RJTV 29

Is There a Downtrend of Full Blocktime Agreements with Third-Party Broadcasters?


[Requested by Gian Paolo Dela Cruz]

 

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THE IMBALANCED FIGURE. GMA News TV has resided on VHF Channel 11 in Metro Manila for eight years. By Tuesday, it will be moved to Channel 27.

 

(UPDATED, June 3, 2019)

GMA NEWS TV, for the Metro Manila viewers and its neighboring provinces, will no longer be on Channel 11.

After 14 years (eight, under the current identity), the block time agreement with ZOE Broadcasting Network (the owner of Channel 11) has ended.

Beginning Tuesday (June 4), aside from being the start of classes in public elementary and secondary schools, GMA News TV will move to Channel 27 — a  frequency held by their network’s subsidiary, Citynet Network Marketing and Productions, Inc. for 24 years would be awake from the 18 years of dormancy.

For media enthusiasts and critics, this is “long overdue,” since it was “unfair” and “imbalanced” for a major national network to operate two VHF frequencies. In the perspective of From the Tube, it is perhaps the same sentiment after his publication regarding the holding of that inactive UHF frequency almost four years ago.

However, that is not their primary reason. It had something to do with increasing lease payments for the past three years to ZOE, according to the media entity’s 2018 financial report.

Program-wise, there will be a major cleanup of their offerings after they realize that they aired non-essential programs (such as Wagas), movie blocks and home shopping.

On that day, DZBB will launch new programs for the extension of days and hours of Dobol B sa News TV (from weekday morning to daily morning and noon).

Nonetheless, this case is not new. Well, under the standpoint of viewers (fawning fans or independently thinking).

Almost exactly a year ago almost this date, Solar Entertainment’s 2nd Avenue ended their free-to-air broadcast on RJTV Channel 29. When it expired, RJTV ended its analog broadcast and resume their airing of their own programs according to their own time.

Another deal involving Solar Entertainment is RPN 9. In 2007, the network entity announced the partnership with the local cable operator and by next week, it was christened as C/S 9. In 2011, they became ETC (a specialty feminine channel) but two years later, it switched places with Solar News Channel. The deal of RPN and Solar ended in 2014.

Back to the main question: Is there really a downtrend of full block time deals with third-party broadcasters?

Well, there is.

It is based on business decisions of both parties, which in turn are based on external and internal environments (in addition to the aforementioned finances):

For one, the market segment veers away from the traditional television to video-on-demand services (e.g. Netflix, iFlix and HOOQ). Another one is the sense of urgency from respected authorities. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has set the mandate that the digital television transition across the country must be completed by 2023.

In the current case with GMA, this should have happened and formulated their master plan a long time ago if they did not smug over their ratings and looked on the constant problem of the video output of pan-and-scan 4:3 glory.

Follow-up, though: What would happen to Channel 11 afterward?

Some say it will be rendered obsolete as GMA’s digital television broadcast will have to broadcast on UHF Channel 15 (479.143) — now under testing phase. Other reports say that the frequency will simulcast the first digital TV network, Light TV, but it was deemed one step backward.

We are not sure but we’ll see about it on Tuesday. In the meantime, rescan your devices and the TV sets.


 

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / GMA Network Inc.

#Zeitgeist2018: The Timow’s Turf Year-End Special (Part II)


ANOTHER EVENTFUL YEAR will be over. But before moving forward to 2019, we will look back on the events that shaped 2018 over the Philippine media.

This is the second of two-part series, containing 18 stories are arranged in no particular order. (See Part I here.)

For this year’s twist, the Turf appended the GIF reactions to each moment for the appropriate reaction for certain people or situation.


The Top (Random) Nine

#9. PH Cable Wave

The first half of 2018 triggered a big wave over the Philippine cable industry by either closure or rebranding of certain channels. Some reasons why that happened is due to redundancies, the rise of cord cutters, unsatisfied return of investments and changing preference.

Local channels

On January, ABS-CBN Regional Channel and TAG were pulled off but HERO, the sister anime channel, became the most notorious after 12 years. Never forget that they also launched LIGA on that month as a reincarnation of Balls. On April 2, Lifestyle became The Metro Channel.

Last May 28, Bloomberg Philippines — the sole specialty channel — became ONE News Channel after bearing three years of licensing rights.

Foreign channels

Another children’s entertainment channel, Toonami, folded its Southeast Asian iteration last March. By the end of this year, AMC and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will be pulled out not just from SkyCable but to all cable operators nationwide.

In a nutshell, this is our GIF reaction:

Surf's Up.gif

#8. Like gets Disliked

Last May, DWLA-FM 105.9 in Manila changed its brand and format without publicity both on air and on social media, save the observation in the PinoyExchange forum months before their imminent fate.

After four years, DCG’s Retro 105.9 became Like 105.9 after failing to settle its debts and issuance of pink slips. The format shifted from classic throwback hits to Adult Top 40.

Although the frequency owner (Bright Star Broadcasting Network) got their franchise renewed, instability and internal dissatisfaction remain the haunting issues.

Meanwhile, Brigada Mass Media Communication be like:

Mr Burns Excellent

#7. New (Encrypted) Competitor

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On June 5, 2nd Avenue parked for the very last time — marking another Solar Entertainment’s blow. The following day, RJTV 29 restored and shut down its analog transmitters, becoming the second channel to be fully digital after Light Network 33.

Nearly at the same time, Easy TV Super Digibox was publicly announced — even though it was launched on the market about two weeks ago. Similar to TVPlus, it is encrypted in favor of Solar Entertainment Channels with two UHF channels (22 and 30) containing 16 subchannels (including AniPlus and Basketball TV).

Now that TVPlus is extending the second channel until February, Tieng brothers were like (amidst the legal stadndoff on BTV):

I'm trembling.gif

#6. Meme-ification of Police Reports

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Crime reports in Mega Manila that are projected in national newscasts is really annoying for viewers in the provinces.

But in the time of trust issues with the police and the government in general, netizens would really need to kill time. This year, it made a mark by lifting up from this specific genre for comedic purposes — specifically on the interview of the suspect.

Their phrases, like “advanced akong mag-isip” and “paano mo nasabi“, become part of the ordinary parlance, part of TV sketch comedies and witty opportunity for the marketing departments (Hint: Search MayWard McDo commercials on YouTube).

Some elders were shocked by this trend. For them, it is not right to poke fun at convicted criminals and not to emulate them on their wrongdoings…

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#5. It’s Showtime’s Domino Effect

Since February, the daily noontime show ended a bit longer than the scheduled 3:20 p.m. affecting other shows that follow, due to Vice Ganda’s long tsismis and antics on the live broadcast. Even if Vice is out, his colleagues has influence.

Throughout observation, this show ended as late as 4:00 p.m.

Despite the success in raking more advertising revenue and catching up for Metro Manila viewers, it affected other viewers who are not loyal to the noontime show — particularly on the surviving regional newscasts in the Regional Network Group and TV Patrol’s Noli de Castro. In addition, DZMM is affected since they have to simulcast TVP.

Because of the heated duopolistic competition, Wowowin responded to make it even.

What Vice Ganda has now is what Kris Aquino had in the earlier part of the decade — the influence which leads to the management to chill and leave him alone while sacrificing other stars. Unlike Kris, Vice Ganda is exposed every day.

In the eyes of the management, self-control means this:

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The positive karma is that neither himself nor his shows won any of this year’s PMPC Star Awards for Television.

Publicists’ psyche were like:

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#4. GMA’s Extraordinary Dramas

While ABS-CBN’s drama remains successful in ratings and in social media engagements (ehem, Halik) amidst a domino effect from It’s Showtime that tackled just earlier, there is not much distinction in terms of the teleseryes’ character development, premise and plot.

Sure, GMA has the same problems with Ika-5 Utos for being a “continuation” of the Ten Commandments series (aside from both directed by Laurice Gullien) and Victor Magtanggol for being unoriginal as Alyas Robin Hood  back in 2016.

However, there are two currently running dramas on Kamuning that shed some positive light amidst the cliches: Onanay is a drama regarding the struggle of a mother with dwarfism (played by Jo Berry) while My Special Tatay is, as said on the title, about a father who has a mild intellectual disability (played by Ken Chan).

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#3. PTV’s Muddled Year

For 2018, this government TV network was flagged with three events.

In April, the Commission on Audit flagged the station in their audit report over the P 60 million ad placement of the Department of Tourism (headed by then-Secretary Wanda Teo) to Bitag Media of her brother, Ben, without proper documentation. Because of the siblings, it eventually led to the Secretary’s voluntary dismissal and Ben’s program (Kilos Pronto) to be axed. Although Ben came back with the usual praising the administration and bickering against his enemies on the other program, the money has not returned yet (or possibly, they will not return at all).

In August to September, three Tagalog-dubbed programs from Mainland China — two dramas and one children’s series — were aired but critics served it as propaganda. In other words, they are projecting the President’s effective foreign policy, which was witnessed in last November’s visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

This month, instead of cash bonuses at their Christmas party, contractual employees and talents were given retrenchment letters — an irony to the administration’s initiative to end contractualization — with an employee vented out of her frustrations.

Overheard at PCOO on these issues:

Collar tug

Don’t feel bad for them. The only positive thing that they have done this year was the Lotto Draw. On October 14, the Ultra Lotto jackpot reached the largest prize to date — almost P 1.2 billion — which won by two bettors.

 

#2. Mr. Imbestigador’s Health Watch

The pillar of GMA News and Radio division made a big announcement after a much prolonged absence this year.

He underwent medical leave for his kidney medication and heart bypass surgery.

During his absence (inclusive of allowance of his recovery), Atom Araullo became his pinch hitter on the weekday edition of 24 Oras before his return in October.

With this year of meme-ification, he will remembered for the slip of the tongue in his segment as the “Sumbungan ng Hotdog” (rather than Hotline).

Take it away, Guy Fieri:

hotdog

 

#1. Rappler’s Struggle

Since January 15, the online news site struggled to cover amidst the revocation of SEC registration to tax evasion charges as a result of publishing critical yet comprehensive articles of the present administration.

With that, their Palace correspondent (Pia Ranada) was barred from entering the Palace complex and further covering the President’s activities and press conferences.

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With the hashtags that support and defend the site since then after series of posting bail, its CEO, Maria Ressa, became one of TIME Persons of the Year as “guardians” in the “war on truth,” alongside assassinated Saudi Arabian columnist Jamal Khashoggi, two Reuters journalists from Myanmar for covering the Rohingya massacre and the staff of a Maryland newspaper got involved in the shooting.

The heads of the DDS fanatics and apologists were like:

Kingsman head explosion

 

Special Mentions

  • GMA Online Exclusives
  • Reinvigoration of iWant
  • Return of Precious Hearts Romances on ABS-CBN
  • Studio 7
  • Government radio stations on Top 10 (FM1 87.5, FM2 104.3 and RP1 738)
  • Alleged palakasan and privacy violations by Manila Broadcasting Company on sacking DJ Aira and Kara
  • Billboard Philippines’ sudden demise
  • Wish 107.5 rolling a new mobile bus in America
  • Gino Quillamor’s departure from Monster RX 93.1
  • Gretchen Fullido’s harassment case
  • The decrease of ABS-CBN’s regional programming in for their centralized HD conversion and digital television testing.
  • The meme-ification of augmented reality in 24 Oras.
  • Self-acclaimed (Di umanong) paranormal expert Ed Caluag on KMJS Gabi ng Lagim
  • Net 25 achieving three new PMPC Star Awards (two for Children’s Show & Host and one for Musical Variety Show due to ASAP’s hall of fame status)

Postscript

After five years, 247 Facebook Page likes and 100,000 hits, it has been a long journey.

I would like to thank the following, specific people (stans) that made the Turf this 2018: Rexdel Yabut Mallari, Charles Miguel Tapuyao and of course, the most loyal of them all, Gian Paolo de la Cruz.

The 2018 blogging season is sealed; let’s call that a year.

From Timow’s Turf, we greet everyone with an exuberant…

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Photos (not counting GIF) courtesy of: Inside Manila, Adobo Tech and Time Magazine

Dead End for 2nd Avenue


2nd Avenue logo

It’s the end of the road for 2nd Avenue after almost 12 years.

UPDATED: June 4, 2018 @ 05:42

[Requested by Jason Angelo Nagar]

THE MONTH is coming to an end but another channel will facing the dead end.

By Tuesday (June 5), Solar Entertainment Corporation’s 2nd Avenue will be part of TV history after 12 years of partnership operation and analog transmission. The timing of the closure came just as the regular U.S. television season ended (from September to May) and the new slate for the next season has announced.

Initially launched as a spin-off to ETC, ETC 2nd Avenue started as a test broadcast on December 15, 2005, and had its full launch in 2006 on cable. The channel was later renamed to its present name on January 17, 2007.

Like ETC, it’s a spillover for American-imported drama series (one of them is Suits where Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex was once starred), lifestyle, entertainment news programs (e.g. Entertainment Tonight & Inside Edition), talk shows (Ellen), sitcoms, reality shows (e.g. American Idol & Hell’s Kitchen), movies, and infomercials (Shop TV).

One time, they also aired NBC’s morning show Today before moving to Talk TV (the predecessor of Solar News Channel and CNN Philippines).

In 2008, as part of its parent company’s blocktime agreements with multiple terrestrial channels, 2nd Avenue made its debut on Ramon Jacinto’s RJTV on Channel 29 in Metro Manila and affiliated stations nationwide. RJTV’s RJ Sunday Jam and Thank God, It’s RJ was retained and integrated with 2nd Avenue’s programming.

The channel’s identity at inception was green, white and black until 2014 when it simplified to green until 2016 to become orange and black.

Come June 6 (Wednesday), this channel will be reinstated on its original name, injecting news from their AM counterpart (The Voice of the Philippines, DZRJ 810), from 8TriMedia and a new infomercial blocktimer (Shop Japan). This restored channel will be the second channel to go fully-digital after Light TV 33 last year.

Nonetheless, what are they going to do with the final programming, Solar decides that the Hollywood entertainment news programs will be carried over to the sister channel and the rest will either be put to Jack TV or an exclusive channel on their (or otherwise) reportedly new digital TV box, the Easy TV Super Digibox.

Regarding the new competitor to TVPlus, that will be discussed by someone in another time.


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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Solar Entertainment Corporation

Thoughts on Madam Secretary’s new episode


[This post is dedicated to Kevin Trinidad who is in Singapore and to all the women readers as today’s International Women’s Day.]

Madam Secretary s3e15

BEFORE GOING TOO FAR. President Datu Andrada (Joel de la Fuente) and US Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord made an intimate call. Initially, she thought it lightly before hitting him back when he goes too far with the uncomfortable innuendos. This scene was made controversial in the embassy in Washington and the Palace because of the similarities with the real President.

THIS SUNDAY night in the United States — Monday morning here in the Philippines — CBS political thriller Madam Secretary will air a fresh episode but one of its scenes will be provocative.

The synopsis of the series, now on its third season, focuses on testing the waters of countries with diplomatic relations of America, led by Téa Leoni as US Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord.

In our television sphere, Madam Secretary currently holds rights on its second season on both 2nd Avenue on RJTV 29 and Sony Entertainment Television on cable.

In the clip of the new episode, titled “Break in Diplomacy” (s3e15), the lecherous yet fictitious Philippine President Datu Andrada (portrayed by Joel de la Fuente) is alone with the Secretary in a room similar to one in Malacañang. The diplomat initially laughs off at uncomfortable advances from the leader of an important treaty ally but when he quips too far, she snaps, punches him on the face and leaves him a bloodied nose.

With that description, the Philippine embassy in Washington cried foul and the Palace condemned it because the fictitious President was embodied into the actual President, Rodrigo Duterte. The fanatics would backlash this act, would call the show’s cast and producers with persona non grata and would demand an apology.

However, that’s not the only case of national outrage over an American TV series, remember that episode of Desperate Housewives (ABC) regarding the qualification and quality of our country’s medical degrees eight years ago?

For there are people who are fumed, others refute or don’t mind at all.

The President’s harshest critics in social media will feast — have their field day — over the episode and will treat it as a keepsake. Some remarks would say that “art imitates life” and “truth hurts.” A common advice would be given to the complaining bandwagon to take it with a “grain of salt”iodized salt that is.

Perhaps, for principled women who are celebrating their universal day today, a lesson behind the episode can be learned from that clip: “Misogyny should have no place in this world, especially in politics.”

Once this current season ends in May, it’s up to the cable channels if this episode will be accepted if they secure the broadcast rights on that season for the viewers who missed or wanted to watch this series.


P.S.: To Mr. Sunday, instead of nagging your favorite day over Twitter, why not watch that episode and make a judgment out of it?


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Photo courtesy of: Rappler.com/David M. Russell/CBS