Kat de Castro

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

Let’s Talk SMAC


[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post may offend certain supporters or die-hard loyalists of any network or entity involved. For that, I apologize if it hurts but I have to stand on my perspective.]

SMAC Television Production

Five nominations from PMPC in two TV networks are associated with SMAC Television Production this year.

LAST MONTH, the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) announced the nominations for their 33rd Star Awards of Television. The winners will determine this Sunday (October 13) and its delayed telecast is expected to be at least on the following Sunday (October 20) on ABS-CBN.

With much of a surprise, for the first time since 2012, IBC 13 was nominated more than once — seven to be exact (excluding the Best TV Station):

  • ASK TV: Artihan, Sayawan at Kantahan for Best Variety Show
  • SMAC Pinoy Ito! for Best Musical Variety Show*
  • Cooltura for Best Travel Show
  • Talents Academy for Best Children Show
  • JB Paguio on Bukas May Kahapon for Best New Male TV Personality*
  • Kris Tiffany Janson and Pat Natividad on Cooltura for Best Travel Show Host
  • Fred Lorinz Bacay, Janella Glissman, Zandi Gabriel Miranda and Anastacia Paronda on Talents Academy for Best Children Show Hosts

Their nominations are now one more than TV5. Two of the aforementioned items in asterisk were associated with SMAC Television Production, which also produces three other nominations (classified under NET 25, though they no longer air there):

  • Bee Happy, Go Lucky for Best Variety Show
  • Klinton Starto for Best New Male TV Personality
  • Rayantha Leigh for Best New Female TV Personality

Brief History of SMAC

Okay, what does SMAC stand for?

It does not stand for SM Advantage Card but Social Media Artists and Celebrities. As it says on the tin, their talents are hired in the age of social media since 2013. In their official website, they also have their own charity program called Gawad Kabataan Pilipinas.

In its early years, their series was exclusively online through their YouTube channel Celebrity Channel TV (now defunct).

However, to further expand their presence and recognition, they had to sign a deal with a TV network. In 2018, they have a TV deal with Net 25. During their stay at the UHF network, their finished products include the Koreanovela-inspired teleserye “Prodigal Prince” and “Galing ng Pinoy.

Enter Ms. Kat de Castro as the boss of Old Balara earlier this year, the production company moved and christened a new slogan for the station as the Kaibigan Network.

In March, they aired the first teleserye in their new home called Bukas May Kahapon. Then, they aired reality competitions: My Ultimate Modelo and Artista Teen Quest. They also have a Sunday special there but not at the evening.

Without a doubt, SMAC’s portfolio is on local entertainment content and not sports nor foreign programming. (Please do not request for tokusatsu shows and animes.)

For those who missed any highlights of any of their shows, there is an official (current) YouTube channel.

Current Plans

New Noontime Show

SMAC is planning to air their own noontime variety show titled Yes Yes Yow, marking the revival of broadcasting that particular genre for Channel 13 since Chowtime Na! ended in 2006.

Last August 17, an audition post was published on their official Facebook page:

Later on, they are scouting other talents for named segments.

Deductively speaking, their noontime show will be hosted by Generation Z for Generation Z. They will premiere this Monday (October 14) and will air weekdays (i.e. no Saturdays) from noon to 1:00 p.m.

However, bear in mind the following warnings:

  • It may not be live. Their initial audition bill suggests that the show might be taped. If it is true, it is considered one sign of easy program mortality.
  • The potential hosts will have to adjust. Teenagers — especially, below 18 — who auditioned and are qualified by the talent scouting entity will have to balance their studies and work.
  • The TV network airs at low power. The ongoing financial and operational crunch in the network has led to transmitting power to be downgraded since April 2017. In addition, some cable providers delisted IBC 13 from their lineup, even though it would violate the must-carry rule. For sure, they could do a live stream on their official handles.
  • There is barely public recognition. If you tell the general public about this program, they will just shrug dismissively since the respondents — even on its intended market — are almost all accustomed to belong in either of the two of the South Triangle Duopoly. In addition, running this show in an hour affirms another greater risk of program mortality since the giants’ end theirs at 2:30 (for GMA) and 3:30 or later (for ABS-CBN). (Although, the latter sentence is excusable due to their capability.)

Whatever it takes, whatever it happens, we wish them the very best.

Other Shows

Other offerings of SMAC happening this month include:

  • Sayaw Pilipinas (premiering October 19, every Saturday, 4-5 p.m.)
  • Pare Kuys (also premiering on October 19, every Saturday, 5:30-6 p.m.)

SMAC Pinoy Ito returns on its third season in a new timeslot every Sunday, 5-6 p.m. beginning October 20.

Conclusion

Although they may certainly not win the nominations this Sunday (we’re not going to say any further reasons), we hope that their nominations are good enough as badges of their honor.


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Photo courtesy of SMAC Television Production/ TrendBloggeronline.com

Timow’s Turf Midyear Report 2019


JULY already?

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

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

(more…)

The Turf’s PHTV Insight for Holy Week 2019


[NOTE: This post will be updated as more developments come in until Saturday, April 13. Observers and recorders during this week are already designated and they already know what to do.]

Christ in Gethsemane.jpg

Christ in Gethsemane, Heinrich Hoffmann (1886)

DESPITE our committed projects this year, the Turf is finally here to herald the insights for this Holy Week.

This respite serves as an opportunity of rest, reunion and self-reflection during the scorching heat. On that period, it is an unsurprisingly annual opportunity for maintenance of rail transits in Metro Manila — one of them will suspend its operation due to the degraded condition.

This is also the time of the year when a media monitor criticizes their subdued programming (read: sleeping) while here and the other parts of the world are on fire when they need certain attention (whether it is about their leaders’ antics or threatening natural disasters).

Main Points

  • During the Triduum, free-to-air channels, particularly on the VHF, have subdued and special programming or they can sign off (CNN Philippines is on during cable but not on FTA). There are no newscasts but are supplied with longer news advisories.
  • Aside from subdued program schedules on free-to-air channels, advertising is also limited during the Triduum (expect, the ad nauseam repeat of Nissin, Executive Optical, etc.). In addition, no political ads are allowed to be aired on the first two days minimal but the networks would do it all three.
  • Sectarian-owned UHF networks don’t usually sign off (save UNTV for the first two days). In some of their active newscasts during the period, the term “Holy Week” is considered taboo to utter for certain denominations and is substituted with another.Year of the Youth.jpg
  • The year 2019 is designated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines as the “Year of the Youth,” as part of the Quincentennial in two years.
  • This might be ABS-CBN’s last, as their franchise will expire next March that coupled with President Rodrigo Duterte’s consistent tirades and pledge to object their renewal with varying (and mostly, absurd) justifications.

Chronological Order

Palm Sunday (April 14)

The rest of the networks will continue with their usual schedule while the NBA Playoffs begin, which is no big deal for current rights holders (S+A and BTV).

Fr Jerry Orbos

Fr. Jerry Orbos, who inspired the faithful with his Moments column every Sunday in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, is present every year during the Palm Sunday recollection on PTV.

The annual live family recollection from Meralco Theater in Pasig, organized and sponsored by the Mission Angels, will still broadcast on PTV 4. The main celebrant, Fr. Jerry Orbos will show up this year and we are certain that he will make an anecdote in light of his recent diagnosis of stage 2 lung cancer and the subsequent chemotherapy last November. (We hope to God to give him strength throughout his endeavor.)

The Weekdays (April 15-17)

Variety Show’s Response

Noontime entertainment shows would steer aside their primary purpose for a more serious (and sometimes, wholesome) Lenten drama.

For Eat Bulaga, the progenitor of this initiative since 1981, their annual presentations this year come with a twist; the posts in social media (from their page, the Dabarkads or their staff in TAPE) have hinted that their offerings are shot in Mountain Province, in General Santos City and in Japan.

For transparency purposes, the Dabarkads were drafted on which assigned day they will be stared.

Maureen Wroblewitz

Asia’s Next Top Model 5 winner, Maureen Wroblewitz, is admitted as a Dabarkad in Eat Bulaga last year. This means she will show her prowess in drama acting for this year’s Lenten special.

Tito Sotto is inclusive in the draft but he will not join due to his stint as Senate President.

Anjo Yllana, who is eligible for his third consecutive term as councilor for the 5th district in Quezon City, did not run this year — his brother, Polly, will. Thus, he will act on Holy Tuesday. Had he done so, his exposure during the campaign period could violate the Fair Elections Act.

For Maureen Wroblewitz, this is her debut — her first time — to shine in such drama acting. She will be with Anjo for “Biyaheng Broken Hearted.”

It’s Showtime will do likewise sans the transparency process. Their Tawag ng Tanghalan segment will be recorded; thus, they would end at their original (non-normalized) time of 3:30 p.m. On the other hand, Wowowin, their essentially one-upped rival, will obviously not partake.

Primetime

As always, newscasts on these days will cover the exodus from the Metro and the traffic situations in ports, expressways and thoroughfares of attractions.

At this moment, no teleseryes are premiering or wrapping up during this week. Pinoy Big Brother Otso is now under the first merged batch chapter but the question is: What will happen to them during the next three days when they are not on the air?

Paschal Triduum

Last year, Shalom’s Live 3-Day Retreat was supposed to air on IBC 13 but they decided to shift their broadcast to YouTube at lesser or no cost. Will they continue with their new platform this year or go on parallel with the old and ongoing rehabilitating network?

The services during the Triduum (i.e. The Mass with the Washing of the Feet, the Veneration of the Cross and the Easter Vigil) from SVD are broadcast on ABS-CBN.

Maundy Thursday (April 18)

Last year, TV5 reaired the previous day’s edition of SportsCenter Philippines but they did not cover anything throughout the holiday. It is more likely to follow this year.

Max Blanco and BF

Maxine Blanco, the 19-year-old UST student who succumbed to bone cancer, will be the subject of the interview by Fr. Orbos. The special will be aired this Maundy Thursday on ABS-CBN (before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper).

At 4:00 p.m., Fr. Orbos’ interview of Maxine Blanco, the struggled 19-year-old University of Santo Tomas student who succumbed to bone cancer last March 23, will be aired in the special “My Suffering is My Offering” on ABS-CBN.

By this evening, GMA would run with the best of Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho.

Good Friday (April 19)

TV5 (and its sister channel, 5Plus) is off throughout the day.

For the past few years, before the 7 Last Words, GMA airs the annual special of Power to Unite. Recently during the preceding quarter, the aforementioned religious program of Sis. Elvira Yap-Go is aired on IBC every weekday morning — which is deviation of what previous broadcasters, PTV and TV5 had practiced every week — as part of the revitalization under the auspices of the network president, Ms. Kat De Castro.

Would PTU continue their annual contractual obligation with GMA or be done at the same time with IBC?

At noon, the Seven Last Words will be discussed in detail for three hours. We should expect these discourse to emphasize or introduced by the youth (see the aforementioned main point).

On ABS, they will be delivered live at Christ the King Mission Seminary (exclusively under the Society of the Divine Word/Verbites) while GMA delivers it also live at Santo Domingo Church (exclusively under the Order of Preachers/Dominicans). IBC 13, which is solely taped and inclusive to any religious orders, already announced their 32nd annual iteration before Lent begins.

From midafternoon, the Jesuit Communication’s annual Holy Week tradition on ABS-CBN continues with “Sumasampalataya Ako,” presented by Cardinal Chito Tagle.

By near evening, CBN Asia presents, on their 25th anniversary, their Holy Week special: “Kublihan” on GMA.

Black Saturday (April 20)

As malls and some establishments opened on a regular schedule, religious programming in the morning and afternoon on that day are no longer present until the evening.

UNTV signs on again.

ABS-CBN’s NBA SabaDOS will not be aired this year; thus, this day will serve more of a movie house.

TV5 will resume to its original programming but there would be neither any games to exhibit nor SportsCenter Philippines.

By tonight, APT Entertainment will wrap up all the Lenten dramas for the year on GMA. This year’s drama is titled “The Journey,” starring Alden Richards and Max Collins.

While ABS wraps up the set of Triduum services, GMA’s last annual religious telecast is on the Way of the Cross from the Colosseum (spearheaded by Pope Francis) as IBC usually go overnight with El Shaddai’s Easter Vigil.

However, inside sources report this year that El Shaddai will deliver the healing message from Bro. Mike Velarde followed by the Liturgy itself.

That being said, ABS will not sign off throughout the early morning as they segue into O Shopping.

Easter Sunday (April 21)

Everything will be back to normal with some exceptions.

The Holy Week special from Bro. Bo Sanchez’s Kerygma TV that aired on ABS-CBN* will be re-aired on IBC.

At noon, ASAP and Sunday PinaSaya are usually pre-recorded since some mainstays are still on vacation. When they come back, the live performances resume next Sunday.

At 4:00 p.m., the Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican will be covered live on ANC, CNN Philippines and PTV. The Urbi et Orbi message and blessing immediately follows; CNN Philippines will continue to air this before delivering the first evening newscast since the Triduum. GMA will carry this as their last program for their broadcast day.

By this evening, IBC will usually wrap the broadcast day and this whole week with the inspiring sermons and hymns of joy and praise from the special edition of “Music and the Spoken Word.”

For ABS-CBN, it also marks the start of the new competition show — Idol Philippines — the third network to hold the Idol franchise and the second franchise to transcend three networks after Family Feud.


~ We hope that the observance of Holy Week will be in splendor and in serenity. ~


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Photos courtesy of CBCP News, Philippine Daily Inquirer, GMA Network, ABS-CBN

The Turf’s Opening Salvo for 2019


Crystal Ball 2019
IT’S HARD to imagine that the new year is the home stretch year of the 2010s.

In terms of geopolitics, we are certain that the United Kingdom will exit from the European Union in March. This, in turn, would add the consequential challenges for the remaining 27-member supranational and intergovernmental union’s parliamentary elections in May.

In Japan, we will witness the abdication of Emperor Akihito and accession of his heir apparent Crown Prince Naruhito, the first in almost two centuries.

In the United States, the new year will greet a challenging relationship between the split 116th Congress (a Democratic-controlled House and a Republican-controlled Senate) and President Donald Trump — in addition to the challenge for finding the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

In South America, Brazil has greeted the new year with the oath of the populist, right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro. While two of their neighbors, Bolivia and Argentina, will conduct their presidential elections as a litmus test on the continent’s political shift.

Last but not the least, three of the most populous nations of the world — India, Indonesia and Nigeria (in descending order) — will conduct their elections.

Here at home, we are certainly looking forward to two major events agenda: the midterm elections in May and the Southeast Asian Games in November.

While there are certainties in the world we live in, the smaller and specific ones, like our television industry, may or may not happen. It’s like our crystal ball.

The Turf’s PH Media Crystal Ball

The 5 Network

For this year, the Turf will prioritize T5N due to a myriad of confirmations and speculations.

In the bigger picture, their radio-TV franchise will expire this December. However, it seems that their renewal is on the rush in Congress. They’re probably doing it for negotiating to cover the aforementioned biennial sports meet.

What is certain for Reliance, particularly for this month, is that Hyper will be ONE Sports this January 9th and AksyonTV will be rebranded as 5Plus on the 13th, coinciding the new (44th) season of PBA.

In terms of the potential election coverage, they have ONE News to cover during the first five months. On the main channel, that’ll be another story. A tug-of-war would happen on the main channel between the prioritization of sporting events and the talent shortage in the news department.

 

ABS-CBN

Despite the success and praises last year for most netizens, it sacrificed certain parameters of self-restraint in favor of one of its talents. In addition, some of their excessive offers to a repatriate are not in touch with reality with their programming grid.

Though it would replicate the positive achievements this year, Mother Ignacia will now face the greatest threat but it’s not because of excessive offerings that won’t bear fruit or their “biased” election coverage. It’s their radio-television franchise, as well.

Ill-wishers and die-hard supporters of the President Rodrigo Duterte are pushing to block the franchise renewal and would try to insinuate them to agree with his agenda. In their own words, the network might operate their TV and radio transmission as their last full calendar year (since the franchise expires on March 2020).

If that happens, the 6.3 million TVplus set-top boxes would render useless but they already know what will be offered on iWant, their video-on-demand service, just in case.

Not to mention, the first-time use and access of their soundstage in Bulacan could be hindered due to the right of way issue.

GMA

In terms of news, they won’t be a problem — especially during the election coverage with their snazzy augmented reality (AR) technology.

In terms of entertainment, the network would have to deal with them without Regine Velasquez; for the nth time, take no surprise if Lilybeth Rasonable remains in charge and not admitting their shortcomings.

When it comes to digitalization and conversion to HD to more genres of programs, we are all waiting but we are not getting surprised if they don’t due to their constant, unassailable braggadocio.

PTV

Reeling from the last year’s controversies, this government station will pretend to act impartially in covering the midterm election and then back to their usual business.

With the national budget for this year unresolved, marking the first time in 9 years to operate under a re-enacted budget, other businesses in Congress could get killed with limited plenary session time for their campaign period.

One of them happened to be the People’s Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) bill. The proposed law is a key legislative measure promised during the President’s maiden State of the Nation Address, superseding the current charter of this network. If it does get killed, the next (18th) Congress in July will have to start over again.

IBC

While many would be impressed with the new facilities last year, the network remained a “running gag” with regard to their privatization process.

Admittedly, it will never be easy to lift the perennial roadblock but Kat De Castro is inspecting ocularly on transmitting facilities and studios across the country and studying the aspects.

With her remaining tenure of six months as per the pertinent paper, the assessments and perusals might not formulate the solutions and materialize with the shortest amount of time.

Radio

While the aforementioned network’s radio counterparts will maintain as it is and others, two entities, which just renewed their franchises, will be under lookout alert for 2019:

  • The Manila Broadcasting Company was involved with privacy and infringement issues over two dismissed DJs from Love Radio 90.7 FM.
  • Like 105.9 FM (owned by Bright Star Broadcasting Network) had the symptoms of instability after the change last May. In specific terms, they observed the format shift, program shuffling and DJ’s lack of presence and seriousness. While Brigada has a prospective plan to end their instability by owning the frequency, their current owner refused to budge.

That said, just because they have renewed for another 25 years doesn’t mean they are free to be humiliated — ethically, financially and/or legally — and passed their blame on others. (Consider that as their New Year’s resolutions.)

Postscript

There are other networks that are not mentioned in this article because it won’t have any significant importance or move that will be unique for the new year.

Nonetheless, as always, the new year remains a mystery. Thus, plot twists will happen and any diversion can be interesting. The Turf will try to cover our best through our weekly roundup as we are on our full commitments.


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Photo courtesy of Pixabay, modified by the author