UAAP

Crossing the Bridge of No Return, One Year After


(NOTE: This post serves as Quarterly Open Pit No. 16. Consider this as my candid confession post; it’s hard to hold your silence but this has to be done.)

The Bridge of No Return crosses the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) between North Korea and South Korea. The name comes from the final ultimatum that was given to prisoners of war brought to the bridge for repatriation. Once they crossed the bridge, they will never go back, even if they later changed their minds.

FIFTY-TWO TUESDAYS AGO, the Philippine media industry has inevitably crossed the metaphorical bridge of no return amidst the new normal. The landscape of television has shifted forever and many of us — including yours truly — will be remembered and be traumatized.

While some audacious politicians say they’re not affected by that. It truly did. It affected not just the mental health of both those who are laid off and those who remained with more heavier workload. It also affected the job prospects (not just for Mass Communication graduates but also for Electronic Communications Engineering) and felt the chilling effect of government agencies like the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) when it comes the overall progress of digital terrestrial television (DTT) transition and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) on their revenue stream.

While some enforce callously for closure and healing (babang luksa) tomorrow after a year, its wounds are still fresh in their inerasable memories.

While the sore winners say it’s “no big deal,” it unfolded to be a consequential move, especially in the far-flung areas.

Since the start of this year (2021), I cannot utter the name of the former TV network or its corresponding nickname anymore — and I euphemized them —  because saying its name is a “mortal sin.” Not to mention, I glaringly omitted their programs and/or described them indirectly. (Reminder: I didn’t include their teleseryes because it’s not our policy, enforced before 2020, to tackle upcoming and ending teleseryes in detail.)

I have imposed a “Give Chance to Others” Policy; the answer of why I’ve done that will be tackled after.

Come tomorrow, they’ll celebrate this as the “Day of Thanksgiving” with prideful taunts on the other side while ignoring their errors. In this post, I’ll tackle two invectives you probably hear from them and how I appropriated them with the current progress.

(more…)

[The New PHTV Order] TV5’s Obstacles Need More Than Hail Mary Passes (or 3-Point Goals)


[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the first of the two-part series.]

THE OLD ORDER of things has passed away and Philippine television is no exception.

After the decades of heated head-to-head rivalry in the South Triangle of Quezon City, they concluded not just from a planned fall of a pioneering giant but also by a global pandemic.

With the New Normal now adapted, we also witnessed a New Landscape of this traditional media. It will be a test between the triumphant giant, GMA and the momentum-gaining challenger, TV5.

In the first part, we will tackle the latter because they are very encouraging and understandable. (more…)

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


“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 coming to an end. This is a year that we expected a “perfect vision” or a show of ambition and surprises. However, we did not foresee a global outbreak.

The COVID-19 pandemic puts a halt to the production of those things we looked forward to and puts precarious precautions on the essentials. In addition, the premeditated fall of a media giant has led other surviving competitors to either fight rapaciously over new broadcast rights or gain more and rediscover a better purpose.

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.)

The first part tackles the Remaining Two Major Networks: GMA and TV5.


GMA

Proclaimed as “The Philippines’ Largest Network” since May 6 (and reaffirmed and crowned on July 10) benefitted the windfall — a lion’s share in the pool of TV advertising money — without any impediment. Whether a pandemic or competitor’s fall, the common negative connotation of their over-all operational attitudes like complacency and craftiness has mostly not changed.

In June, during their 70th (corporate) anniversary, they cunningly launched their Affordabox and introduced new digital and inclusive subchannels — Heart of Asia and Hallypop — to teach the former competitor a harsh lesson that exclusivity of their channels for five years is a big mistake.

Six former Kapamilya talents jumped over the fence — Daryl Ong (immediately after the end of free-to-air operations), Khalil Ramos (to join his girlfriend Gabbi Garcia), Luis Hontiveros (the nephew of Senator Risa, who jumped to the network a few days before Congressional ultimatum), Miss Universe 2016 contingent Maxine Medina, Clarence Delgado (a Goin’ Bulilit alumnus) and Richard Yap (Sir Chief).

It’s easy to label the newly crowned media giant for being “law-abiding”, “exemplar” or a paragon to the TV industry in the post-ABS chapter. Well, one organic institution and the social media public thought otherwise. On September 22, the Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement of 30 workers and compelled the network to pay them back wages since their illegal dismissal in 2013. Earlier this month, a renowned documentary photographer exposed the predatory practice of asking for free work from amateur and professional photographers or videographers for their public affairs programming.

Since the fallen competitor dissolves its regional network group, they are the only national network that has the capabilities.

Last November 1, GMA News TV drew under fire for not having a marathon coverage over the swathe destruction across Bicolandia due to Supertyphoon Rolly. People expected this channel to be next in line now that (DZMM) Teleradyo is out of reach in times of calamities. This error was compensated when Typhoon Ulysses battered Luzon one and a half weeks later.

With NCAA on the bag, they have no more excuses to establish one organizational deficiency (i.e. turn their Sports into a separate from but equal status as to News & Public Affairs); in other words, no more time for “playing safe” — at least, in this organizational and operational shakeup.

 

TV5

The network from Reliance/Novaliches gained momentum this year and is now the No. 2 TV network.

Before the pandemic, Manny V. Pangilinan bagged an award from the Asian Television Awards back in January — that was aired on this network — for the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television, solid Kapatid viewers laughed hard. Once the elephant in the room fell, it’s like that they took it back and forgave him.

After the Congress’ contrived fate, the network is willing to lend a hand for talents — creative, technical and artisans — from the further loss of exposure and to revive the local entertainment after a four-year hiatus. The local entertainment revival was done in three waves through blocktimers — including Albee Benitez’s Brightlight Productions that containing Kapamilya-molded talents and directors. (In one of the predictions, we were spot on that they air Masked Singer Pilipinas.) They bore the light and they somewhat live on their legacy.

They are bearing a load of sporting contracts once held by Dos (especially S+A) like NBA and ONE Championship, pushing the NFL into the satellite-only broadcast. With UAAP’s airing rights in their hands, despite the cancelation of Season 83, their sportscasting portfolio is overwhelmed.

One may say that this TV network has been exemplified as the Good Samaritan in the world of priests and Levites.

While the shows they aired were promising and praiseworthy, the signal reception has always been a butt of the jokes for MVP’s media empire. Had the reach be at par and consistent with GMA, there would be more viewers who will lure to Reliance because of their gallant initiative and provide alternative options to “cringy” production value from Coach Anzai’s Felipe Gozon’s media realm. Yet, they should be mindful of the lessons of hastiness from the previous decade. The entertainment programming honcho, Perci Intalan, must remain steadfast amidst the insistence of die-hard Kapatid viewers.


Part II, dealing with Minor VHF and Significant UHF/Digital Channels, will be tackled on December 29

[350th Post Special] Alternate PHTV Timeline: What If COVID-19 Never Happened?


[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post is a piece of fiction based on a handful of facts. Please take this with a grain of salt.]

WE CAN ALL agree about these two maxims: We can neither change the past nor regain the lost time.

During our (normal, face-to-face) school days, we keep asking questions to our history teachers “hows” and “whys,” over significant happenings of places but a few dared to ask “What if” or “What could’ve happened…?”

Those few belong to an academic realm of alternate history, a type of speculative fiction consisting of one or more different historical events. For those who will take this genre, the decision lies up to one’s belief and others have some reservations. On YouTube, you can find these genres with supporting maps; others have showcased in DeviantArt or in related forums.

However, in this specific AH, we will not include maps.

This idea came from a comment by Twitter user @tootongjomartin back in January after publishing the second part of the series “If There Is No More ABS-CBN” where the remaining competitors respond in a normal (non-pandemic) setting.

Now it happened.

Therefore, in retrospect, The main question of this AH project is: “What might have happened to the media networks if the COVID-19 pandemic never happened?”

The constraints: You cannot change the weather patterns from May 6 to the present.

BEAR IN MIND: In a supporting YouTube video, the acronyms A.E.T. stands for “Alternate Earth Timeline” (the situation of what and R.E.T. stands for “Real Earth Timeline,” as in what happened in reality.


THE ALTERNATE TIMELINE

Before May 4

The daily Laging Handa public briefing from PCOO would simply not exist.

SMAC Television Production’s shows would have rolled: one on IBC 13 (Yes! Yes! Yow!) and two on GMA News TV.

On PTV, Lotto draws would’ve conducted as usual while on IBC, El Shaddai would have been airing.

On TV5, Aksyon newscast branding would’ve stayed. The Buhay Komedya Channel on Cignal would’ve been launched as scheduled.

May 2020

Wednesday, May 6

  • Emergency meetings were summoned from advertising agencies, KBP to media networks like GMA and TV5.
  • Two months after finishing Season 95, the NCAA Policy Board was shocked by the news as they were literally halfway through the contract.
  • Roberto P. Galang, president of TV5, would be hinted to the press about their plans, “Our entertainment programming will be revived perhaps after the Tokyo Olympics.”
  • Meanwhile, the master control on GMA Network logs that programs were finished on time as promoted after a bit more than two years of being head-to-head.

Tuesday, May 12

  • One month before the 2020-2021 season tipoff, MPBL faces a dilemma on which broadcaster be their new home. PTV is next in option.
  • ALTERNATE EARTH HEADLINE: Palawan nixes division

End-May

The UAAP 82 women’s volleyball is finished — with Liga carrying the Finals. With the five-year contract of UAAP and ABS-CBN expired, the prestigious collegiate league’s board faces jitters.

June

Sunday, June 14

On GMA, All Out Sundays threw a grandiose party on their network’s 70th anniversary with the formal launch of GMA Affordabox (12 days earlier than in real time). Tomorrow, Heart of Asia becomes the first digital subchannel other than GMA News TV to formally launch.

July

Saturday, July 5

NCAA Season 96 (host school: Colegio de San Juan de Letran) would proceed without a terrestrial broadcast partner.

Friday, July 10

With the House of Representatives denied the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN, the UAAP board summoned an emergency meeting on determining who will be their new broadcast partner.

Friday, July 24

The Tokyo Olympics would’ve begun. Though the country’s broadcast rights are awarded to MVP Media Group, the opening ceremony was aired on One Sports instead of TV5 because of PBA because the league doesn’t respect the international multi-sporting event.

Saturday, July 25

In gymnastics qualifying, Carlos Yulo was qualified on the men’s floor competition. The coverage aired on both TV5 and One Sports.

Friday, July 31

Because it was a holiday and due to the qualification, TV5 decided to cover Carlos Yulo’s final competition on the main channel instead of their sports channel. Thankfully, it was in the morning. He won the first Olympic gold for the country, the Filipino audience was jubilant. The Philippine national anthem was played for the first time, Yulo wept tears of joy.

Monday, August 10

Just as Galang promised, the first wave of programs from TV5 began (one week earlier than in real life) to roll.

ALTERNATE EARTH HEADLINE: [Carlos] Yulo to get hero’s welcome, meet Rody

Monday, August 31

As ABS-CBN Regional Group folded, GMA Regional TV’s programs in the morning began to expand.

Saturday, September 5

UAAP Season 83 (host school: De La Salle University) would’ve tipped off — not canceled — on a new broadcast partner, TV5 / One Sports. During the week leading to the season, Cignal subscriptions go higher.

Late September

  • The Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC), despite the panic due to affiliation of publicists with the fallen giant, announced the nominees for the 34th Star Awards for Television. Most of the nominees are from GMA. The winners were to be awarded in New Frontier Theater in Araneta City with a delayed telecast a week later on PTV.
  • DJ Chacha and Ted Failon joins Radyo 5 one week earlier than in real life.

October

Early October

Miss World Philippines would be airing on PTV, instead of long-time partner GMA, to avoid beauty pageant monopolization.

Late October

  • On the awards night of PMPC Star Awards, GMA would’ve won the Best TV Station after seven years. The streak would go on until at least 2022.
  • The new NBA season tipped off on One Sports (two months earlier than today).

November

Sunday, November 1

REAL NEWS: Super Typhoon Rolly battered Bicolandia.

GMA News TV would’ve responded away — instead of airing non-news programs that became a source of ridicule in real time — and converted into a 24-hour news channel.

Mid-November

Thanks to the windfall, GMA’s net profit for the first nine months of 2020 would be about 85% higher than the same period last year — 6 percentage points more than in the real world.

Late November

Like in real life, Miss Earth 2020 was aired for the first time on TV5. Like in Miss World, Carousel Productions, the organizer behind the pageant, didn’t want GMA to go into portfolio overload.

December

  • Miss Universe 2020 was aired exclusively live on GMA Network after ABS-CBN fell. Our contingent, Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo City, finished in the Top 20.
  • GMA covered a Christmas special — the only network to have an all-star holiday special since TV5 was just restarting.
  • AGB-Nielsen released the result of the nationwide TV ratings, Voltes V: Legacy would’ve been the No. 1 in the weekday primetime program.

What’s the Difference than In Real Life?

Without the pandemic, GMA would’ve gotten a bigger rate of growth in revenue for the first nine months than in real life. Regional news services would’ve been established ahead of time before the storm. The main channel’s entertainment programs would’ve gone ahead of time but their shows go and prouder than we harnessed right now. Network fanatics take revenge with more awards but others would still get angrier.

The revival of local entertainment on TV5 in three phases would’ve started one to two weeks ahead.

Even with Martin Andanar’s promise, PTV would’ve started ahead but no viewer would care (other than the pro-admin fanatics) and dare to watch them, save the Lotto draw and PTV Sports.

Even if the displaced technical and creative employees would invite the offer, IBC 13 would still be an unwatchable channel because of pay issues and financial stature. (Company culture matters!)

NET 25’s new programs might not have been on the air today or they would go earlier. The segments of their noontime show, Happy Time, would be really different.

Had not for the pandemic that rechanneled their funds for response, community broadcasters would’ve emerge further. More entities would register and file their franchises to Congress before getting the revoked frequencies.


What would be your TV timeline if the COVID-19 never happened?


Timow’s Turf wishes every reader a contemplative Christmas.


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Timow’s Turf Midyear Report 2020


[AUTHOR’S WARNING: Some of the content include indirect and/or inflammatory opinions that can hurt significant sectors. Please understand and read at your own risk.]

THE FIRST HALF of this first year of the 2020s is overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic — giving a big timeout from regular programming.

Viewers are stir-crazy without live sports, new teleseryes and finding out the winners in the ongoing reality competitions; some new shows’ scheduled premieres are thwarted.

Also, the cease of free-to-air operations of ABS-CBN (including S+A) due to the lapsed legislative franchise last May 5 signaled the start of the Philippine media’s own “new normal.” Meanwhile, GMA has just launched its competitor digital TV receiver, the Affordabox.

Nevertheless, both the “Great Pause” and the “Moment of the Truth” should serve the surviving broadcasting executives to reflect and rethink their programming but alas, their attitudes seemed to be irreformable.

Anyway, some moments happened in the first half of the year that wasn’t published much here on the Turf containing the events, programs, channels, and personalities.

What Happened on H1 2020?

The Events

Annual

  • UAAP and NCAA. Both Metro Manila collegiate leagues have been terminated their 82nd and 95th seasons respectively due to community quarantine. While we don’t know when their new season (83rd and 96th, respectively) will kick in, both the executive boards would start thinking about broadcast deals since their free-to-air partner, S+A ceased operations while the Congressional hearing over the mother corporation’s franchise becomes a circus.
  • NBA. From a Utah Jazz player tested positive with the virus has turned the league’s play development into haywire. During the season, the national TV deal since the Solar-ABS dispute last September 2019 remained in limbo, leaving the fans starving for hoops action. CNN Philippines came to rescue but they pay half a million pesos per broadcast of one game on each weekend from November last year until February (until their All-Star Game). The league will resume play at the end of July in Orlando but the local airing remains unknown.
  • MPBL and PBA. Before the lockdown and the FTA stoppage, Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League was determining their conference championships. Meanwhile, the Philippine Basketball Association has just kicked in their new (45th) season with one opening game; they are planning to kick off their 3×3 league. To be frank, MPBL is too accomodating as they have 31 teams (one more than the NBA’s 30). Meanwhile, PBA will neither have an All-Star Weekend nor have an import to play this year as they will resort to one conference or force cancellation.

One-Off

  • The 24th Asian Television Awards. Last January, the Asian counterpart of the Emmy Awards took place in the country for the very first time. Since the then-running South Triangle Duopoly refused to cover, TV5 took the honors. During this pre-COVID event, Manny V. Pangilinan’s award for “outstanding contribution to Asian television” became a point of ridicule, even though the comments in social media are not related to his TV ventures.

Channels

  • ONE Sports. On March 8, 5Plus became this channel to be consistent with Cignal’s “ONE” branded channels. It resumed three months later despite no live sports from across the Pacific Ocean.
  • Jack TV. On April 1, the pay-TV channel that offers multi-genre programming plugged off for real; it was not an April Fool’s prank. Today, Jack TV becomes a Web portal (similar to HERO back in 2018) as “Your Online Playground.”
  • One TV. Originally scheduled to launch on April 13 but is rescheduled on the 20th of this (i.e. as of press time) month as a rebrand of TV5 as a result of the pandemic. Alas, before the initially scheduled premiere, the usual change of leadership in Reliance happened in February with Roberto P. Galang succeeding Jane Basas as the network’s head honcho. During the delay, frustrated fans on that Facebook page have gone gaga demanding the return of Babaeng Hampaslupa rerun which they were heeded. (As a run-up to this new channel, the upcoming article will tackle all about their distinguished names.)

The Programs

Aired and On Broadcast

  • Wish Ko Lang (GMA). After almost 18 years, the wish-granting public affairs program every Saturday afternoons that was hosted by Vicky Morales ended. They used to be straightforward with the background story of letter senders but as it progressed further, it shifted towards dramatization.
  • Ilaban Natin Yan (GMA). The replacement reality-drama program that is also hosted by Morales tackles on societal issues.
  • Wowowin Primetime (GMA). On February 15, Willie Revillame expanded his variety show empire into Saturdays.
  • Gandang Gabi, Vice! (ABS). After eight years, Vice Ganda’s Sunday late-night talk show finally pulled the plug. While it was sad news for his fans, the good news of this ending was that he will not be overexposed every day of the week. His supposed replacement show, Everybody Sing, will be tacked in a bit.
  • Make It with You and Pamilya Ko (ABS). Two teleseryes were declared victims of both the pandemic and the shutdown.
  • Tutok to Win (GMA). Without the studio audience that is essential to Wowowin, Willie Revillame quickly adapts his own timeslot at his home at Wil Tower. (Salamat, Shopee!)

Slated but Stalled

  • Everybody, Sing! (ABS). This game show’s pilot episode would have been an immediate replacement to GGV but due to the community quarantine, it was inappropriate to be aired because of the crowd (even though it’s taped before the lockdown). The network’s FTA stoppage and non-inclusion in the Kapamilya Channel may increase the chance that the program will be shelved.
  • Yes, Yes, Yow (IBC). This SMAC Television Production show was supposed to premiere on April 4 on as a revival of the channel to have a noontime variety show in almost 15 years — until the pandemic entirely thwarted out of the schedule in favor of the hookup of PTV’s daily #LagingHandaPH public briefing with at least one item reserved for Senator Bong Go. While indefinite postponement is understandable due to “no crowd allowed” rule, we should not be surprised at all if this program — along with their other promoted shows that would be aired on BEAM TV and GMA News TV — will be scrapped entirely without seeing the light of day on the small screen.
  • Running Man Philippines (GMA). Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the South Korean variety show from SBS, this would be aired on the Kapuso Network. With the pandemic pushing this ambitious plan to next year, this would be the best time to think about whose personalities they will put in or there will be some backlashes.
  • Alamat ng Agila (GMA). This is another Kapuso show that they would look forward at the first half but it won’t please viewers — and one of their exclusive talents. Sen. Bong Revilla’s show would have been launched by the first quarter as the first post-newscast Sunday show replacing Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko. Perhaps, the delay is the silver lining of these unprecedented times as the leading and exclusive talent is obviously well known for the tarnished political scandal. (Most of the readers are not forgetting.)
  • Ang Sa Iyo ay Akin (ABS). This teleserye was supposed to premiere on March 23 but it was postponed due to the lockdown and network’s shutdown. One of its leading stars, Iza Calzado, was tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25 but she was fully recovered five days later. Possibility of shelving and/or deferral: who knows?!

Personalities

  • Rico Hizon. If you remember what the Turf wrote back in 2018, the former BBC anchor stationed in Singapore has repatriated and began his stint on CNN Philippines since March 30. Three weeks later, he is currently the anchor of CNN Philippines’ last newscast for the weekday, The Final Word.

What’s Next?

In a Short While

In five days from this publication, Fox Filipino will cease broadcast after almost eight years out due to redundancy, lack of advertising support, and cross-cutting measures.

For the Next Six Months

The second half of 2020 will manifest the implementation of the “new normal” guidelines when it comes to taping shows. Also, this remaining half-year must be the time to go up the ante for the remaining networks by establishing deficient divisions, acquiring and employing high definition equipment, and going full commitment to digital terrestrial television.

Meanwhile, the members of the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) will go into panic mode since the majority of their member-publicists have ties with ABS-CBN. Without the media giant and the pandemic persistent, the 34th edition of the Star Awards for Television might give GMA the Best TV Station (to equalize Mother Ignacia’s wins, inclusive of ties) and they may have to adapt for a virtual awarding since they are not allowed to hold the awards outdoors — or it could be jettisoned altogether and carry over the criteria to next year (Who knows? They’re NOT transparent with the eligibility criteria as far as I’m concerned.)

Did I miss anything? Put it in the comments section.


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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.

GMA

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.

Radio

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

PHTV Holy Week Insight 2018 (and a bit more)


WE STARTED LENT last Valentine’s Day — the first time in our lives as the last occurence happened in 1945.

Now, this holy Christian season will wrap up this upcoming week, ending not just this month of March but also this first quarter. Afterward, the Easter season will commence in the new quarter of this year — falling on April Fool’s Day.

Despite the weirdness, Timow’s Turf once again goes back heralding the traditional insight on the Holy Week happenings on television. This time, additions and cautions are added after the usual chronological order.

Note that there may be deviations due to unexpected circumstances; so please, bear with us.

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Swishing on the New Season: NBA Will Go Early but PBA Will Go Messy


The new NBA season will tip off on Tuesday (Wednesday, Philippine time) — two weeks earlier than scheduled. Pictured here is the new secondary logo of the league.

THOUGH WE ARE two months and 10 days away ‘til Christmas, it will be three days until a new season of National Basketball Association (NBA) formally tips off – two weeks earlier than normally scheduled.

The opening salvo will be on the two warring teams from the previous season’s Finals last June: in the Western Conference, defending champion Golden State Warriors will challenge Houston Rockets and in the Eastern Conference, Cleveland Cavaliers will play Boston Celtics.

In the local broadcasting standpoint, despite the recent legal and exclusivity standoff between BTV (Solar) and S+A (ABS-CBN), both entities will still cover the league. The latter will continue to roll onto the hype machine as the former discreetly laments, ponders and questions the rival’s legal motives.

Here at home, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is currently playing on its Finals between Meralco Bolts and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel of their Governor’s Cup – the final conference of this 42nd season but some of us are hoping for the new season to come on the holiday season.

The period of the newness of both major league of hoops we loved is worth writing here in The Turf but the latter is expected to be rough and needs to be detailed here.

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Why Don’t We Have Our Own ‘Jeopardy’?


(Dedicated to The Professional Heckler & So What’s News)

TODAY – tonight, rather — I Can See Your Voice’s (ABS-CBN) Sunday iteration will challenge the spiritually reviving karaoke-based game show, All-Star Videoke (GMA).

However, here on Timow’s Turf, we will neither talk on any of the two; despite both entertaining, they are not for stimulation, as it can be or is a form of escapism (depending on one’s personal philosophy).

Most of you might say, “Why not a trivia quiz show?” but some would raise a common objection because there is already Celebrity Bluff (GMA) but then answered back, saying that they need direct, ordinary – not indirect, celebrity – participation just like Jeopardy.

As exactly said on the tin, this special feature will find the answer to the situation but first, let’s delve into the related background before answering the question.

Show background

Currently running on its 34th season, Jeopardy is an American trivia show, presented by Alex Trebek. The show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in a form of an answer and they must respond in a form of a question.

The first two rounds

Contestants will have to pick a category and a clue value. After the clue is fully read aloud, any contestant may ring in, respond verbally in a form of a question; if the response is right, the corresponding value is added, get it wrong, and it’s deducted.

However, there is one “Daily Double” hidden in the first round and two in the second but before the clue is revealed, the contestant must declare a wager up to one’s current score. Get the response right and it adds value or otherwise, it’s subtracted.

Final Jeopardy

The contestants who have positive score after two rounds will proceed to the Final Jeopardy. There, the category is revealed before the commercial break. During the break, the contestants will enter their final wager (from 0 to their current score) in the electronic display. After the break, the host will read the final clue and then, they have to write their response within 30 seconds.

Afterwards, the contestants’ responses are revealed in order of their pre-Final Jeopardy scores from lowest to highest. Like the two rounds, if they respond correctly and properly, the wager adds the current score while incorrect answering, failure to respond or failure to phrase as a question deducts it.

The contestant that has the highest score wins and returns in the following match and will lead on selecting the first clue on the next match.

Jeopardy’s involvements with Filipinos

Fans of this show will remember Ken Jennings winning 74 straight matches in 75 appearances back in 2004 – the longest streak in the game show’s history but on December 8, 2014, a Filipino named Patrick Fernandez from Irvine, California participated but failed to defeat challenger Ann Conger, landing in second place.

Our country has been mentioned in clues ranging from lechon (food) to Alma Moreno (politics).

What are ‘complicated reasons?’

Now we go back to the main question: Why we don’t even have a localized Jeopardy?

If your answers were any one of these: network war culture, overemphasized pandering to the masses, or anti-intellectualism. You do have a point.

The likes of the Battle of the Brains or the Digital LG Quiz of the 1990s and early 2000s are now portable in our pockets but free data promos in mobile communication duopoly excluded websites that could enrich minds for understanding general and specific knowledge. Hence, we have a double-edged consequence of a very significant populace that is prone or at an irreversible point of disinformation and misinformation — making materialization an obstacle. In addition, the nature of the show will interest few despite the gradually rising share.

Interestingly, Jeopardy franchises were neither acquired nor materialized in Southeast Asia. Had done so, Singapore would have been the first but Indonesia claimed it — citation needed — but without any signs of the latter’s emergence.

Thought-stimulating experiment needing questions

Should a network acquired the local franchise; it would have been easy for ABS-CBN due to experience as GMA would go original and TV5 would always destine to fail. Of course, the main objection to this is the selection of contestants that are mostly celebrities at the expense of audience exploitation, which is contrary to their longtime philosophy of servicing the Filipino. Remember their version of Family Feud? Despite the ratings and clear classification as a thought stimulating show, it fared no better than its predecessor networks due to such treatment.

If they promise to come clean, the next in the checklist would be hosting. In the recent years, three men are well-renowned hosting franchised shows: Billy Crawford, Robi Domingo & Luis Manzano.

Most of you complained about the trending host rotation: Wala nga bang iba kundi sila? (Don’t you have another than them?) Currently, Crawford is still hosting Little Big Shots as Manzano is just getting started with ICSYV; so, Robi Domingo would have definitely been a no-brainer but of course, Robi is busy with University Town as part of the UAAP. Thus, we need a new one.

All right, assuming that settled it, the last thing is the time slot. When kids come back home from school in the afternoon, there is a good chance that they will turn on the TV – if they don’t have mobile devices and that’s why Jeopardy would serve better at that time. The sole benefit is one less slot for cringe-worthy, SPG-laced and cancerous teleserye in Kapamilya Gold but the offsetting drawback is always the never-ending resolution of the 5:00 p.m. dilemma outside Metro Manila.


What do you think? Is it time for a real Jeopardy Philippines?


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Philippines Football League both to kick out UFL, off tomorrow


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

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

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