[#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…)

The Road to NCAA on GMA and the Foggy Foresight

IMAGINE YOURSELF back in time in the office, long before COVID-19 destroyed the normal ways of life. It was January 2020. You and your officemate conversed at the water dispenser in your office pantry about sports coverage in the post-Mother Ignacia era.

You: “Pare, gaano posible ba mag-cover ng sports ang GMA?” [Bro, how possible will GMA cover sports?]

Officemate: “Kapag lumilipad ang mga baboy.” [When pigs fly.] (sips water from his mug) 

Unfortunately for the officemate, the Kamuning Network got a sportscasting contract and his reaction would’ve been spitted either from his mouth or his nose.

The Philippines’ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is set to tip-off at least by next month (on June 13). In anticipation of their first domestic sportscasting foray, GMA has done much to promote the Grand Old League (thanks to bottomless windfall arising from the loss of their competitor).

As of this publication, GTV is airing the primer series, “Rise Up Stronger: The Road to NCAA Season 96” (presented by Martin Javier and Sophia Senoron) to mark their hype of the first full-time sportscasting foray of GMA Network (as a corporate entity) since the 1996 NBA Finals that crowned Michael Jordan from the Chicago Bulls as the MVP. 


The State and the Future of Franchised Programs in the Philippines

[Requested by JC Domondon with slight modification]

ON the Quarterly Open Pit (QuOP) a bit more than a week ago, I whimsically tinkered about the fate of five international franchised programs that had a run here in the Philippines.

Of the five TV show franchises I selected, three were on the recent hands of ABS-CBN and one each that used to be on GMA and on TV5.

In the past 10 years, the most-talked media conglomerate had the virtual monopoly on these specific types of programs because they have the money to afford it and in return, make better yields.

The library of program franchises that Mother Ignacia had in the past decade is split into two: the game show group and the reality/competition show (R/CS) group.

The GS group contains Bet on Your Baby, Deal or No Deal, Family Feud, and Minute to Win It.

This particular cluster, save Bet on Your Baby, was mired with criticism for having their non-committed stars playing as contestants while barring ordinary folks for the same opportunity. As they knew the scheme, this group of shows was ditched before the decade ended in favor of the next group.

The R/CS group contains the likes of Pilipinas Got Talent, World of Dance and Your Face Sounds Familiar.

On that group, some of them made an offshoot from the regular editions like having teens’ and kids’ versions; such offshoots are counted as official versions.

Some of them were memorable (Pinoy Big Brother‘s live weekly eviction nights) and few would just be forgettable (Idol Philippines and their selection of judges).

In both groups, the most irksome of these is the eliciting humor for at least a few moments every episode from any of the hosting trinity (e.g. Billy Crawford, Luis Manzano and Robi Domingo).

I Can See Your Voice (season 2) and The Voice (Teens 2) were the last franchised programs that aired on free-to-air Channel 2 before getting interrupted by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the broadcast license denial. The latter was able to finish through the Kapamilya Channel with four co-champions (one for each coach); for the former is now in limbo after realizing how their first season lasted more than a year.


Who will get the ‘buried treasure’?

Now that Channel 2 is no more, it could mean the division of spoils — for that matter, the unfinished and yet-to-be-started contracts between the elephant in the room and the respective production companies — between the remaining, qualified rivals (TV5 and GMA.)

Although there are online platforms like Kapamilya Online Live to utilize as their digital TV broadcasting project is prohibited, the production companies of franchised programs USUALLY PREFER free-to-air coverage, as far as the Turf is concerned.

Why? The primary reason for that is to get the maximum, possible reach; second is for copyright issues.

Anyway, what would be the pros and cons of Kamuning and Reliance on getting that precious booty?


Logically speaking, the sole TV giant from Timog Avenue is next in line since they have an equal reach as its former competitor. The track record there was conservative. With the declaration of the corporation’s operation “debt-free,” it should be another logical parameter that this network should get that treasure.

There are obvious setbacks:

  • As they are not a KBP member for a bit more than 17 years now, this would turn off viewers as the network accept unlimited ad loads without regard to the attention span of the viewers. (No wonder, KMJS viewers keep complaining over this.)
  • Entertainment executives in Kamuning seem to be contented with what they have (i.e. resting on their laurels) and are hesitant to take the risks.
  • The reality shows they desperately pitted against the former rival tend to be “original” — like Centerstage and The Clash. With the tables turned and they are given the offer, will Direk Louie Ignacio decide to give in?

In case you don’t know, before the quarantine period, the network acquired the franchise rights to have our version of South Korea’s famous Sunday variety show Running Man.

Regardless, placing in their own hands would incite an online dumpster fire between staunch Kapuso loyalists and displaced solid Kapamilya viewers blending in.


TV5, which gained programming momentum since last month, could continue where Dos left off since they would reach out their hands for displaced talents and personalities like a Good Samaritan. There’s a solid nutcase who presented a strong case of the network to be the new home for Big Brother with improvements and rectification of the errors of the ways the previous network has done for 15 years.

One big challenge: When PBA resumes action at least this October, such shows would have to wait until at least 9:00 p.m. on the affected game days.

When it comes to blending in, they wouldn’t mind unlike in the case of GMA.

Another Option and Afterthought

In both cases, this may not be materialized for now because of the prevailing prohibition of gathering a live audience and/or walk-in auditions.

If some learners who are not ready in adapting to the new normal in education called for an “academic freeze,” then why not have a “programming freeze” for this specific genre?

That being said, if someone would ask if we will have our local version of The Masked Singer, then the answer to this question, for now, is we just don’t know and shrug. (But I heard PEP.ph last Thursday that TV5 secure the rights in partnership with VIVA and air it next month. Anyway, best of luck.)

NOTE: This is the third and last post of the very dense week of post-mortem thoughts on the post-Kapamilya Philippine television. In fact, it filled up all the slots that are calculated for the whole month and the next scheduled post would be published in October. Urgent topic proposals that happened or will happen for the rest of the month will depend on our discretion.

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State of the Philippine Television Address 2020

[Requested by Zyle]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post is intended for the effects of the events in this year to date.]


This new decade is supposed to mark the optimism of waves of the future but instead, we enter waves of the pandemic.

Noong nagsimula ang taon at ang dekada nito, ang outlook natin ay naka-focus sa uncertainty sa pagkawala ng isang malaking media conglomerate nang dahil sa marupok na ego ng isang makapangyarihang tao.

Well, nangyari na or in one police report turned into a meme, “WALA NA, FINISH NA.”

Yumanig na at nagbago ang landscape ng pambansang telebisyon.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now in the post-Mother Ignacia era. Kung may “new normal” dahil sa pandemya, ganun din sa nasabing industriya.

Pagkatapos ng ilang dekada ng digmaan ng mga numero sa South Triangle, natigil na ang putukan, este, ang pag-crunch ng data sa Kantar and Nielsen. Sa entertainment section ng mga pahayagan at online websites ay nakapahinga din sa wakas.

The era of a three-legged stool analogy — showing their strong suits in their particular genre — is now archaic.


The Obstructionist Institutions to Innovation

The National Telecommunications Commission, who ordered the shutdown of ABS-CBN under the undue influence from Solicitor General Jose Calida, has yet to learn the lessons not just from the flaws of what the Lopezes did but from the Tiengs’ 11 months prior regarding the exclusivity of their own channels. Hanggang ngayon, hindi pala gumawa ng IRR o final stance tungkol sa conditional access systems (CAS).

Little did they know, the one-two punch decision creates a dilemma of whether their target date of the analog switch-off in 2023 will proceed as planned or will it be pushed back. Pero, wag kalimutan na we are the last countries in Southeast Asia to do so.

For some, you would say: “Anong punto nito kung meron namang Netflix, iflix, iWant, etc?”

While many will call you for being a “privileged” person, I cannot blame you for getting the point.

That being said, I believe that from those 12 prolonged, premeditated hearings a nd their unsurprised “cooking show” outcome plus a post-vote plan of action by the “Gang of Four” to continue their humiliation by property takeover in a Zoom meeting that was caught on the record has realized that the 18th Congress is an impediment for broadcasting innovation.

Their collective analog mindset — and the deliberate singling out — has proven to us na hindi talaga tayo handa for dissemination about digital terrestrial television. Sa palagay natin, hindi ito dadalhin ang mga isyu na nito sa mga budget interpellations against the Department of Information and Communications Technology for 2021.


Hesitant VHF Survivors

Hindi madali ang sumusunod sa yapak ng Dos. Habang natuto tayo sa kanilang pinakamahusay na kasanayan, wag sanang kalimutan ang leksyon mula sa kanilang mga pagkakamali.

It’s not easy to step into Channel 2’s shoes; while we learn from the best practices, we should also learn the errors of their ways.

Marami ang pagkukulang sa mga dating kalaban pero matigas pa rin ang ulo, even if we remove the major factor of this pandemic.

Sa dating karibal sa Kamuning, sila na ang may korona at advertising money bilang dominant media conglomerate pero hanggang ngayon, ang diskarte ng pananalapi at operasyon nila ay konserbatibo. In other words, they’re just complacent or playing safe until they wait for Mother Ignacia to fall to its knees.

When teleserye filming resumes with safety measures, who would benefit under the current state of the industry? Hindi po ba sila.

Noong Hunyo 26, pormal nang nag-launch ang kanilang Affordabox habang itinigil na ang pagbenta ng TV Plus na nakapagbenta ng 9 million units sa limang taon. Ang expectation ng GMA New Media nila ay 600,000 units ang ibebenta — pero dahil sa positibong reviews at dahil sa bagong features, baka sa katapusan ng taon o dalawa, aabot ng 6 million — putting a zero right after the initial figure.

It would have been better if they had launched when they got their franchise renewed three years ago. Moreso, they should have gone up the ante by establishing a full-time sports division — separate but equal status as to their respected News and Public Affairs. Yun nga lang, hindi pwede maging full-time si Chino Trinidad kasi kailangan din siyang mag-operate at mag-manage sa Pilipinas HD. If I were Kenneth Duremdes, the commissioner of MPBL, I would rule out this network as the new home for the league.

They may have been turned 70 this year (59 if on TV) but still the working axiom remains: “Once they played safe, they’ll always play safe.”

On the other hand, to the rescue si Manny V. Pangilinan para sa mga displaced talents to TV5. Let’s face it, his network is a member of KBP just like Dos was.

It sounds promising, had not for the perennial internal organizational drawbacks. Unlike GMA and its sturdy yet so stubborn pillars, the turnover in their organization chart happens more often.

Their local entertainment division, effectively dissolved in 2016, will be restored pero as one die-hard fan of Channel 5 would advise that they should hire technical crew first (e.g. electronic communications engineers, 1st class radio telephone operators) before writers.

Noong Enero, they had the honor of covering the 24th Asian Television Awards for the first time in the country as host and when he got the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television, napuno ng puntirya sa comments section ng Facebook na wala namang kinalaman sa TV o kaya’y walang ginawa ng tama sa Singko.

Now that the chapter is sealed, the mindset sa pagiging non-revenue driver ang Channel 5 must come to an end, whether he likes it or not. Kamakailan lang po, sila na ang official broadcaster ng NBA at ONE Championship.

Yun nga lang, expect grumbling of certain factions of the existing solid Kapatid: those who wanted AniMEGA to return, those who wanted the PBA to resume, those who are tuning to Idol Raffy Tulfo and two fans who want The Amazing Race Philippines to have a third season.

I believe they will do better and learn from that after that scrounging criticisms. Boss MVP, the whole Philippine TV community is now rooting for you.

Last but not the least, aminado ni Krizette Laureta Chu (isa sa mga constructive supporters ng administrasyon) na mahusay ang mga writers ng Dos na pwedeng maisalba ang PTV mula sa pagiging propaganda machine ng Palasyo for almost half a century. Ito ang dapat na ginawa noong unang SONA niya para maging editorially independent at impartial. Pagkatapos ng apat na taon sa Kwatro, na-improve po ba ang overall image ng PTV o the same pa rin?

No wonder, Mr. Jules Guiang snapped out and expose the double standards on the government channel he was working on. He unravelled the truth on the broken system-cum-real company culture in Vasra that ran nearly half a century. Mr. Guiang, your honesty and bravery has inspired us.

If PTV deserved this kind of audacity, then don’t get me started on IBC 13.


Educational TV

Ang kasalukuyang pandemya’y apektado ang edukasyon. With the school year starting in our country by the near end of this month, blended learning will be the mode of public instruction, according to the Department of Education, so that no learners are left behind. However, the survey says otherwise: modular learning.

We all know the Knowledge Channel was two decades ahead of its time and they are compliant with the prescribed curriculum. However, some of you have sown to disdain for connecting the dots despite that you have watched them (hypocritically) at least once during your childhood days. Few of you were taught to despise because of your implanted brand hatred since birth.

Well, then, last June, I published about the prospects of IBC 13 into a full-time educational channel — from what PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar initially proposed — if the promised privatization of that channel fails to speed up.

The pace of my post was set for a year but we are rushing in a couple of weeks until classes begin. We are not certain if their endeavor will be successful considering the failing infrastructure and financial standing of the tail-end of the VHF spectrum.

Noong Hunyo, pagkatapos ng 28 taon, nagpaalam na ang El Shaddai sa Trese — it was really a religious programming institution.

While The Manila Times loves to jab at ABS even after the media conglomerate’s “death,” they left out the “real opposite” that is currently running at low-power and neglected, which most of us barely even notice. Since two weeks ago, Hataw Tabloid published an ongoing series by Ms. Rose Novenario calling the management in Capitol Hills (no longer in Old Balara) as “Mega web of corruption” and she is very doubtful if this opportunity will materialize and prosper.

But I digress, the people who benefit from this are those who have that channel on Cignal or your provincial cable. If you have a digital TV box, needless to say, you might not get IBC but instead, you’ll get Solar Learning, which is on the test broadcast.


Eyes on 2021 and Beyond

The frequencies of VHF Channel 2 and UHF 23 in the Metro might be ready for auction to “worthy applicants.”

Sabi ng isang business report ng the Philippine Daily Inquirer, mga 6 hanggang 12 buwan ang kailangan bago maghanap ng bagong may-ari ng frequency.

Dalawang buwan bago natigil ang ere ng Dos at Bente-Tres, nailantad ang expose mula sa isang AM radio commentator (hindi po galing DZMM) na “done deal” ang kapalaran sa Mother Ignacia at ibibigay kung sino sa mga matalik na kaibigan ng nakaupo sa Malacanang.

Kung ibibigay yan, lalo lang iikli ang waiting time like negotiating with a fixer. If that is true, then, well, so much for their “law is law” mantra.

When it’s done, will they have the same audience impact as the former tenant has performed for almost 34 years? The answer is “We do not know. We will all see.” Less than two years may be considered a short time but such amount of time is a pretty big deal to watch out for.

If ABS-CBN finally gets a franchise under the next presidential administration (at least, H2 2022), Mother Ignacia might have to wait until the new holder of the franchise of Channel 2 expires or fold up after suffering losses or voluntarily cede the frequency to its pre-2020 state. That’s a three-way road they will encounter. Picking up the pieces is another story.

As former ANC boss, Jing Magsaysay, best puts out: Content creation is a whole different ball game.

As of this moment, the remaining drama units of Dos are now pitching their products to the former rivals — financially-healthy man o “walking dead.” Whatever the fate might be, best of luck and tuloy po ang pagbabantay.

I am through, thank you. Have a good day.


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Hostage Crisis Reporting: Have We Learned Anything About It?

[Requested by Gian Paolo Dela Cruz but modified]

LAST MONDAY (not yesterday), a disgruntled, former security guard entered his former assignment in a mall in Greenhills, San Juan City to take hostage for about nine hours. The motive of the frustrated perpetrator is alleged labor conditions. No one got killed in that saga after his surrender but ended up one injured.

However, not all netizens were happy about the handling of the hostage crisis as if they never learned anything at all from what happened on August 23, 2010. For one, the spectators’ response for using social media live stream “as if it’s a mall show by their favorite artist.” (quote from a Twitter user, not mine) Another is when the media gives into the perpetrator’s demands to hold a press conference to amplify his grievances.

Although this is obviously of less intensity than a decade ago, treating a hostage as a news item is still never treated equally as dealing with regard to petty crimes or accidents.  Hostages have motives and demands from perpetrators but the key difference, they are definitely violent in nature.

I can recall about three notorious high-profile hostages and I learned they were covered on the live newscast.

  • In 2002 in Pasay City, Diomedes Tablos suddenly snatched four-year-old Dexter Balala in the bus terminal and pointed an ice pick to his neck. The flawed confrontation approach by the city’s police force through open fire after the perpetrator stabbed the child led to the death of both the perpetrator and the boy.
  • In 2007, in front of Manila City Hall, Jun Ducat held hostage 32 children and 3 teachers from his daycare center inside the bus. Following the negotiations from the police and even a senator, he released the hostages and surrendered peacefully.
  • Three years later, in Quirino Grandstand, a sacked police officer took hostage 23 tourists (mostly from Hong Kong) on their tour bus. The fumbled operations — from sledgehammers to — were shown on live newscast ended up in carnage with eight of the hostages (all Hong Kongers) killed.

As a result of that major fumble that became an international embarrassment, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) made a matrix of how to handle hostage-taking situations from different institutions and authors who media experts.

Therefore, both the KBP, non-KBP members and now, online news sites should synthesize from that matrix and formulate a harmonized and consistently adaptive policy amidst the ever-rapidly-changing technological milieu.

Have we learned anything? Most articles and reactions after the past week’s incident inclined into one answer: we don’t. We don’t blame about that response; it was a validating point about short-term memories on our collective psyche since we are too much prioritized with other important events like the coronavirus pandemic and the national issues (e.g. POGOs and the franchise renewal of a major TV network) with the latter supported further with the “he said/she said” event horizon — which it can no longer escape to finding out which side is telling the truth.

FINAL THOUGHT: With regard to the past week’s incident, the perpetrator who must be in bars right now should’ve gone to Reliance and explain his grievance over to Raffy Tulfo. But I guess it’s too late to set his mind straight and sane before seeking that alternative.



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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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Timow’s Special QuOP (No. 7): Government Public Service Announcements

[Specially requested by Jenine Shiongshu]

IF YOU are a 90s kid, you would probably watch some public service announcements during breaks on TV and radio from our government agencies disseminating either their initiatives or ways in mitigating in the midst of a crisis like cancer or El Nino.




At the end, the plug would usually append with the statement of “A message from [insert concerned executive department], OPS-PIA, KBP and this station” either spoken and/or flashed.

Nowadays, commercial televisions and radio stations no longer air government PSAs except those from the Department of Health (DOH) sans the aforementioned, formulaic, concluding statement. The remaining ones are aired on state-owned TV and radio stations (e.g. PTV 4, IBC 13, RP1 738 kHz and FM2 104.3).

Another note is that the Office of Press Secretary (OPS) is now under the Presidential Communications Group.

In terms of domains of governance, health is usually the least politicized — well, had not counted for the domino effect from the Dengvaxia scandal that lead to rise of anti-vaccination movements and consequently, the nationwide measles outbreak. Hence, they are the most trusted department for such a persuasion rather than those in public works or in justice.

As the Turf try to connect the dots with the imminent federalization of the country as part of The Filipino Decides series, would the federal government compel KBP and media players to disseminate their policies just like the way it was before?

Maybe, maybe not; well, time and available funding will tell.

Since this is an open pit. Anyone can discuss off this topic.

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The Decline of Actual Children’s Programming

[Requested by Albert Brian Gimao, originally requested by Diego Cordero]

Think of the Children

All right, I know what you can hear from this image. Especially to Tristan Marco San Andres.

THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN done last month when classes in schools began but then, others (and this author) wanted other topics but they wanted to give in. However, given the bigger chance of class suspensions during the rainy season, especially during this closing month; well they got their wish.

Evolution of Children’s Programming and Current Challenges

In the early days, one can associate children’s programming with a live studio audience, puppetry, live-action segments (which can be entertaining, educational or both) and Western cartoons that are catered to that specific audience. As preferences evolved over time, they include anime.

Back then, it was aired on the morning and afternoon on weekdays and much more on weekends when kids are not in school.

Considering the bloated number of young students and the slow construction of school facilities that force its classes to schedule in shifts, this should be a normal response for all networks but not much displayed in 2018.

Programming prioritization is also part of the network’s business decision. Remember what happened to ABS-CBN’s Team Animazing in 2016? They were planned to air a basketball anime, Kuroko’s Basketball, but then Game 7 of the NBA Finals called up and they had no choice but to air the latter to satiate the fans who have no cable.

The day after, Magandang Buhay extended by half an hour and aired Kapamilya Blockbusters afterward, effectively shelving and ending the block.

TV5 had AniMEGA but went into a two full calendar year hiatuses in 2014 and 2016; they had dealt with AniPlus but their programming grid is still not a smooth sailing due to sports cravings, which eventually lead to their deal with ESPN last year. Currently, they still have Dreamworks, Marvel and Disney block but in reruns fearing for more in their core passion.

Thus, only GMA survived but From the Tube mulled to end the Astig Authority block. Loyal fans would consider it “blasphemy” but he defended the proposal as it was considered repetitive and perverted as, suggestively, the block of programs cut very important and supporting scenes and at the same time, it pushes more ad loads as the network is not part of — pessimistically and realistically, will never return to — KBP since the network’s defection in 2003.

If one was not happy with the Big 3 or its digital counterparts, then, they should subscribe to cable but then, cable television is not immune to this decline as the first half of this year witnessed the end of Hero and Toonami Southeast Asia.

What’s the motive of the pullout behind these preceding paragraphs? It’s all about their psychological culture of business and its players. The rights licensing and holding period for a season hindered one’s aspiring shows to be aired. In addition, they need to scout dubbers to understand the viewers.

Mobile Migration

Of course, the primary culprit behind the fall would be the preferential platform of entertainment has been shifted to mobile and the rise of streaming services (such as Netflix) aside from pirated sites.

Long Overdue but Toothless

In July 2012, the long overdue implementing rules and regulations of the Children’s Television Act of 1997 (Republic Act 8370) was certified.

However, five months before that, the red-colored rated SPG in MTRCB is introduced to complete the overhaul of the television rating system from October 2011.

The use (or abuse) of that rating, reviewed per episode basis, rendered ineffective to enforce the minimum requirement of 15% of daily total airtime for children’s programming as provided by law, but that’s not the only factor.

In addition to JC Domondon’s in-depth report, it gave us a loophole on how to comply — under digital television transition (due to complete in 2023) — when they have a specialty channel in their encrypted and exclusive digital boxes.



In conclusion, if you ask which networks now maintain children’s programming? You might answer denominationally-backed VHF channels. It’s no wonder Anak TV Awards perenially bestowed NET 25 constantly and bannered them so proudly.

The end…

Except, what if you are still not getting over? What would have happened if the audience-intended block has been revived in 2018? What would be the consequences?

Back to the introduction, students whose classes are finished or got suspended in the afternoon would be frustrated for arbitrary deviation of the start time of the reinstated kid-friendly block due to one-uppance between Vice Ganda of It’s Showtime and Willie Revillame of Wowowin in terms of shenanigans and losing track of time for others.

Who will lose out? The cast and production staff of afternoon teleseryes. What would happen to the major networks with its reinstatement? They’ll lose advertising revenue; they’ll be worse off.

Would PTV set an example as they are supposed to be a public/state broadcaster where they should emulate the law? They are about to put a stepping stone with Sammy and Jimie premiering on August 12 as part of the China TV Theatre package.

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Of It’s Showtime and of Our Traditional Media’s Time Consciousness

[Requested by Albert Brian Gimao]
THEY SAY, time is of the essence.
However, in the past weeks, ABS-CBN’s It’s Showtime went into overtime as late as almost 4:00 p.m. and consequentially pushed the remainder of the day’s lineup later than usual after Wildflower finished airing.
This case was beyond the two reasonable excuses why some programs start late or were ditched, such as a fast-pacing game going overtime (e.g. the triple overtime in PBA between Ginebra and Rain or Shine) and rollercoaster-cum-circus of political engagements — logic-spinning Palace press conference, grandstanding congressional hearings and off-the-cuff presidential remarks in that order.
While we point the fingers to Vice Ganda over excessive bantering as other include the inferences of more ad loads (even though a true member of KBP) and the accounting of agonizing rush hour traffic in Metro Manila, another reason of that “experiment” was an attempt to derail the successful afternoon teleserye across Timog Avenue, Ika-6 na Utos, which ends this coming week.
Another claim that ABS’ attempt to stop the network war is TV Patrol‘s futile match to 24 Oras due to the stamped bias by President Rodrigo Duterte but this can be reasonably dismissed as ludicrous and then, the latter fought fire with fire.
While time check is obviously a must for radio to its listeners, that’s another story on television.
Historically, RPN wore the iconic digital clock on the bottom left of the screen with “0” in the hour instead of “12.” Currently, PTV wore the clock when the program is running; GMA 7 displayed the time on an hourly basis for a minute while its sister channel, News TV, wore their watch when a news program or an extensive news event is covered. On cable, ABS-CBN News Channel displays it on their ticker when a program or a live special coverage runs.
On May 15, 2013, then-President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act 10535 as the latest step to curb the chaotic timekeeping. While the law remains in force, his successor did not exemplify the spirit of the law by arriving late before his aforementioned engagements, given his body clock expressively as a night owl.
The sad truth of the implementation is that it only complies synchronization with the atomic clocks over PAGASA-DOST and over Greenwich but it does not instill our people’s importance of discipline on doing away the inherent age-old habit of tardiness.
Back to the case of It’s Showtime, the network management, Direk Bobet Vidanes and the Showtime gang resolved the issue in an “emergency meeting” but then, it restored to its old (recent) ways. As Holy Week is lurking in the horizon — where their Lenten drama specials would be aired in lieu of all entertaining segments save Tawag ng Tanghalan — we should not be complacent.
While the seasonal noontime drama’s running time is fixed, the live singing competition would offset and end up to the same state of ending at merienda time.

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Featured photo courtesy of Regular.li

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…)