TAPE

The Possible Next Steps for ABS-CBN


[REQUESTED BY Zyle]

abs-cbn-broadcasting-center

The transmitting tower (right) of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Centre in Mother Ignacia has been off for 65 days, as of this publication. The main question is: When will it be back on?

TWO MONTHS ON (and four days) since Channel 2 — and 23 — was off the air has triggered the consequential domino effect.

While losing a major player may not be affected by those who have no love lost due to their solid conviction of “making the Philippines great again”, those who served in the advertising industry are. Also, it has affected the job prospects not just for Mass Communication graduates but also for electronics communications engineers (ECEs).

Like what the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas’ president Jun Nicdao feared, this shutdown stalls the overall progress of digital terrestrial television. The National Telecommunications Commission, who issued the two cease-and-desist orders, will face a dilemma on whether the national analog switch-off in 2023 will proceed as planned or will push back sometime later. Neither the concerned agency nor its parent department, the Department of Information and Communications Technology knew that we are the last country in Southeast Asia to transition to digital terrestrial television.

In one of ABS’ group of companies, ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. is losing out since they rely on their sister companies’ profits to stay afloat. Other than the losing sources of revenue to alleviate this pandemic, this will put their Bantay Bata 163 hotline at risk of discontinuing operation after 23 years and it might be relinquished to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

An Esquire article published a week ago mentioned that its employees are allowed to transfer to other networks. It notes that the management will not be held to the non-compete clause in their work contracts. With three weeks until the ax, the days of being one of the best employers in the country will be over.

For the (entertainment) talents, their exclusive contracts got suspended from this lingering controversy, in addition to project abeyances. One time, comedian Pokwang played as the contestant on Bawal Judgmental on Eat Bulaga. While netizens think this is a sign of her move to the then-rival-for-now-dominant network, she has proper permission and the show is actually produced by TAPE and not by GMA.

The 12 prolonged, dramatic House hearings over the franchise renewal, spearheaded by ringmaster Deputy Speaker Rep. Rodante Marcoleta and company, has come to a close. For Speaker Alan Cayetano, he wished that all hearings on granting individual broadcast franchises be as “exhaustive” as this one.

THE JOINT COMMITTEE MEMBERS WILL DECIDE ITS FATE.

But after this — and if they rejected their franchise renewal — what will be the next possible steps?

  • This coming Monday (July 13), the Supreme Court will hear the network against the NTC on why they got the cease and desist order when other broadcasting and telecommunication entities who have theirs lapsed continue to serve.
  • The executives of Mother Ignacia can convince ZOE Broadcasting Network to lease the inactive Channel 11 frequency for two reasons: (1) they have more money than the former and much loyal tenant, GMA, and (2) The Kapamilya Channel is not accessible to viewers since they have to pay their monthly cable fee.

If the few options end up not in their favor, the media conglomerate can safely say that its primary operations have shifted and downscaled from radio and television to producing for streaming services (on iWant) and their newscasts into social media accounts. In other words, it’s Netflix and Rappler combined.

This means new broadcast partnerships — from UAAP to Miss Universe Organization — for the remaining networks must be made. It will never be the same as it has done for many years.

That being said, we could acclaim that we are now living in a “new normal” for the Philippine TV broadcasting industry and the hardcore demagogue apologists got what they wished.

 


Ladies and gentlemen, in a few moments, we will be on the post-Mother Ignacia phase of the Philippine broadcasting industry. Please stand by.


 

Do you have any possible next steps for Mother Ignacia? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Moving Out of Broadway is the Hardest Thing to Do…


Broadway Centrum has been the home of Eat Bulaga for 22 years.

(This post is dedicated in memory of my paternal grandmother, Nanay Miriam Paragas, who passed away last Wednesday night.)

LAST MAY, my paternal family went to Antipolo for the annual summer outing. We passed over Broadway Centrum to and from the destination and it triggered me about a discussion of a transfer from it for a noontime variety show last year on PHTV Facebook Group where I am currently sitting in as an administrator.

In time for the 38th anniversary of Eat Bulaga, Timow’s Turf will neither discuss about the current trends of their segments nor their dabarkads but on the fate of the studio building that housed it and its difficulty of letting it go. (more…)

#PHTvzg2015: GMA


Another year has come and gone, but before we enter the sweet 2016, the Turf looks back on the rollercoaster moments of GMA.

Strata 2000’s near strikeout (January to November). GMA News TV nearly loses their unreliability towards the three committed news coverage for the year. GNTV drew fire for lacking the most coverage of five-day Papal Visit last January. On July 27, the same channel did nothing to cover the PNoy’s last SONA — unlike her main channel — and to carry on with the regular programming. Last November, the APEC 2015 Summit was successfully covered on Strata 2000, despite of the main channel’s apathy to cover.

Regional Network genocide (April and November). During the summer season, sans its seasonal station ID, four regional offices were closed on April: Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Ilocos and Naga City. The network justified the closure as a “strategic streamlining of programs and manpower in its provincial stations to ensure business competitiveness.” Not only the closure of offices but also Cebu and Davao’s regional programming are also severely affected by the said decision. Seven months later, another regional office closes down but this time in Iloilo City.

Forgive and forget (May 10). Willie Revillame leaped back into TV action with Wowowin on that day but for viewers who have been victimized but have remembered him on his past hosting stints have chills of the spine as they have an instinct of repeating his antics. Originally, the taped show was purely block timer and aired at 3:30 p.m. every Sunday. But with the premiere of Sunday PinaSaya three months later, Wowowin finally moved to 2 p.m. time slot, became a co-production with GMA and raised up the numbers in the ratings game. Last October, the Court of Appeals ordered the arrest of Revillame after affirming the 2013 complaint in connection to the child abuse case in 2011. Nevertheless, his show won the Best Game Show on the PMPC Star Awards and himself won the Best Game Show Host (together with Luis Manzano).

Moral controversy galore (May 11 to present). Three teleseryes produced by GMA Entertainment TV Group stirred controversy on conservative groups. The first one, The Rich Man’s Daughter was topbilled by Rhian Ramos, Glaiza de Castro and Luis Alandy; the first Telebabad teleserye was seen as a complement to My Husband’s Lover in 2013. The second replacement teleserye, My Faithful Husband (Dennis Trillo, Jennylyn Mercado and Mikael Daez), was tagged for infidelity. The third, under Afternoon Prime, Destiny Rose, portrayed by Ken Chan, is contested due to the sexuality of the protagonist.

TAG goes back to work (June 25). The 2014 case filed by 52 members of the Talents Association of GMA (TAG) was finally resolved by the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and was finally reinstated as regular employees.

AlDub you! (July to present). July 4, 2015 marked the introduction of Maine Mendoza, the Dubsmash Queen, as Yaya Dub to Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola) but on July 16 at 1:47 p.m., during the Eat Bulaga’s segment of Juan for All! All for Juan!, Maine Mendoza accidentally met Alden Richards on the split-screen. Thus, the term “AlDub” was born and KalyeSerye replaced the Problem Solving portion.
Ever since the KalyeSerye regained the relevance of Eat Bulaga’s 36-year broadcast, this affect the news programs over the network (including GMA News TV) include the recap of the KS during the entertainment segment. Other neighboring networks, except ABS-CBN, made the elements of a live soap opera parody an inspiration from motivational mnemonic on TV5 to a piece of satire on PTV. Yet, with the excessive spotlight over the couple, other exclusive talents began losing their opportunity to shine in their projects and lose their attention. One of such victims is Elmo Magalona; he moved out to the neighbor in order to join with his sister, Maxene.
Since September, advertising endorsements were offered over the couple and they somehow accepted it. This exponential acceptance envied ABS-CBN and thus, they deliberately edited and/or shortened out of jealousy.
On October 24, “Sa Tamang Panahon” concert at the Philippine Arena did not only break the viewership record for the year but also breaks the all-time record on Twitter with 41 million real and organic tweets. Days later, the phenomenal couple sprouted over on magazines (e.g. Yes!, Preview & Reader’s Digest Asia), on international television (e.g. BBC & Bloomberg) and on social news sites like BuzzFeed.

Breaching bad (August-September). Following the prima facie of financial difficulty found on the preceding paragraphs, the decision of Gozon to call off Ramon S. Ang’s deal for the network’s minority interest last year drew the ire of the latter party to charge the network’s management for estafa. Ang demanded to return PHP 1 billion down payment from Gozon and company and the latter responded a month later with the San Miguel Corporation CEO’s decision to withdraw the complaint.

Wrong responsibility center (July to present). What does To the Top (a boy band search), Alamat (a children’s show) and Dangwa (a morning drama) have in common? It was produced by GMA News and Public Affairs and not by GMA Entertainment Group. Such responsibility, in the eyes of its defenders, believed that the former had a good standing in finances and in goodwill than the latter.

From cowardice to comedic (August 2 and 9). Sunday All Stars waved the white flag on August 2 after realizing their cowardice of the show to compete against ASAP 20. A week later, the comedic Sunday PinaSaya was able to trump out the longest-running musical variety show. This show, produced by APT Entertainment (a subsidiary of TAPE, Inc), acts as a Sunday extension of Eat Bulaga with Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden Richards belong to the gang. The launch of the said show occurred at the growth stage of KalyeSerye.

End of Startalk (September 12). Startalk would have been 20 by October but on that day, the entertainment news and talk show finally took a bow with the look back of the show. Like the Buzz on the preceding ZG, the show ended due to the change of provider and viewer’s taste.

Return of Starstruck (September 14 to December 19). Despite of a fresh identity, Starstruck opened its sixth season after six years of waiting. This season marks the first feats that the show runs only on weekdays and runs as the first program for the Telebabad than on the traditional late night. However, the ratings were not satisfied as the rival’s “Pasion de Amor” trumped them out.

A change of TAPE’s two-course meal (September 21). When Ryzza Mae Dizon received a script and a small director’s chair on her 10th birthday at the Ryzza Mae Show on June 12, a speculation concluded that a drama series from the producer, TAPE Inc., would be aired here. Three months later, the talk format was finally replaced and the drama was subtitled “Princess in the Palace.” Marking the return of teleserye venture for the producer since Daisy Siete, the drama was also topbilled by Aiza Seguerra and Eula Valdez.

GMA gets a new home shopping block (November 30). The main network remained the only mainstream network that does not have a home shopping block to compete until that day. From then, Shop TV premiered as the last program for the broadcast day and is currently airing every weekday.

Beyond the bend for Barbie. The Half Sisters, the daytime drama after Eat Bulaga, reached more than a year as the first program of their Afternoon Prime. Topbilled by Barbie Forteza and Thea Tolentino, the teleserye won the Best Daytime Drama Series on the PMPC Star Awards, emulating the successful factor once hold by ABS-CBN’s “Be Careful with My Heart” last year.

News correspondent departures. Throughout 2015, four news correspondents from Kamuning departed due to their new venture and/or other personal reasons: Claire Delfin, Hadji Rieta, Dante Perello and Michael Fajatin.

Institutional milestones. GMA made the year 2015 very memorable as they marked the 20th anniversary of its weekly comedy show, Bubble Gang and its late night news program, Saksi.

Impartiality vs stability. Former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson and Sarangani representative Manny Pacquiao seek to buy their shares of the network last October but on December 9, Gozon rejected the offer as they are “focused on growing the business.” Defenders see this as a way of protecting their integrity and impartiality from being influenced by politicians as the national election draws near.

Talent Newsmakers of 2015

New and shining talents

  • Ken Chan of Destiny Rose
  • Maine Mendoza

Migrant from other network

  • Ai-ai de las Alas from ABS-CBN

Outlook for 2016

For 2016, GMA will still eye for credibility on the News and Public Affairs for covering the coming national polls. However, the coverage will certainly be separate between Channels 7 and 11. Financial stability will be improved for that year, as political ads will compose more percentage in revenue than its rival is.

Establishing sports division or re-establishing live-streaming will still give no attention for Gozon and associates but according to Business World, the network will venture into digital TV innovation. Such innovation should need increasing and continuing flow of revenue (by not considering the political advertisements) to maintain the safe transition.

Meanwhile, on the entertainment side, the afternoon drama “Wish I May” — named after a popular and successful love song by Alden Richards — will replace the veteran “The Half Sisters” this January. However, because of the immense popularity of the latter that gave the last extension, the upcoming teleserye topbilled by Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali (BiGuel), would see it as downhill due to a ground of delay.

There are speculations online that the sequel of the early 2000s fantaserye Encantadia would revive after few years of abandonment. Although it sounds exciting, the costs of producing it would be problematic because it will cause layoffs of regional personnel, shutdown of its stations and relegation of their respective transmitter’s status.

Addendum
On April 5, Colgate-Palmolive commercials were finally aired after six years of exclusivity.
On December 19, Miss World 2015 was not aired after realizing the disappointing result for the Philippine representative and causes the contractual chagrin between Cory Quirino (the pageant manager) and Atty. Gozon.

#TurfbackThursday: GMA’s Two-Course Lunch


[The following post is a supplement of From the Tube’s 1995 Flashback on Eat Bulaga! last January 27.]

IN A NORMAL meal, there are three courses: the appetizer, the main course and of course, the dessert.

In a noontime variety show, this is rather incomplete. For 35 years, Eat Bulaga served generations of Filipinos the satisfying lunch of comedy and entertainment. EB began on RPN for the first decade and then followed by ABS-CBN for six years. Since 1995, GMA became the safe haven for Eat Bulaga from transferring the broadcast rights of Television and Production Exponents, Inc. (TAPE) to Mother Ignacia. Because of the new network’s respect of the producer’s independence, TAPE gratuitously extended the meal with adjacent figurative dishes. (more…)