The King of Reality Shows

English: Logo for ABS–CBN Corporation

The recent ratings success of ABS-CBN is not only attributed to its teleseryes and news programs, but also from well-produced reality shows. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

I saw a billboard recently advertising the upcoming ABS-CBN reality singing competition show ‘The Voice of the Philippines’, and I can’t help but wonder why GMA 7 had little effort in acquiring franchises of foreign programs. For as long as I can remember, it is ABS-CBN who had been able to acquire the rights for virtually every reality show franchise and make it their own. So why is GMA 7 not exerting the effort? Here’s why.

In my previous posts I keep emphasizing the lack of resources that GMA 7 has had in terms of developing their programs. They were not born from a conglomerate unlike ABS-CBN and TV5. While the Lopez family and Manny V. Pangilinan have been able to give a little leeway to their respective networks, the braintrust of GMA 7 under Felipe Gozon and Gilberto Duavit have shown lots of restraint in terms of handling their budget. Thus, with the influx of reality show franchises worldwide, GMA 7 is in a disadvantage.

Beginning with ‘Pinoy Big Brother‘, ABS-CBN became relentless in acquiring reality show franchises. In addition to PBB, they have also acquired reality show franchises that eventually became ‘Pinoy Fear Factor‘, ‘Pinoy Dream Academy’, ‘Masterchef Pinoy Edition‘, ‘Pilipinas Got Talent‘, ‘The Biggest Loser: Pinoy Edition‘ and ‘The X-Factor: Philippines’. The Kapamilya network also acquired game show franchises such as ‘Kapamilya: Deal or No Deal’ and ‘Minute to Win It’. All of these programs were able to gain substantial followings, something that its rival from across Timog Avenue couldn’t match.

And how many reality shows were acquired by GMA 7?  Only a few, the most prominent being the ‘Survivor’ and ‘Idol’ franchises that never clicked with audiences. As for TV5, they’re still a long way to go after acquiring a franchise for ‘The Amazing Race’, but with enough resources and time, they could make an impact soon. For now however, the reality show is ABS-CBN’s bread and butter.

Two days from now ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ will make its grand debut. ABS-CBN had been successful in producing reality show franchises, so a lot is expected on the newest reality show offering. Would this program meet the Kapamilya network’s expectations? We’ll see.

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