GMA Affordabox

KKPD: Kanya-Kanyang Pakulo ng mga DTV Boxes


[This post is dedicated to Johnny U. Doe]

THE PATH to all-digital TV Philippines by the end of 2023 is fast approaching yet more complicated. 

However, viewers’ and prospects’ hopes on those are dwindling and will be in vain, owing to the twin significant events of 2020: the COVID-19 pandemic and deliberate shutdown of a popular broadcast behemoth. Don’t get them wrong, they see the DTV transition to proceed but a sizeable portion of the population will be disinterested due to those setbacks.

The most essential reason why some people buy a digibox is that their TVs — especially CRTs — don’t carry digital signals that are carried on outside antenna alone. Hence, the receiver acts as a descrambler of those digital channels and converts them into crisp-quality pictures and sounds. Every digibox in the market (formerly or current) has a common feature: auto-scan, digits, up and down buttons for channels, and left and right buttons for volume, the signal status (to measure the signal and quality of the main and subchannels).

To up the ante, entice potential and solidify loyal patrons, one brand would add additional features and offerings. However, because of the perceived lax enforcement and vague clarifications from the related national government agencies like the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), a particular player can exploit loopholes and, in the process, discriminate against others.

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Revisiting DepEd TV


OH BOY, the country’s public school system begins its school year this Monday (September 13); it will be another school year without face-to-face interaction as COVID-19 continues to spread violently with various variants while our vaccination efforts lag. (The rest of the world is resuming face-to-face instructions with minimum health and safety protocols in place save Venezuela and us.)

Last year, parents and teachers were concerned about their children’s ability to continue their education in the face of the pandemic, as Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones desired. Furthermore, due to the President’s premeditated and petty motive, access to the most popular educational TV channel in the country was lost or limited because the company that made that channel lost its broadcast franchise.

At last, a solution was found; DepEd TV was born. 

In this blog post, we will revisit the state-sanctioned distance learning program: What went right? What went wrong? Are there any localized options?

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Crossing the Bridge of No Return, One Year After


(NOTE: This post serves as Quarterly Open Pit No. 16. Consider this as my candid confession post; it’s hard to hold your silence but this has to be done.)

The Bridge of No Return crosses the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) between North Korea and South Korea. The name comes from the final ultimatum that was given to prisoners of war brought to the bridge for repatriation. Once they crossed the bridge, they will never go back, even if they later changed their minds.

FIFTY-TWO TUESDAYS AGO, the Philippine media industry has inevitably crossed the metaphorical bridge of no return amidst the new normal. The landscape of television has shifted forever and many of us — including yours truly — will be remembered and be traumatized.

While some audacious politicians say they’re not affected by that. It truly did. It affected not just the mental health of both those who are laid off and those who remained with more heavier workload. It also affected the job prospects (not just for Mass Communication graduates but also for Electronic Communications Engineering) and felt the chilling effect of government agencies like the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) when it comes the overall progress of digital terrestrial television (DTT) transition and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) on their revenue stream.

While some enforce callously for closure and healing (babang luksa) tomorrow after a year, its wounds are still fresh in their inerasable memories.

While the sore winners say it’s “no big deal,” it unfolded to be a consequential move, especially in the far-flung areas.

Since the start of this year (2021), I cannot utter the name of the former TV network or its corresponding nickname anymore — and I euphemized them —  because saying its name is a “mortal sin.” Not to mention, I glaringly omitted their programs and/or described them indirectly. (Reminder: I didn’t include their teleseryes because it’s not our policy, enforced before 2020, to tackle upcoming and ending teleseryes in detail.)

I have imposed a “Give Chance to Others” Policy; the answer of why I’ve done that will be tackled after.

Come tomorrow, they’ll celebrate this as the “Day of Thanksgiving” with prideful taunts on the other side while ignoring their errors. In this post, I’ll tackle two invectives you probably hear from them and how I appropriated them with the current progress.

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GTV: Kamuning Network’s Attempt at Killing TV5’s Momentum?


(Updated: February 21, 2021 @ 11:51)

[REQUESTED by Inna Kim]

DROPPING THE N. In two days, GMA News TV is dropping the news after the ten-year-old experiment to become GTV.

EARLIER THIS MONTH, we tackled the holistic reforms needed for 2021 for the now-invincible-and-inevitably-the-monopolistic media giant GMA Network. One of them happened to be about GMA News TV, who would’ve turned a decade old next week. However, two days from now, they will be known as GTV.

Not to be confused with the original identity of People’s Television (Channel 4) from 1974 to 1980, Government Television, the “G” in GMA’s GTV is said to be “Good.” (Welp! There goes the conspiracy nuts connecting the dots.)

Indeed, this rebranding move is a good thing (but not so best) as they learned the lessons from their humiliations arising from the coverage response on Supertyphoon Rolly in November. The acquisition of the remainder of NCAA’s broadcasting deal on that same month proves that the pressure on Kamuning by the pro-reformist faction and independent media enthusiasts (like yours truly) to change the name of this specific channel has clearly paid off.

All current GMA News TV shows and entertainment blocks will carry over into the new channel branding effective Monday, February 22.

Just this week, they are under negotiations to place the semi-pro Philippine Super Liga (PSL) from TV5’s hands as Reliance becomes the new home for the now-professional Premier Volleyball League (PVL), in which GNTV once was the broadcaster as Shakey’s V-League.

Brewing soon is another high-quality drama to be debuted under the new channel rebrand is called Heartful Cafe (under GMA Entertainment Group, not Public Affairs as initially presumed). Other new programs and broadcast rights under this new channel will be provided on their social media handles.

Now for the real reason…

Based on the premise of this title, will GMA’s rebranding of its sister channel on UHF Channel 27 (or the primary digital subchannel) kill TV5’s momentum? Without a shock, yes primarily because of the overall reach factor. Being a subsidiary of GMA Network, GTV doesn’t affect their perpetual streak of quasi-passive revenue generation amidst the external environment and the new and reviving rival’s impulsive decisions (especially with the chaotic programming grid in the primetime).

Die-hard Kapuso fanatics are definitely unfazed, whether they have their Affordabox or their new mobile counterpart, GMA Now, installed or not. In the ratings, where AGB Nielsen is the only such firm in the country to conduct such metrics, GMA or GNTV virtually dominated the Top 20 since their first day as the truly No. 1 network (i.e. since May 6, 2020) but the numbers are barely increasing. In the resumption of their afternoon drama on the mother channel this year, their ratings were up by an average of 2 percentage points from the moment the South Triangle had the head-to-head competition before the pandemic stopped the tapings and the loss of the trailblazer. In the end, ratings didn’t matter for Kamuning now; they care about the audience share (a lion’s share) that becomes a factor of their expected, bottomless bottom line.

Whatever happens on GTV next week and the coming months, we hope they provide what is for the “good” of the viewers. Good luck anyway!

GTV is available on local cable/satellite operators and free-to-air (on analog and on digital) channels.


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[The New PHTV Order] GMA Network Still Requires a Major Change of Heart


[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the second of the two-part series. Although January is behind us, the plan for 2021 remains.]

THE OLD ORDER of things has passed away and Philippine television is no exception.

After the decades of heated head-to-head rivalry in the South Triangle of Quezon City, they concluded not just from a planned fall of a pioneering giant but also by a global pandemic.

With the New Normal now adapted, we also witnessed a New Landscape of this traditional media. It will be a test between the triumphant giant, GMA and the momentum-gaining challenger, TV5.

In the second part, we will tackle the Kapuso Network — fittingly right in the month of hearts — but did they win the hearts of the public as they are finally earned the No. 1 spot? Let’s find out.

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The Hindsight That Was 2020: How the Surviving TV Networks Fared? (Part I)


“If I knew back then what I know now. / If I understood the what, when, why and how. / Now it’s clear to me. What I should have done. / But hindsight is 20/20 vision.”

~George Benson, “20/20” (1985)

THE FIRST year of the New Decade is coming to an end. This is a year that we expected a “perfect vision” or a show of ambition and surprises. However, we did not foresee a global outbreak.

The COVID-19 pandemic puts a halt to the production of those things we looked forward to and puts precarious precautions on the essentials. In addition, the premeditated fall of a media giant has led other surviving competitors to either fight rapaciously over new broadcast rights or gain more and rediscover a better purpose.

In this two-part of the year-ender, how did the remaining TV networks respond? (NOTE: Let’s just pretend that ABS-CBN and the ZOE deal that forms A2Z are no longer relevant to discussions anymore because, well… you voted for it, you asked for it.)

The first part tackles the Remaining Two Major Networks: GMA and TV5.


GMA

Proclaimed as “The Philippines’ Largest Network” since May 6 (and reaffirmed and crowned on July 10) benefitted the windfall — a lion’s share in the pool of TV advertising money — without any impediment. Whether a pandemic or competitor’s fall, the common negative connotation of their over-all operational attitudes like complacency and craftiness has mostly not changed.

In June, during their 70th (corporate) anniversary, they cunningly launched their Affordabox and introduced new digital and inclusive subchannels — Heart of Asia and Hallypop — to teach the former competitor a harsh lesson that exclusivity of their channels for five years is a big mistake.

Six former Kapamilya talents jumped over the fence — Daryl Ong (immediately after the end of free-to-air operations), Khalil Ramos (to join his girlfriend Gabbi Garcia), Luis Hontiveros (the nephew of Senator Risa, who jumped to the network a few days before Congressional ultimatum), Miss Universe 2016 contingent Maxine Medina, Clarence Delgado (a Goin’ Bulilit alumnus) and Richard Yap (Sir Chief).

It’s easy to label the newly crowned media giant for being “law-abiding”, “exemplar” or a paragon to the TV industry in the post-ABS chapter. Well, one organic institution and the social media public thought otherwise. On September 22, the Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement of 30 workers and compelled the network to pay them back wages since their illegal dismissal in 2013. Earlier this month, a renowned documentary photographer exposed the predatory practice of asking for free work from amateur and professional photographers or videographers for their public affairs programming.

Since the fallen competitor dissolves its regional network group, they are the only national network that has the capabilities.

Last November 1, GMA News TV drew under fire for not having a marathon coverage over the swathe destruction across Bicolandia due to Supertyphoon Rolly. People expected this channel to be next in line now that (DZMM) Teleradyo is out of reach in times of calamities. This error was compensated when Typhoon Ulysses battered Luzon one and a half weeks later.

With NCAA on the bag, they have no more excuses to establish one organizational deficiency (i.e. turn their Sports into a separate from but equal status as to News & Public Affairs); in other words, no more time for “playing safe” — at least, in this organizational and operational shakeup.

 

TV5

The network from Reliance/Novaliches gained momentum this year and is now the No. 2 TV network.

Before the pandemic, Manny V. Pangilinan bagged an award from the Asian Television Awards back in January — that was aired on this network — for the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television, solid Kapatid viewers laughed hard. Once the elephant in the room fell, it’s like that they took it back and forgave him.

After the Congress’ contrived fate, the network is willing to lend a hand for talents — creative, technical and artisans — from the further loss of exposure and to revive the local entertainment after a four-year hiatus. The local entertainment revival was done in three waves through blocktimers — including Albee Benitez’s Brightlight Productions that containing Kapamilya-molded talents and directors. (In one of the predictions, we were spot on that they air Masked Singer Pilipinas.) They bore the light and they somewhat live on their legacy.

They are bearing a load of sporting contracts once held by Dos (especially S+A) like NBA and ONE Championship, pushing the NFL into the satellite-only broadcast. With UAAP’s airing rights in their hands, despite the cancelation of Season 83, their sportscasting portfolio is overwhelmed.

One may say that this TV network has been exemplified as the Good Samaritan in the world of priests and Levites.

While the shows they aired were promising and praiseworthy, the signal reception has always been a butt of the jokes for MVP’s media empire. Had the reach be at par and consistent with GMA, there would be more viewers who will lure to Reliance because of their gallant initiative and provide alternative options to “cringy” production value from Coach Anzai’s Felipe Gozon’s media realm. Yet, they should be mindful of the lessons of hastiness from the previous decade. The entertainment programming honcho, Perci Intalan, must remain steadfast amidst the insistence of die-hard Kapatid viewers.


Part II, dealing with Minor VHF and Significant UHF/Digital Channels, will be tackled on December 29

[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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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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State of the Philippine Television Address 2020


[Requested by Zyle]

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

MY DEAR READERS OF TIMOW’S TURF:

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

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

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

Yumanig na at nagbago ang landscape ng pambansang telebisyon.

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

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

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

 

The Obstructionist Institutions to Innovation

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hesitant VHF Survivors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Educational TV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Eyes on 2021 and Beyond

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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


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

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

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

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

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

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the GMA Affordabox.

Specifications, So Far

The confirmed section takes place here.

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

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

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

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

 

Marketing Gig What-Ifs

This section contains a mix of facts and speculations.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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