Vic Del Rosario

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

#ZG16: The Turf’s 16 Philippine TV Memories of 2016


zg16

ANOTHER YEAR will come to a wrap — two days to be exact but 2016 was not sweet as it meant to be but it tasted too sour and too bitter — be it in the aspect of entertainment, sports and local & global politics.

And the Turf understands about it but before we say “good riddance” or any uttering to release such frustrations from this annus horribilis, let’s all recall the top 16 moments that transpired over television in the Philippines.

Hold on to your judgments because it’s a hell of a bumpy ride.

(more…)

#PHTVzg2015: TV5


Another year has come and gone, but before we enter the sweet 2016, the Turf looks back on the rollercoaster moments of TV5.

AniMEGA comeback (January 24). Die-hard anime fans who are keyboard warriors have answered their pleas over the Anime’s “El Niño” of 2014 on that day; it initially aired in the weekend morning.

Different platform, one common trouble. Two programs on News5 aired on different platforms of the network for the year. The first is the digital series, Kontrabando, a news satire and free-to-air weekly game show series, Barangay Utakan. However, one of the common presenters of the said new shows, Ramon Bautista, was under fire for hypocrisy (i.e. criticizing the presidential candidate then but later endorsing him on a music video.)

AksyonTV’s changing format (May onwards). Since May, Aksyon TV decided to allocate their airtime to Shop Japan. This surprise strategy remained with the introduction of Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) and Filsports Basketball Assocation (from PTV). That said made Channel 41 unreliable to cover the APEC Summit last November.

Remade but not originally aired (May 18 and September 14). TV5 made the remakes of two K-Drama’s “The Baker King” and “My Fair Lady” from those respective premiere dates. However, the network did not air their dubbed, original Koreanovelas as the former belonged to GMA and the latter to ABS-CBN.

Old friendship on a new joint (June 14). Two months prior to that date, Janno Gibbs finally took a bow from GMA 7 for three decades in order to join his old friend, Ogie Alcasid. On that day, Happy Truck ng Bayan acts a response to ASAP 20 and Sunday All Stars. However, it is not aired live but recorded the day before, giving the certain and obvious factor of the truck travel and the coverage constraint.

Hi-5, Philippines! (June 15). The 1999 Australian children’s show approved the first full franchise in Southeast Asia and got a go signal to air, beginning on that day. It currently airs every day: twice per weekday and once each weekend.

What a Wet, Wonderful Weekend! Throughout the rainy season, TV5 made shows with diverse genres ranging to kid-friendly with a techie twist (LolaBasyang.com) to comedic horror (ParangNormal Activity) (both on Saturdays). Not to forget, Kano Luvs Pinay, on Sundays, made into the small screens.

Hallyu heartbreak… not once but twice (August 1). KIS Pinoy broke the hearts of K-Pop fans for the second time under a new venture on TV5. The first venture under PTV last year was not fully materialized due to misunderstanding with the network and obvious programming priority. Originally aired on Saturday night and hosted by Richard Gutierrez, the said talent show aired only three episodes from July 11-25 until YU&IQ International, the producer of the program, on that day over Facebook, decided to cease production due to financial difficulties.

Give it to me, I’m worth it! (October 5). Bloomberg finally ink the deal with TV5 for a local franchise on March 25. On that day, Bloomberg TV Philippines was launched as the first business news channel round-the-clock but the second global network to set a localized channel. This channel gave amazing insights on the APEC Summit, while dismaying the network’s other channels.

New entertainment head (October 14). VIVA Entertainment’s CEO, Vic Del Rosario replaced Wilma Galvante as the chief strategist for entertainment.

Reviving the blow (December 13). After 15 years off the air from IBC under Vintage Enterprises, on that day, Blow by Blow is currently hosted by Manny Pacquiao, one of its featured homegrown boxers. However, objections were raised over his hosting but the answer is clear that this presentation will not breach his exclusive contract on GMA.

Talents recognized

New talents

  • Lee O’Brian (Kano Luvs Pinay)
  • Aira Binas, Alex Reyes, Rissey Reyes, Gerard Pagunsan, Fred Lo (Hi-5 Philippines)

Migrant:

Janno Gibbs from GMA

Repatriate:

Atty. Rod Nepomuceno from 9TV

Outlook for 2016

This New Year will be very hectic for TV5 on both news and sports division. On News5, their division’s “Bilang Pilipino” has disseminated through programs such as “Politics for Beginners” and reviving B.A.Y.A.W. (starring Jun “Bayaw” Sabayton) election fillers on its plugs.

On Sports5, they have the official broadcast rights to cover the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Following the Gilas Pilipinas’ qualification after losing to China in the finals on FIBA Asia Championship in the latter’s city of Changsha, the bidding and hosting of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for men’s basketball will be committed to air live.

Specifically on January, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will begin to cover under the new broadcast rights on this network that will aid their dormant sports channel, Hyper.

With the new entertainment strategist, their responsibility center would be easy to deliver but it would be rather be difficult to materialize.