Ryza Cenon

If There Is No More ABS-CBN Again (Part 2): How Will Their Competitors Respond?

[WARNING: This post contains insights that are whimsical; if you have different points, feel free to comment your differences. Read at your own risk.]


ABS-CBN Soundstage

One of the concerns if ABS-CBN stops broadcasting is how to maintain their Horizon soundstage in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. Will they open up for their competitors to rake in potentially lost revenue?


IN THE FIRST PART, we determined the background behind their hatred against Mother Ignacia and the sacrifices and the ethical questioning behind their programming operations that lead to their success for the past 10 years.

The hanging question remains unsolved: What if the keyboard and mobile chauvinists have it their way?

The short answer: FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano would finally end at last after four years. No more It’s Showtime and no more GGV and that means, no more lollygagging from Vice Ganda.

But the long answer is somewhat complicated.

Despite the rise of video-on-demand platforms, traditional TV remains the most dominant medium for information and entertainment. In other words, the loyal Kapamilyas and even avid viewers of their selected programs will have to enter cold turkey instantly.

Without a mode of exposure, artists (especially, the fresh ones) will lose an opportunity to build their careers in their resume; as a result, there will be an oversupply.

Hundreds of exclusive artists will all be, in theory, freelancers but some personalities have backup agencies. For example, Anne Curtis, Vice Ganda and Sarah Geronimo are all VIVA talents and with that, VIVA’s boss Vic del Rosario has the right to ink a deal with any remaining network and they would still get TV exposure. Those talents who don’t have a backup agency would be out of luck unless they planned ahead to take up entrepreneurial ventures like KathNiel with their barbershop business.

Thousands of employees from news and sports departments could get reassigned or get the pink slips. Newscasts, including regional ones, would undergo as exclusively digital akin to Rappler.

Current multi-year contracts with this network when it comes to sports (e.g. MPBL, NCAA and UAAP) and entertainment (e.g. Miss Universe and PMPC Star Awards) will really need to find a new home.

Sure, there is iWant to carry over the remaining episodes and some of their finished programs are ready for syndication to their soon-to-be-former rivals.

The over-all analog switch-off might be delayed and the Full HD progress would be stalled. The network have done both feats very seriously and had they continue to operate, they will be the frontrunner in testing 4K UHD.

In terms of the TVPlus’ functionality, their encryption should come to an end and the apparatus would be treated as a regular DTV converter box or it would longer be useful.

It’s not just the TV frequencies that would be gone, so too would be their radio stations under their ownership like — in the case of Metro Manila — MOR 101.9 and DZMM 630. (No more DJ Chacha for advice and no more Dos por Dos for engaging commentaries for motorists in the afternoon rush hour.)

Other non-broadcast ventures like Star Cinema, Star Music and ABS-CBN Publishing will continue to operate. Their promotion would need communication of consent with other rival TV networks.

Their facilities outside Mother Ignacia like the new Soundstage in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan could be opened up to their competitors for rentals or for lease in order to make up the lost revenue.

Competitors’ Response

With Mother Ignacia suddenly disappeared, Kantar’s and Nielsen’s database for measuring TV ratings would change drastically and so are its entertainment reports in both broadsheets and tabloids.

Losing ABS-CBN for good (or for at least two years) can make a significant difference in the Philippine TV landscape.

Before their very eyes, what will happen to the rest of the competitors? Will they replicate the silver linings or successes in certain aspects that Mother Ignacia currently enjoys?

In a short answer, three rival entities (with four VHF channels) will have an individual, significant response; CNN Philippines is out of the picture and sectarian UHF networks are barely affected.


For the simpletons, the possibly-former rival will be the undisputed winner in the new TV ratings game as it would hold the virtual monopoly on general entertainment.

Financial-wise, this media company generated 15.236 billion pesos in revenue in 2018 (which is 38% of ABS’) with the asset composition being 62% equity compared to 42% equity from Mother Ignacia. Net income was 15.1% of revenue compared to ABS’ 4.7%.

When it comes to broadcasting divisions, GMA has almost everything that ABS-CBN has except for a full-time sports department.

As this year celebrates its  70th corporate anniversary, a grand homecoming would happen. Will GMA repatriate Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez and Ryza Cenon? Assuming they have returned, will the entertainment department give the displaced talents more exposure and better roles on their upcoming projects?

In the past decade, Timog Avenue’s reality competition shows tend to be “original.” Without ABS-CBN, their mindset should be changed gradually but let’s not be surprised if they are contented with status quo.

In terms of technical aspects, GMA has a varying, inconsistent application in Full HD. While their selected shows on mobile and online are in high definition and on 16:9, TV remains at 4:3. (To borrow Nadine Lustre, ano na, 2020 na!)


The 5 Network

In the eyes of its apologists, the Network from Reliance is perceived as a safe harbor for the displaced artists just because it’s on the nearest neighboring frequency (if you skipped PTV). This would help Jane Basas’ intention of reinstating entertainment programs. The only threat to this opportunity is the ire for insistent, immature anime fans and loyal sports aficionados in social media.

For the time being, TV5 will be No. 2 when Deuce is suddenly gone since entertainment programs have to be pitched first before getting the green light.

A network fan pitched a comprehensive overhaul of Big Brother if the current right’s holder is gone. To be honest, that program franchise is nearly at the declining trend (although we can still continue) but his favorite show, The Amazing Race, is already at that stage. Maybe it’s time to get a new, rising franchise competition show like Lego Masters or to live on the legacy, The Masked Singer.

As of this publication date, the best of Face to Face is airing in the afternoon after Aksyon sa Tanghali. Without Dos, Tiyang Amy Perez can resume her stint and it should be aired on their last timeslot in the late morning so as not to offend the current iconic personality of the network, Raffy Tulfo.

While ABS-CBN currently enjoys the two aforementioned technical advancements, 5 has yet to undertake them very seriously (In addition, their channels are not scanned consistently or at all in DTV set-top boxes — not even on TVPlus).


Government-Owned Media Networks

In aggregate, PTV and IBC generate a bit more than 250 million pesos in 2018. Comparing that to ABS, they need to exert 160 times more effort to earn the level of revenue. When it comes to net income, it’s in the negative (without PCOO subsidy).

While PTV can open up commercial advertisements in the amended charter, they haven’t been that successful to keep up. Why? Public’s reputation, internal network culture, and restrictive mindset. Let’s face it, both GOCCs are not successful cash cows; they are not like PCSO or PAGCOR.

We published a proposed license fee mechanism back in 2017 to generate stable levels of revenue since home shopping, long-time infomercials, long-time blocktimers and part of Lotto games are too varying and not enough to recoup the deepest costs but we admit that it wasn’t a popular measure.

An avid viewer of this network wants to put displaced talents who happened to be a VIVA talent into the network just like in the 1990s. But with this jammed default mindset, it’s asinine, impossible, since Vasra always prioritizes the old man in Malacanang.

Special Case for IBC

Under the governance of the Kabayan’s (Noli de Castro) daughter (Kat) last year, she inherited Old Balara’s financial position under the capital deficiency territory — which means that the measured liabilities are more than its measured assets. (This is much worse than the total assets of which the majority of it is in debt that ABS currently stands.)

Throughout the period, they started to improve its programming (thanks to SMAC Television Production) but the financial performance is yet to be seen.

Last year, two Star Magic talents starred on that channel: Ritz Azul acted in the teleserye Bukas May Kahapon and Heaven Peralejo (the niece of Rica) became the co-host performer of weekend variety show SMAC Pinoy Ito. This year, Awra Briguela (Makmak of FPJAP) will join in the Gen Z-casted noontime show, Yes Yes Yow.

When it comes to Old Balara’s technical aspects in digital television, they take their tests seriously than her sister network amidst a 480i (standard definition) resolution.

That being said, for the time being, Channel 13 cannot be replicated as the #1 network as it was claimed during the first shutdown half a century ago.


Without 101.9, the newest member, DJ Chico, could come back home to Energy FM 106.7. Their loss could also mark 105.9’s opportunity, which means, it’s going to be another rebrand and reformat.

Without DZMM, Radyo Patrol reporters will be scattered to other AM radio stations or create an independent media production.

Final Thoughts

Sure, there are moral lessons in this worst-case scenario of such intervention to glean on — there is a time to swallow on one’s pride and greed.

Shutting down the major media entity’s core business segment will never be enough for their satisfaction; it’s rather a beginning set by these vengeful keyboard nationalists of a bloody battle.

For the die-hard fanatics of this embattled network, their life is now facing danger.

The financial data that was used in the calculation were from their 2018 audited financial reports that are downloadable from their investor relations page (for ABS-CBN and GMA) and from the Commission on Audit website (for PTV and IBC). The 2019 figures are not yet available as they are currently under audit.

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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN.com

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

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 first of two-part series, containing 18 stories are arranged in no particular order.

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

The Bottom (Random) Nine

#18. Eat Bulaga’s Lipat Bahay

APT studios final.jpg

After years of rumors and speculations, Eat Bulaga finally moved to APT Studios in Cainta, Rizal, leaving Broadway Centrum on December 8 after 23 years.

This is the fifth studio for the longest noontime show but the first to be independently funded.

It happened just in time as part of EB 4.0 year-long celebration, even though the LRT 2 East Extension Project, which transcends the studio, is not yet finished.

While the location and equipment changed, the aesthetics and the segments remained the same.

Loyal EB fans who are accustomed to going to Broadway or having good memories there  were like:

i miss you.gif

#17. Rambulan sa Bulacan

On July 2, during the final game of the third window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers in the Philippine Arena, Gilas Pilipinas charged physically against the Australian Boomers with 4 minutes left of the game by punches, hurling a chair and throwing of bottled water.



The nine players from the Philippines and three from Australia were ejected. However, the game abandoned soon after, leaving Australia victorious 83-59.

Currently, the Gilas players involved in the brawl are serving their suspensions and head coach Chot Reyes was replaced with Yeng Guiao.

The fans in the Philippine Arena at that time went:

wala na finish na.gif


#16. Barangay 143: Desperate to Win

Brgy 143

After two years in the making and in marketing the hype, the locally made anime was an attempt to revitalize the compromised, abridged GMA Astig Authority.

The protagonist, Bren T. Park, was voiced by Starstruck season 6 ultimate male survivor Migo Adecer with Julie Anne San Jose as Vicky. Edu Manzano and John Arcilla, though portraying in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, lent their voices as the league’s high-ranking officials.

Currently, they’re on season break until February. After eight (8) episodes, the local anime fared within the 6% rating (Kantar) but it failed to defeat its competing show by 2 percentage points.

Despite that, the series gets the green light for international distribution.

Because of the aforementioned ratings, fans of the anime were like:

Paano mo nasabe?

#15. Going Beyond K-Drama

Both ABS and GMA claimed to be the true (continuous) home of Asianovelas for 15 years this year. Aside from the usual Koreanovelas, both networks went beyond it.

Asianovelas 2018.png

The former broadcast the Mainland China’s version of Meteor Garden before TV Patrol, in addition to A Love So Beautiful. The latter aired their first dubbed Turkishnovela “Wings of Love” during the mid-morning slot from July 2 to September 14, in addition to few Lakorn series (Thai drama) and a Thai remake of Koreanovela’s Princess Hours.

Regarding the Turkishnovela (which is proposed by Guian Surbona), it would have been a good topic to write this year but then, it wasn’t important for others by choice:

Ron Burgundy.gif

#14. The Songbird’s Flight Back

Regine Ogie and Charo

It was hard for Regine Velasquez to be alone as the living pillar of GMA Network where her old friends, including her husband Ogie, were enjoying on the other side of the fence. On September 29, she gatecrashed to the ABS-CBN Ball to reunite her old S.O.P. friends.


After hosting The Clash, which Golden Canedo won the inaugural title, Regine finally signed the contract after two decades with so many expected offers from the network’s management.

Though the GMA’s management had no hard feelings and respected her decision, it’s hard to accept for die-hard fans of both the network and the artist.

But they’re praying for her return to the Kapuso network anytime:


#13. CNN Philippines’ Kids Block

CNNPH Newsroom Junior Anchors.jpg

On September 1, CNN Philippines aired the junior edition of Newsroom during weekends as a testing ground for teens for a fruitful career in broadcasting or mass communication just like 5 And Up in the 1990s.

Before their iteration, they aired selected cartoons from CNN’s sister channel, Cartoon Network.

Unlike in 2014, they did not change the name of the channel.

This made the news channel puritans (NCP) agitated and shouted:


#12. New League on the Block

MPBL 2018 logo

On January 25, Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League was inaugurated and aired on S+A. Founded by Senator Manny Pacquiao, the new league seemed to be a revival of the geographically-based Metropolitan Basketball Association in the 1990s.

The hype of MPBL led to the dwindling of the Philippine Basketball Association’s gate attendance, despite that the new league is not intended to be direct competitors.

Because of that, the teams expanded from 10 (all from Luzon) to 26 (covering the whole country splitting into Northern and Southern Division).

Currently, they are playing on the Datu Cup which began since June 12 and will wrap up in the following June.

Concerning the duration and the treatment of the new league:

How Long

#11. TVPlus’ Trial Channels

With 6.3 million units of ABS-CBN TV Plus sold, the demands keep on growing as well.





The trial within the second UHF channel (UHF 16), containing Asianovela Channel, Movie Central, Jeepney TV, Myx, O Shopping will end this New Year’s Eve.

By that time, we will determine if any of the channels will continue to be part of the exclusive subchannels as what CineMo and Yey are.

Speculators on the fate of the second digital channel’s possible permanency would  responsd:


No Surprise

#10. Bagani, Busted Before the Launch

Despite the success in social media and in the rating game, the LizQuen-starred teleserye was least pleasing before the launch — from casting and the titling that alarmed the historians, indigenous peoples and the Commission on Higher Education.

During the broadcast, another criticism would be the least serious storyline and treatment of the Babaylans, which the latter drew ire of rival network’s head writer Suzette Doctolero.

The lack of seriousness was memorable in details from the chant “Mekeni, mekeni, dugdug doremi” to one warrior’s “hypebeast” sandal to the plot twist of ending setting in modern-day Manila.

Suzette and fantaserye fans were like:

I mean seriously

Oh, the same would apply for Victor Magtanggol.


Special Mentions

  • Lipat lokasyon of IBC 13 where Broadcast City will be demolished and converted into Larossa condominium
  • Solar Sports’ non-involvement on covering Pacquiao vs Matthysse
  • Ryza Cenon’s transfer to ABS-CBN
  • CNN Philippines’ weekly business show Business Roundup after a year of promise
  • The launch of ANC-X, a lifestyle block of the cable news channel
  • The launch of Oras ng Himala Channel on SkyCable and PopLife as BEAM 32’s digital subchannel

Part II of this series will be up next Saturday, December 29.

Photos (not counting GIF reactions) courtesy of ABS-CBN, CNN Philippines and PEP

Why is the World of Dance Philippines Not Airing Yet?

[NOTE: This is inspired, but not requested, by JC Domondon and dedicated to Sairen]

WHEN Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids Season 2 (where the TNT Boys unsurprisingly became the champions) on ABS-CBN was about to end, the trailer plugs of World of Dance Philippines were promoted to the small screens during the commercial breaks, making viewers look forward to their immediate replacement.

Instead of that, the currently-running replacement is an original concept, The Kids’ Choice, enjoying a 28+ rating (Kantar) as the top show of the weekend primetime slot.

The last-minute replacement (current) show’s overview was explained by Ralph of From The Tube:

What if the kids are the judges of a reality talent show?

In a role reversal of sorts, ABS-CBN will give its young child stars an opportunity to play the part of judges on ‘The Kids’ Choice’.

x x x

Every week, the Just Kids League will discuss and evaluate the performance of four “Fambatos” or non-celebrity families brimming with talent. Being the youngest of the bunch, expect these kids to be more spontaneous with their comments.

Despite the receipts (for regular “non-millennial” term: proof) from social media, it seems the primary and agreeable reason is WODPH is not on the taste of the masses as they did not get over from YFSFK 2’s repercussions.

To those who were disappointed, scammed or pinaasa (given false hopes) who auditioned particularly for that show through Star Hunt, the Turf understands the deep sentiment over the network’s last-minute drop and we try to go deeper.

The Supposed Replacement Show in Concept

In their country of origin (the United States), the World of Dance — which just ended its second season on NBC is divided into four divisions, regardless of their dance styles: Junior (groups of 1-4, under 18), Upper (groups of 1-4, 18 and older), Junior Team (groups of 5+, under 18) and Upper Team (groups of 5+, 18 and older).

The elimination process of the competition proper has four sequential rounds: the Qualifiers (where contestants have to qualify with at least 80 points to survive), the Duels (where the contestants choose their opponent starting with the highest scorer from the qualifiers), the Cut (where mentors are assigned to each division to prepare the contestants for their performances; the top three scoring acts in each division move on to The Division Finals) and the Division Finals (where mentors still support the contestants from each division but the top scoring act in each division will become division champion and move on to The World Final)

The World Final is the grand finale where all four division champions battle it out for the grand prize of US$1,000,000 (~PHP 53.92 million).

The points system are judged by five (5) categories of equal weight — 20 points each for performance, technique, choreography, creativity and presentation — for a perfect score of 100.

Possible Application for PH’s Setting

Unlike Dance Kids, WoDPH’s qualifications are wider: participants must be at least 8 years old and are open to both amateurs and professionals.

The process would likely be the same.

Challenges and Threats

Going back to the main question, even though the show’s auditions have been recorded and edited in the post as the set is already up, the delay has been impliedly justified with other two following factors, aside from the taste we primarily said at the star. First is the hectic schedule of supposed judges and second is the presenter must be from the experienced Trinity — Luis Manzano, Billy Crawford or Robi Domingo. (The man in the middle hosted YFSFK2 and thus needs to rest. Luis still hosts I Can See Your Voice, which will tackle a bit later and Robi is currently hosting TKC)

A season of any weekend competition show over Mother Ignacia, regardless if franchised or original, lasts at least 2.5 months (about 11 weeks or 22 episodes).

That being said, after The Kids’ Choice, WODPH might have to wait until at least mid-November but then, even more, popular franchised competition shows on the network’s backlog might possibly overtake, especially the return of Little Big Shots 2, The Voice PH or Pilipinas Got Talent 7.

Another franchised competition show that is still running on Dos is I Can See Your Voice. ICSYV‘s gameplay and direction are different from the South Korean original; in our setting, instead of releasing as a digital single, the SEE-nger has a quick ticket to enter Tawag ng Tanghalan on It’s Showtime — yes, that staple segment that is walang-kamatayan (never dies) and enabler of the pushing other shows late.

The show now runs a bit more than a year but its first season is not yet finished but user Alpha on that FTT article warned that Pinoy Big Brother will be the projected replacement once it ends.

Contractual Implications, Solution & Reality Check

The contract between Nuyorican Productions (one of the production companies behind the U.S. version, owned by Jennifer Lopez) — or its exclusively local yet unnamed distributor — and ABS-CBN (owned and chaired by another-but-obviously-not-related-to-Jennifer, Mark Lopez) is ostensible but definitely not publicized.

Nonetheless, if the network still fails to materialize if they did not settle the requirements and conflicts within, Nuyorican could simply rescind the contract, due to the network’s internal constraint of programming and constant pandering to the demands of the masses.

Reigniting the Spirit of the Turf‘s Advocacy

The Turf already made the solution four years ago on the case of broadcast programming grid reform four years ago on fixing TV season, in addition, the gradual reduction of teleseryes’ frequency from five to one or two to accommodate other genres.

Overall, there is another strong benefit of defending in light of the matter: lessening the breach of contracts with outside producers and/or local distributors.

Reality: The Unavoidable Deadweight

It can be done but as always, reality check hampers our constructive criticisms to be pursued as the business model of Mother Ignacia remains smartly yet monstrously rich while caring less about the quality of programming and its discipline.

As Ralph said, the long delay “could cost” the supposed show’s rating. He could not wait for the network to arrive forever on WODPH or it could be GMA’s gain.

To be honest, Kamuning is not even keen on acquiring franchises and their stars are too hard to be scouted as mentor judges (well, there’s Mark Herras and if only they have learned very hard from The Clash.)

Not just on weekends but on weekdays too (Afterthought)

The case of delay by the network can also happen on teleseryes. Last year, The Promise of Forever, set mostly in the Czech Republic, was pre-produced after a year of filming. It was delayed due to their response to the appeals of Koreanovela fans over Love in the Moonlight which consequently costed the ratings due to demotion as part of the Kapamilya Gold (their afternoon block).

The equivalent will apply for The General’s Daughter, the prepared replacement of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, which will turn three (3) years old by next Friday (28th). Despite the hinted posts of artists involved via their respective Instagram accounts — especially Angel Locsin and Ryza Cenon (for the second acting stint but first full time after jumping the fence) — and significant and substantial saturation of viewers from watching him over this feat, Cardo Dalisay’s saga is far from over.

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The Turf’s Midyear Report 2018

THE FIRST HALF of 2018 is nearly ending but before we head on the second half, it’s time for a midyear recap of the nine noteworthy and hidden-now-amplified moments of Philippine media.

Why nine? It’s the half of 18, obviously.

These stories are arranged in no particular order.

New League, New Crowd

MPBL 2018 logo

Initiated last January 25, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League – a spiritual successor to late 1990s Metropolitan Basketball Association — was participated by 10 teams, all hailed from Luzon.

Despite no intention to be a competitor to the PBA, the geographically based basketball league drew much crowd from the professional league of corporate teams.

Since June 12, the league expanded almost thrice to 26, divided between the Northern and Southern Conference, making it difficult for S+A to cover and at the same time, crushing the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

As of press time, they are now currently playing in the Datu Cup.

Loss of Billboard PH


The last update of the localized Billboard charts was on January 15 – the same day, overshadowed, the SEC revoked Rappler’s registration.

While there is no official explanation for that inactivity, the probable reason is the breach of contract between Billboard USA and Algo-Rhythm Communications for undue obligations. Some, ludicrously, said that it was intended with the rise of Ex Battalion (which “Hayaan Mo Sila” charted No. 2 in Philippine Top 20) and IV of Spades.

Their website domain that holds it is now vacant; their loss is gain for FM radio station’s biased charts and third-party socmed-based chart aggregators.

End of the Road for Two Things

2nd Avenue logo

Solar Entertainment’s 2nd Avenue parked at the dead end on June 5 (until Saturday for provincial) after 12 years. On the free-to-air territory, it marked the restoration of original RJTV and at the same time, its analog transmission finally shut down, marking it as the second channel to go digital after Light Network 33.

Nonetheless, Solar introduced their encrypted digital TV box, competing against ABS-CBN TV Plus, called Easy TV Super Digibox.

Cable Shakeups and Online Streaming

Cord Cutter

The first half of 2018 trembled the local cable industry — both on cable channels and providers.

On the cable provider, Dream Satellite TV, the pioneer direct-to-home satellite television service since 2001, closed shop with mounting debts and unpaid fees.

On cable channels, fate was done in different methods:

  • Renaming. After almost 19 years, Lifestyle became The Metro Channel last April 2.
  • Specialization downsizing. Last May, Bloomberg Philippines’ programs were downsized and integrated to One News after their license expired.
  • Shutdowns. On New Year’s Day, Jack CT (Solar) shut down. ABS-CBN closed Tag and their Regional Channel on January 15 and at the end of that month, Hero finally bade farewell for anime fans. Toonami SE Asia followed suit two months after.

While GMA did not venture further into cable, it launched its Online Exclusives (ONE). Ex Battalion did not join in the fray until last June 11.

It’s Overtime

Last February, ABS-CBN did an unthinkable tactic to kill Ika-6 na Utos’ popularity before the near end of the early afternoon teleserye that lasted a year and three months. They forced to go overtime in It’s Showtime — particularly on Tawag ng Tanghalan — with Vice Ganda spending time with his/her comedic bantering over the microphone. The tactic affected other shows that come after with GMA fought back by extending their early evening newscast (24 Oras) or Wowowin. The practice of setting time on the airing of the shows, including imposing the digital clock in GMA’s news program, was omitted.

The antics from ABS continue, trying to compete Contessa, but to no avail were better in ratings.

After IANU concluded, it’s one of the leading ladies, Ryza Cenon, jumped ship to Mother Ignacia, joining FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

Mekeni, Mekeni, Maraming Controversy

baganiABS-CBN’s primetime fantasy series Bagani faced criticisms before its premiere on March 5. On casting, it was particularly over Liza Soberano (hold her “sinigang” quip) and on the portrayal of the namesake came from historical societies, indigenous groups and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). While it is too late to change casting for the former, to appease the latter, a disclaimer was incorporated to recognize the indigenous peoples using the term and drew inspiration.

Despite its derivation from Philippine mythology, the show currently did not end up as serious as other fantaseryes — either here or its rival – which drew Suzette Doctolero, the head writer on GMA, to a boil, particularly on portraying Babaylans.

Nearly Forgotten

Remember Brillante Mendoa’s Amo that was promised on TV5 (now, The 5 Network) last year? The show was nearly drowned out due to the sporting deal with ESPN and fixing their identity.

Brillante Mendoza Amo

The network signed the deal with Netflix to distribute it over the streaming service platform to the global audience in April 9 as the first Filipino series. However, not everyone is pleased due to the message it delivers but Netflix — having an array of original and borrowed series — gives anyone choices.

After almost two weeks in the global premiere, the network finally aired the series every Saturdays.

105.9 FM: The Cursed Radio Frequency

If you’re in the Metro Manila market, you have heard about the recent change over that radio frequency.

The radio station, as Like 105.9 FM, dressed for the sixth time (fifth in the blocktimer) as an Adult Top 40 station, “trying to beat Mellow 94.7” (JRDV, 2018) without prior notice on May 26-27 weekend — not even in social media.

Ominous signs why they concelead their announcement happened since November: downsizing of DJs, the significant rise of neighbors’ recognition which translates to unsatisfied performance and unpaid debts from the last blocktimer as RETRO.

The Turf initially called it the IBC 13 of FM Radio while Kim Martin, a resident commenter of From the Tube, called it a Lindsay Lohan.

PTV under fire

People’s Television Network (PTV) caught on spotlight last April when the Commission on Audit found out in the GOCC’s audit report that 60 million pesos worth of ad placement from the Department of Tourism to Ben Tulfo’s media outfit (being a blocktimer for the network) had no proper documentation.

It made Jules Guiang, one of the network’s talents who is principled but politically different from the echo chamber, outraged. Because of that emphasis, the issue of conflict of interest between then-Secretary Wanda Teo and her brothers surfaced.

While Wanda was finally sacked, her brothers temporarily left from the limelight and returned in radio in the Philippine Broadcasting Service, covering on the television, still doing the thing they do best (or worse, depending on one’s standpoint): worshipping Duterte in high heavens. The money is never returned, despite being said.

For PTV, they are planning to air shows from mainland China as China Theatre, dubbed in Filipino, come August.

Special mentions:

  • ABS-CBN News going full HD
  • Launch of ANC X
  • Changes in ABS-CBN regionally produced shows due to DTT: ending Agri Tayo Dito and Mag TV Na (Kapamilya Mas Winner Ka on the weekend) and consolidation TV Patrol regionals next week
  • GMA’s 24 Oras went over a week-long “dressing room” change in character generation
  • Sherlock Jr., despite the criticism from the title and the style of the trailer, actually deviated from Arthur Conan Doyle’s adaptation or from the BBC.
  • MNL48 formation on It’s Showtime (and underlying controversy from fans)
  • Launch of LIGA
  • One billion YouTube views of Wish 107.5’s YouTube channel
  • Departure of DJ Gino Quillamor from Monster RX 93.1

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Timow’s Turf Zeitgeist 2017: The Petmalu Events of Philippine Media (Part I)

Another year has gone by but before it flips on to 2018, let’s look back on the colorful, unpredictable (or as we say, petmalu) events in Philippine media on Timow’s Turf Zeitgeist 2017.

For this year, the Zeitgeist will be similar to a Facebook news feed with like and five reactions that you might side on with the Turf‘s probable reasons.

United for the Crown

Wurtzbach Mittenaere

Television tribalism on the Big 3 stopped temporarily since two years ago when on January 30, the 65th Miss Universe was held in the Mall of Asia Arena in which Miss France Iris Mittenaire succeeded Pia Wurtzbach in the title. The next edition, where Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned, on November 27 did not do the joint pooling.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love & Wow: It was a rare moment for the Big 3 to unite for a common purpose, aside from certain events such as the annual State of the Nation Address.
  • Sad: Local bets Maxine Medina landed at Top 6 (January) and Rachel Peters landed worse at Top 10 (November).

Government-Owned Radio Overhaul

PBS2017The first full year of the Duterte presidency saw the staggering process of state radio reform under the Philippine Broadcasting Service.

Envisioned by PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar and supervised by Bong “Sonny B” Aportadera to match those from the BBC in the UK, they launched their brands anew, chronologically: FM2 104.3 MHz, RP1 738 kHz and RP2 918 kHz. Since November 1, FM1 87.5 is currently under test broadcast and now waiting for the formal launch.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love: FM2 104.3 knocked out Retro 105.9 as the “classics authority.”
  • Wow: As part of the reform, the refurbishment of radio equipment was able to compete with commercial counterparts. Not to mention, in both AM and FM, their radio representation reached Top 10 (according to Nielsen) as of 3rd quarter this year.
  • Angry: Die-hard icons of the President became part of the roster of personalities such as the three of four Tulfo brothers and Alex Santos on RP1. Well, what can you really expect from a state-owned media enterprise?

To be fair, FM2 would have been the Turf’s Best FM Radio Station of the Year but due to some flaws, it is classified No. 2 on the books; better luck next time. Speaking of state-owned media enterprise

Para sa Bayan o Para sa Pangulo?

PTV logo 2017 (without wordmark)

As part of state-owned media reform, this year, PTV made substantial operational and programming changes:

  • While awaiting the reorganization of PTV as promised on the first State of the Nation Address last year but they fulfilled one specific goal: Salaam TV was launched as a digital TV subchannel last July.
  • On the main channel, they aired the CGTN block, which reflects the archetype of President Duterte’s foreign policy pivot.
  • As the presidential propaganda station, they covered just one episode of Mula Sa Para, Para Sa Masa presented by Rocky Ignacio, which is replaced with Sa Totoo Lang with Erwin Tulfo.
  • In the public service aspect, Damayan returned after a seven-year hiatus as Damayan Ngayon with William Thio and Emily Katigbak.

By April 2018, PTV is announced to air NHK educational TV programs.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Love: In the eyes of the subservient herd, their feelings/emotions are unconditional.
  • Haha: For the rationalists, PTV’s reforms are still very different from being a fully-fledged public broadcaster like the BBC. During the ASEAN Summit last November, Sass Sasot made a scene against BBC correspondent Jonathan Head but got her airtime from PTV. The colleagues were also given a show months prior on this network. Not to mention, Vasra has a lapsed marketing division. (CLUE: Look at the billboard provided here; it’s directed to Erwin Tulfo’s social media handles.)
  • Angry & Sad: With overhaul comes with the cost; Xiao Chua and Kathy San Gabriel were formally and informally discharged while replacing it with lackeys like the Tulfo brothers and Alex Santos.
  • Sad: Philippines Football League fans were disappointed with the televised coverage within two months of the inaugural season due to the usual Presidential engagements.
  • Wow: Sports fans were shocked to see the return of SEA Games coverage on this network after 10 years.

Light Network goes Digital


In light of the Digital Television Summit led by former DICT Sec. Rodolfo Salalima that extends the analog shutdown to 2023, Light Channel 33 formally ceased analog transmissions on February 28 and began its digital transmissions the following day.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Wow: NET25’s loyal base was shocked that an underdog beat them after years of DTV experimentation.
  • Love: DTV enthusiasts were enthralled by their move and hoping that the rest of the channels would catch up.

Destined to Lose Fans


Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza – the duo that formed AlDub in Eat Bulaga – advance their showbiz career together from noontime to primetime with Destined to Be Yours.

While the AlDub hype train beefed up, the performance was mixed. While AGB Nielsen reported a big gain on them on the premiere, Kantar published otherwise with ABS-CBN swept on their first day. Like all other 24 Oras lead-out teleseryes, they didn’t last and conceded to FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

After DTBY, in November, Maine published her open letter stating that she and Alden are “just friends” but it elicited negative responses by heartbroken and speculative fans.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Angry: In DTBY’s premiere, ADN was furious with the Kantar ratings. With the open letter, the chunk of fandom enters their stage of denialism.
  • Sad: Upon reading Maine’s open letter, it seems AlDub Nation’s support was waning and the fans grieving — some were quick to speculate with spreading rumors but some kept the faith by staging a “white rally.” (They wore white shirts and thus, they are very not related to the controversial Charlottesville rally last August.)

A Wish Finally Comes True

Wish 107.5

Wish 107.5 is a radio station associated with UNTV or its religious group, Members Church of God International that produced Ang Dating Daan. Like its AM counterpart, La Verdad 1350, their mobile radio booth, dubbed the Wish Bus, is where bystanders can see performers.

In March, they reached 1 million subscribers in their YouTube channel containing Wishclusive performances, which consequentially earned commercial sponsors in their subsequent auditions, recognition in newspapers and further innovate (e.g. Wish Card) for convenience at faster growth.

Suffice to say, The Turf considers this as the Best FM Station of the Year.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Wow or Love: For its loyal base (aside from the MCGI adherents), they were flattered with appreciation from foreigners’ reaction videos. Such reactions and innovation enhance the reputation of the radio station that goes beyond their walls (of the bus, for that matter).

Inept Basket Case but Not Digitally Behind

The vigilance on IBC 13 remains a staple here on the Turf.

Since March, its free to air coverage is in low power mode, which ended up losing half of the cockfighting shows such as the longest-holding Tukaan.

At first, critics (including the Turf) initially assessed and considered the moribund network as a pariah in terms of digital television transition due to the aforementioned observation, alongside general mismanagement and slow updates on privatization process until last October when they test on Channel 26 and disclosed the said frequency for the first time — much of mixed emotions of chagrin and relief.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Like or Love: For sabong fans, IBC’s loss of half of its concerned programs is TV5’s and S+A’s gain.
  • Wow: El Shaddai members were stunned by the development, their home for 25 years, while their own Channel 35’s progress is stagnant. (Anong masasabi ninyo, mga ka-DBS?)

Ika-6 na Utos sa Ika-6 na Araw


The idea of GMA’s famous afternoon kabitserye to extend to Saturday was thought to beIANU an April fool’s joke for the viewers but it was real. Its expansion was successful in knocking out the competitors from Mother Ignacia. The rival did not answer back for It’s Showtime lead-out teleseryes.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Wow: Fans of the show were at first happy with the expansion but some shows concern of burnout for lead stars Gabby Concepcion, Sunshine Dizon and Ryza Cenon.
  • Sad or Angry: For the morally upright, it’s a disappointment. For the critics, it can be summed up in one word: cancerous.

Fantaseryes Pa More

GMA Fantaserye

GMA Telebabad in 2017 marked the sprout of fantaseryes as the 24 Oras’ lead-out show.

After the successful Encantandia requel in 2016 came another with Mulawin vs. Ravena.

Then came the second season (book) of Alyas Robin Hood (portrayed by Dingdong Dantes), the controversial fantaserye that copied CW’s Arrow, premiered and finally, Super Ma’am (portrayed by his wife, Marian Rivera) took over the timeslot thus forming a conjugal back-to-back fantaserye block until ARH’s shorter season ending.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Haha: Repeatedly, critics already made the verdict: aside from relying on old guns, fantaserye spending would take the toll on other rooms for improvement in Timog Avenue, such as digital television testing.
  • Sad: In DongYan’s seryes, it would have been nice if the couple crossed over to make the best story to satiate new taste but it’s just mere wishful thinking since crossovers are not part of the Philippine television culture unlike those in America.

Radyo Kontra pero Pirata

Radyo Kontra Droga 98.3

In May, two suspicious radio stations were DXed in the Metro Manila area, Radyo Kontra Droga 98.3, and Radyo Kontra Weeaboo 107.1. The latter is reported to be split into two in Metro Manila with 89.5 on the North — affecting the frequencies of Wave 89.1 and Magic 89.9.

Possible Reaction & Reason

  • Angry: We have called out NTC for lack of attention and its powers to stop both suspicious stations, the easy payment of fines and light sentences. The solution seems so obvious: well-defined regulations, stiffer fines, and penalties on the concerned laws against such radio piracy.


Part II of the series will continue on Friday. Stay tuned.

11 Shows GMA News TV Should Have Really Never Aired

NOT BEARING any further grudges, GMA News TV is supposed to be a news channel at par with veteran ANC and the younger CNN Philippines.

However, during the past 6.5 years, our expectations are far from materialization as critics began to see the flaw and became irritated with the inclusion and expansion non-essential programming composition in the middle-aged channel as if they are comparable to a tabloid newspaper than a broadsheet. Some of us called it QTV 2.0, GMA Balitakilya TV or GMA Sari-Sari TV than the current (mislabeled) name.

While most – but not all — newscasts, public affairs programs, and documentaries whether made for that channel or carried over from its older sister channel after original airing are essential, few of the programs and the non-essential genre should be relocated or terminated – at least, gradually.

Aside from the movie blocks, home shopping and Koreanovelas that are finished in Channel 7, here are the 11 specific shows GNTV should have never aired (as of press time).

NOTE: The list is not sorted in a particular order and is excluding programs produced and provided from ZOE/Light Network, as they are contractually committed.