Kantar Media

Can Social Media Influence the National TV Sphere?

[Requested by MJH]

WHEN PEOPLE are asked about public relations (PR), they usually have mixed feelings about them in question — whether their products or services in a firm were favorable or not — as an adage goes: “Good or bad publicity is still publicity.” 

This holds in our national television industry.

Before the Internet, the reactions to the shows and networks that had just aired were published in print (in the entertainment section in the newspapers and specialty magazines) on the next issues. Then, there was the online world; for those who remember the early days of it, PinoyExchange comes to mind, and then, Friendster.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram grew in popularity and diversity during the previous decade (the 2010s). As a result, entertainment department executives from various TV networks and program producers were urged to include their Facebook pages and other social media handles on their title cards, fearing that they would be out of touch.

In some cases, they put the official hashtags (HTs) for each episode on the title card before the commercial break or on the left side of their screens (as the right is reserved for the station logo and the MTRCB rating).

As a result, some users can respond by tweeting with the corresponding HT. In the perspective of a social media marketer (whether working for a program or a TV network), they purposefully select praise tweets either from a specific network’s brigade or a die-hard fan and dismiss negative criticisms, even constructive ones, regardless of validity and substance. Others, on the other hand, use the same official HTs to gain clout.

Nevertheless, it’s the dynamic marketing mix for the 21st-century viewer.

We are now in the 2020s; a fifth of the current century has been passed and this decade is still relatively new. We’ve seen how last year’s twin events — a major player’s fall and a global pandemic — caused significant setbacks and pains in the industry, although social media survives and becomes a tool for protest and reform.

How did the surviving Two Major players respond? Can they be influenced in the new course of television history for the better or the worse?


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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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN.com

Government Media: From Zero to Top 10 in the Ratings Game (and an Afterthought)

[Requested by Rexdel Yabut Mallari]

IN YOUR very own words, what is your impression whenever you hear the term “government-owned media”?

If you once were skeptical then you believed, then good for you. Otherwise, if you still assessed with negative connotations, then I cannot blame you.

The requester was more of a radio enthusiast than of television. So, let’s start over discussing his prime form of media before us.


Before Duterte came, the ratings of radio stations owned by the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS) were nowhere to be found, not even on Top 10.

Enter Martin Andanar and Bong “Sonny B” Aportadera in the picture.

Having the experience and close connections with the President, both decided to take a staggering overhaul over the inherited state-owned media similar to the BBC Radio.

On February 2 last year, the old Business Radio 104.3 FM became FM2, a commercial-free classic hits station, Spotify-style with government PSAs, government-aligned news and less DJ talk. During the first nine months of inception, the station was ranked No. 1 in the ABC market.

According to the Nielsen’s July 2018 ratings received from automobiles within the Mega Manila market, FM2 was placed No. 9.

Last All Saints’ Day (November 1), FM1 87.5 (DWFO) launches on a Top 40 CHR and OPM format for the youth. So far, the date of formal launch is not yet announced; thus, not registered in rating game.

On the AM band, Radyo ng Bayan 738 kHz became RP1 since June last year and Sports Radio 918 kHz became RP2 began three months after. Currently, the general AM radio station was able to reach at the edge of the Top 10.


While the radio division is impressive, the television counterpart is another story.

The ratings of PTV is neither mentioned nor accessed via search engines to any entertainment news sites, unlike the South Triangle Duopoly, with differing firms.

For the hoi polloi, it seems Vasra is not watchable unless you are a subservient supporter of President.

Until last August 14 when the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, chaired by Senator Richard Gordon, summoned the two Tulfo brothers, former Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo and officials from People’s Television (PTV) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).

They were summoned after the Commission on Audit’s 2017 report issued last late April over the state-run television network’s P 60-million ad deal between the executive department and the state network’s loyal blocktimer, Bitag Media Productions (owned by her brother, Ben) without proper documentation.

The findings dismissed Wanda from the Cabinet, made a mockery by commercial commentators and infuriated a colleague (Jules Guiang) of the network yet they insist that they will not return the money.

During the hearing, the ratings for the network from May to August were projected. As PTV presumably subscribes to Kantar, Kilos Pronto, the program in extremis, was ranked 83rd overall but network-wise, it was placed 37th.

As with people’s intuition, the PCSO Lotto Draw (primetime edition) indeed aced the ratings for the network. What comes after Lotto was not PTV Sports but live presidential engagements, the primary staple and a big hindrance of the network from being a fully-fledged public broadcaster.


On the aforementioned Senate hearing, Gordon ordered to improve PTV and how does one’s network improve? Obviously, it is the programming operation itself.

At that week, two of four mainland Chinese programs, Beijing Love Story and Jimao, were premiered on the network under “China TV Theatre” package — a week later than advertised — which the Turf should have made a full insight, had not been overturned.

Such programming “betrayed” the spirit of the slogan of Para Sa Bayan and the network’s Charter, as quoted in the Declaration of Policies, as amended:

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policies. – In consonance with the Constitutional recognition of the vital role of communication and information in nation-building, and the important aspect played by the broadcasting industry, it is hereby declared as the policy of the State to:

“(a) Fully develop communication structures suitable to the needs and aspirations of the nation and in accordance with a policy that respects the freedom of speech and of the press;

“(b) Give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development;

(c) Develop the broadcasting industry as a medium for the development, promotion and advancement of Filipino nationalism, culture and values that serve as an instrument in the struggle for Filipino sovereignty, identity, national unity and integration; [Emphasis mine]

“(d) Harness the resources of the government and the private sector towards a close, continuous and balanced cooperation in order to take advantage of technological advances in the broadcasting industry;

“(e) Maintain a broadcast industry system that serves as a vital link for participative democracy and effective government information dissemination through developmental communication, free from any political or partisan influence and held accountable directly to the people;

“(f) Encourage the development and broadcast of balanced programs which feature, among others, educational, wholesome entertainment, cultural, public affairs and sports; and

“(g) Provide quality alternative programs for the benefit and moral upliftment of the citizenry.”

Nonetheless, it proved that it still reflects as a mouthpiece of a sitting presidential administration — a practice that has been done for 44 years. In this case, it is inferred to be the reflection of his foreign policy towards mighty Beijing.

Nevertheless, who is watching those programs anyway other than its intended audience?

Most people tend to watch for the trinity of major general genres — entertainment, sports and news — and PTV barely even have those kinds to offer.

Speaking of the network’s Charter, the whereabouts of the People’s Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) bill they had promised from the 2016 SONA is nowhere to be found.

We presumed that both houses of Congress just lay there on the table without notice, as they are bombarded with pressing issues and putting their political fortunes at risk for next year’s election, which pushes the bill’s fate towards failure.

When will the recent rating of such programs for the network be released? Possibly, when the follow-up hearing is summoned or on the budget hearing where PCOO is involved.

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Philippine TV’s Other Tug of War

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

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

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

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

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

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


Numbers and More: The Countdown to the Dream Bout

BATTLE FOR GREATNESS is the official theme of the Fight of the Millennium between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 3, 2015 (local time).

The poster dictates the theme of the Fight of the Millennium between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

The poster dictates the theme of the Fight of the Millennium between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Like other Pacquiao’s bouts, sporting fans declare it as a de facto national holiday although in this edition, it culminates the Labor Day long weekend. We can expect virtually zero crime rate and light traffic. Restaurants, arenas and cinemas are now logistically setting up their pay-per-view of the dream bout but at home without cable and Internet, GMA — where his exclusive contract belongs — was the only reliable channel but the result can delay for an hour or two. Despite of the objections of ritual advertising between rounds and sponsorship carrying their respective highlights of each round, the network of Kamuning/Timog still enjoys high ratings of the programs succeeding the sport special.

On this edition of Numbers and More, the Turf will look on the bout’s past crunched numbers and what will be the probable range of GMA’s handling of the greatest boxing match of the century on both firms would be.


Numbers and More: Bb. Pilipinas Grand Coronation Night

OUT OF MANY, FEW. 34 confident aspirants will race to the crown as the Grand Coronation Night of Bb. Pilipinas draws near this Sunday night.

OUT OF MANY, FEW. 34 confident aspirants will race to the crown as the Grand Coronation Night of Bb. Pilipinas draws near this Sunday night.

THIS SUNDAY NIGHT, the search for Filipina beauties out of 34 aspirants will be over on the Grand Coronation Night of the 52nd Binibining Pilipinas at the Big Dome (Smart Araneta Coliseum). However, when it comes to number crunching and counter-programming of the most awaited TV special, it’s another side of the story will be told and it starts right now.

The Turf’s TV Zeitgeist 2014: GMA

THE NEW YEAR will be handed over in 6 days but before we bid adieu to 2014, here is the look back of what happened over the boob tube on GMA and its sister channel, GMA News TV. (more…)

What is on for Christmas?

Two weeks to go before Christmas and five days left to the start of Simbang Gabi.

As of press time, two weeks to go before Christmas and five days left to the start of Simbang Gabi.

WE ARE NOW two weeks left until Christmas Day and you may ask the Turf, “What’s on free TV this Christmas season?” (more…)

GMA responds to PTV’s ‘Oh Ja Ryong’ with ‘The Coffee Prince’ rerun

GMA 7 will air "The Coffee Prince" later this afternoon, as a response of PTV 4's first airing of Koreanovela, "Here Comes Mr. Oh."

GMA 7 will air “The Coffee Prince” later this afternoon, as a response of PTV 4’s first airing of Koreanovela, “Here Comes Mr. Oh.”

NOT-SO-BLIND ITEM: GMA 7 has gone eavesdropping into PTV 4 with the latter’s confirmation of airing the new Koreanovela “Here Comes Mr. Oh“.

The Kapuso Network decided to re-air “The Coffee Prince” later today. Channel 7 aired the said drama from Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), the same broadcaster as Mr. Oh, last January 2008. Four years later, the network was given a franchise for local production.


Is #DongYan live proposal paying off the ratings game?

LAST SATURDAY NIGHT, Marian Rivera’s eponymous dance show on GMA 7 with the theme #LastDance gave a live spotlight when Dingdong Dantes proposed to the host, who celebrated her 30th birthday last Tuesday. With her willing consent, the trending topic #DongYan aced the national Twitter universe.

How did this tandem came to be? Did the live proposal paid off the ratings game either by audience surge and/or tumbling down the rival show? (more…)