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

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


ABS-CBN Soundstage

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


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

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

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

But the long answer is somewhat complicated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Competitors’ Response

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


The 5 Network

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

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

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

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

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


Government-Owned Media Networks

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

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

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

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

Special Case for IBC

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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Timow’s Turf Holiday Insight Roundup 2019-2020

LAST CHRISTMAS… I gave you my heart… but the very next day… you gave it away…

INDEED, this is the last Christmas of the 2010s but for some ill-wishers, it could be the last Christmas for a notorious major TV network.

Whatever you perceive, our Yuletide tradition continues and you already know why it’s up. For those who are new or don’t understand this quirky culture, we are telling up what will happen throughout the season in Philippine (free-to-air) television.

This annual post will take place of the weekly media roundup. The scope will last from today (December 7, 2019) to January 8, 2020. (Don’t worry, this will be updated throughout the period.)


Major political events that happened and expected throughout the season:

  • On December 19, the case of the Maguindanao massacre that happened 10 years ago was handed down in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City with five of the Ampatuan scions convicted. Through the primary feed from PTV, it was the most awaited news item that every media professional and every people expected.
  • During that day, CNN Philippines announced the formal impeachment of US President Donald Trump using the American flagship feed while the verdict was waiting.
  • December 21 was Armed Forces Day. Within this week, President Duterte led the rites and inspected its military capabilities.
  • Rizal Day (Monday, December 30) is another holiday that the President usually expects to show up but for the second consecutive time, he skipped the rites in Luneta — instead, he led the rites in his hometown in Davao City. At the place of the martyr’s execution, this was the first time under Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.


Specific Entertainment News

New Sunday Horror Series

On December 8, The Haunted replaced Parasite Island (starring Jake Cuenca, Denise Laurel and Shaina Magdayao) as the weekly horrorserye on ABS-CBN.

Battle of E-Commerce: Year-End Sale Edition

Last November 10, the countdown to the 11.11 sale of Lazada and Shopee happened live on the South Triangle networks. This time, it is on the 12.12 sale, Eat Bulaga promoted ahead of time and set aside some airtime for the Shopee Shake segment. In the natural spirit of competition, the rival, It’s Showtime, should have done likewise but the countdown happened online exclusively on LazTV.

The End of Sunday PinaSaya


After more than four years, musical-comedy noontime variety show Sunday PinaSaya bowed out on December 22.

While lamentation is expected in the eyes of loyal viewers and eventual victory for ASAP on the other side of the fence, the real reason behind the pull is their non-renewal of the contract with APT Entertainment as the producer forged with an exclusive partnership with Cignal to form Buhay Komedya (BuKo) channel that will be launched in February next year.

Its network-produced replacement, All Out Sunday, will premiere on the first Sunday of the new decade (January 5, 2020).

Annual Traditions

  • DECEMBER 14: The main competition of the Giant Lantern Festival in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga was carried live on CLTV 36.
  • During Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) conducted its Lotto Draw in the afternoon instead of the evening to accommodate their employees to prepare their respective festive meals; there are no selling of ticket and drawing numbers the following day. There was a Mini-Sweepstakes but it was neither publicized nor televised.
  • ABS-CBN’s Christmas special took place on December 10 at the Araneta Coliseum; the taped telecast aired the following weekend (December 14-15). GMA did not respond and it’s not surprising for they had spent it with the 11.11 countdown and they planned for their New Year Countdown (more on that in a bit).

Last 2 of the Big 4 Beauty Pageants

Gazini and Michelle.png

Gazini Ganados (left) and Michelle Dee (right) — both 23 — are the last two hopefuls for continuing the streak of the Big 4 crown.

Under usual circumstances, Miss Universe is the last to be crowned among the Big 4 international pageants but this year, it was ahead of Miss World.

Gazini Ganados competed with 92 other entrants in Atlanta, Georgia, the USA on December 9 (Philippine time) for the former pageant in finding Catriona Gray’s successor. The coronation was be carried live on ABS-CBN and on replay on Sunday’s Best. Though Ganados failed to reach the Top 10, ending the nine-year streak, she won the Best National Costume.

Michelle Dee (the daughter of Melanie Marquez) challenged the other 112 entrants in Miss World in London on December 14 (with the slightly delayed telecast on GMA). Dee placed Top 12, hereby, ending the historic Big 4 streak.

Metro Manila Film Festival

The 45th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) marked the conclusion of this Centennial Year of Philippine Cinema. While the selections are met unsurprisingly with mixed reactions, the dates of two events related to this annual affair are confirmed:

  • December 22: Parade of Stars in Taguig City
  • December 27: Awards Night, New Frontier Theater, Quezon City

Both events were carried live on Facebook and YouTube under Viva Entertainment. No broadcaster carried the parade but there was a same-day delayed telecast for the Gabi ng Parangal on The 5 Network.

In case you don’t know: last year, Kapamilya Box Office (which is exclusive to TVplus) carried both events live.

Final Days of the Decade

Expect It’s Showtime and Eat Bulaga to reminisce the best of the year from December 26 until 31 as long both variety shows must have an opening production by New Year’s Day.

The same was treated for public affairs programs and Sunday magazine shows.

The Last Day of the 2010s


While revelry filled the air on New Decade’s Eve, four TV networks are certain in covering the turnover of the old to the new:

  • By intuition, ABS-CBN should have a simple Salubong 2020 under the News and Current Affair but this time, a grand star-studded celebration in Bonifacio Global City Taguig, titled “2020 Rising.” Party began at 8 p.m. on iWant with the main channel joining up at 11:00 p.m.
  • CNN Philippines covered a few minutes before each top of the hour on the transition of the year east of the country — starting from New Zealand. They also carried the countdown in Times Square, New York from its flagship feed.
  • iedFor GMA, the star-studded New Year Countdown — in its 17th edition — part in SM Mall of Asia for the 13th time.
  • For UNTV, in the hours leading to the New Year had the traditional Repaso followed by the first newscast.


Traditional observers tend to celebrate the holidays through this genre. In chronological order:

  • Simbang Gabi masses. This is ABS-CBN’s tradition that is broadcast on the Chapel of the Annunciation. Meanwhile, SVD-MCFI’s iteration is usually on S+A but it is unclear if they are airing this year, given that the regular Family TV Mass is on 5Plus. For the first time, Pope Francis led this distinctive novena Mass from the Vatican and was aired on EWTN with relays from ANC and CNN Philippines.
  • Midnight Mass. The televised liturgy in Mother Ignacia stays right after Bandila on the Christmas Eve broadcast day schedule. The one from inside St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City that happens a few hours later is reserved for the news channels. As usual, GMA telecasted it as the last program on the Christmas Day broadcast menu.
  • Urbi et Orbi (7:00 p.m.) The news channels are likely to cover the Message and Apostolic Blessing from the central loggia (balcony) of St. Peter’s Basilica in full since newscasts are ongoing.
  • New Year’s Day Masses. This was conducted immediately for ABS-CBN after the countdown and the 5 Network has done likewise from Tierra de Maria in Tagaytay as the first program of the broadcast day.



The New Clark City Athletics Stadium was the spotlight of the Closing Ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games. (Credits to Josh Albelda)

  • DECEMBER 8: The PBA Draft took place in Robinson’s Place Manila in Ermita. Usually done on 5 live, it wasn’t done due to Southeast Asian Games, although the live pick was covered on PBA Rush.
  • DECEMBER 11: The closing ceremony of the 30th SEA Games took place in New Clark City Athletics Stadium, Capas, Tarlac. (S+A, PTV, CNN Philippines and miraculously, GMA News TV, carried the ceremony live. TV5 carried on a delayed basis.)
  • DECEMBER 13-23: From this day, PBA Governor’s Cup Semifinals took place. There will be another two-week break before the Finals, meaning no Christmas Day games for the second straight year.
  • DECEMBER 26: It’s the NBA Christmas Day games. Falling on a Thursday, it would be impossible for CNN Philippines (the temporary holder of the regular, selected weekend games) to broadcast but the official website confirmed the airing of one of five games slated live. The particular game is Los Angeles Clippers (where 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard plays) playing at Los Angeles Lakers (where LeBron James plays) at 9:00 a.m. The Clippers defeated home team Lakers, 111-106.
  • JANUARY 2: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California and all other New Year’s Bowls took place but unlike the past two years, neither 5 nor 5Plus broadcast this live.

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Photos courtesy of Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), Rappler, ABS-CBN, GMA and

South Triangle Duopoly’s Early Christmas Specials with Top E-Commerce Platforms

CALL IT an early Christmas TV special for the South Triangle Duopoly but unlike the usual pre-recorded annual show, both of the shows will happen live tomorrow night but with a bold, new experiment.

Both ABS-CBN and GMA have tied up exclusively with the top two e-commerce platforms — Lazada and Shopee, respectively.

In both online shopping platforms, they strategically and competitively bring down their prices on selected — if not all — items with free shipping with little or no minimum spending.

On both particular specials, their respective platforms will have the livestream of the said event. Their televised specials will start from 10:30 p.m. to midnight of their culminating day’s eponymous sale.

So what are the differences between the two, you might ask?

Lazada 11.11 Super Show (ABS-CBN)

Lazada 1111.jpg

Lazada’s 11.11 is considered a one-day event. To promote them further, their Super Show will broadcast from Sofitel Tent, Pasay City but the livestream will start half an hour ahead of the television broadcast.

They will star Vice Ganda, James Reid, Maja Salvador, Karylle, Billy Crawford and Maja Salvador with performances of Maymay Entrata, Edward Barber and other Kapamilya stars.

Shopee 11.11 Big Christmas TV Special (GMA)

Shopee 1111 TV Special.jpg

On the other hand, Shopee 11.11’s promo lasted almost a month — well, since October 15.

For this year, Senator Manny Pacquiao is their brand ambassador.

Like Lazada, Shopee will star the Kamuning counterparts with an emphasis on top celebrities like Alden Richards, Maine Mendoza and Heart Evangelista. They will join last year’s ambassador — the Mr. Pinoy Christmas himself — Jose Mari Chan, where he will perform exclusively the latest jingle of this e-commerce platform.

Unlike the rival, there is no specific place where their live performance; thus, we assume that it will broadcast within the Network Center. Also, there is a bonanza of exciting prizes within the show including a motorcycle, a car and a house and lot.

NOTE: GMA’s Christmas Station ID will be released ahead of the show during or before Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho. (Consider this as a bonus.)

Smelling a New Tie-Up

That being said, the tie-up could turn into an opportunity for network executives’ chance of exclusivity for the holiday seasons to come. (Well, if one’s franchise will survive next year.)

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Photos courtesy of Lazada/ and Shoppee/TheSummitExpress

Timow’s QuOP No. X: Dead TV Program Genres

UNDAS may have been behind us and we are about to focus on Christmas decorating but at least we’re trying to catch up as we are occupied with the ongoing Swiping through the 2010s project, despite that this post will not be part of it.

Put on your scary expressions on a la Kabayan Noli De Castro and let’s begin finding out which of the programming genres in Philippine television are considered dead, as of this imminently ending decade.


How Can A Program Genre Consider To Be Dead?

To be considered “dead,” there must be no surviving, stand-alone program of a particular genre running as of press time.

Noticeably, the most dominant yet contemptible Philippine Movie Press Club’s Star Awards for Television has few categories that are discontinued to be awarded, which would be helpful for the development of this post.

So far, three categories are deemed no longer airing:

Game Shows

  • Last programs known: People vs. the Stars (original), Minute to Win It (franchised)

Game shows may be original or franchised but their goal, other than to entertain us, is to gain knowledge. For the Batang 90s, they will remember the Battle of the Brains, Digital LG Quiz, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire (under Christopher de Leon) and Pilipinas, Game KNB? (under Kris Aquino)

As this decade progressed, the type of players of game shows shifted away from ordinary people to exclusive celebrities (who don’t have any committed projects or has free time) as a form of preventing defection to another network. This happened when the Turf observed and expressed over Family Feud under ABS-CBN in 2016.

Consequently, they moved on by capitalizing on other types of game shows that do not need stock knowledge (like MTWI) before being scrapped altogether for more teleseryes and expanding competition shows on weekends.

While they enjoy success in ratings and in the bottom line, it comes at a cost — audience participation and other functions of cerebral capacity. In other words, the accusations of promoting “escapism” and “dumbing down” the audience while the network execs fear of cheating since Internet access is now an easy reach to get the answers.

If there are any plans to revive this thing; well, good luck with that.


Youth-Oriented Programs

  • Last program known: Luv U (ABS-CBN)

For B90s and 2Ks, this genre used to be part of their weekend afternoon lineup usually before their respective showbiz-oriented shows. You may have watched Tabing Ilog, Gimik, T.G.I.S., Click, Joyride and Tween Hearts.

This particular genre used to exemplify the struggles of adolescence and how they coped with it. We guess it fell out of relevance with the generational divide due to the radical change of preference; Generations Z and Alpha would rather watch their suited shows on Netflix and other video-on-demand (VOD) platforms over television the earlier phases of Millennials harnessed.

Hey, what about Maynila? Despite some young thespians acting, it’s considered an anthology; sorry, it’s not counted.


Showbiz-Oriented Shows

  • Last program known: Startalk (GMA)

During weekend afternoons, we used to dedicate at least an hour for straightforward news and interviews from their exclusive talents. It ended in 2015 when The Buzz and Startalk pulled the plug and replaced it with comedy (Banana Sundae and Dear Uge, respectively).

They blamed it on the prevalence of social media. But then, the new platform is not as best as it’s perceived due to its angle on the netizens’ comments and ownership of online outlets. For example, LionHearTV was accused of aligning with ABS-CBN while Philippine Entertainment Portal happens to be a subsidiary of GMA Network, Inc.

Nevertheless, the pullout has made a big mistake.

Just last month, the scuffle of the Barretto sisters during the wake of their patriarch has set two separate days of exclusive interviews in TV Patrol by separate journalists (Karen Davila and Noli de Castro) to hear their sides, consuming significant airtime that should have been for more important items.

Hence, netizens are mulling for their revival. To be fair, why can’t they even learn from Entertainment Tonight?

ET is still alive for almost four decades, despite social media presence and competitors. A salient difference is that their show is syndicated and its editorial policy reaches beyond the borders of the media conglomerates, for which we are obviously lacking. (Sad to say, this is irredeemable to get out of that mindset.)


Not Dead Yet / Unclear

Gag Show

Bubble Gang is the only surviving show of this particular genre since Goin’ Bulilit bowed out last August. Unless their founder, Michael V, retires or leaves the network for good, the answer is NO for now.

Children’s Show

This doesn’t mean anime or cartoons; it’s an informative genre produced by the network or third-party producer that has an existing partnership with the network for the said particular group — think of it like 5 and Up (1992-2002) or Penpen de Sarapen (RPN, 1987-2001).

Today, the South Triangle Duopoly doesn’t care about putting this anymore*; the last program under them was Tropang Potchi (GMA 7, 2009-15).

Thus, it’s up for denomination-backed UHF networks to the rescue; no wonder, NET 25 consistently got Anak TV Seal Awards and with that, they plastered the Anak TV logo proudly during their episodes.

LITTLE FUN FACT: In the recent edition of the PMPC Star Awards for TV, the best of this genre and its hosts were awarded to Talents Academy of IBC 13.

*SIDE NOTE: While we said that the main channels of the South Triangle no longer airs, ABS-CBN’s exclusive digital subchannel for kids, Yey, has its own children show Team Yey! Yet, the PMPC has not realized it existed and thus, were not included in the four consecutive years of nominations.


Reality Shows

This genre is generic and unclear. Some shows are labeled “reality” (i.e. a misnomer) such as The Voice and Pinoy Big Brother; the former is considered a talent competition but we will elaborate a bit later on the latter.

But first, does anyone remember Extra Challenge that was once hosted by Paolo Bediones? After six years of hiatus, they rebooted as Extra Challenge Extreme (which was hosted by Richard Gutierrez) by from 2012-2013 but it aired on weekends and ended up in a dud.

PBB was a successful, franchise reality show — in terms of the unique style of chronicling — but this show’s initial purpose was defeated right after its first season. From then on, whoever wins (or almost) after each iteration will use it a springboard to stardom in the main network.


Are there other genres you considered to be “dead?”


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The Weekend Roundup (September 14-15)

TODAY is first Friday the 13th of the year and this is the 299th post of Timow’s Turf — just one short of the monumental 300.

To be honest, I had no idea what to write for a specific topic with this only free slot for the month.

As today is payday, there are three ways you could spend your hard-earned dough:

  • Go to your favorite mall that is on the 3-day sale;
  • Go to their cinemas and watch your favorite film as it is the opening day of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, or
  • Go to SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia for the ongoing 40th Manila International Book Fair.

But what if you rather just stay home and save from the hassles outdoors?

Well, there are five notes happening on Philippine television — purely on the Duopoly — this weekend.


Out Goes ‘Love You Too,’ In Comes ‘The Gift’

Tonight will conclude “Love You Two” on GMA Telebabad, which will count into 104 episodes. The romantic comedy teleserye starred Jennylyn Mercado and Gabby Concepcion.

The Gift” (not to be confused with the similarly titled iWant original movie) will succeed in that time slot, starring Alden Richards (from Victor Magtanggol), Jean Garcia (from Ika-5 Utos) and Jo Berry (from Little Nanay).


Coke Studio Philippines 3

After several postponements that prolongs the agony of OPM lovers, the said music program returns to ABS-CBN for the third season.

For this run, 15 OPM acts were featured, ready for collaboration.

The postponement until tomorrow was deliberately intentional so that it will end before NBA’s new season in October.

Unlike the previous season which premiered before ASAP, this season’s timeslot is on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

Why on a different timeslot? Two things:

  • KB Family Weekend films are arbitrary.
  • It cannot happen in the afternoon where their public affair shows are too popular. In addition, no loyal viewer would start the show at an arbitrary time.


The ABS-CBN Ball

ABS-CBN Ball.jpg

Also happening tomorrow is Mother Ignacia’s Met Gala.

Formerly called the Star Magic Ball, it was renamed last year in order to include Kapamilya talents who are not exclusive to Star Magic. That edition has led Regine Velasquez to return to the network.

This year, the Ball will be hosted in Shangri-La — not in Makati this time, but in the Fort — and the dress code is Modern Filipiniana, to coincide the network’s 65th corporate anniversary.

About 500 stars are expected to attend the event — can be both inside or outside of the network — but let’s not be surprised if a politician or a beauty queen will be on the red carpet. This means Alden Richards could go to the Ball and meet the “Hello, Love, Goodbye” partner Kathryn Bernardo, albeit that she still has Daniel Padilla to accompany to the red carpet.

The ball’s proceeds will go to Bantay Edukasyon of Bantay Bata 163 (one of the late Gina Lopez’s initiatives).

For sure, ANC, The Metro Channel and KBO will have a blow-by-blow red carpet coverage but not the party proper itself.

Envious ill-wishers from the other side of the fence who have not hosted their counterpart since 2011 would just complement, “Enjoy while it lasts.” (The motivating rationale does not need explanation.)


Starstruck 7’s Final Judgment

At the earliest, this weekend will conclude GMA’s iconic artista search. For sure, it’s going to be live to give suspense in determining who will be the Male and the Female Survivor.

On the last weekend, the Final Four were announced:

  • Allen Ansay (16; Camarines Sur)
  • Kim de Leon (19; Batangas City)
  • Lexi Gonzales (19; Sampaloc, Manila)
  • Shayne Sava (17; Binangonan, Rizal)

The winning survivors will be given a management contract. Need not to worry, the second placers and the avengers could someday be part of the GMA Artist Center but they have a slimmer chance to be part of any teleserye project.


G Diaries Renews for Another Season

Beginning this Sunday morning, travel and lifestyle show G Diaries will return for its fourth season on ABS-CBN.

Following the demise of Gina Lopez last month, her brother Ernie (who serves as the chief of the publishing arm) will take her place.


That is pretty much is what happens for this weekend. What about on other media platforms?


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Photo courtesy of Rappler

The New “Mars” on GMA’s Mother Channel

Iya Villania and Camille Prats will enhance further your weekday mornings with MARS Pa More on GMA.

ONE of the victims of GMA News TV’s move to UHF Channel 27 last June was Mars.

Though this talk show was deemed extraneous (non-essential) during the seven-year stay in the sister channel, avid fans of this show would demand its revival at the mother channel — and their plea was granted.

Come Monday (July 8), they will be dubbed as Mars Pa More on the mother channel — filling up the gap of missing a talk show.

However, unlike in the first incarnation, there are two changes that we will tackle for this incoming edition.

The Presenters

In place of Suzi Entrata-Abrera as she stays as a current, permanent member of the Unang Hirit barkada, Iya Villania-Arellano will fill her shoes. Unknowingly, she has a current morning show (San Miguel Home Foodie, season 5) with her husband, Drew, just after UH.

While Camille Prats will remain as the permanent host, she will file a maternity leave during this pilot week; Chariz Solomon will temporarily take her place.

Format Changes

The running time of this new edition will be halved to 30 minutes. Consequently, this means the segments that once enjoyed in GNTV would certainly be reduced.

Comparing against Magandang Buhay?

For the speculators and inquisitors, this news of program renewal puzzles them if they (MPM) are a direct competitor to ABS-CBN’s Magandang Buhay (MB).

Not so fast!

While both talk shows serve intendedly for the homemakers, there are four salient differences:

  • MB’s current timeslot is at 8:00 a.m. while MPM will air 50 minutes later. (GMA’s Astig Authority still refuses to concede.)
  • The running time of MB (90 minutes) is thrice longer than MPM (30 minutes).
  • MB primarily focuses on interviews with artists and promoting their entertainment opuses; MPM might focus on tips, crafts and tackling mundane issues just like before.
  • In some instances, MB airs live while MPM has yet to think about it.

That being said, it is now up to the production crew to make the most out of the aforementioned constraints in order to satisfy the loyal viewers.

Mars Pa More airs weekday mornings at the said time (8:50 a.m.) on GMA.

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Photo courtesy of GMA Network

Timow’s Turf Midyear Report 2019

JULY already?

By George, it’s time for the annual traditional compendium of what has happened over our media in the halftime of final year of the 2010s.

This year, we’ll tackle about five developments that happened during the first half; all had one underlying thing: finding a better purpose.


Timow’s QuOP No. 8: Is Challenging the Artistic License Worth It?

GoT s8

Game of Thrones may have been over for a bit more than a month but the last episodes have pointed to be a disappointment — one of them is over petty details.

FOR THOSE who are not getting over with the concluded Game of Thrones on HBO, many would remember the final season as the least appealing due to the disappointing flow of the story. The famous series was based on A Song of Fire and Ice novel series of George R. R. Martin, which in turn based on England’s War of the Roses.

Despite the degrading reception as the series ends, viewers (fans and bandwagoning ones), who waited for a long time, looked meticulously on the stray coffee cup in a scene of one episode and a plastic water bottle in another scene of another (in the finale).

Why those trivial things become such a big deal?

The most obvious reason is the size of the viewership — GoT’s audience is worldwide while a teleserye that is discussed in this country. Another one is that fans wanted to pinpoint accurately — in other words, staying true — to the words of the book or metaphorically as close as possible.

Nonetheless, the producers and the network made an apology and corrected it for those who would catch up.

In this QuOP, the case of the famous HBO series has told us about challenging the notion of “artistic license” despite being based on fiction.

An artistic license is the discretion of artists of distorting of facts, defying linguistic conventions and exaggerating of scenes, without regard to consciousness and to intention, for the sake of humorous or dramatic purposes.

Is it worth challenging for?

But before answering, I would like to ask you this question: Do you like watching Cartoon Network in the early days?

You may remember watching Wile E. Coyote chase the Road Runner. The predator is focusing on the goal but did not look his way until he looks down and then begins to fall.

This is where the term “cartoon physics” came from and that in turn is a prime example of artistic license.

In the film, most of our animated Disney princesses (includes the live-action remakes) that enchanted us in our childhood are based on fairy and folk tales from around the world. Although you are fascinated with the couple living “happily ever after” over the theatrical masterpiece, not all princesses’ fate is fulfilled like that in the original source.

Okay, cartoons are exempted over exaggeration but how about in real life like sitcoms and dramas?

This is a bit complicated but we’ll try to look on the primary situations (from asinine to deemed problematic):

Using a substitute disguising for actual illicit stuff

For example, in Kadenang Ginto, the most popular afternoon teleserye in ABS-CBN, a drug that induces drowsiness is, in actuality, a well-reputable, locally branded, candy-coated chocolate.

Imagine if an actual prop would appear for that teleserye, the authorities would scramble into the production area and would cease until there is an acceptable substitute.

Professional correctness

If there is a term called “political correctness,” there is also “professional correctness.”

Artistic license is often referred to as the dramatic license when it involves glamorization of real-world occupations for the sake of exciting TV experience.

In almost every profession, the majority of their time spent in real life is on paperwork and administrative duties while the small screens portray them to become the “meat” (action) and as the “skeleton” (supporting part) of the plot.

In our setting, the best example is the hospital scene where the leading role is struggling for his or her life after an accident that is crucial in the plot.

Nurses and other allied health professionals usually called out the inaccuracies in administering the IV needles, breathing apparatus and the defribillator.

The production crew doesn’t seem to care in terms of medical accuracy since it could cost money to get a medical consultant. Fans or ordinary viewers as well since they just want to enjoy the role of the thespians and the focus on the story.

Historical and mythological accuracy

If professional correctness is not a big deal, then they would shift to another reason: “What about the historical and/or mythological ones? Has anyone remembered what happened in Bagani last year?”

Although inspired by pre-colonial mythology, Bagani wasn’t really serious in storytelling and the inaccuracy due to the small details would render a scathe in the fantaserye feature, alongside the casting and the historical accuracy issues.

Despite the disclaimers, it was a viewership success.

The trivial controversies of that LizQuen-starred fantaserye became the lessons learned for Kamuning to produce Sahaya. Before their production, they had to consult with historians and sociologists over the background of characters.

Now back to the question, is fighting artistic license (generally speaking) for the sake of any aspect of accuracy worth fighting for?

That would be up to you to answer.


I mentioned about medical drama. Whenever one thought about this genre, they can think about General Hospital, ER, Gray’s Anatomy or New Zealand’s Shortland Street.

So far, our running teleseryes are not primarily set in a hospital and it barely cast portraying as any health practitioner.

To be fair, we have short-term memories on when the last time a teleserye of such a genre exists — except for Habang May Buhay (starring Judy Ann Santos) back in 2010.

As this is an Open Pit, anyone may request, ask and comment anything that is not related to this post.

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Photo courtesy of HBO / Hollywood Reporter

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 Filipino Decides 2019: The Post-Election Wrap

EVERY COUNTRY gets the government it deserves.”

This is a famous quote, apparently attributed by Joseph de Maistre, everyone has heard after the results came in and the Philippines is NO EXCEPTION last week.

Despite joys and inspirations fawning over the local races, everyone knew already what happened over the national count. Unfazed, shocked and enraged.

Come July 22, they will be duly seated in a leased part of the GSIS Building in Pasay City. Soon enough, they will move to their very own world-class edifice in Taguig.

On this note, we will tackle over two sections: the coverage and the agenda.


Our coverage insight were almost right on the nose as we published last May 12.

Both ABS-CBN and GMA have rendered an outstanding competition over augmented reality. Once again, the former does simulcast with S+A but the latter has not done so with GMA News TV (for their last time under VHF channel 11). Amidst the doubts, TV5 finally covered.

When the transparency server were stalled at 0.4% during 8 hours after the poll closing, ABS-CBN seems to make the most of their time by airing their usual primetime teleseryes but GMA stayed on persistently. Both in the South Triangle Duopoly remained overnight while TV5 signed off for a moment until their server is updated once again.

For Media ng Bayan, it was a disappointment that their coverage were resorted to a “talk show” format. Well, what do you expect over a state-owned media consortium that cannot acquire and employ better presentation technology — at par with commercial counterparts — due to procedural red tape?

The Agenda

Now, for that hard part to digest. What’s in store for the incoming (18th) Congress?

  • Primarily, the Constitutional reform. Last week’s election might the last to considered as a midterm and on this running Charter. Unless a finalized form of federal charter will be resolved and presented, there may be some legislators who have obvious self-interests and/or reservations that could object some salient provisions.
  • The other main legislations: the restoration of death penalty, lowering of minimum age of criminal responsibility and the TRABAHO bill (a.k.a. TRAIN 2).
  • Martial Law in Mindanao. With the clear numbers in both houses, the declaration under the said island group are extended every year with a breeze up until 2022.
  • The solid defense of China’s trespassing of our seas and complete, permanent trade-off of its patrimony. It can be a done deal since they have the numbers to ratify a treaty with the adversary.
  • Last but not the least is ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal. This incoming Congress will take on this issue, which will expire come March. Although it’s for the legal ownership, operation and maintenance of telecommunication facilities, the signal of non-renewal might mean that the national media industry should prepare for the instantaneous change of competition.

What about the promises of the People’s Broadcasting Corporation bill (replacing PTV) — as promised on the President Duterte’s maiden State of the Nation address — and IBC’s privatization process? The former may be reintroduced if it failed to passed on the outgoing Congress but the latter is not as it would be answerable by the Presidential Communications Office during the budget interpellation on both Houses. If both did not prosper within the time period, it shouldn’t be surprising at all.


That being said, we carved up on what we chose that we cannot take it back (don’t say we didn’t warn you). That was our endgame and it is not as expected as what was in the movie.

Our results reflect what we are and we have no choice but to embrace them, whether we voted for any of them or not.

The Filipino Decides 2019 is hereby wrapped up.

Regular season begins on June 1 as the Sweeping Through the 2010s continues next week for its third episode. Anyway, article requests can now be entertained.

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