PBA

[#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…)

For the 3rd time, PBA trounces the Olympics on TV5


The Tokyo 2020(+1) Olympics will be the bluest in history. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Games was postponed for a year and due to threats of mutating variants, no spectators — foreign or local — will be admitted to watch the action and to support their athletes. Some important traditions — from the opening, the competition proper and until the closing — are modified to prevent the spread of the virus.

NINETEEN (19) INDIVIDUALS — competing in 11 sports — form as one Team Philippines (PHI), as they aim for the first, elusive Olympic gold medal to cheer the country up in these gloomy times. 

The delayed Tokyo Olympics will finally open this Friday (July 23) amidst no spectators; albeit, preliminary competitions have started today for football and softball.

For TV5, this is the third time — fifth, if you include the Winter Games of Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 — they acquired the broadcast rights through Dentsu. However, this has been again obscured because the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has just tipped off its 46th season as they try to go back to normal as they can, despite the recent internal controversies and viewership dissatisfaction these past few days. 

Unlike the NBA, our most cherished domestic league seemed to disrespect or refuse to yield to the sacred period of this international multi-sporting event. (Recently, Team USA’s tune-up exhibition games have gone bonkers with some upset losses before the competition.)

According to our Monthly Media Survey conducted just last week, the respondents were nearly unanimous (88%) that the network prioritized PBA over this two-week-long international quadrennial (in simple terms: every four years) meet.

But they are not the only league that would crash them this year, it clashed with the inaugural professional season of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) where they are playing in Ilocos Norte. Effectively, this is a juggling act for the sports department in the Reliance/Novaliches.

Before the 16 days of action in the Land of the Rising Sun officially begins, let’s take a glimpse of the two previous Summer Games TV5 has recently handled.

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Timow’s Turf Midyear Report 2021


[Updated October 22, 2021]

ONE YEAR AGO today, the House of Representatives triggered a mercy shot on Mother Ignacia, completing the President’s premeditated plot that was four years in the making. The repercussions triggered around the national TV industry amidst the global pandemic. 

For GMA Network, it’s given them inevitable crowning glory and a free pass.

For TV5, it triggered the execution of the revival of local entertainment after four years.

For CNN Philippines, it signaled a pivotal moment for aiming for serious, in-depth news and current affairs.

For the state-owned and controlled media entities (PTV and IBC), an urge to change their paradigms and compete with them. 

But did it work out well?

We are now past the midpoint of 2021 — the first full year without the trailblazer, a time to restore from the effects of the pandemic and a resolution to adapt to better normal and reformation of their respective image. 

For the TV industry, is there life after Mother Ignacia? If so, how would we rate them?

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The Influence of Masa and Beyond: Can There Be a Change in Primetime Landscape?


[Requested by MJH]

AFTER a hard day’s work and a light dinner, you decided to slouch on the couch or bed and turn the remote on and flip your favorite show on the small screen. Even if you’re working from home, you might need some time to be recharged and entertained.

This is defined as the prime time wherein adults are their main target audience. From the marketing perspective, prime time is where the shows have the highest rating and their advertising rates are a bit more than 100% than the daytime. Hence, a big deal for the business-minded.

In a universal consensus, primetime starts after the national newscast where the audience is mostly at home and ends before the late-night news. The Philippines follows such a convention — on weeknights, at least.

Philippine Primetime TV B.C. (Before Corona)

Since the 1990s, the two networks from South Triangle had been under a heated matchup. At the turn of this millennium, we got used to the present formula of three daily teleseryes after the 90-minute newscast and one Asianovela (divided for daily consumption) before the late-night newscast. For GMA, their primetime Asianovela runs from Monday to Thursday as they will not let go of their cemented Friday night institution, Bubble Gang.

Even for the past two years (2018-20), it was a fierce battle, when prime time began past 8 p.m., due to one of the noontime show’s lollygagging that could aid some Metro Manila commuters arriving at home to catch their favorite shows.

For weekends, after their respective newscasts, they’re dedicated to sitcoms (Saturdays), reality competition shows, drama anthologies (Saturdays) and a magazine show (Sundays). On Sundays, their primetime marked its endpoint with the late-night comedy talk show before the start of the looming workweek.

Under the New Normal

The fall of the most prominent TV network and the COVID-19 pandemic should’ve signaled the shift of the structure and the mindset of primetime TV, right? Well, not on weekdays but substantially on weekends.

In case you don’t know, Pepito Manaloto has ended its nearly decade-long Book 2 and won’t be back until the middle of July for its prequel. 

Mother Ignacia’s main cable channel and their blocktime on Channel 11 continued what they left during their 34-year-old free-to-air, standalone era; Kamuning didn’t change the weeknight structure but has separated shows for each day of the weekend. (At the moment, Catch Me Out PH on Saturday is suspended while on Sundays, beginning supposedly this Sunday, it would have been the premiere of Sing for Hearts but it is postponed and for the meantime, Sirkus will take its place.)

TV5’s Case

TV5, the Eager McBeaver of the mainstream free-to-air TV networks, tried to do differently than what the South Triangle Duopoly had ever done. (Hence, the recent jazzy, upbeat station ID here.)

Weekdays

From November 2020 to March 2021, they retried a new way in Primetime Todo with Paano ang Pangako? as the weeknight drama and the weekly drama on one particular day of the week that followed. The experiment lasted for three and a half months because they admitted behind the scenes that old habits die hard.

As of this publication, Channel 5 begins their weekday primetime earlier with Sing Galing and Niña Niño, where their combined timeslot is clashing against 24 Oras. Their newscast, Frontline Pilipinas airs an hour ahead of GMA’s renowned early evening newscast and lasts for an hour. Stepping into Perci Intalan’s shoes, the reason for their counterprogramming is that they knew that some people are depressed and annoyed with accustomed long newscasts especially on items over the gaslighting pronouncements from the Palace and the most obvious annoyance, exclusive showbiz news. When 8 p.m. strikes, the three teleseryes and one Asianovela of the once-competitor go on the air.

The aforementioned paragraph is applicable when no domestic sports (a.k.a. their sense of normalcy) are actively in play. Once the PBA — or imminently, the Gilas campaign on the last window of FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers — gets underway, Wednesday and Friday night schedules would be disrupted and missing one episode of the three crown jewels from Mother Ignacia — or bumping off due to overtime in the game — is unacceptable, especially to those loyal viewers taking the solace of refuge there. The revitalized network had no choice but to adjust the schedule of the league so that their blocktime shows would start on time. (Trendrod Box has comprehensively provided the scenarios on this.)

For the Weekend

Their primetime block is dedicated to game shows on Saturdays — almost a full strip — but there is one reality competition show every Sunday beginning this coming Sunday (June 13) with POPinoy.

Unlike GMA, TV5 cannot have a weekend newscast due to preemptive measures in case for the country’s professional basketball league. So how do we define weekend primetime there in Reliance/Novaliches? Their primetime programming will start on the second game of the traditional PBA doubleheader.

Primetime losing relevance?

Now that GMA has the invincible mandate on the free airwaves and its CEO Eugene H. Krabs Felipe L. Gozon continued to bang about the ratings during the annual stockholders’ meeting (ASM) last May 19, 2021, we could’ve called them out to stop that kind of obsession since:

  1. Their ex-chief rival is no longer on the common platform and thus, not the same reach as it was before; and
  2. Their new rival (TV5) is miles behind them. (According to their ASM, Kamuning is a bit more than 7.5 times the audience share than in Reliance. It’s like GMA is an unidentifiable gas giant while TV5 becomes the Earth.)

Bumping off the competition could’ve urged the Kamuning Network to have their currently produced teleseryes extend as they want and upgrade their equipment for future shows since they have a bottomless bottom-line like iced tea but the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (primarily due to locked-in tapings) and the government’s predictably botched response forced them to limit their endless possibilities.

However, the premeditated end to free-to-air license to the once broadcasting behemoth, and the virtual giant refused to budge to those who demand better quality of their shows would just make viewers abandon or throw off their (non-smart) TV sets and move on to their laptops, tablets and smartphones to catch up on the missing episodes. Our monthly survey in April conducted that 12% of respondents said that their viewing habits have embraced to purely online and/or streaming since May 6, 2020; it may be too small but it could grow. 

Acknowledging the class system and individual preferences, some people at the expanding bottom of the pyramid (not all are on the poorest of the poor) neither have the access nor the time as those who loved to binge-watch on Netflix, Cignal Play, iQIYI or any video-on-demand (VOD) platforms. They may have to rely on their hard-earned digital TV receivers.

People who were still loyal to the fallen TV network but lived at that part of the pyramid had no choice if they captured just one channel after scanning their digiboxes.

The network executives of the monopolistic media entity should’ve known that. They were given over a year to reform and change their paradigm but they failed and unsurprisingly ogled so much on the bottom line and such proceeds will be invested in non-core business just like the former competitor has done. The scrappy one in Reliance/Novaliches tried.

In other words, the demographics and their preferences must be accounted for as with the current environment we all are harnessing.

Will the State-Controlled Media Show Up?

While I have tackled so much about GMA and TV5, I would’ve almost forgotten how the state-owned networks would’ve responded. (CNN Philippines is excluded for obvious reasons.) 

While PTV is flexible because the main star (a.k.a. He Who Must Not Be Named) has his live, unfiltered show from the Palace and the famous Lotto draw, IBC 13 will have a difficult matter (obviously, their organizational problems are chronic). Their weeknight primetime begins from 7:30 and ends at 9:00 p.m., which is just a half the duration of the mainstream, commercial channels.

Every Saturday since May 8, Oras ng Kings — an hour-long infomercial block that promotes the eponymous Kings Herbal Food Supplement — airs at late night as the last program before sign-off at midnight. After the (most essential) DepEd TV block, do you know how many runs of Du30 on Duty have been airing during Saturday night? Two times (non-consecutively) on the hour of 9 and 10 p.m.

On Sundays, they’re a cistern of government propaganda that was initially aired on PTV but re-aired for those who wanted to catch up. They signed off at 10:00 p.m. (almost the end of primetime) Alas, they only have one network-produced program (F.Y.I.) but did they click the public? Not even a single iota, especially to those belonging to the South Triangle-minded tribes.

But the question remains: Will they ever catch up with their giant counterparts with a very limited amount of time before we choose the next president (in which, he or she will appoint all the board members of that GOCC) next year?


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The Turf’s Thoughts on PBA Season 46


EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY IN THE TRYING TIMES | During the resumption of PBA Season 45 in the Clark bubble last -ber months, fans come to see their favorite teams from their computer screens.

THIS WEEK — on Friday, more specifically — will mark the 46th anniversary of our Liga ng Bayan, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

The corresponding 46th season of this league will tip-off in 12 days (on April 18) as initially planned by the Board of Governors but that opening game could be delayed due to the COVID surge that forced NCR Plus still into Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ); therefore, we do know that it will not go into multiple seasoned venues in that geographic area (i.e. not in Araneta Coliseum, Cuneta Astrodome or even Ynares Center).

While the logistics of venues will be managed by the Board and they might go back again to Clark, others have concerns. What challenges and thoughts are we expecting for the nation’s professional league before it tips off?

(more…)

Preparing MPBL in the New Arrangement


IT’S COMING BACK. Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League is resuming play today to determine the national champions but there are no TV broadcasts.

ON WEDNESDAY, Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) will resume where it left off; this time, they’ll play the remainder of the playoffs in the Subic bubble — the same location as the Philippine Super Liga where their season-opening Volleyball Challenge Cup spiked off. Unfortunately, this amateur league has no broadcaster to cover as the original home lost its license.

For those who are lying under the rock about what MPBL is and what is happening about it, jump for a little refresher.

Later, we will tackle how to solve a problem before their new season tips off in June and if they sealed a new home.

(more…)

Local Entertainment Renaissance in Reliance


[Requested by Zyle Asajar]

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

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

How did this happen?

Background

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Two New Blocktimers

Archangel Media

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

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

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

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

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

 

Brightlight Productions

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

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

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

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

 

Why are the Viewers Still Unhappy? (The Afterthought)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Photos courtesy of IMDb, PEP and PhilStar

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?

GMA

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

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.]

MY DEAR READERS OF TIMOW’S TURF:

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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Timow’s QuOP No. 11: Community Quarantine


INSTEAD of publishing the intended topic that will be scheduled for next Friday, the Turf would like to tackle about tomorrow and the month to come.

As you have heard a few days ago, tomorrow (March 15) will commence the 30-day community quarantine in Metro Manila to contain from the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. There and in some parts of the country, schools are suspended until further notice — which, following the June-March calendar, effectively ends the school year in a sour note (i.e. without final examinations, saying goodbyes, and graduation).

Television Response

Initially, television programs that involve a studio audience — live or taped — are not allowed to enter for safety precautions.

Then, teleserye tapings are also called off. That being said, movie blocks will fill the void. The Turf cannot think if their classics will be aired just like TV5 does. Vice Ganda’s new comedy-game show Everybody, Sing! is also pulled from its premiere tomorrow.

Speaking of TV5, PBA has been suspended again after their Season Opening Day last Sunday — including the scheduled inaugural 3×3 counterpart. Sports Desk, the flagship sports news program of CNN Philippines, is also off the air in light of cancellations of major sports events.

PHTV for the Next 30 Days

What we’re certain

What we’re uncertain

  • While NCAA season 95 ended in termination, UAAP season 82 might follow likewise if this period did not improve the situation. If it improves, the playoffs might have to be reduced. MPBL, which is now on their Division Finals, are also on hold.
  • Meanwhile, the weekly noontime variety show of IBC 13 under SMAC Television Production, Yes Yes Yow, is slated to air on April 4 (Saturday). While this program is taped before the declaration, the success and the path of recognition are in jeopardy. We cannot be surprised if this will never premiere in favor of this serious public health emergency.

Other Measures & Afterthoughts

Regarding the running April post proposals, I am calling it off until everything comes back to normal.

While this pandemic will pass, some of our old ways — even those in the media industry — will never go back to the way it was before: be it big, small, beneficial or baneful.

Until then, stay safe, practice social distancing and proper hygiene.

Until we talk again.


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