Solar Entertainment

Revisiting DepEd TV


OH BOY, the country’s public school system begins its school year this Monday (September 13); it will be another school year without face-to-face interaction as COVID-19 continues to spread violently with various variants while our vaccination efforts lag. (The rest of the world is resuming face-to-face instructions with minimum health and safety protocols in place save Venezuela and us.)

Last year, parents and teachers were concerned about their children’s ability to continue their education in the face of the pandemic, as Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones desired. Furthermore, due to the President’s premeditated and petty motive, access to the most popular educational TV channel in the country was lost or limited because the company that made that channel lost its broadcast franchise.

At last, a solution was found; DepEd TV was born. 

In this blog post, we will revisit the state-sanctioned distance learning program: What went right? What went wrong? Are there any localized options?

(more…)

The Hindsight That Was 2020: How the Surviving TV Networks Fared? (Part II)


[NOTE: If you haven’t read the first part of our year-ender, click HERE before proceeding.]

“If I knew back then what I know now. / If I understood the what, when, why and how. / Now it’s clear to me. What I should have done. / But hindsight is 20/20 vision.”

~George Benson, “20/20” (1985)

THE FIRST year of the New Decade is ending. When we began, this is a year that we expected a “perfect vision” or a show of ambition and surprises. However, we did not foresee an outbreak encroaching the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic puts a halt to the production of those things we looked forward to and puts precarious precautions on the essentials. Coupling with the premeditated fall of a prominent media giant, the surviving competitors fought rapaciously over broadcasting rights much worse than we initially thought or regained and repurposed.

In this two-part of the year-ender, how did the remaining TV networks respond? (NOTE: Let’s just pretend that ABS-CBN and the ZOE deal that forms A2Z are no longer relevant to discussions anymore because, well… you voted for it, you asked for it.)

In the second part, we will tackle the minor networks that garnered significant differences this year.


IBC 13

The real antipode to the fallen media giant regained prominence but not similar to its former glory nearly half a century ago. Instead, the neglected and utterly forgotten state-sequestered TV network was repurposed into a distance learning channel through DepEd TV from Monday to Saturday daytime. The biggest sacrifice, other than ending EZ Shop, is they have to pull the plug on El Shaddai after 28 years and the plan of SMAC Television Production’s Gen Z-hosted and performed noontime show.

In August, the worker’s union claim of perennial mismanagement was at a bad timing as it was eclipsed by the PhilHealth money heist. First, the reported amount of unpaid benefits since 2008 was P 278 million but that was just peanuts compared to PhilHealth’s P 15 billion. Second, PhilHealth’s theft has a much indirect effect on workers; public and private workers around the country are affected since we indirectly pay their premium contributions from our paychecks (they’re mandatory). Third, PhilHealth matters because of universal health coverage that any member would come to their aid when they get sick (especially with the lingering pandemic) as IBC is supposed to convey delivery of education and information.

While their broadcast franchise doesn’t expire until 2025, privatization is the obvious solution to end the myriad of problems but considering the current situation, the initiative couldn’t push anytime soon or worse, it won’t pursue anymore if DepEd TV becomes a permanent staple (which, in fairness, is a much better use of airtime than showing replays of government propaganda shows and home shopping but we’re in doubt over their financial standing).

PTV

The pandemic has introduced the daily Laging Handa public briefing since mid-March but it veered away from its intention from being an information handler when it comes to the virus into a front act for Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

One personality was no longer seen this year: Jules Guiang. The only dissenter in the roster of talents spilled his outspokenness on Twitter by comparing the labor issues of his employer and the fallen media giant which led to his consequential exit that exposed the true colors of Vasra’s broadcast and internal company culture.

During the budget hearing for the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) in the House of Representatives last September 10 (the same day the National Telecommunications Commission revoked the frequencies of ABS-CBN after an absence of a valid franchise), Secretary Martin Andanar wanted to compete with commercial broadcasters. Why now? Whatever happened to the fully-fledged public broadcaster promised in President Duterte’s maiden SONA four years ago?

Last December 5, PCOO inaugurated the Mindanao Media Hub in the President’s bailiwick in Davao City.

By this time, they are planning to air a noontime show with a working title, Good Laughternoon. The hosts are mostly from participants of Miss World Philippines and comedians who were formerly employed by Allan K’s two closed comedy bars (Klownz and Zirkoh).

CNN Philippines

This channel is barely changing operations-wise, other than the focus on the pandemic coverage and the entry of Rico Hizon. Twice the channel went off the air because of the presence of COVID-positive employees in their HQ in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong and thus, they have to be disinfected.

During the U.S. presidential debates season, they are very interrupted due to daily issues here at home like the Speakership show and red-tagging personalities.

At the moment, no room for improvements has been recommended or formulated — even though they have slight drift (i.e. cartoons from Cartoon Network) from living up to its name for pure news and public affairs.

NET 25

Another prominent TV network that gained attention this year is this UHF TV network near Templo Central in Commonwealth.

During the dual period, they aired a talent show (Tagisan ng Galing) and a noontime show (Happy Time), starring Anjo Yllana, Janno Gibbs and Kitkat. Robin Padilla has two projects from this channel — Unlad: Kaagapay sa Hanapbuhay (an informative program) and Kesayasaya (a musical sitcom).

Two instances are arising from the fallout of Mother Ignacia: the entry of Vic De Leon Lima in their flagship newscast Mata ng Agila; and few versatile talents starring on their first teleserye Ang Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw.

Two prominent beauties came to this network: Emma Mary Tiglao joined the early evening newscast while PBA courtside reporter Apple David became one of the presenters of the breakfast show Pambansang Almusal.

Net25 has promising program offerings this year — even the contemptuous due to obvious religious alignment — but not everyone can reach this network. Despite being the pioneer network in our country’s digital terrestrial TV, they are barely accessible on the free and digital airwaves.

You have to rely on cable (depending on where you live) and on social media with a dependable internet connection.

ETC

For 2020, Solar Entertainment is eating their humble pies after losing the carriage disputes of NBA and the ambitious Easy TV offerings since last year. This year, ETC continued such feasting. This channel’s offering was intentionally targeted for feminine and young adult demographics; this year, it into a significant channel drift by adding an old Filipino classic film block called ETCinema and a Tagalog-dubbed Turkishnovela (Endless Love) in their ETCerye.

BEAM

If a wanderer is portrayed as a digital TV channel, then Broadcast Enterprises and Affiliated Media (BEAM) fit the bill.

These past few years, their channel serves as a digital TV playground where they have no defined purpose than GMA or NET 25 — call it an experimental laboratory, if you will.

This year, two events transpired for that company. On July 30, their broadcast franchise was renewed for another 25 years after affixing President Duterte’s signature. Three months later, the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 tournament gets a dedicated subchannel from this network.


That Being Said…

The year 2020 will forever be an exceptional year and a turning point. EXCEPTIONAL, where the way of life is significantly different than before and a TURNING POINT, where one major player’s fall has made a domino effect on our media consumption.

Few things will be sure arising from the lessons of this sagacious year:

  • There will be an overall setback in terms of broadcasting innovation.
  • The analog switchover (initially scheduled for end-2023) will certainly push anew to an indefinite date.
  • This will signal a sudden acceleration of younger demographics (from the younger half of millennials onwards) abandoning free TV and move on to online streaming (e.g. Netflix, iWantTFC or Kumu) — after attending online classes or working from home.

To paraphrase a quote from Spanish filmmaker Antonio Banderas, people are not that patient anymore.

So what will 2021 bring us? We don’t know but we have crossed the bridge of no return.


ONCE AGAIN:

I thank the 200+ Facebook users who like our Page, which total to 505 likes.

I thank the following people that defined 2020 for me: Miguele Torres, Rey Refran, Jayson Bustamante and Zyle Samuel A. Hernandez. I also want to thank Trendrod Box for being a complement to this one-man band of a project.

In Twitterlandia, Prof. Danilo Arao, Peter Cayton and JP Tanyag.


Have a healthy New Year. We shall reclaim!

This 2021, continue to like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

SOMETHING NEW? Join our Discord server!

Counting Down to NBA’s New Season, Counting on a New Deal


 

NBA in China.jpg

The past week, the NBA went to China for the international, pre-season exhibition games. However, the relation went into hot water when a team’s general manager tweets in defense of protestors in Hong Kong.

 

EIGHT DAYS.

That’s the number of days left until NBA tips off the new season at the time of this publication.

As the countdown comes to an end, this month faced two problems in one continental market.

The passing week, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted expressing support for the persistent protestors in Hong Kong. The tweet crushed state-owned China Central Television’s (CCTV) plan to broadcast the preseason games, especially between Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai, China at that time.

Though the tweet is deleted, the damage is already done. The host country’s business partners severed ties with the league, which in turn would ruin a big reputation for the biggest international market. It is a big deal.

Speaking of it, the Philippines has its own share.

When BTV and NBA Premium TV (of Solar Entertainment) ceased operations at the start of this month, sports fans, writers and analysts were shocked. They are now puzzled and then, speculated whimsically on who will save the most cherished league of their lives.

While few media professionals were discouraged to do such things, we just cannot blame them to do so as Tep Nazario mentioned that we are the people where basketball is the most sought-after institution, right next to religion.

An outsider media practitioner placed the fingers on to Solar Sports’ ambitious decisions over the years — in addition to the exclusion on the lineup by another cable provider due to unpaid carriage fees in 2017 — that lead to their eventual downfall.

As we said earlier, the NBA is a huge deal — both in terms of money and its fanbase. Because the broadcast contract is enormous, having it on one entity is obviously “unfair;” thus, Sky and Cignal, who supplied the defunct cable channels, are said to be “in the talks” of a joint bid.

SWOT Analysis

While there is NBA League Pass, it’s not affordable and the internet connection is not even that great to stream them smoothly. Hence, they stick to the traditional modes of over-the-air or cable television.

The Turf devised the SWOT Analysis on the two most discussed media outlets that are currently and prospectively carrying this league.

ABS-CBN (Current co-holder)

  • S (Strength): Experience in broadcasts and in social media following. (Nuff said.)
  • W (Weakness): Biased local commentaries (Why did they keep on talking about LeBron James, if he is not playing in the particular game?)
  • O (Opportunities): They have the moolah; so, the unallocated Sky Cable channels can establish their own exclusive channels. For a petty former sportswriter, expansion to Sundays is possible (but expect backlashes).
  • T (Threats): Franchise non-renewal, which may not finish the regular season and would not cover the Playoffs.

ESPN5 (Prospective co-holder)

  • S: Significant experiences in carrying different sports. Local commentators would try to be better and more professional than those from ABS. Lastly, the brand name speaks for itself.
  • W: Implementation cannot be realized as they have to juggle with the current running of NFL’s 100th season and they are committed to carrying almost all events of the SEA Games.
  • O: Cignal-exclusive sports channels’ programming can be diversified.
  • T: Analog transmissions of 5Plus (Ch. 41) remains unimproved and unresolved. Other programs that are in store for 5 could be shelved.

If you have any reasons that should be included in the SWOT Analysis, you can comment below.

Until they have settled, we have to be patient or we might have to resort with an unsatisfying sharing alliance between ABS-CBN and Fox Sports.


 

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Photo courtesy of SB Nation

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


[Requested by Gian Paolo Dela Cruz]

 

GNTV.png

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

EasyTV-Super-DigiBox-with-box.jpg

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

Police Reports Memes.jpg

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…

Obvious ba.gif

#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:

Not Impoerant.gif

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:

The light is coming.gif

 

 

#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).

Oscars Applause.gif

 

#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.

poy-guardians-ressa.jpeg

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…

happy-new-year-colorful-fireworks-over-city-animated-gif

Continue liking our Facebook page. Follow also on Medium.

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

Thoughts on Pacquiao vs Matthysse


 

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RETRIEVING THE TITLE. Manny Pacquiao will fight against Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur to regain the WBA regular welterweight title on Sunday.

 

THIS SUNDAY, Manny Pacquiao fights again against Argentinian Lucas Matthysse to regain the WBA regular welterweight title in Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Since his recent defeat to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane last year, Pacquiao’s boxing management made radical changes.

In April, the 16-year working partnership with Coach Freddie Roach ended, together with veteran promoter Bob Arum. Instead, his long-time friend Buboy Fernandez becomes the trainee.

Now as a free agent, Pacquiao’s team, spearheaded by Arnold Vegafria, the head of sales and marketing of MP Promotions, has the freedom to decide who his next opponent will be and what networks will cover.

This upcoming bout will be shown both on Sky Cable and Cignal on  pay-per-view and the Big 3 by delayed telecast (the last time happened on May 2015). The 5 Network originally reported that they won’t air, despite their exclusive cable channel’s participation, as they acquired Top Rank Boxing (Pacman’s former promoter company) as part of the ESPN 5 package since December. Solar Sports, the long-time partner of his previous bouts, is out of the question.

While Arum objected, Pacquiao and few of his rivals didn’t matter. But how the people would respond to the hype on the post-Top Rank bout?

From the Turf‘s perspective, this sporting hype seems might be lower (although, Pacman fans would say otherwise), given the internal factors of Pacquiao: age (He is 39 while his adversary is 35) and political stance (no explanation necessary) but the major factor is his schedule availability.

Historically, Pacquiao’s fights fell either usually on May or November — but in this case, this fight sets on July, just before Congress convenes on the 3rd regular (the final and the shortest) session.

That said nevertheless, no matter what the results from the Compubox will be on Sunday, the winners will still be the networks with their shared, implied advertising revenue.

If you asked about when will he hang up the gloves and pass the banner of boxing to the young blood (particularly, Jerwin Ancajas), that will be Pacquiao’s answer but let’s not fret with blunt, Carabao English responses.


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


For Part I, click here.

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.

Charting the New Horizons

On June 12, Billboard Philippines initially launched four charts after nine months of formation:

  • Philippine Hot 100 for local and international popular hits
  • Philippine Top 20 for local popular hits,
  • Catalog Chart for local popular hits lasting more than 3 years, and
  • K-Pop Top 5

Possible Reaction & Reason:

  • Love: Some music lovers saw the Charts as a form of knowing and motivating their local performers. Acting as the yardstick of fair airplay would also mean fewer biases from FM radio stations’ respective charts.

Breaking Silence

The closing year marked the tipping movement of sexual harassments calls from entertainment (from film producer Harvey Weinstein), on the news (Matt Lauer, NBC’s Today main presenter) and to politics (Roy Moore, the defeated candidate for US Senator in Alabama).

The Philippines has the similar case to this.

Jensen and the Flips’ frontman Jensen Gomez and guitarist Sam Valenia were were allegedly sexually harassing several women. In light of that claims, the band was dropped from several gigs.

The band was one of the featured artist of Coke Studio Philippines, the weekly music show on TV5. (YouTube clip of one of  their performances below)

Aside from Jensen and the Flips, some members of other indie acts MilesExperience (sometimes referred to as Msex) and SUD were also called out for the same reason.

Possible Reaction & Reason:

  • Angry: Either on bandwagon mode or not, violence against women is a serious issue in the light of uncouth and crass global leadership. (Ahem.)
  • Haha: For anti-feminists and pro-patriarchy apologists, it’s gone too far and asks them to go home and make a sandwich.
  • Sad: To sum up, “Where did we go so low?

One Sound, One Blow

JAM 88.3, WAVE 89.1, MAGIC 89.9, 99.5 PLAYFM AND 103.5 KLITE joined forces five times this year from June 30 to November 17 for #OneSoundPH to promote OPM.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love: The advocacy behind #OneSoundPH aspires more on unity than on division.
  • Wow: One can say that it marks the beginning of temporary resistance to tribalism in radio industry.

PH Wants Their (Own) MTV

Coinciding the 36th anniversary of MTV in America, this sixth incarnation (MTVph) is a collaboration of Viacom and Solar Entertainment.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love: For music lovers, obviously, and those who love to tune in their reality shows.
  • Haha: Too bad, there’s no worried reaction but if they have one, it’s because of the survivability of this incarnation amidst YouTube and audio streaming services (e.g. Spotify).

Atom Araullo Goes Over the Bakod

On September 15, Atom Araullo announced his departure from ABS-CBN on Umagang Kay Ganda. A few hours, DZBB hinted his return, which was realized the week after.

When this news broke out, they are questioning the network if there is a non-compete clause in his contract. In contract law, a non-compete clause is which one party (an employee) agrees not to enter into a similar profession in competition against another party (the employer).

Despite this, his departure was done voluntarily and amicably. His first documentary in his new home in Kamuning was “The Philippine Seas” aired last November 5; as a result, he joins I-Witness.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Wow: Alternative for shocked, of course, this announcement initially stunned the Big Two’s base.
  • Sad: Of course, solid Kapamilya fans were shocked to see him go from the institution for 15 years.
  • Love: For Kapuso diehards, this marks the reunion since his inaugural presence on 5 And Up that shaped up the career in journalism.

Choosing Courage? More like Choosing Destiny via Carelessness

TV5 went on a sporadic mode throughout 2017 under the short-lived “Choose Courage” campaign by its ambitious head-cum-coach Chot Reyes.

AniMEGA came back after the full year hiatus but their flow of programming is completely disrupted as with dubbed US TV series and few third-party produced local entertainment programs (Brillante Mendoza Presents, Lakbai, Coke Studio Philippines and the Philippines Next Top Model: High Street) due to the hard time to say “no” to sports.

In the News & Public Affairs Department, they tried Turning Point and Manindigan but didn’t last for the same reason, along with the department’s constant inattention. Not to mention, the scuffle between Ed Lingao and the two Tulfo brothers last June worsened the damage despite reinstatement of the Word of the Lourd segment.

The network’s tipping point happened on October 12, while the National Football League’s regular season were put into play for the first time, TV5 signed the deal with ESPN for more sporting content.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Wow or Love. For sports aficionados, ESPN5’s prospective new offers (such as NCAA U.S.) are worth something to look forward.
  • Angry. The non-sporting sectors are not happy with their deal due to the slated sporadic non-sports programming. Not to mention, undelivered offers were washed out (e.g. Brillante Mendoza’s Amo, Travel 360 & Bloggers TV).
  • Haha. Critics are unsurprised because TV5’s destiny is consummated. Some of them called out this permanent deal as a waste of money. (Bigyan ng Worst TV Network of the Year Award yan!)
  • Sad. Realistic pessimists knew what has happened — TV5 is deemed beyond repair. Aksyon sa Umaga, despite winning a Catholic Mass Media Award, was cancelled in order to accommodate live and/or delayed coverages of other sports due to time zone difference. On the other hand, Aksyon Tonite’s running time was slashed in half.

Fulfilling Their Promises, Going Even Further

CNN Philippines fulfilled all their titled promises for this year from their trade launch last December 2016 – namely, Political Insider, Hoop Nation, My Philippines, Trippies and Harvest.

Yet, they have done more than just that.

Throughout the year, they expanded newscasts on weekday midmornings (as Newsroom Ngayon) with Ruth Cabal and weekends at lunchtime – born out of circumstances (e.g. Marawi standoff) — with Mai Rodriguez, together with Sports Desk and revitalized the early evening weekday newscast with News Night.

  • Love or Wow. For media newsers, CNN Philippines fulfilled everything than the Big 3 that just keeps on breaking. (Bigyan ng Best TV Network Award ‘yan! May nanalo na!)
  • Haha. Gilbert Remulla engaged a Twitter war from netizens and then, his show was axed. (Karma is not a liar; she keeps receipts.)

The Honorable, Dishonorable, Mixed & Sad Mentions

Honorable Mentions

  • TV Patrol turned 30 and its public service caravan.
  • CBS’ Madam Secretary punched the fictional Philippine president in the face.
  • Voltes V and Daimos’ released its new dubs on GMA.
  • RX 93.1 dethroned Love Radio 90.7 in KBP Golden Dove Awards.
  • Star Movies and Star World were replaced with Fox Movies and Fox Life in June and October respectively.

Dishonorable Mentions

  • Miguel Belmonte. The Radyo5 head neglected his duties to reform 92.3 News FM due to his commitments on The Philippine Star.
  • Harry Roque. The human rights lawyer turned into the compromised Presidential mouthpiece.
  • Mocha Uson. No need to explain as her acts caught on camera and on social media speaks for itself.

Mixed Mentions

  • CNN Philippines’ personalities. They come (Ruth Cabal), go (Nicolette Henson and Mico Halili) and come back (Menchu Macapagal).
  • James Deakin. The CNN Philippines’ motoring hero who braved the senators in the hearing of granting emergency powers on traffic last August had some kryptonite. According to an observer in PHTV Group, his show, The Service Road, does not mention NLEX, SCTEX or SLEX due to indirect influence of the dominant advertiser San Miguel Corporation on the network.
  • Xander Ford. Many considered him the Jake Paul of the Philippines, although much older and experienced. His name will forever be remembered as the epitome of our non-political sensationalism this year.
  • CBCP’s radio & television franchise expiration. The House of Representatives did not act upon the renewal of franchise for the CBCP due to the clashing standoff with President Duterte. While Radyo Veritas remains unaffected due to extension signed by predecessor Aquino, the expired franchise (since August 7) did not affect their online radio operation. This move is feared to be the prelude for ABS-CBN come 2020.
  • Martin Andanar. He may be a visionary in broadcasting reform but his political quips and antics within his office (e.g. blunders in the Philippines News Agency) are not amused.
  • Aljur Abrenica. After years of limbo with GMA, he jumped ship to ABS-CBN.
  • Lloyd Cadena. The YouTube celebrity turned DJ of Love Radio 90.7 replacing Papa Jack.

Sad Mentions (those who passed away)

  • Nikka Cleofe-Alejar (one of PTV anchors) — last July due to wasp sting.
  • Amelyn Veloso (the swooning CNN Philippines mainstay) — last August due to liver metastasis.
  • Hashtags member Franco Hernandez drowned in Davao Occidental last November.
  • Isabel Granada
  • Direk Soxie Topacio

A(n e)motion of thanks

That being said, 2017 was a year of predicaments in the media industry. Other specific events are not mentioned because the Turf focuses beyond entertainment (try visiting From the Tube) as politics are lessened due to assumption that everyone knows what just happened. Other specialized colleagues, such as Media Newser Philippines will have to wait until middle to late January for their consensual judgment of who are the winners and losers in the news industry of the imminently closing year.

Whatever comes in 2018, Timow’s Turf will still document the happenings and continue to share the insights.

Aside from the usual supportive patrons, we would also like to thank the following people that debuted and made 2017, specifically, Paul Justin Baloloy of Chakuy Productions, Jojo Bailon of View on the 3rd and Kevin L. Estrada.

 Until then, have a pristine and serene New Year.

Timow’s Turf Midyear Report 2017 (Part 2)


WE ARE OFFICIALLY in the midpoint of 2017 and for the past six months, the Philippine media landscape changed faster than anyone could have guessed.

Here on Timow’s Turf, we will focus on the moments that transpired the first half of the year. Welcome to

Welcome to the Turf’s Midyear Report 2017.

If you missed out Part 1, click on the link before continuing to Part 2.

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Philippines’ Next Top Model to strut, impress on TV5


Twelve (12) ladies will strut their way on the catwalk but only one will become the Philippines’ Next Top Model on its new home on TV5.

TONIGHT at 8:15 p.m., the spotlight search will be finally on for the new cycle (“season”) of Philippines’ Next Top Model.
The upcoming season – subtitled as the Philippines Next Top Model: High Street – will mark the return of our local Next Top Model franchise after a decade on its new home on TV5 as part of the network’s “Choose Courage” campaign.
Hosted and heading the panel of judges by Maggie Wilson, twelve (12) aspirants were chosen through walk-in and online auditions last year as they will be tried and tested in the catwalk to impress the other members of the panel, including model-mentor Miss International 2016 Kylie Versoza, Rainer Dagala and Rafael Keifer.
The twelve contestants are as follows:
  • Adela Marshall: 19, Makati City (5’9″)
  • Aivie Phan: 21, Muntinlupa City (5’6″)
  • Angela Lehmann: 25, Makati City (5’8″)
  • Blaise Buendia: 20, Manila (5’7″)
  • Ina Guerrero: 23, Daraga, Albay (5’8″)
  • Jan Villanueva: 24, Norzagaray, Bulacan (5’9″)
  • Janelle Olafson: 26, Manila (5’7″)
  • Janilyn Medina: 20, Quezon City (5’5″)
  • Kim Valies: 21, Bacolod (5’8″)
  • Petche Anne Vale: 20, Tagbilaran, Bohol (5’9″)
  • Sarah Edwards: 23, Angeles City (5’7″)
  • Shekie Quah: 23, Binan, Laguna (5’7″)
This new edition will premiere exactly 10 years after their inaugural season this month. At that time, it was aired on RPN 9 under Ruffa Gutierrez where Grendel Alvarado bested as the top winner among the 14 contenders. Their international destination was in Victoria, Hong Kong.

The second franchise under Solar was supposed to be aired in 2012 but it was cancelled after a year due to production delays.

There was a plan that was announced in 2012 called Top Model Philippines by ETC. VJ Sarah Meier-Albano would’ve hosted and headed the panel of judges. Sean Armenta (model-turned-photographer) and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo (model mentor) would’ve composed in the panel. Former America’s Next Top Model producer Michael Carandang would’ve been the Creative Director for photo shoots and their international destination would’ve been in London. A year later, the Solar Entertainment management, owner of the ETC channel, decided to suspend the production of the show, citing delays and timing concerns that led to eventual cancellation.
That said, it’s safe to say that the upcoming edition on its new home on VHF will officially be counted as the second season of the series. Given the constant skepticism and criticism within their programming grid, would this new incarnation stand firm and impress the critics?
PNTM: High Street airs every Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. on TV5, right after Supergirl.


Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/TV5/orangemagazine.ph

Countdown to Coronation (Part II): The Current Arrangements


This Timow’s Turf special report will be dedicated on the 65th Miss Universe where the Philippines will host the grand coronation this Monday, January 30. The views and opinions expressed in this second and concluding installment of two-part special do not reflect those of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO).

President Duterte posed with DOT Secretary Wanda Teo and the fourth batch of the 65th Miss Universe candidates Monday. Maxine Medina, the Philippine contingent, is on the far right.

President Rodrigo Duterte posed with Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo and the fourth batch of the 65th Miss Universe candidates Monday during the courtesy call in Malacanang. Maxine Medina, the Philippine contingent, is on the far right.

ON THE FIRST part, we tripped down memory lane on the past two editions of Miss Universe in 1974 and 1994. In this second of two parts, we will tackle the highly anticipated current event.

Just like the Papal Visit and the APEC Summit back in 2015, the first major event of 2017 involving high-profile foreign dignitaries must need a high profile security in which indeed President Rodrigo Duterte practiced religiously as he trusts too defensively to the military and the police.

But how did the organization for the third hosting came to be and how is the progress of broadcasters concerned?

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