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[Pre-SONA Special] Can PTV really be editorially independent?


[Requested by MJH]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: In the run-up to President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, we will tackle one of the legacies between him and the media. This blog post is dedicated to Howard Johnson, a BBC correspondent in our country and Jules Guiang, who is now in Rappler.]

PLANTITO-STYLED SONA. Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte personally delivered his penultimate (5th) State of the Nation Address in Batasang Pambansa with limited attendance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

FINALLY, the last SONA of President Rodrigo Duterte is upon us. After this, there will be no more rants that come from his bruised ego heart, right? (SPOILER: Not quite, he has more every week after this.)

His valedictory SONA will be a verdict to judge his legacy but the people had already decided before that and they knew who will succeed him for next year’s election.

Before he will deliver his last annual speech to the 18th Congress this Monday afternoon inside Batasang Pambansa, I would like to share an excerpt of his maiden SONA on July 25, 2016 (with ad-libs):

To better manage public information, a law should be passed – I’m addressing Congress– to create the People’s Broadcasting Corporation, replacing PTV-4, [applause] the government-run TV station, which now aims to replicate international government broadcasting networks.  Teams from these international news agencies — I’d like to mention those interested BBC — are set to visit the country soon to train people from government-run channels to observe. Ito ang gusto ko — tutal pera naman ng tao — to observe editorial independence through innovative programs [applause] and intelligent treatment and analysis of news reports, as well as developments of national and international significance.

The government’s Bureau of Broadcast Services, better known as the Radyo ng Bayan,  shall undergo upgrading to make it financially viable and dependable for accurate and independent, and enlightening news and commentary. Radyo ng Bayan will be integrated with the PBC.

As we are presently setting up a Presidential Communications Satellite Office in Davao City, PBC will also put up broadcast hubs in the Visayas and Mindanao. [applause] Davao City will also be the first site of the first Muslim channel, to be called Salaam Television, [applause] and the first Lumad channel. [applause]

Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte (July 25, 2016)

Well, he fulfilled about the Salaam TV which took off a year later as the People’s Television Network (PTV) digital subchannel but the Lumad channel didn’t and became a TV program. He got the Mindanao Hub at his bailiwick in Davao City — which was opened last year — became fully operational since last March. (This is going to be used as a weapon for its remaining die-hard supporters in their interpretation of his legacy.)

Legislation regarding the People’s Broadcasting Corporation remains pending in Congress. By now, the chance to make it will be slim as the 3rd Regular Session of this current Congress will have the shortest number of session days on account to the filing and campaigning of politicians for May 9, 2022.

But look at a specific passage of text earlier, what does editorial independence mean? Did they ever try to uphold it?

(more…)

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?

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A Different Christmas: The Traditional, Unofficial PHTV Holiday Programming Guide for 2020-2021


LONG BEFORE the surreal and baffling RC Cola commercial, a public service advertisement that forever etched the minds of childhood said that after a tumultuous year, the country needs a “different Christmas.” In that ad, the drawing of Santa Claus at the start was erased and replaced with significant details to become Jesus Christ.

That concept was made somewhere in December 1997 — at the height of the Asian financial crisis but the message remains applicable now with the global pandemic.

To our dear readers, this is the first Christmas of the new decade and yet, this is also the first under a new violent shift in Philippine television.

The events you always looked forward to during the Yuletide season might not happen this year. Despite that, the Turf’s tradition continues to chronicle the insights for the outlier.

This year, we will classify them into categories that will transpire from today (December 11) until January 3, 2021.

The Programming Situation Right Now

After a few years’ hiatus, the Christmas Cartoon Festival Presents on GMA is back, serving as a comfort show for kids and kids at heart akin to the Yule Log and classic holiday specials in the United States. On weeknights, Paano Ang Pasko becomes TV5’s first Christmaserye, as part of Primetime Todo (the third wave of the network’s local entertainment renaissance this 2020).

12.12 Sale Super Show

The two super shows from two leading e-commerce platforms (Lazada and Shopee) are in one national TV network — GMA. (Duh, do we even have a choice?) Tonight, Lazada — despite Kathryn Bernardo (a local brand ambassador but a Kapamilya) and Lee Min Ho (the regional ambassador) — will have a star-studded special counting down to the big day (in place of Bubble Gang?) while Shopee will go all out in the late morning on that big day before Eat Bulaga!

Two days ago, Kris Aquino — the other ambassador for Shopee — appeared on TV5’s Lunch Out Loud to win prizes for solid Kapatids. (Is that a hint for next Christmas that TV5 will take Shopee while GMA gets Lazada?)

Shows Ending

One local show will end at the two-week holiday period wherein they are generally not concluded. The local adaptation of the Korean drama Descendants of the Sun on GMA — whose production was stalled but resumed last November — will wrap up on the night of Christmas Day.

 

Categories in Concern

Entertainment Gatherings

Due to the community quarantine regulations under the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), mass gathering events during the holidays — from network Christmas specials to New Year’s revelry — are forced to be canceled, downscaled or go fully virtual.

At this usual time, the annual Kapamilya Christmas special in Smart Araneta Coliseum would’ve drawn a spectacular audience with enthusiastic screams from fangirls holding up their fan signs as their favorite love teams performed. Now, the media conglomerate fell down and the Big Dome is dead silent. It continues in their Broadcast Center and will be aired online and cable on December 20 but not in A2Z. (Had it not for COVID-19, GMA could’ve done that in their own backyard while TV5 is still on revival mode.)

This year’s Giant Lantern Festival, which is the only live non-news telecast of CLTV, is scaled down digitally with seven barangays participating this December 16 (the first day of Simbang Gabi).

Meanwhile, traditional and the grandest star-studded New Year’s countdown on GMA, held usually on the grounds of SM Mall of Asia, may be forced to lock into their headquarters in Kamuning.

The 46th Metro Manila Film Festival

For the first time in 45 years, the country’s Yuletide film festival goes online through Upstream PH.

This year, they, three stars — Vic Sotto, Coco Martin and Vice Ganda — of opportunists are NOT coming to the very first fully digital iteration. The first one is a senior citizen, the second doesn’t have enough time to do so due to taping protocols and the last one didn’t finish the film on time despite the organizing committee’s approval. All of them impliedly realized that running movie houses below full capacity meant less revenue in their pockets as loyal fans can’t go out due to the fears of the virus. Not to mention, the last two lost their means to promote their wares had the contagion not happened.

Therefore, the lineup of 10 films (including four originally slated for what would have been their inaugural Summer edition) would be deemed the next best since the 2016 edition.

The two major events of the festival: the Parade of Stars and the Gabi ng Parangal (Awards Night) will go virtual. The Awards Night usually comes on the third day of the festival (i.e. December 27) is, fortunately, falling on a Sunday; it would mean TV5 has some free time on primetime (they can substitute Onstage).

Religious Gatherings

This is Quiapo Church last Friday (Dec. 4) for the final First Friday Mass of 2020. The devotees outside the church complied with physical distancing protocols. If this can be done, then what more from December 16 to 24? (Photo courtesy of GMA News / Danny Pata)

Even though the whole country is mostly under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) — Metro Manila is at a higher level (GCQ) — religious authorities still take no chance when it comes to dealing with the pandemic and religious gatherings including the unique tradition of Simbang Gabi.

In pre-COVID and the old Philippine TV network rivalry, ABS-CBN was the leading network when it comes to airing the novena Masses for those who can’t come physically to their local churches (in addition to the Christmas Midnight Mass and New Year’s). Now, under a limited reach and in fading memory, they cannot be aired on A2Z due to religious stipulations with Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc. but it can be done on their Kapamilya Channel on cable and satellite, it may be aired on Kapamilya Online Live.

For those who don’t have cable or satellite or the luxury of livestreaming but you own at least a digital TV receiver, TV Maria, under RJ DigiTV, is there to cover but often, their digital coverage (the signal and quality) is not satisfied. Therefore, TV5 must take the initiative but they have to go before the daily Word of God Network program or in substitution thereof, which in turn comes before Ted Failon and DJ Chacha sa Radyo simulcast (on weekdays) and cartoons (one Saturday). One can be determined through a hint in their movement music video, which is deemed sufficient as a Christmas station ID for the network.

In the Vatican this year, due to the severe second wave, you will neither see a jam-packed public audience inside St. Peter’s Basilica nor outside at St. Peter’s Square to see Pope Francis saying the Mass (early morning, Christmas Day, our time) and receive the Apostolic blessing later in the noon (7:00 p.m. local), respectively. Normally, CNN Philippines covers these two events live and GMA does it combined and taped-delayed before they sign off for their broadcast day. Will both networks continue the tradition?

Sports

PBA has just finished its 45th season with one conference — the Philippine Cup — where Barangay Ginebra San Miguel defeated TNT Tropang Giga in 5 at the AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Angeles City (serving as the league’s bubble).

Meanwhile, NBA’s slightly reduced regular season (72 from the usual 82) will kick off on December 23 (our time) for the first time on the Kapatid network. The traditional Christmas Day games will continue with, fittingly, one game on the main channel as it falls on Saturday and another on One Sports.

Commemorations and Situations Re: the Country

Commemorations involving the country like Armed Forces Day (December 21) and Rizal Day (December 30) would be downscaled or be canceled. Generally, PTV is responsible for coverage as long as the main star — President Rodrigo Duterte — is present at the ceremony wherever he may be.

However, his focus will be the declaration of community quarantine status throughout the country for the first month of the New Year. This will likely be announced on the last Monday of the year (December 28) — during the weekly late-night session.

In the old normal, the primetime Lotto draws on the eve of Christmas and the New Year comes early so that PCSO employees and lottery agents can come home to prepare and to spend with families as no sales and draw are conducted the following day. Will this arrangement happen even in the new normal?

 

Year in Retrospect?

From December 26 to 31, a retrospect of this year would normally be made in certain programs as having a network’s year-in-review special on a Sunday night is a thing of the past. Given the heavily-defined circumstances that transpired this 2020, some programs (and some bloggers and other outlets) will be skipped but others (including us) will strive to continue.

For one, Atom Araullo Specials on GMA will present Dos Mil Bente this Sunday (December 13) afternoon but the saying “Expect the unexpected” will resonate with the two and a half weeks remaining of the year.

 

What We Can All Agree? What’s Next?

Despite our differences, we can all agree that this Christmas is not the same as it was before with our old habits and scenes we are used to like traffic rush, crowded malls and packed hangouts. Moreso, our TV landscape has the same atmosphere.

Can the next year’s holiday programming insights be better under the post-new normal arrangement? We’ll all see.


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Featured image courtesy of Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Other photos are courtesy of GMA

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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The Filipino Decides 2019: The Review of the Campaign and the E-Day Insights


THE SEASON of campaigning — political ads on media and mudslinging in their respective miting de avance — is now behind us. The past three months of such a period and other events within it has intensified further to convince the already divided electorate.

Tomorrow, 61.8 million registered voters will troop to their voting precincts to poll on the judgment of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first half of his entrusted mandate. They are allowed to cast their ballot from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. — an hour more than in 2016.

However, this midterm election could mark a successful “endgame” or the very last if the final, agreeable form of the federal constitution will be passed and will be ratified by a plebiscite.

The Picture on the Broadcasters

For the rest of the world, election day is rather an ordinary day during daytime but as the polls are about to close, it’s a big deal of their broadcasters filled not just analysis but some gimmicks and their unique traditions as counting begins.

Only in the Philippines is when the election coverage in television usually goes on from sign-on on polling day until about midday of the following day without signing off. In radio, the coverage has just begun.

Despite no ban – save boxing, cockfighting and horse races — other sporting events are usually suspended since their eligible players are exercising such a right as citizens on their respective precincts for that particular day.

Unlike presidential election day three years ago, the midterm election day could the post-newscast primetime programming for general entertainment channels to continue like in 2013. Luckily, there are no premiering teleseryes this day but GMA’s Inagaw na Bituin will wrap on the said week.

For this year, due to aggressive competitive nature and the aforementioned voting start time, the start of the coverage will begin at 4:00 a.m. (one hour ahead than the last time), unless stated otherwise.

 

Commercial broadcasters

ABS-CBN: Halalan 2019

Just before the campaign period, the main channel aired two MMK life stories of two senatorial aspirants — indirectly (whose father is the subject) and directly. This criticized tactic is unsurprising since it was practiced back in 2010. However, they conducted the Harapan series for invited and eager senatorial aspirants (major and minor).

As the largest media conglomerate that spans over cable and radio, election day coverage will be not a problem with the most advanced technology:

  • The main channel will begin their coverage at 5 a.m. just as usual but come noon, they will continue to air It’s Showtime but resumes coverage afterward.
  • S+A will cover normally with the applicable NBA playoffs game and will become Channel 2’s pinch-hitter at noon.
  • For uncut and cerebral coverage, ANC is the key. For the TVPlus users, they have to resort with DZMM Teleradyo.

However, there will always be questionable credibility from persistent critics and haters.

Particularly on the defenders of the President, the winners of this Senatorial election wish for who block their franchise renewal, which is due next March.

In that case, this election coverage will raise a red flag as it could mark their last.

GMA: Eleksyon 2019

The “credible” and “the lesser evil” among the South Triangle Duopoly, this network had their own sole debate on the final Saturday before the campaign period (February 9) but aired a life story of an administration candidate in Magpakailanman just before that. On that day, the host did not narrate the said episode of the weekly anthology drama (as she led the panel) and in return, the character is not present in the debate.

In terms of the digital output, they tapped Internet star Dante Gulapa to disseminate the definitions and the decorum (i.e. dos and the don’ts).

Come Election Day, GMA’s coverage will proceed as usual with newer graphics but they won’t be aired in the Wowowin studio like the last time; they’ll be using Studio 5.

This is also a remarkable moment for GMA News TV as it will be their third and last under Channel 11 after their 14-year lease agreement with Zoe Broadcasting Network (8 years on current branding) before moving to UHF Channel 27.

Like ABS-CBN’s, they will continue what the sister channel will be the pinch hitter when Eat Bulaga airs. What will happen to Wowowin come tomorrow? Will they be not airing like three years ago? Let’s wait and see.

Nonetheless, they will not simulcast.

The 5 Network: Bilang Pilipino 2019

Media enthusiasts and inquisitors already knew that One News will mark its first election coverage this year, but when it comes to the flagship free-to-air channel, [TV] 5, they initially raised doubts if they will materialize and prosper due to their nature as a sports channel.

During the campaign period, the flagship channel initially showed Tol ‘Wag Troll rap battle every Sunday but suddenly replaced with Luchi Cruz-Valdes’ Aplikante during the weeknights.

Thankfully, News5 will have the multi-platform coverage that can analyze on the data; there is a Facebook live stream but when it comes to television, that will be under observation.

CNN Philippines: The Filipino Votes

If you want the straightest news but you don’t have cable, then CNN Philippines is the place to be.

This network initiated the series of the senatorial forum from December to March. Last April 27, they hosted the most-attentive Senatorial debate at the Quadricentennial Pavillion of the University of Santo Tomas (the same venue the sole Vice Presidential debate was held three years ago).

Overall, when it comes to the Election Day coverage, there will be the least of frills — graphically and in between persons — and more to the basic things: intellectuality and seriousness.

Government networks (Hatol ng Bayan 2019)

During the campaign period, PTV did not have their own special programming related to the election campaign (not even reviving the COMELEC Hour) but her sister network, IBC, did with O.O.T.D.: Opisyal of the Day.

Come D-Day, the auxiliary state-owned channel — under recent reformation under Ma’am Kat de Castro — cannot handle the broadcast all by themselves due to the obvious, haunted and inherited financial limitations. Thus, they have to rely on the simulcast of Channel 4 but there will be three 20-minute breaks for Lotto draws throughout the day (11:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m. and at 9:00 p.m.) since selling and drawing on a state-owned lottery is not explicitly illegal under related laws and supporting COMELEC resolutions.

In 2016, unlike commercial networks, they signed off as usual from their broadcast day. It is likely to happen this year.

Denomination-affiliated and regional networks

While mainstream national networks will indubitably reign supreme, denomination-affiliated national networks have their own multi-platform coverages during E-Day (except for INC TV). For one, Eagle Broadcasting Corporation (Net 25, DZEC, et al) will cover as Desisyon ng Bayan 2019.

Regional networks, like CLTV 36 (as Boto Mo, Kinabukasan Mo), will not just focus on the numbers crunched nationally but on their concerned regions.

One more (trivial) thing…

Under the Fair Elections Act, exit polls or projections are NOT ILLEGAL but are NOT COMMON.

If any firm has conducted this, they are not released on time as our clocks aren’t set to the proper standard time. Some areas might declare a “failure of election” that it may be too significant for 12th place finish.

While such a thing isn’t a big deal, the bigger deal is that you have the power tomorrow or you’ll regret that your choice will waste 3 or 6 years of your life that it would never come back… at all.


Vote as if it is your last.


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


[Requested by Rexdel Yabut Mallari]

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

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

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

Radio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Television

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afterthought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The Turf’s Insight on Pyeongchang Winter Olympics


After 30 years, South Korea is hosting another Olympics but this time on the other season.

THREE DAYS from now, the sporting eyes of the world will fixate on South Korea for the 16 days of glory in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

While it may not be in the Filipino sporting aficionados’ attention due to the geographic consideration as a tropical country, it is a noteworthy moment for two athletes that will partake and will banner under the Three Stars and a Sun.

THE ROOKIE AND THE VET. Asa Miller (left) will participate in the Winter Olympics as the alpine skier while Michael Christian Martinez (right) will be given another chance to shine in figure skating.

Asa Miller, the 17-year-old rookie, despite his residence in Oregon, will be the first alpine skier to compete for the Philippines in 26 years. Meanwhile, 21-year-old skater Michael Christian Martinez, despite failing to make the qualifying cut on the CS Nebelhorn Trophy, finally gets another chance to shine after Sweden relinquished the spot due to the unsatisfied performance level of Alexander Majorov by their national Olympic Committee.

In addition, this edition of the Winter Games will make the debut of two Southeast Asian nations: Malaysia (with alpine skier Jeffrey Webb and figure skater Julian Yee) and Singapore (with short track speed skater Cheyenne Goh).

Promotion Bluff

Last January, the promotion of the Winter Games was aired over ABS-CBN, presuming that their sports channel, S+A, would cover the games for the first time. However, the speculation bubble was popped out as TV5 – for the fourth overall, second in the concerned season and the first time under the ESPN5 brand — is confirmed to cover  exclusively, according to SportsCenter Philippines.

Conflict in ceremonies, clear in competition

With the confirmed news, both ceremonies that begin and end the Games will face conflict on the main channel and might be consequently covered live on AksyonTV.

The opening ceremony on Friday, February 9, will begin at the same time (7:00 p.m. Philippine time) with the traditional PBA evening game – in this case, NLEX Road Warriors vs Meralco Bolts. The closing ceremony on February 25 will coincide with FIBA Asia World Cup Qualifier game against Japan in our home court.

That said, it wouldn’t be surprising as TV5 will favor both games of hoops over both showcases of the artistry of the international multi-sport event.

Competition journey

On the bright side, when it comes to the competition proper for our contingents, there is no problem in live coverage, in terms with TV5, as they will take place in the morning – as we are one hour behind South Korea. Provided, they will delay the NCAA (U.S.) basketball.

Miller’s debut will take shape from this Sunday (February 11) until February 22 if his first-time performance is exceptional.

On the other hand, Martinez’s two-day competition will kick in on February 16 – fortunately, both holidays on both nations (Lunar New Year or “Seollal” in Korea) — with the short program and followed by the free skate.

Unfazed by unavoidable

While one or few said that TV5’s return to cover the Olympics is where they rightfully belong, not everyone is convinced.

For them, it could be a repeat of what happened back to Rio in 2016 where they fail to commit full-blown coverage despite the live streaming on the network’s YouTube channels.

To be honest, ABS-CBN (through S+A) would have been a bit worse in cover the Winter Games since they are preoccupied with NBA, UAAP and NCAA volleyball tournaments, English (Premier) and Spanish (La Liga) football and the inaugural Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL). It’s new cable-exclusive sports channel, Liga, wouldn’t apply as they don’t have football or basketball in the competition.

On the other hand, PTV would be the worst if they cover their first Winter Olympics; both ceremonies would cut any significant 20 minutes each due to Lotto and the competition proper could be disrupted by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s daily press conference and by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

Anyway, the Turf wishes both of our athletes the best in their respective journey in South Korea — amidst the lack of support from both the government and the Philippine Olympic Committee — and also to the rest of the athletes of the world.


Just a little throwback Tuesday…

 


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Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, International Olympic Committee (IOC), KGW and Ilustrado Magazine

It’s The Most Werpaful Time of the Year (Philippine TV Christmastime 2017-18 Insights)


UPDATE:

  • December 17 @ 13:03. Confirmed details on Manila Clasico and MMFF.

 

INDEED.

The most wonderful time of the year is here, but Filipino…

Per tradition, Timow’s Turf heralds the annual holiday programming primer for the fifth time, spanning from today (December 6, 2017) until possibly January 2, 2018.

As it is the first Christmas in the age of Trump, this year, it will be classified according to appropriate categories but not necessarily on periods as in previous editions.

With Christmas and New Year’s Eves both fall on Sunday this year, primetime lineups will definitely have to adjust, especially to ABS-CBN on both cases and GMA on the latter as PTV 4’s main Lotto Draw are forced to be scheduled early at 2:30 p.m.

During this span, teleseryes will normally be scheduled but there are usually no finales and its premieres during the very Christmas/New Year festivity fortnight while trade launches from the South Triangle Duopoly (S.T.D.) and CNN Philippines are happening for the upcoming year (as long as they keep their promises or else).

What else is in store? Jump in for more.

NOTE: Inaccuracies and updates can happen throughout this post.

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Timow’s Open Pit No. 2: PHTV@64: Of Living Legends & Legacies


TODAY, October 23, 2017 marks the 64th anniversary of Philippine television and here on Timow’s Turf, we opened the second Open Pit on a matter related to the very significance of the number.

The number 64 is a perfect square number – in this case, a square of 8 (a number that is very auspicious in East Asia). In games, it’s the total number of squares of a board in chess and checkers. Baby Boomers have The Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four” and the Batang 90s have a Nintendo 64. In personal computers, some of them run on a 64-bit architecture.

On this article, we will discuss about our program’s living legends and legacies.

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Philippines Football League both to kick out UFL, off tomorrow


The new and legit national professional football league was launched last April 21 at Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig City.

THE IDENTITY CRISIS and legitimacy of our national, top-tier and professional football (soccer) league is finally over.
Beginning tomorrow, the new (and de jure) league called Philippines Football League (PFL) will kick out the de facto United Football League (UFL) in the early 2010s.
What went wrong with the latter league? Are there any changes in the competition? What will be the inaugural game plan? Who will be the broadcaster?

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