps begging opinions at Ralph), he should just set up his own blog to get his musings publicized. If he cannot stop with that unhealthy habit, I might consider cutting him out because I have better things to do than to just clean up after him.

All right, moving on…

The Next Posts

Three (3) posts are expected this month, including the delegated both Billboard Hot 100 Top 10s from Ralph Domingo’s From the Tube under indefinite writecation, following this special milestone article. First thing comes tomorrow and two more for this month. Three more are to be expected in December – which is the holiday programming insight, the anniversary post mentioned earlier and the Zeitgeist (the year in review) in that order.

On Article Requests

The Article Requests’ mechanism was able to accrue 13 article requests as of press time – eight (8) generic and five (5) specific. The response rate is about 62.5% for generic and 80% specific.

The mechanism was able to attain more views (22,000+) than any other full calendar year since this existence although it’s not yet over. Not to mention, the elemental involvements (such as likes and comments) are rising – making the Turf the most impressive (and the best) year ever.

Unfortunately, the ARs are NOW OFFICIALLY CLOSED for this year but worry not; it will reopen on January 2, 2018, with the new rules provided here.

Regarding the number of articles expected in the upcoming year, I estimate about five (5) per month that are ready for your requests. However, expect some months to be reduced due to special posts such as the quarterly Open Pits, broadcast insights during Holy Week and the Holiday Season, the upcoming year’s holidays, the Anniversary Special, the Year in Review, the New Year outlook and unexpected circumstances that might come in the way.

Our Tambayan

I’m happy to announce that Timow’s Turf has a Facebook group, the Timow’s Turf Tambayan. Anyone can propose article requests, vote or delegate their proposed stories in behalf.

Anniversary Special

Last but not the least, I have decided to do a special topic on the Turf during its fourth anniversary this December that I would love to tackle but I’ll give you two hints: It’s not related to television but it is similar in structure as one of my September 2014 articles. (Guess what it is.)

Expected date of release is on December 16.

That’s all. Thank you once again for your unreserved support and enjoy the rest of your day.

One Radio Network Must Go (and Another Must Gain)

[AUTHOR’S NOTE AND WARNING: The annual Big Reveal or the August Roast this year is on TV5. Initially, it was supposed to be about Sports5’s broadcast overlap with FIBA Asia Cup tomorrow and the 29th Southeast Asian Games on the 19th but due to PTV’s return to cover the latter after 10 years, it was shelved and it will be focused on TV5’s radio counterpart. As usual, this banter might be offensive; reader’s discretion is advised.]

Whose radio network is getting rekt this year?

RECENTLY, a fad in the national social media landscape titled “One Must (or Has To) Go” asked respondents just one of the choices – whether food or a thing – would be abandoned for the rest of their life. Of course, The Turf won’t beat out of this.

If there’s one radio network that has to go, according to the Boses ng Madla poll since July 17, most of them responded that they would ditch those from TV5 (i.e. Radyo5) with 38.71%.*

Indeed, this is how Ralph Domingo, the webmaster of From the Tube, perceived and described after few years of concerned monitoring as his constructive criticisms fall on deaf ears.

Since 2010, Radyo5 defied the typical FM landscape of being all-music by adding news, talk, and public affairs. Throughout their running lives, they catered to the public utility vehicles (especially the LTFRB-defending taxi drivers) and established their Taxi Squad but as of now, we are unsure of the latter’s whereabouts.

Last year, their programming began to change as some famous personalities were displaced to serve the Duterte administration and their important news coverage related under this Presidency were downplayed.

This mishandling and dismal performance let station manager Gladys Lana-Lucas accountable and hence, surrendered to The Philippine Star President Miguel Belmonte’s hands. Ralph made a laundry list for him but sadly, none of them is implemented, as he is still preoccupied on their family-owned newspaper company.

He lamented Reliance that they are heavily “living on borrowed time.” Hold that Cueshé’s song for a moment.

It is no wonder that Kevin Trinidad, Ralph’s former blog visitor, who used to believe in all TV5’s divisions as an alternative to the duopoly, now boisterously mocked over it and abandoned that patronage after realizing their constant failures.

This begs a comprehensive question, “If Radyo5 finally gave up, who will take its place?

One of my colleagues, John Rodrigo Diaz Valdez suggested that his hometown broadcaster, Brigada, should be its prospective replacement.

Doing some background checks, the tri-media organization was founded by former Bombo Radyo anchor Elmer Catulpos in 2005 in General Santos City as a daily tabloid newspaper for Mindanao. Two years later, he diversified to health-line products and in 2009 to the radio (a year before Radyo5’s turn). Shortly after the airwave inception, it became Top 2 radio station in the GenSan market. It was not until 2013 when they expanded across the country and a year after, the Mega Manila market’s inauguration made it as a rising powerhouse ready to compete with their Manila-based giants.

THE RISING RADIO MOGUL. Elmer Catulpos is the CEO of Brigada Mass Media Corporation.

I would agree with JRDV, as I was able to hear my local Brigada station – Brigada Pampanga (DWCL 92.7 FM) – a few times beginning this year.

So what makes Brigada a better choice to replace Radyo5? There are four reasons I can enumerate.

First, although they are strikingly similar in programming structure and somehow amicable to the Duterte administration or concerning authorities in terms of news slant, they have more radio stations nationwide with 34 (six more to be aired in Palawan) running stations against Radyo5’s seven (7) – almost 6 to 1.

Second, in Mega Manila alone, Brigada’s DWEY 104.7 have the same transmitting power as Radyo5’s DWFM 92.3 with 25 kW but the former has better and consistent effective radio power (ERP) with 127.66 kW over the latter’s 75-120 kW.

Third, despite their national office in Makati City and the transmitter in Batangas City due to limited FM spacing in the metropolis, it has led to inaudibility and inaccessibility for car and cell phone radios during rush hour; still, Brigada took advantage by creating a free Android app that can live stream any of their FM stations – anywhere, real-time.

Last but not the least, instead of scouting third party advertisers – which is risky if the commercial radio prospects continue to fail – Brigada decided to sustain their own revenue by selling and promoting, as mentioned earlier, their own products such as Power Cells, DriveMax, Guard-C, Panamed and Aero Lube.

That being mentioned, I reaffirmed that Brigada is a viable candidate to succeed a major radio network with a myriad of unresolved disgraceful records. For now, it is just a dream as only time will tell if Manny V. Pangilinan finally decides to wave the white flag over the division and to divest that segment entirely to Mr. Catulpos.

*The other results of the initially established BnM poll were as follows: MBC with 21.51%, GMA with 13.98%, ABS-CBN with 11.83%, PBS with 5.38% and others (including Brigada) with 8.60%. Adjustments of the other responses will be posted.

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Photo credits:

  • Electronic Design
  • MindaNews / Rommel G. Rebollido

Is AksyonTV becoming TV5’s News TV and S+A?

AksyonTV turns 6 years old today but quickly erodes its standing purpose.

AksyonTV turns 6 years old today but it quickly erodes its initial purpose.

SIX YEARS ago today, while viewers are awaiting for GMA News TV’s launch, TV5 jumped in unannounced over Channel 41; AksyonTV, the first news channel on free TV, was born.

They used to air round the clock as a slap of Channel 11’s broken promises to live their mantra, “Oras-oras, alam ko” but karma struck back in 2013 due to cost-cutting measures by the management as well as NTC’s rules and regulations for affiliated free-to-air TV stations.

The identity crisis

The era of being a homogeneous news channel began its decline when AKTV on IBC ended on May 31, 2013 by carrying over their committed sportscasts as they also covered the Sochi Winter Olympics a year after.

Recently, News5’s public affairs programs airing on AksyonTV became merely reruns with no motive to create new episodes. Since last year, EZ Shop and Shop Japan joined in the diversification of programming portfolio to lessen their lameness.

During the seven-month-old Duterte administration where long Senate probes and/or Presidential activities (Palace press conferences and speaking engagements) bear weight in shaping the public’s skeptical psyche, the channel didn’t move a muscle and caught the attention of the Turf‘s neighboring blog, From the Tube.

Ralph redressed their grievances and formulated proposals. However, when the priority Congressional hearings resume, they were abruptly cut — much to his ever-growing dismay — due to the simulcast of Raffy Tulfo’s Wanted sa Radyo on 92.3 News FM. Despite the radio show’s demanding popularity, he dubbed the Tulfo brother as the “Kris Aquino of Radio“.

Recently, Supernatural and Arrow reruns from TV5 eventually satisfied one of his demands as their main channel was too irresistible in covering the ongoing PBA’s Philippine Cup playoffs. But then, the PHTV Group forum founded out that move to be a hodgepodge rival to ABS-CBN’s S+A and News TV.

That said, AksyonTV’s initial purpose was defeated and was lopsided, leaving CNN Philippines (if you are in the free-to-air territory) and ABS-CBN News Channel victorious. 

What comes next for AksyonTV is now in Miguel Belmonte’s manual intervention.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/TV5

Philippine TV’s Other Tug of War

Entertainment blogs usually discuss the never-ending ratings game between ABS & GMA but in this article, there is more dangerous than that. I know it's out of the context to use boxing than a tug of war.

Entertainment blogs usually discuss the never-ending ratings game between ABS-CBN & GMA but in this article, there is more dangerous than that. I know it’s out of the context to use boxing than a tug of war.

A TUG-OF-WAR is a game where two teams pull their respective ends of a rope. The more exertion of a pull of one team will defeat and fall off the other. It can be played indoors or outdoors without any limits.

In a metaphorical sense, tugs-of-war can be used on a rivalry for a long time be it in sports (e.g. PBA’s Manila Clasico & UAAP’s Ateneo vs. La Salle), in politics (e.g. the issue on burying President Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani or in Ilocos) or in entertainment.

On the last general category, we heard such things perpetually and mindlessly — the ratings game on television where the players are only between the main channels, ABS-CBN and GMA. However, there is another tug-of-war that the rest of public won’t discuss on forum threads and social media — the programming control of national networks.

Timow’s Turf asked you on such treatment when you stepped into the shoes of a programming head of a broadcast network. Don’t spoil the results just yet because we will detail it further.


#TheFilipinoDecides2016: The Comprehensive Primer

TIMOW’S TURF will deviate away from posting insights of upcoming entertainment programming, as this responsibility will be in the good hands of From the Tube, MC’s Corner and JRDV’s World.

TFD2016 collage
From this post, the Turf will dedicate throughout the aforementioned period where every Filipino cares about: the 2016 national elections. This is Timow’s Turf Election Series: #TheFilipinoDecides2016.



Post No. 50: Timow says “Thank you”

FIFTY POSTS and almost ten months in operation. I don’t even know what to say.

Let me say thank you to the following specific persons and entities:

Lastly, I thank the 33 people who liked the Turf’s Facebook page and of course, dear readers — be it a stalwart, a visitor or a critic.

I pledge to continue my objective to trim smoothly on my Turf and to observe issues pertaining to our free television sphere.

Continue liking my Facebook page!