Jane Basas

Local Entertainment Renaissance in Reliance


[Requested by Zyle Asajar]

AS THIS MONTH of PHTV’s 67th anniversary closes, a national, commercial network witnessed the renaissance of local entertainment.

After four years of dissolution, TV5 regained such an impetus with two “waves” in two and a half months to gratify viewers with different tastes after being fed up from the virtual monopoly in general entertainment provided by GMA.

How did this happen?

Background

THE PERSON FOR THE JOB. Perci Intalan made the radical approach to reinstate local entertainment programming on TV5.

In 2019, then-TV5 President Jane Basas wanted to restore local entertainment. Before the turn of the decade, APT Entertainment has forged a deal with the network to be launched in the first quarter of 2020 with Buhay Komedya (BuKo) Channel on Cignal but when the COVID-19 outbreak elevated into a pandemic, the plan was postponed indefinitely. The revitalization of the mother channel originally scheduled on April 13 also followed suit but their renaming as One TV abandoned in July.

The premeditated fallout of ABS-CBN on May 5 — which reaffirmed on July 10 — signaled the network executives to admit that there is a programming deficiency and resolved to take the proactive initiative.

Percival “Perci” M. Intalan returned to TV5 as the programming head. In his game plan, he decided not to follow the big mistake that occurred by the South Triangle Duopoly that molded through the decades – the exclusivity of talents. Also, he pledged that the network will not do a repeat of pirating talents in the preceding decade.

To date, two new production companies have cashed in, in addition to the resuscitated partnership with Viva Entertainment. Let us examine their dossiers:

 

The Two New Blocktimers

Archangel Media

GAME SHOW REVIVAL. Archangel Media’s first two programs revived the particular genre after the controversial processes that ABS-CBN has done in the previous decade.

APT Entertainment’s Michael Tuviera – APT’s son — and Jojo Oconer (spouse of Ciara Sotto) established this production company but they functioned independently.

In this production company, four active Eat Bulaga Dabarkads and two Kapamilya-molded talents are presenters on three programs since August 15:

  • Fill in the Bank (originally on M-W-F): Presented by Jose Manalo and Pokwang, two contestants vie for the chance to win big bucks in “Juan Bank” and make it to the jackpot round to keep their earnings. They have to go through four rounds, which has some resemblance to two pricing games in The Price is Right and two segments of Eat Bulaga.
  • Bawal na Game Show (originally on T-TH-S): Presented by Paolo Ballesteros and Wally Bayola as Barby and Bebeh Ghorl, respectively, they are reminded of Kalyeserye lolas five years ago. They are four contestants to begin; after each challenge, one gets eliminated until one remains as the “Pasawai” of the Day to compete for the jackpot round.
  • Chika BESH! (Basta Everyday Super Happy!). This is the morning talk show presented by Pokwang (who left Mo. Ignacia), Ria Atayde (who stays in Star Magic) and Pauleen Luna-Sotto. The original working title was Rise and Shine (until PTV grabbed the title and aired it as their breakfast show 3 weeks later) and the studio setup is pretty much like Umagang Kay Ganda whose time slot reminds us of Sis (GMA).

The first two shows marked the revival of the game show genre in a new normal setup; today, they are back-to-back every Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays due to the return of PBA.

 

Brightlight Productions

THE GAME CHANGER. Former Negros Occidental representative Albee Benitez (right) takes the risk from the profits from his gaming business to invest in entertainment production following the fallout of Mother Ignacia.

This production company is founded by former Negros Occidental congressman Albee Benitez. The roster of talents comes from mostly Kapamilya-molded personalities because the reach on the Kapamilya Channel and A2Z are obviously limited and it would be missed by loyal viewers — especially outside Mega Manila — who don’t have cable and/or spotty-and-slow Wi-Fi connections.

Here are their lineup of programs that kicked off on October 18:

  • Sunday Noontime Live (Oct. 18). Directed by the veteran director and outgoing Star Magic head Johnny Manahan, this musical variety show served as an offshoot to ASAP, starring Piolo Pascual, Maja Salvador, Lani Misalucha, Donny Pangilinan, Jake Ejercito and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. The title of the show was mixed because it shares with NBC’s Saturday Night Live but this show broke the five-month monopolistic reign of GMA’s All-Out Sundays.
  • I Got You (Oct. 18). A Sunday romantic drama, starring RK Bagatsing, Beauty Gonzales and Jane Oineza, is directed by Dan Villegas.
  • SundayKada (Oct. 18). This is the successor to Banana Sundae but without JC de Vera and Angelica Panganiban (the latter being the most loyal). The former cast members of Sundae that arrived at Reliance include Jayson Gainza, Wacky Kiray and the returning talent Ritz Azul with director Edgar Mortiz joining on board.
  • Lunch Out Loud (Oct. 19). The six-day-a-week noontime variety show directed by Mr. M that stars Alex Gonzaga (returning), Billy Crawford, Bayani Agbayani (returning), Isabelle Daza, KC Montero, Wacky Kiray, K Brosas and for the first big break, Macoy Dubs (born Mark Averilla). This program effectively upended the five-month monopoly, if one uses a digital TV receiver but discounts NET 25’s Happy Time six weeks ago.
  • Rated Korina (Oct. 24). Obviously, a successor to Rated K that airs on Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday evening. Instead of pitting against long-time rival Jessica Soho, she’s pitting against Vicky Morales.
  • Oh, My Dad! (Oct. 24). Directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, this is a sitcom, starring Ian Veneracion, Dimples Romana, Sue Ramirez, Ariel Ureta and Gloria Diaz. This show serves as an alternative and early response to Pepito Manaloto.

 

Why are the Viewers Still Unhappy? (The Afterthought)

As mentioned earlier, the South Triangle Duopoly’s talent exclusivity is an integral part of the “Old” Network War lingered on for the past 30+ years. Such a long duration has permanently cultivated this black-and-white mentality that are obviously seen in the cyberspace.

When a talent of a major entity falls out and jumps directly to the rival or a neutral network like TV5 (even with the said thespian’s consent), they will be labeled as “drama kings/queens” or “traitors” with cheering them to fail (e.g. calling them “laos” or wishing their new projects on the new network to flop.)

When do we realize that the talents that we tuned to for years have entered an individual dilemma between loyalty and practicality, especially in very challenging times?

With that moment of truth already happened but remains a fresh scar in their memory, why did the former TV giant executives (like Mr. M) realize a month and a half later? Why didn’t they do it years ago before it could go wrong?

But here we are now. With the old chapter is (somehow) laid to rest (but never to be forgotten and to learn from it), it’s time to welcome a new chapter and formulate new resolutions.

Please do a favor, toxic tribalists (fantards): Give your icons in TV5 a chance.


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Photos courtesy of IMDb, PEP and PhilStar

Timow’s Turf Midyear Report 2020


[AUTHOR’S WARNING: Some of the content include indirect and/or inflammatory opinions that can hurt significant sectors. Please understand and read at your own risk.]

THE FIRST HALF of this first year of the 2020s is overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic — giving a big timeout from regular programming.

Viewers are stir-crazy without live sports, new teleseryes and finding out the winners in the ongoing reality competitions; some new shows’ scheduled premieres are thwarted.

Also, the cease of free-to-air operations of ABS-CBN (including S+A) due to the lapsed legislative franchise last May 5 signaled the start of the Philippine media’s own “new normal.” Meanwhile, GMA has just launched its competitor digital TV receiver, the Affordabox.

Nevertheless, both the “Great Pause” and the “Moment of the Truth” should serve the surviving broadcasting executives to reflect and rethink their programming but alas, their attitudes seemed to be irreformable.

Anyway, some moments happened in the first half of the year that wasn’t published much here on the Turf containing the events, programs, channels, and personalities.

What Happened on H1 2020?

The Events

Annual

  • UAAP and NCAA. Both Metro Manila collegiate leagues have been terminated their 82nd and 95th seasons respectively due to community quarantine. While we don’t know when their new season (83rd and 96th, respectively) will kick in, both the executive boards would start thinking about broadcast deals since their free-to-air partner, S+A ceased operations while the Congressional hearing over the mother corporation’s franchise becomes a circus.
  • NBA. From a Utah Jazz player tested positive with the virus has turned the league’s play development into haywire. During the season, the national TV deal since the Solar-ABS dispute last September 2019 remained in limbo, leaving the fans starving for hoops action. CNN Philippines came to rescue but they pay half a million pesos per broadcast of one game on each weekend from November last year until February (until their All-Star Game). The league will resume play at the end of July in Orlando but the local airing remains unknown.
  • MPBL and PBA. Before the lockdown and the FTA stoppage, Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League was determining their conference championships. Meanwhile, the Philippine Basketball Association has just kicked in their new (45th) season with one opening game; they are planning to kick off their 3×3 league. To be frank, MPBL is too accomodating as they have 31 teams (one more than the NBA’s 30). Meanwhile, PBA will neither have an All-Star Weekend nor have an import to play this year as they will resort to one conference or force cancellation.

One-Off

  • The 24th Asian Television Awards. Last January, the Asian counterpart of the Emmy Awards took place in the country for the very first time. Since the then-running South Triangle Duopoly refused to cover, TV5 took the honors. During this pre-COVID event, Manny V. Pangilinan’s award for “outstanding contribution to Asian television” became a point of ridicule, even though the comments in social media are not related to his TV ventures.

Channels

  • ONE Sports. On March 8, 5Plus became this channel to be consistent with Cignal’s “ONE” branded channels. It resumed three months later despite no live sports from across the Pacific Ocean.
  • Jack TV. On April 1, the pay-TV channel that offers multi-genre programming plugged off for real; it was not an April Fool’s prank. Today, Jack TV becomes a Web portal (similar to HERO back in 2018) as “Your Online Playground.”
  • One TV. Originally scheduled to launch on April 13 but is rescheduled on the 20th of this (i.e. as of press time) month as a rebrand of TV5 as a result of the pandemic. Alas, before the initially scheduled premiere, the usual change of leadership in Reliance happened in February with Roberto P. Galang succeeding Jane Basas as the network’s head honcho. During the delay, frustrated fans on that Facebook page have gone gaga demanding the return of Babaeng Hampaslupa rerun which they were heeded. (As a run-up to this new channel, the upcoming article will tackle all about their distinguished names.)

The Programs

Aired and On Broadcast

  • Wish Ko Lang (GMA). After almost 18 years, the wish-granting public affairs program every Saturday afternoons that was hosted by Vicky Morales ended. They used to be straightforward with the background story of letter senders but as it progressed further, it shifted towards dramatization.
  • Ilaban Natin Yan (GMA). The replacement reality-drama program that is also hosted by Morales tackles on societal issues.
  • Wowowin Primetime (GMA). On February 15, Willie Revillame expanded his variety show empire into Saturdays.
  • Gandang Gabi, Vice! (ABS). After eight years, Vice Ganda’s Sunday late-night talk show finally pulled the plug. While it was sad news for his fans, the good news of this ending was that he will not be overexposed every day of the week. His supposed replacement show, Everybody Sing, will be tacked in a bit.
  • Make It with You and Pamilya Ko (ABS). Two teleseryes were declared victims of both the pandemic and the shutdown.
  • Tutok to Win (GMA). Without the studio audience that is essential to Wowowin, Willie Revillame quickly adapts his own timeslot at his home at Wil Tower. (Salamat, Shopee!)

Slated but Stalled

  • Everybody, Sing! (ABS). This game show’s pilot episode would have been an immediate replacement to GGV but due to the community quarantine, it was inappropriate to be aired because of the crowd (even though it’s taped before the lockdown). The network’s FTA stoppage and non-inclusion in the Kapamilya Channel may increase the chance that the program will be shelved.
  • Yes, Yes, Yow (IBC). This SMAC Television Production show was supposed to premiere on April 4 on as a revival of the channel to have a noontime variety show in almost 15 years — until the pandemic entirely thwarted out of the schedule in favor of the hookup of PTV’s daily #LagingHandaPH public briefing with at least one item reserved for Senator Bong Go. While indefinite postponement is understandable due to “no crowd allowed” rule, we should not be surprised at all if this program — along with their other promoted shows that would be aired on BEAM TV and GMA News TV — will be scrapped entirely without seeing the light of day on the small screen.
  • Running Man Philippines (GMA). Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the South Korean variety show from SBS, this would be aired on the Kapuso Network. With the pandemic pushing this ambitious plan to next year, this would be the best time to think about whose personalities they will put in or there will be some backlashes.
  • Alamat ng Agila (GMA). This is another Kapuso show that they would look forward at the first half but it won’t please viewers — and one of their exclusive talents. Sen. Bong Revilla’s show would have been launched by the first quarter as the first post-newscast Sunday show replacing Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko. Perhaps, the delay is the silver lining of these unprecedented times as the leading and exclusive talent is obviously well known for the tarnished political scandal. (Most of the readers are not forgetting.)
  • Ang Sa Iyo ay Akin (ABS). This teleserye was supposed to premiere on March 23 but it was postponed due to the lockdown and network’s shutdown. One of its leading stars, Iza Calzado, was tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25 but she was fully recovered five days later. Possibility of shelving and/or deferral: who knows?!

Personalities

  • Rico Hizon. If you remember what the Turf wrote back in 2018, the former BBC anchor stationed in Singapore has repatriated and began his stint on CNN Philippines since March 30. Three weeks later, he is currently the anchor of CNN Philippines’ last newscast for the weekday, The Final Word.

What’s Next?

In a Short While

In five days from this publication, Fox Filipino will cease broadcast after almost eight years out due to redundancy, lack of advertising support, and cross-cutting measures.

For the Next Six Months

The second half of 2020 will manifest the implementation of the “new normal” guidelines when it comes to taping shows. Also, this remaining half-year must be the time to go up the ante for the remaining networks by establishing deficient divisions, acquiring and employing high definition equipment, and going full commitment to digital terrestrial television.

Meanwhile, the members of the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) will go into panic mode since the majority of their member-publicists have ties with ABS-CBN. Without the media giant and the pandemic persistent, the 34th edition of the Star Awards for Television might give GMA the Best TV Station (to equalize Mother Ignacia’s wins, inclusive of ties) and they may have to adapt for a virtual awarding since they are not allowed to hold the awards outdoors — or it could be jettisoned altogether and carry over the criteria to next year (Who knows? They’re NOT transparent with the eligibility criteria as far as I’m concerned.)

Did I miss anything? Put it in the comments section.


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


person writing on notebook

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

 

(more…)

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


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

 

ABS-CBN Soundstage

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

 

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

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

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

But the long answer is somewhat complicated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Competitors’ Response

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

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

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

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

GMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The 5 Network

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

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

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

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

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

 

Government-Owned Media Networks

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

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

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

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

Special Case for IBC

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

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

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

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

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

Radio

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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


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


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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN.com

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


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

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

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

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

Television

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

GMA at 70

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The 5 Network

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

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

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

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

 

Other Networks

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

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

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

 

Radio

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

DZIQ 990: Another Target

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

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

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

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

Other Radio Stations

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

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

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

 

Conclusion

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

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


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Photo courtesy of KWIQ.com

The Highs and Lows of TV5 Before and During MVP’s Era


[REQUESTED BY: Miggy Tapuyao. This post is dedicated to Lester Jeff Banatao, webmaster of DryedMangoez.com]

[AUTHOR’S WARNING: This post may not be agreeable on what you believe. Please comment civilly.]

 

TV5 logo.png

This year’s PHTV anniversary special, we will tackle about TV5’s highlights and lowlights.

 

TODAY marks the 66th anniversary of television in the Philippines. Here on the Turf, this is the third consecutive year that dedicates this particular endeavor on this exact anniversary date.

On this year’s established publication, however, we will tackle neither on ABS-CBN nor on GMA but on the third national TV network: TV5 (formally, The 5 Network).

Particularly, we will tackle the highs and lows of the transactions and how memorable or forgettable the programs were before and after the acquisition by Manny V. Pangilinan.

5 B.M. (Before MVP)

Forging in partnership with MPB Primemedia Inc., TV5 was launched (read: rebranded from ABC) on Saturday, August 9, 2008, at 7:00 p.m. as an alternative from their currently, never-ending frustration within the Network War Culture of the South Triangle Duopoly (in today’s terms, that’s toxic).

Highs (Memorable)

  • The segment Word of the Lourd was born under TEN: The Evening News.
  • Gag show Wow Mali came back for the second time, which would carry over until 2015.
  • For the young at heart, Nickolodeon shows continued to serve as usual. In addition, AniMEGA started as a better, fresher alternative to the Duopoly’s repetitive classics.
  • Juicy! (This is a precursor to Showbiz News Ngayon.)

Lows (Forgettable)

  • Toogs (If you don’t remember that show, do you remember BJ “Tolits” Forbes? If you do, then he was one of the hosts.)
  • Children’s show Kiddie Kwela was presented by Bayani Agbayani. (No award-giving body recognized that the show existed.)
  • Lokomoko (It’s like Bubble Gang or Banana Split but at Sunday lunchtime.)

Their success in the “Shake Mo, TV Mo” era was spoiled when a lawsuit from GMA Network was filed as it is constitutionally prohibited of foreign ownership of any mass media entity, despite the company is registered as Filipino-run.

5 A.A.M. (At & After Acquisition)

When Media Prima generated losses, they announced their divestiture and Manny V. Pangilinan came to the rescue under the MediaQuest Holdings.

The acquisition was sealed in March but the formal identity did not come about until the evening of Easter Sunday (that was on April 4) with a new nickname as the “Kapatid Network” so as to get along with the Duopoly’s established names.

In December, they acquired 92.3 FM to become the first news FM radio station in Metro Manila. In February 2011, they launched Aksyon TV a week ahead of GMA News TV, operating round-the-clock until 2013.

As they want to offer direct competition to and/or alternative offerings against the Kapusos and the Kapamilyas, their sports block AKTV was transferred to IBC 13. The following year, TV5 acquired the rights to cover the London Olympics but their acquisition costs took the toll on the blocktimer marking its fate the following year.

While the New Media Center is inaugurated in Reliance, Mandaluyong City, its first full year (2014) of operation was the year of sports craving. They acquired and aired for the first time: the Super Bowl and NCAA (U.S.) March Madness.

Despite this, Wattpad got its own anthology series, adapting the stories by Filipino authors that are initially published from the Canadian-based story-sharing website.

Teleserye productions continued under their own entertainment department, save in 2015, where they experiment with their Korean drama adaptation. In 2016, their own production department vanished and they delegated it to Viva Television. This was the last time teleseryes and the overall entertainment on 5 was last seen.

In the same year, significant personalities like Martin Andanar, the Tulfo brothers (except for Raffy) and Cherie Mercado left to serve the present Duterte administration. Their engineering head was appointed as the General Manager of PTV.

As their sports acquisition overflows, AksyonTV came to their rescue, defeating their initial purpose as a news channel. Such moments cemented in 2017 when the network signed the deal with ESPN. To avoid the awkwardness, they renamed into 5Plus earlier this year.

Highs (Memorable)

  • Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?
  • Barangay Utakan (Despite being produced by the News Department, this was the last true, blue the last, true blue, stand-alone, original quiz show.)
  • Face to Face (Including its successor Face the People, this is the most associated show with the main channel.)
  • T3 (The pre-newscast public service program by the Tulfo brothers before they left to PTV.)
  • Wattpad Presents
  • Pidol’s Wonderland (The first program under a new acquisition)
  • Madam Chairman (Sharon Cuneta’s only teleserye)
  • Batibot (Well, at least they tried.)
  • Artista Academy

Lows (Forgettable)

  • KIS Pinoy (Carried over the broken promises from PTV, the show abruptly ended due to the blocktimer’s bankruptcy after three episodes.)
  • Million Peso Money Drop (It lacked staying power than Millionaire.)
  • Jeepney Jackpot and Quiet Please!: Bawal Ang Maingay.
  • The Mega and the Songwriter
  • P.O.5 (Trying hard to crash ASAP and Party Pilipinas)
  • The Jose and Wally Show

 

Afterthought: Today’s State

Today, TV5 is under the current steering of Jane Basas and is under the O-BER-loaded mode.

Inside it is reruns of the best shows (which their former artists are not in conflict) and replays of shows from One News and One PH. For the Turf, this campaign is a temporary placeholder because of the forthcoming coverage of the SEA Games (there will be a special edition about that next month).

In order to make that channel “great again,” a gadfly media professional mulled in restoring entertainment programs (but not teleseryes or anime) to its pre-TV5 zeitgeist.

To be honest, who knows what they’ll bring; this media entity will be a key network as the new decade approaches. (Don’t worry tho, they had their franchise renewed.)


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Photo courtesy of 5 Network/Wikimedia Commons