news, Philippines, public affairs, television

GMA News TV Does Sleep


Despite its designation as a news network, GMA News TV does not air 24 hours a day, uncharacteristic for a network devoted to news coverage. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network).

During every broadcast of the GMA 7 news program 24 Oras, they would always end their program with the tagline ‘Hindi Natutulog ang Balita (The News Never Sleeps)’. But it is not always the case, especially when GMA has its own news network.

GMA News TV was launched on February 28, 2011. It claims to be the No. 1 news network in the Philippines based on NUTAM ratings. However, the network does not air 24 hours/day, and is usually off the air during Holy Week. Now here I think are the reasons why they do not air 24/7.

Funding Issues

GMA News TV is a VHF television station, airing on the Channel 11 frequency, which means that maintaining the airtime of the station is expensive at times. Let’s face it, most of the money GMA 7 spent is on lavish production of their teleseryes and variety shows, which means they usually neglect the most important aspect of television viewing: news production. And as I’ve mentioned before, they also do not allocate those funds on sports coverage. And unlike ABS-CBN and TV5, GMA is not owned by a conglomerate. Which leads to this next reason.

Lack of Variety in Programming

With only an average of 20 hours of programming time, GMA News TV’s programming lineup is not as deep as ANC’s or Aksyon TV’s. Most of the weekday programming is used to air reruns of former GMA 7 public affairs programs, classic Filipino or foreign movies, and religious programs like The 700 Club Asia. On weekends, they air programs produced by the Zoe Broadcasting Network, along with more GMA 7 program reruns and classic films. The lack of depth in terms of programming explains why GMA News TV, despite its name, is not a true news network. This leads to the next reason.

Less News Than Expected

The network’s flagship news programs were Balitanghali and State of the Nation. However, they focused mainly on national news, crime stories and showbiz news, typical of news programs like TV Patrol and 24 Oras. This is an example of ‘tabloid’ news programming, commonly found on cheaper tabloid newspapers that only the poor can afford. I expected more from GMA News TV with regards to expansive news coverage, but with the emphasis on ‘tabloid’ than ‘broadsheet’ reporting, I don’t think this network has what it takes to be a device for gathering national and global news, along with human interest stories. Worse, their use of a ticker is not enough; more updated stats and information need to be flashed on-screen. And finally,…

Reluctance for Press Conferences

Whenever there is a press conference, Aksyon TV and ANC would immediately cut to live coverage of an ongoing briefing while public affairs programming are being aired. This is not usually the case for GMA News TV. They rarely cut to live press conference of national significance while a program is on air; instead they wait for a commercial break before they cut to live. Worse, they would only have at least two minutes to report on an ongoing press conference. Again this is an example of how GMA News TV presents its news, in a swift but shallow manner.

GMA News TV is not the epitome of GMA News and Public Affairs‘ slogan ‘Serbisyong Totoo (True Service)’. If they were to truly embrace a comprehensive and deep news coverage, they need to know how to build a true news network from the ground up, from operational costs to updated technological devices and extensive use of their news website But right now, they are not a true news network based on their programming lineup and airing hours, and their claim to be the No. 1 such network is not a way to measure their worth and credibility as a device for reporting the latest news.


28 thoughts on “GMA News TV Does Sleep

  1. James Ty III says:

    My uncle watches GMA News TV every morning. He used to follow Dobol B sa News TV and Kape at Balita before they were axed. I admit, their shows now suck.

    Even their Sunday shows like Ang Pinaka, Idol sa Kusina and Good News are more fit for the old QTV 11. Their show Titser is more fit for GMA 7.

    • They’re not a true news network unlike AksyonTV and ANC. They don’t air 24/7 and there’s too much emphasis on their award-winning public affairs programs, old movies and classic programs. I think GMA made a big mistake here in converting QTV to GMA News TV, because for all their international awards, their news coverage has been always spotty and not as diverse and quick as ABS-CBN or TV5. Watch 24 Oras and see why they air for 1 1/2 hours; they want to be as deliberate as possible; unlike the one hour allotted to TV Patrol and Aksyon.

      • James Ty III says:

        GMA News TV also airs a lot of reruns of Pinoy Abroad, which is also aired on Fox Filipino. On Sundays, they air Tagalized movies. 1 1/2 hours is too long for a newscast. Even American newscasts don’t air for that long.

      • Because of 24 Oras, GMA’s teleseryes don’t air on time against ABS-CBN’s. And that was the reason why the latter’s late night newscast ‘Bandila’ airs much earlier than the former’s ‘Saksi’. Even I wanted Bubble Gang on a Saturday night instead.

        GMA News TV also air movies on weekday afternoons, ala ‘Barkada Nights’ on Studio 23. Again the emphasis on filling programming hours which they have been unsuccessful.

  2. James Ty III says:

    My uncle watches 24 Oras and he notices it too. News TV also airs old documentaries on Sunday nights after Reel Time. They even dub those documentaries in Tagalog with Kara David and Jay Taruc providing Tagalog narration.

    In fairness, I like Chino Trinidad and Isabel Oli’s Sports Pilipinas but nothing beats a real GMA sports coverage with Trinidad and Isabel acting as commentators. I see Isabel watching a lot of basketball games.

    • And to think that they air on a VHF channel will mean more viewers because of its reach? I don’t think so. Only the more informative people will watch ANC or AksyonTV instead of News TV’s generic content.

  3. James Ty III says:

    ‘Love Hotline’ is the title of the new show that replaced Personalan on GMA News TV. Jean Garcia is the sole host.

  4. James Ty III says:

    By the way, Sunday All Stars will be aired at 2 pm this Sunday after the Bradley vs Marquez fight. SAS will be up against the last hour of ASAP and Luv U. Dormitoryo will air at 4 pm vs The Buzz.

    • If only Startalk moved back to Sundays opposite The Buzz. However GMA wanted to go ahead and report tsismis much earlier, thus Startalk has been airing on Saturday since the late 90s, and are opposite Showbiz Inside Report. But I want Startalk and The Buzz against each other.

      • James Ty III says:

        I agree. Startalk is a better competition for The Buzz.

        Here’s GMA’s sked for tomorrow:

        9 am — AHA
        9:30 am — HBO 24/7: Marquez vs Bradley
        11 am — GMA Sports Special: JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ vs TIMOTHY BRADLEY (Via Satellite)
        2 pm — Sunday All Stars
        4 pm — Dormitoryo
        5 pm — I Bilib Wonders of Horus
        5:30 pm — 24 Oras Weekend
        6 pm — Kap’s Amazing Stories
        6:45 pm — Pepito Manaloto
        7:30 pm — Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho
        9:15 pm — Imbestigador
        10:15 pm — GMA Sports Special: JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ vs TIMOTHY BRADLEY (Primetime Replay)
        1:15 am — Diyos at Bayan

  5. James Ty III says:

    Bro, Aksyon TV 41 now signs off at 12 midnight. This leaves Solar News Channel and ANC as the only 24-hour news channels on TV.

  6. James Ty III says:

    GMA News TV replays Bayan Ko with Rocco Nacino every night, including Sundays, at 10 pm. Good News with Vicky Morales was moved to 7:15 pm followed by Reel Time at 8 pm.

    • Kung wala na yung Family Rosary Crusade sa Channel 2, pwede naman to ilipat sa GMA News TV? Kaso, as fellow blogger Timow has said, may bias yung GMA Network sa Catholic faith, that’s why wala silang Sunday mass at puro Protestant-based yung religious programs nila like Jesus the Healer, In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley, and the 700 Club Asia.

  7. That would be impossible for GNTV to be 24/7.
    The National Telecommunications Commission have a rule on not allowing All Free-TV networks like AksyonTV. There would no viewers staying up watching replays, even there international version is 24/7.

  8. Gabby says:

    Cost-cutting measures ng management at di NTC rules ang nangyari sa AksyonTV. And do not forget SMNI that aired 24/7. (UNTV is signing off every Monday midnight till 3am)

  9. Jake-jake Jacinto says:

    According to an article by 1Design Philippines about the reformat of Q into News TV (, the reason why GMA decided to reformat Q was that the said network was losing money “from P200M to P300M in the previous years” prior to the infamous revamp.

    And, when GMA News TV was first launched, there were already some of its TV programs which don’t meet the criteria of a real news channel. “The Smiths” (mala-reality show featuring the lives of Pepe Smith & family) and “Best Men” (hosted by Jun Veneracion, RJ Ledesma, and Jace Flores) are some examples.

    • It was a reformat that went wrong. They simply have no idea how to run and organize a news channel. Kung nanood lang sana sila ng CNN, BBC or even rival ANC, they could have gotten the idea at a more concise way.

      • Jc says:

        But if they are watching CNN, BBC, and ANC to have an idea of a news channel, maybe maaga pa lang, gusto na nilang mag-go beyond documentaries, travel, and informational shows. At possible na yan ang nangyari nang mag-launch ang News TV. I don’t know if at the time of the launch kung magastos pa ba ang pag maintain ng dalawang vhf channels. But I’m pretty sure sa ngayon, mas magastos na ang pag-utilize ng dalawang VHF channels.

        Better yet, kung naibalik na lamang ang channel 11 sa ZOE o kay Bro. Eddie na maaga pa lang, hindi magkakaproblema financially ang GMA. At hinintay na lang ang tamang panahon para makabuo ng sariling news channel. Take a look at CBS News, hindi sila nagkaroon ng sariling news channel hanggang sa point na last year, nakabuo rin sila under the CBSN brand. Yet, it’s only available online and on their mobile app. As for GMA like I said, kahit DZBB Live video stream, ok na yon.

      • Oo nga. When it launched, ineere din ang American Idol sa News TV, this is to continue where QTV left off. Huling taon na yan ng kanilang deal to air American Idol at that time and decided not to renew dahil sa financial losses.

        Magastos nga ang pagmaintain ng dalawang VHF stations, kaya nga nagkandaleche-leche na ang programming ng News TV these days.

      • Jake-jake Jacinto says:

        I guess the GMA Network Center has no cable or satellite connection. Please correct me if I’m wrong in this statement.

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