Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas

[#PHTV68/#100YOBPH] What If: Marcos’ Martial Law Wasn’t That Much Draconian to the Philippine TV Landscape?

[Requested by MJH but modified]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post officially kicks off our year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of broadcasting in the Philippines (#100YOBPH). This is an alternate history post similar to the one I wrote last December; if you have any additional thoughts, please leave a comment here or on our Discord server.]

WHEN I ASK you about Marcos’ Martial Law and the media, what comes to mind?

The military’s issuance of “cease and desist” orders. Raids and padlocks of media entities were deemed to be “enemies of the state.” Imposition of strict censorship on the rest. Their tape records before 1972 being burned and reused.

From 1972 to 1986, the Network from Bohol Avenue was seized and the frequency was given to his crony, Roberto Benedicto, in addition to KBS 9 and IBC 13. Don’t get us wrong, your parents and grandparents would remember watching those channels for Big Ike’s Happening… Now!, Champoy, Iskul Bukol and T.O.D.A.S.

During the Martial Law era, Channel 4 became a more successful government-owned and controlled television network, with a pro-sitting administration editorial slant that lives on today on their current tenant, PTV.

RBS 7 resumed broadcasting before the end of 1972, after the government granted permits, and was later renamed GMA; a public service program that debuted during that period continued to live on today.

ABC 5 didn’t return to the airwaves until 1992, but it was no longer under the previous management; MBC 11, on the other hand, never recovered the frequency.

Despite the end of the dictatorship, the legacy he left on the media industry lives on today, thanks to the formation of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) in 1973 and the reorganization of the nation’s censorship board, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), in 1985.

But can anyone imagine if the Marcosian era didn’t intervene such harshly?

The following content in italics represents the historical facts or in the Real-Earth Timeline (RET); the rest are made in the Alternate Earth Timeline (AET). (more…)

Your Favorite Music Radio station is heading to Mega Manila sooner than you think

FOR TWO of the committed posts this month, I have thought about two themes: seizing the opportunity and expanding horizons. 

First, the seizing the opportunity: whenever adversity strikes (whether it be a global pandemic or a fall of a prominent major player), they dust themselves off, be resourceful and go up the ante.

The second, expanding horizons: While many are climbing up from troubles, few try to go further than their former prominent holders; they are not supposed to rest on their laurels.

On this first of two distinct posts, we’re not going to tackle one of the present nationwide media conglomerates. We’re going to tackle the rising ones (which is not much recognized or not reached by at least three metropolitan areas in the country); I know I’ve done this last October but another player is grabbing the opportunity much faster among the rest that will stun some loyal radio listeners but some (including yours truly) will not found this one surprising.

In this post, we will tackle the prospects of this media entity called: Philippine Collective Media Corporation.


The Possible Next Steps for ABS-CBN



The transmitting tower (right) of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Centre in Mother Ignacia has been off for 65 days, as of this publication. The main question is: When will it be back on?

TWO MONTHS ON (and four days) since Channel 2 — and 23 — was off the air has triggered the consequential domino effect.

While losing a major player may not be affected by those who have no love lost due to their solid conviction of “making the Philippines great again”, those who served in the advertising industry are. Also, it has affected the job prospects not just for Mass Communication graduates but also for electronics communications engineers (ECEs).

Like what the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas’ president Jun Nicdao feared, this shutdown stalls the overall progress of digital terrestrial television. The National Telecommunications Commission, who issued the two cease-and-desist orders, will face a dilemma on whether the national analog switch-off in 2023 will proceed as planned or will push back sometime later. Neither the concerned agency nor its parent department, the Department of Information and Communications Technology knew that we are the last country in Southeast Asia to transition to digital terrestrial television.

In one of ABS’ group of companies, ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. is losing out since they rely on their sister companies’ profits to stay afloat. Other than the losing sources of revenue to alleviate this pandemic, this will put their Bantay Bata 163 hotline at risk of discontinuing operation after 23 years and it might be relinquished to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

An Esquire article published a week ago mentioned that its employees are allowed to transfer to other networks. It notes that the management will not be held to the non-compete clause in their work contracts. With three weeks until the ax, the days of being one of the best employers in the country will be over.

For the (entertainment) talents, their exclusive contracts got suspended from this lingering controversy, in addition to project abeyances. One time, comedian Pokwang played as the contestant on Bawal Judgmental on Eat Bulaga. While netizens think this is a sign of her move to the then-rival-for-now-dominant network, she has proper permission and the show is actually produced by TAPE and not by GMA.

The 12 prolonged, dramatic House hearings over the franchise renewal, spearheaded by ringmaster Deputy Speaker Rep. Rodante Marcoleta and company, has come to a close. For Speaker Alan Cayetano, he wished that all hearings on granting individual broadcast franchises be as “exhaustive” as this one.


But after this — and if they rejected their franchise renewal — what will be the next possible steps?

  • This coming Monday (July 13), the Supreme Court will hear the network against the NTC on why they got the cease and desist order when other broadcasting and telecommunication entities who have theirs lapsed continue to serve.
  • The executives of Mother Ignacia can convince ZOE Broadcasting Network to lease the inactive Channel 11 frequency for two reasons: (1) they have more money than the former and much loyal tenant, GMA, and (2) The Kapamilya Channel is not accessible to viewers since they have to pay their monthly cable fee.

If the few options end up not in their favor, the media conglomerate can safely say that its primary operations have shifted and downscaled from radio and television to producing for streaming services (on iWant) and their newscasts into social media accounts. In other words, it’s Netflix and Rappler combined.

This means new broadcast partnerships — from UAAP to Miss Universe Organization — for the remaining networks must be made. It will never be the same as it has done for many years.

That being said, we could acclaim that we are now living in a “new normal” for the Philippine TV broadcasting industry and the hardcore demagogue apologists got what they wished.


Ladies and gentlemen, in a few moments, we will be on the post-Mother Ignacia phase of the Philippine broadcasting industry. Please stand by.


Do you have any possible next steps for Mother Ignacia? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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LTFRB for Commercial Broadcasters?

LAST TUESDAY night’s fiasco on the small screens reflected how the politicization of pettiness has concretized into public policy that will shape in the years to come in our history textbooks.

Indeed, other telecommunication franchises lapsed but they were neither signed off nor discontinued any services. Alas, this incident was the byproduct of the people’s decision they have made four years ago; they have reaped the reward they sow.

While the remaining competitors’ solid fans “celebrated” the demise of Mother Ignacia’s airwaves anew with few of the closeted loyalists giving unsolicited advice as an opportunity to shine, it will be hard for them to be their replacement to the fallen media conglomerate in different aspects — especially, in the midst of the pandemic.

The politicization of pettiness and dismissiveness to listen to experts — the two dangerous components of the post-factual period — has led to the last straw: “It is time for Congress to lose their power to grant individual franchises for national broadcasts.”

While we respect the responsibility of telecommunications lies squarely on the national government (federal, for constitutional reformists out there), what would be the next step if we do indeed strip away the enforcement powers for broadcasters from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)?

There was a quirk suggestion by Ana Marie Pamintuan’s Sketches on The Philippine Star published last Friday if all options fail for ABS-CBN:

For the long term, after this [ABS-CBN franchise non-renewal] controversy, lawmakers might want to de-politicize the issue and delegate their authority to grant franchises for broadcast airwave allotments to another entity.

This happened for a transport franchise that gave birth to the Land Transporation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

If we would have a commercial broadcasting counterpart, that would remind me of the United Kingdom with the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and its successor, Independent Television Commission (ITC) — now, as Office of Communications (OfCom) — with their franchise rounds of then-regional ITV in 1980 and in 1991, respectively.


Three Questions

First, how will this new agency be named?

The logical and naive answer that popped out in my mind right now is the Commercial Broadcasting Authority of the Philippines (CBAP). This is obviously different from the non-government sanctioned Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP). However, CBAP and KBP can work together as partners for sensible media regulations.


Second, How many members should form the CBAP?

Initially, CBAP shall be composed of one Chairman and four board members. However, we could allow more room for the academic, technical (that includes electronics and communications engineers), the financial and marketing sector.


Third, what should be the powers and functions?

Like the LTFRB, CBAP will be responsible for promulgating, administering, enforcing and monitoring compliance of policies, laws and regulations with regards to broadcasting. They will be in charge of awarding which companies the right to carry the frequencies on the radio (AM and FM) and television in the national (VHF) and regional (UHF) markets.


Stepping in the Conceptual Shoes

Okay, ikaw na! Question: How will you deal with the ABS’ fiasco?

It’s going to be a bit difficult.

In my prospects, a broadcaster’s individual assessment has to be made on what I called the F.O.O.T. note — pretty much like SOAPIE for nurses. They have to satisfy the criteria of:

  • Financial stability and feasibility. The media entity should have a stable financial record and its business plans for the medium term (5 to 6 years) are reasonable.
  • Organizational cooperation. Does this network have functioning core divisions?
  • Operational record. This is the weight of the matter for viewers. This is where the program’s quality — not just quantity — is also judged. Does the composition of their programs favor one genre over another? Are their programming grid overreliant from another network or are they self-sustaining?
  • Technical capability. Do they have sufficient equipment? Are their programs HD compatible? Is the network diligently testing for digital television?

Each aspect is synergetic to one another.

If they have an unqualified record (in other words, at an acceptable level) for every aspect, they can proceed. If not, they can be rectified but if they didn’t improve by that given amount of time, they have to ship out. That’s how competition exists.

Unlike the present regime where individual franchises for 25 years are up for grabs racing for that limited resource, the CBAP will review all in the VHF and UHF territory every 5 to 6 years. Within 18 to 24 months before the period, they are required to release the periodic report on which channels in both bands will remain and which will not.

If that will apply with the fiasco, ABS-CBN would not have been off the air, provided they have to correct the errors of their ways, but another one would. (Won’t tell which one but you know what I’m talking about even if it hurts.)



That being said, it’s hard to tell if this piece of policy will work out since often to always, people with good ideas are quashed by self-serving politicians and bureaucrats.

However, this is not the first time I have formulated a policy with regard to broadcasting, and of course, I am ready to accept the backlash.

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The State of High-Definition Television in the Philippines and Its Future

[REQUESTED by JC Domondon]

SUPPOSED that you joined a raffle at the Christmas party in your office and you happened to win a flat-screen TV. Immediately or at the right time, you decided to install, adjust the indoor-outdoor antenna and scan any available channels.

Once the setup is done, you realize that the picture you receive was not as clear as what you have glimpsed on a window display in the appliance center. In addition, the picture seems to be stretched or zoomed.

You checked the box and the manual and they were consistently labelled. What went wrong? Isn’t what a high-definition television is supposed to be functioned?

A high-definition television (HDTV) is what said in the tin: it’s a TV set that renders a clear, refined widescreen picture and crisper audio than standard definition (those bulky CRT screens that are still rendered as nakikinabang).

Though it does not guarantee a key toward digital broadcasting as it needs digital encoding facilities, it is somehow a must to ensure the best transition.

There are three common formats of HDTV (all under 16:9 aspect ratio): 720p, 1080i (a.k.a Full HD) and 1080p. The number before the letter is frame resolution — the lines scanned from left to right stacked vertically; the but what’s with the i’s and p’s?

They’re interlaced and progressive scans. What’s the difference?

  • An interlaced scan is a technique for doubling the perceived frame rate of a video display without consuming extra bandwidth. This is the most common technique for TV broadcast.
  • A progressive scan is a format of displaying, storing or transmitting moving images in which all the lines of each frame are drawn in sequence. This can only be found whenever you watch a Facebook and YouTube video.

Back to the opening situation of expectation vs. reality, what could be the big problem? Probably, the fault of their distinctive responsibilities and lack of cooperation between manufacturers, broadcasters, and the responsible government agency.

Some TV manufacturers defy the standards set by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). For broadcasters, not all of their equipment and inventory used are genuinely Full HD (hence, stuck in 4:3 SDTV) and not all of their transmitters — originating and relay — are  compatible to cover. In all respects, the regulatory authority were deemed not serious in implementation.

This is lamenting and they should be reminded that it is not a “sana all” but a “dapat all” come 2023 when digital television must be the exclusive means of broadcasting transmission.

Due to serious work ethics, most of the UHF networks’ programs have already converted into Full HD. Major ones, not quite; on the Big 3: one is trying but under threat of losing their franchise, one is inconsistent and one has not yet even started as some of the loyalists observe.

The Future

In the early part of the decade, the window displays in mainstream appliance stores  showed high definition TVs (up to 1080p on a 16:9 aspect ratio). As we are about to close, new brands with 4K UHD and curved TVs begin to sprout in the market.

What’s with the 4K and 8K sets? They are both are classified as ultra high definition (UHD) television. The former picture format is now on the mainstream market with very prohibitive pricing. Meanwhile, the latter is on development and field trials in Japan and South Korea; this experiment will be taken during the Tokyo Olympics come July by Japan’s state broadcaster NHK and Italian public broadcaster RAI.

By 2023, 8K-ready devices will account for 3% of UHDTV and their prototype continues working towards a 24K resolution.

With the fast pace of technology, what should be the response for the government and private authorities here?

Broadcasting organizations like the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and in collaboration with the NTC should set a goal to reach all programming at least in Full HD before the transition completion. In other words, intervention is a must.

If I were to set a goalpost, by the end of the first quarter or the first half of 2020, at least three hours per broadcast week must be in Full HD.

Of course, enforcing these things would mean losing competitors (most regional networks can’t afford it and some national ones) because a lot of money is needed and the NTC would have no choice to extend the deadline until God knows when.



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Saving Mother Ignacia

[REQUESTED BY Miggy Tapuyao]

The franchise renewal of ABS-CBN must be discussed in the 18th Congress.

TOMORROW is the fight of Manny Pacquiao against Keith Thurman and it will be aired exclusively on ABS-CBN, the first to do so in 13 years.

But that’s not the focus of this post.

In fact, the following day, the 18th Congress will convene — alongside is the fourth State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.

While it won’t be discussed by any leaders’ speech (either from the executive or from any chamber in the legislative) come that day, as we have said in our post-mortem analysis of the recent midterm election, the network’s franchise renewal is — or must be — in the agenda as the expiration on March 30, 2020 is fast approaching.


After garnering the sweeping victory of the Administration’s slate in the Senate without any from the opposition, former singer-turned-government official Jimmy Bondoc became excited that the “biggest network would close down.”

This description directly referred to ABS-CBN and Angel Locsin, one of the current talents there, fought back in the online tirade. At the end of May, the network’s former and current talents and employees joined the fray by appending their employer’s anniversary logo on their social media accounts’ profile pictures with a matching hashtag, #LabanKapamilya.

President Duterte objected the renewal sporadically over his public speeches for the past three years. Often, he accused them with promiscuous claims such as borrowing hefty loans from the government banks and not paying their dues diligently.

However, according to the corporation’s annual audited financial report in 2018, although the composition of their total assets constitutes a majority on debt, not a loan agreement is currently involved with any state-owned banks (e.g. Landbank, DBP).

(SIDENOTE: PNB used to be a government bank until it was privatized in the late 1990s and such process was completed in 2007. Their loan agreement with the Network on the said statement commenced in 2010.)

Unfortunately, this is the part of the populist-cum-demagogue’s playbook in action: threatening institutions who are deemed against them (which is refuted ad infinitum) and always accept whatever he says or from their mouthpieces (spokesperson and their media) as “gospel truth.”

We cannot discount that there are others who are self-professed to be politically moderate or not a DDS but have reservations with ABS’ franchise renewal — mainly on programming operations. But we don’t need to enumerate further; we just want to keep this post straightforward.

Though, the franchise is for legal ownership of maintaining free-to-air transmission facilities (e.g. S+A, DZMM 630, MOR 101.9). It will not affect their film (Star Cinema) and music division (Star Music) but they would lose their primary means of promotion of their wares (other than online).

Nevertheless, the cyberspace worries frantically on the big picture — the fate of Mother Ignacia’s bread and butter (specifically: the potential job loss and downsizing of operations).

Composition: It’s complicated

The components within their core business are complicated.

When their “Blip” comes, there will be loopholes regarding other forms of transmission: on cable, on TFC and on TVPlus.

Albeit, the Kapamilya network already began producing its exclusive online content to iWant and started to diversify into the food business.

Authorities’ responses

When it comes to the related agencies such as the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

They are silent about what to happen when that fateful day arrives.

Although the feared shutdown would not likely happen according to the latter organization on an interview on One News, both barely understand and exercise the meaning of contingency planning on a broadcast franchise expiration as either there are no clear, legal provisions about it or it’s a top secret.

Easy to act, hard to follow

How to avoid big uncertainty to let the President sign their renewal (or do nothing for thirty days after the Congress approve it like those from TV5 a few days ago)?

The obvious solution is divestiture of the business — either voluntary or through force.

In other words, the on-air and corporate names will be kept but the ownership would be transferred from the Lopez family to someone else.

This approach already happened in 1972 (through the Marcosian might) but as of now, they won’t budge into this. But is there another way?

Other franchise to the rescue?

This is an unorthodox approach and like the divestiture, the on-air identity and program making would continue but it’s on “guardianship” mode until the next president signs the renewal.

This is what the cunning corporate lawyers of Mother Ignacia would do if all else fails.

In the forums online, few candidates that are rumored to help the network, including:

  • Bro. Mike Velarde’s Delta Broadcasting System (DBS): Their franchise was renewed for another 25 years just last April but the news was bannered a month ago. Their television endeavor on Channel 35, as of press time, remains unknown after testing in 2016.
  • Zoe Broadcasting Network: The Jesus is Lord (JIL) -owned TV network just ended ties with GMA last June and their VHF channel frequency (Channel 11) would be open for new tenants. However, the rumor of talks with ABS-CBN began back in 2017 by Politiko and its sister site, Bilyonaryo.
  • Radio Mindanao Network (RMN). Historically, they had a tie-up with IBC 13 during the late 60s and launched Cinema Television (now BEAM Channel 31) in the 1990s. The franchise was renewed in 2016. Before this threat, they are the popular bet for the race on the ongoing privatization of IBC.
  • Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC). Putting it in temporary care would almost feel their return of TV venturing since Channel 11 was shut down in 1972. However, objections would be raised as their current radio division has a long tie-up with a manufacturing company that dominates during their commercial breaks. They feared that they would do likewise for at least two years.

Afterthought (But I Digress…)

Until this presidential administration ends, those fanatics who enjoyed at least one program from this network would realize that once they are gone for the second time, they feel that they are given a punch in their visages.

In the end, uttering remorse will not save the network; they have to accept their fate.

For the remaining competitors in television who are enjoying their status quo right now, they have to prepare for the worst. However, such things will be discussed separately in another time.


Savor the moment while it lasts.


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Photo courtesy of Philippine Daily Inquirer / ABS-CBN

#PHTV65 Special: Defining Community Television

TODAY, we mark the 65th anniversary of formal operation of the Philippine television. However, another source claimed that it began on October 7, 1953. Nonetheless, it’s still a milestone, despite the lackluster of celebration.

Instead of discussing major networks as you normally expected, we decided to salute the smallest players.

What is a “community broadcaster”?

If you ask the related government agency — National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) — or a non-government broadcast media organization like Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), they remain clueless on how to define and to classify as such.

For the Turf, we set the definition of a community broadcaster as a form of mass media in which it is owned and programmed by a community group and is served on one locale, independently from affiliation with or covering national broadcasting to provide programs for local interests. It can be of religious, news, entertainment, political, educational or a mix.

Furthermore, a community broadcaster should not deal with and be part of the nationwide cable/satellite service.

Applying the case at home

Last May, we published about the return of UBC 12 (DWCL-TV) in the airwaves after a decade. The programming content on Channel 12 is a mix of foreign — CBN News (since UBC does not still have its own news division), Just for Laughs, Wipeout — and their own Born-Again religious programming (Logos and One God, One Nation) and one magazine program (Cabalen Mabuhay Ka).

What happened to other broadcasters in the Turf‘s hometown (i.e. City of San Fernando, Pampanga)?

InfoMax began in 2005 as a community cable channel (channel 8) on Satellite Cable Network (SCN) providing their own news in Kapampangan language but it moved to free-to-air in the early part of the 2010s and became an affiliate to Global News Network (GNN); hence, no longer qualified as a CB.

CLTV 36 (DWRW-TV) is a regional broadcaster but sadly, being in the Cignal lineup no longer counts in the said definition.

The rest of the country

In other parts of Luzon, there are two qualified CBs: NETV 48 (DWNE-TV) of Nueva Ecija of Region III and Bandera News TV 38 in Palawan of Region IV-B.

DCG Radio-TV Network, the network that subleased DWLA-FM as Retro 105.9 from 2014 until last May into Like 105.9, in Region IV-A owns and serves more than one location; thus, it cannot be considered as a CB. Overall, no CBs are present in Regions I, II, V and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Cebu Catholic Television Network (DYCC-TV 47) could have been classified as a community broadcaster but due to inclusion in the lineup in a cable provider in Metro Manila, it left the Visayas without any qualified community broadcaster.

Every region in Mindanao has at least one community broadcaster except SOCCSKSARGEN (Region XII):

    • In Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX), DXZB-TV 13 in Zamboanga City is no longer owned by the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) but now owned as Cooperative for Service. In addition, DXAD-TV 6 in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay is owned by Ipil Broadcasting System.
    • In Northern Mindanao (Region X), Mindanao Broadcasting & News Network 13 (DXWV-TV) serves Ozamiz, Misamis Occidental.
    • In Davao Region (Region XI), only two are recognized: Kakampi TV 37 (DXSQ-TV) of Digos City and Davao Christian Bible Channel (DXUN-TV) of Davao City.

    • In CARAGA (Region XIII), two stations are considered as community broadcasters: Bee TV 7 (DXNS-TV) of Butuan City and Tandag News TV 6 (DXTN-TV) in Surigao del Sur.
  • In ARMM, Marawi City has Ranao TV 13 but due to the intensive five-month war that ended a year ago as of press time, the facilities are possibly/certainly in the rubble and its plan to resume broadcast remains in the gray.

In Metro Manila, the center of national broadcasters, they don’t have its own community broadcaster. DBS 35 (DWXI-TV) would qualify since no stations relaying outside the metropolis but the formal launch date remains unknown, due to Bro. Mike Velarde’s hectic schedule (Next year is definitely not an option, due to his selection and public endorsements for the midterm elections).

CBs and Legalities

For the legalistic matters, do community broadcasters have to earn a franchise like national networks? It’s unknown if they are considered mandatory like national ones but only a few cases are documented and accessible by search engines:

Zamboanga’s TV13 Cooperative has a pending bill on their franchise in the present (17th) Congress.

After granting a legal franchise (worth 25 years), they have the right to set up the facilities, test the equipment and formalize the programming. Well, the last one would pose another question: Do they have to comply with the MTRCB ratings?

While national networks do comply, although IBC 13 is a famous repeat offender, this is arbitrary (case-to-case basis) on the CBs.

On UBC 12’s case, they don’t air their pre-program advisory but they placed a digital on-screen graphic (DOG) of the rating, albeit not in standard dimensions as they presumably made from Microsoft Office. The rest possibly does not have both imposed.

Lastly, do CBs have to apply the station notice protocol? We don’t even know if they would apply as long as playing the national anthem should be mandatory.

Challenges of CBs in DTT

Sustaining and operating a community broadcaster remains a big challenge; the revenue may variously come from ads of local businesses, a subsidy from the local government, tithes from the affiliated church and donations depending on their nature.

With digital television transition ongoing, community broadcasters are at a wide disadvantage. As mentioned earlier, they are the small players. Perhaps, the Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT) should give them a special extension of the analog shutdown until 2028.

Else, all their endeavors could adapt it into livestream on Facebook, YouTube or any livestream site just like EuroTV (No, it does not contain any content from any European broadcasters, it means Excellent, Unparalleled, Responsible and Objective Television).

The Turf asks: What is your concept of a community broadcaster? What are your programs would you expect to have? How can you sustain your fantasy CB?

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Why Are Our Media Awarding Dates So Sporadic?

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Before I begin, I know this post is published unbefittingly on the 17th anniversary of terrorist attacks in the United States of America. Despite the coincidence, all of us will never forget what happened on that day and remember their souls. Thank you.]

70th Emmy Awards.jpeg

The 70th Emmy Awards will be awarded in a week but the Turf feels some jealousy.

LAST SUNDAY, the PMPC Star Awards for Music awarded its winners for 2017 and 2018 but a week from now, the Primetime Emmy Awards will announce its winners live from Los Angeles for determining the best in different genres of that particular daypart of American television before their official television season begins.

While the Turf is somehow frustrated with PMPC for missing out a year (aside from their contentious credibility), we are a bit envious for the Emmys for keeping within their calendar — which will be carried on cable and/or any Solar Entertainment-owned channel — despite being used as a certain potential, political soapbox.

Other than the Emmys, notorious awards for different types of media on the other side of the Pacific Ocean also keep their awarding dates within their acceptable range: the Golden Globes every January, Grammys and Oscars every February (except during Winter Olympic years as Grammys go early and Oscars go late by a week) and the Tony Awards every June.

This begs us one question: Why can’t we just stick our own awards to a certain time of the year instead of being sporadic?

Current State of Local Awards

There are 11 constinuously-running media awards, presented by nine (9) organizations, in the country that are usually reported in search engine-accessible entertainment news sites:

  • Aliw Awards (Aliw Awards Foundation),
  • Anak TV Awards (Anak TV Foundation),
  • Awit Awards (Philippine Association of the Record Industry, Inc.),
  • Box Office Entertainment Awards (Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation),
  • Catholic Mass Media Awards (Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila),
  • FAMAS Awards (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences),
  • Gawad Urian (Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino),
  • Golden Dove Awards (Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas), and
  • Star Awards (Philippine Movie Press Club)

Before any media award is conferred to a person (or its proxy) or an entity, the nominees must meet certain criteria to qualify before it will be disclosed to the public and the voting proper.

In the voting proper, there must be a defined judging process — the people who are qualified for voting and the system of voting. Sometimes, an external audit is required to ensure reasonable assurance during the process.

The Past 5 Years

While there are other awards awaiting for announcements for their respective awarding dates this year, The Turf will settle on the past five full years (2013-2017).

NOTE: We did not include network-based (e.g. PUSH Awards, MOR Pinoy Music Awards, Myx Music Awards) and college-based media awards for obvious and practical reasons.

Researching with Google, here are the dates of the 11 media awards that were awarded throughout the said period:


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Connecting the Dots and the Dates

Throughout the said period, it can be inferred that:

  • One award awarded on a particular date: April 29 for Golden Dove Awards (2014-16)
  • On a particular day of the week,
    • Sunday: always observed for the Box Office Entertainment Awards and PMPC Star Awards for Music and Movies, not always for FAMAS Awards (with one devious instance) and Star Awards for TV.
    • Tuesday: Gawad Urian (with two deviations in 2016 & 2017)
    • Wednesday: the CMMA (with one devious instance)
  • In terms of the particular month:
    • March: dominant for Star Awards for Movies (with one devious instance),
    • April: usually for KBP Golden Dove Awards (with one devious instance),
    • June: for Gawad Urian (except one instance),
    • November for Star Awards for TV (except one instance), and
    • December belongs to the Anak TV and Awit Awards (with one devious instance each)
  • Within a certain quarter:
    • Q2: Box Office Entertainment Awards, Golden Dove Awards
    • Q4: Aliw Awards, Anak TV Awards, Awit Awards, CMMA, Star Awards for TV

Observed Deviations

  • The 35th CMMA (2013) was conferred on Friday, November 15. This may have been due to the commitment of the Archdiocese in helping the victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
  • Anak TV’s 2015 awarding missed the date of the usual awarding month but they awarded their best kid-friendly programs of the said year on the following February.
  • The 25th KBP Golden Dove Awards in 2017 — and this year — was conferred in May instead of April.
  • PMPC Star Awards for TV in 2016 was conferred on October 23, a Sunday, instead of November to coincide with the 63rd anniversary of television in the country.
  • While FAMAS Awards were sporadic for the last five observed years, The 65th edition in 2017 was awarded on the day after the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Awards Night.
  • As mentioned earlier, PMPC Star Awards for Music in 2017 missed out their awards for the corresponding year but was compensated last Sunday.

Transparency Assessment


Awit Awards’ nomination process is very stringent with few bypasses but the qualifications of the jury is fitting for the appropriate categories with an external audit firm oversee the ballots.

If there is one award that exemplifies reasonable transparency in determining its nominees and judging process, KBP Golden Dove Awards is the most praiseworthy. Like the Awit Awards, on their website, they publicize the criteria of nominations and criteria for judging. (Click here for their 24th edition in 2016 for CY 2015.)


The Box Office Entertainment Awards, as it’s obviously titled, choose the any film that is in the box office of the preceding year, top-rating TV shows, top recording singers and top in gross receipts of live entertainment. The first two are accessible through Google but not on the last two.

The Catholic Mass Media Awards only publicized the criteria and eligibility of entries in their own categories through their official Facebook page.


Despite the particular type of media, the Aliw Awards does not publicize the criteria, eligibility and process.

However, the most “unworthy” awarding authority is very obvious from disgruntled entertainment site patrons: the PMPC Star Awards. Their selection process, the eligibility and the jury process are being obscured from the public’s eyes. After the process, outrage would be poured out for being biased to one major network.

Constructive Fixes and Challenges

Constructive Fixes

Why can’t they set all awardng dates on a Sunday just like in the States?

While the Golden Dove Awards is deemed to be a paragon of media awards, they are not perfect. They should stick with the awarding date on the last Sunday of April (when it falls on Easter, the following day is the awarding date).

The Star Awards for Movies can be awarded every second Sunday of March, Awit Awards can be done every second Sunday of December, fourth Sunday of June for Gawad Urian (as the third Sunday of that month is Father’s Day) and the fourth Sunday of November for Star Awards for TV.

The following awards are easy to be adjusted; the rest should decide.

The Challenges (Reality Check)

While fixing the acceptable date range of is easy, there are complicated problems on  sticking with the schedule.

The most obvious one is the venue availability and the weather conditions, despite the awarding ceremony are held indoors.

Here are other key roadblocks within:

  • TV awards (e.g. BOEA and SATV) will have a very hard time determining eligibility period for television shows. Teleseryes, the most dominant in the programming grid, is not well-defined as this type change hands at any time of the year except during the holidays.
  • Film awards will also have a difficult yet manageable time to determine eligibility of determining films since MMFF (also during the holidays/year-end) is the most intensified period of cinema attendance.
  • Organizers are human and hence, they are forgetful of sticking with the timeline. Sometimes with two types of media merged into one or the missed out year merging into the current one, such as the recent case we have introduced.

In terms of telecast, this is a very complicated thing, which can be divided further:

  • Awards ceremony that are held on weekdays (for now) cannot be covered live because of teleseryes and they might have to wait at least until the following Sunday to show.
  • If the awards are held on a Sunday, weekend competition shows and news-magazine shows could get disrupted and might be delayed.
  • Because the network exclusivity is here to stay, the term “gentlemen’s agreement” — where the Big Four in America take turns in the Emmys — is excluded of any network’s vocabulary.
  • If a network nor its own talent did not win an award, chances are they will be edited out of the condensed telecast on late Sunday night.

It’s no wonder that most awards night telecast are purely on ABS-CBN (particularly on Sunday’s Best) as GMA does not bother to share and rather air Chinese movies on SNBO.

That said, the adage of “giving chance to others” — laterally and externally — is totally not a mantra in the entertainment industry.

To the winners of the Emmys, congratulations and for those who didn’t, better luck next year.

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Photo courtesy of: Age of the Nerd / NBC / Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

International TV Laws That Can Be Done in the Philippines

[Requester: Albert Brian Gimao]

THE PHILIPPINES is a sovereign republic, which means they are governed by the rule of law and such application spreads throughout the archipelago.

We have enacted laws that regulate industries and we have its corresponding departments and agencies to execute.

In the mass media industry, specifically on television, we have legislation from setting aside time for children’s television to place closed captioning in every program possible.

When the President signs them into law, the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) were automatically crafted. Subsequent rulings and orders issued from the government agencies, such as the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Movies, Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), together with non-government associations such as the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), made up the official interpretation on the potential legal loopholes.

While its proper implementation remains problematic, there are some other laws around the world concerning the industry that can be done here. (more…)

FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano @ 2: On Its Longevity and On Its Despondents

TWO YEARS for a primetime teleserye is a rare feat in the chronicles of Philippine television.

Today, September 28, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano is attaining that milestone; during the course of the 20-year-old-film-turned-teleserye, we have traveled along to the saga of SPO2 Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) in the Philippine National Police.

Length comparisons & contrasts

One may think that the immediate TV Patrol lead-out series is as long to this decade’s daytime counterpart, Be Careful with My Heart. Well, by tonight, FPJAP will air its 519th episode and according to their recent announcement of ending up by January 2018, the series might wrap up with 605 episodes (assuming if ending on January 26) – but it’s still 17 short of BCWMH’s 622. In such terms, it could be better said that FPJAP can be called the 2010s’ equivalent to the original Pangako sa ‘Yo.

The motives behind

While some viewers defected to the rival giant over their repetitive and lengthened plot, GMA’s seven counteroffers failed to defeat Kuya Cardo’s engagements, according to Kantar. What FPJAP drives them so successful?

  • Injecting and integrating the sense of realism. Even though mostly rated SPG, the show was able to hook up due to the picturesque from the moderately paced setting of ordinary people and fast-paced action of Cardo. In the midst of the scene, is timely with current events (such as what is happening in Marawi) or within the season (e.g. Christmas, Holy Week, Back-to-School). Finally, they give real-life lessons (a.k.a. Ligtas Tips) on how to be alert in dealing with relatable situations.

  • Star building for the young and for the fallen. During the earlier course of the show, two child stars became part of the ensemble – Simon Ezekiel Pineda (Onyok) and McNeal “Awra” Briguela (Makmak) as the supporting roles. Their significant moments in the spotlight helped raised the roof of social media attention. Although the former went away to normalize his childhood, the latter pursued to take the risk with Wansapanataym as Amazing Ving. This is where GMA’s artist management failed in nurturing child stars. Aside from the young, the fallen stars from its rival were also given a chance to shine. Remember what happened to ex-Starstruck Aljur Abrenica. After his contract expired, he entered Star Magic due to his contempt with the persistent favorable treatment to veterans (No offense, Marian Rivera.) and gave him immediately the first break there.
  • Acceptance of simple elements. The theme song “Wag Ka Nang Umiyak” (by Gary Valenciano) and its signature zoom-in dramatic shots have been immortalized due to netizens’ humorous purposes – be it politics or any forms of pop culture. For the production crew, they take it with a grain of salt and compliment it as flattery.
  • Passionate production crew. Throughout the last two years, it seems the production crew, amidst tiresomeness, was satisfied in contributing to the success of the series. However, critics are showing concerns on their collective health concerns following the case of Francis Pasion’s passing just days after directing On the Wings of Love last year.

Over all, it won different television awards from the major award giving bodies (e.g. PMPC Star Awards and Box Office Entertainment Awards), the Anak TV Seal, the Church via the Catholic Mass Media Awards, different college student bodies across the country and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) for its Golden Dove Awards. It was also given a special citation from the CIDG.

There’s the nub

While we understand that the politically keen’s standpoint of Kuya Cardo’s efforts could not be replicated under the actual PNP’s org chart due to general distrust, the real nub of this article is for those who are despondent with the show and called it “cancer.”

Initially, considerable psychological factors of tuning out and short attention span of the typical Filipino masa, an average teleserye last from 3-6 months depending on the flow of the story. It can be extended as they wish if they fared successfully. The Turf already made several proposals and a quick post to make primetime television’s lineup better without posing too much health risks for producers and artists and consumers (i.e. you, dear viewers) the freedom to choose whatever show they want to watch but then, the Big Bosses of the Duopoly are too reluctant to materialize because as of most of you would say, money talks.

Nonetheless, for the fed-up viewers, you still have to wait for four months for the agony to finish — unless an extension is announced.

Timow’s Turf would personally like to thank John Rodrigo Diaz Valdez for supplying the count of challenging GMA shows.

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