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FTT Year 2013 in Review: Other Networks

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on the minor TV networks in the Philippines.

Highlights

Solar Entertainment again shuffled its networks last December. Solar News Channel left UHF Channel 21 for the clearer signals of VHF Channel 9. In exchange, ETC was moved back to UHF Channel 21. In the months leading up to the exchange, SNC’s flagship programs ‘Solar Network News‘ and ‘Solar Nightly News‘ began airing on ETC, albeit only for free TV viewers.

The beginning of the year also saw Eagle Broadcasting’s Net 25 adopt their own version of TeleRadyo during the weekday slots. The apparent reason behind the simulcasts of DZEC 1062 programs is to compensate for the lack of original programming that has haunted the network for several years. In addition, Net 25 aired Iglesia ni Cristo Centennial specials, which is not mandatory considering the network already has INC-TV 49 on free TV.

Lowlights

IBC-13, perhaps the most irrelevant network in the country, lost TV5’s AKTV in May after its blocktime contract expired. Despite that, it was allowed to air the PBA Governors’ Cup games until the end of the quarterfinals. But while the network was able to air two United Football League Cup playoff games and a replay of the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios fight, IBC continued to suffer from declining revenue and repetitive programs. And with the network still not following the MTRCB ratings guidelines, it looks like IBC will face more problems come 2014.

In March, the government-owned PTV-4 accepted a new charter signed by President Noynoy Aquino that enables the government to infuse P5 billion to revitalize the network. As it stands, the network is expected to rebuild its aging infrastructure and upgrade its existing facilities. However, the network continues to experience problems with its programming, especially when it aired UNTV’s ‘Ang Dating Daan’ for a brief period.

Outlook

Heading into 2014, several minor stations will enter the crossroads of their broadcasting lives. Solar Entertainment is currently in talks with San Miguel Corporation’s Ramon Ang for a potential minority stake on the company. IBC-13 continues to look for a new suitor, while sister network PTV-4 tries to take advantage of a new charter. And Eagle Broadcasting’s Net 25 and INC-TV will celebrate the Iglesia ni Cristo’s centennial. With that said, expect a rollercoaster of broadcasting emotions this 2014 for the minor networks.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, news, Philippines, public affairs, reality show, Sports, talk show, television

FTT Year 2013 in Review: ABS-CBN

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on ABS-CBN, who dominated television ratings all year.

The Positives

Everything went right for ABS-CBN. And it showed in its weekday offerings. Primetime Bida teleseryes dominated the Kantar ratings, led by the year’s top-rated series ‘Juan dela Cruz’. ‘TV Patrol’ remains the most preferred evening newscast, while ‘Showtime’ introduced the most talked-about ‘That’s My Tomboy’ and ‘Kalokalike’ segments that propelled them atop the noontime pyramid. And thanks to the highly-anticipated November wedding between Maya (Jodi Sta. Maria) and Richard ‘Ser Chief’ (Richard Yap), ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ continued to lord over the late morning slot.

The Kapamilya network continued to rack up ratings victories on weekends, aided by its reality competition shows ‘The Voice of the Philippines’, ‘Masterchef Pinoy Edition’, and ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’. Also helping their cause were the long-running anthology ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and game shows such as ‘Bet on Your Baby’ and ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal‘. ‘Gandang Gabi Vice‘ and ‘ASAP’ remain the most talked-about shows on social media.

Even its sports offerings beat the competition. The Miami-San Antonio NBA Finals and the La Salle-UST UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals scored big in the ratings and in the hearts of netizens. The network also continued to showcase top-notch boxing matches such as the ‘Pinoy Pride’ series and fights featuring Nonito Donaire.

The Negatives

While they were able to enjoy high ratings on primetime, there were still some shows that ended up lasting less than half a year. Examples include ‘Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin‘, ‘Apoy sa Dagat‘ and ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’, whose storylines required only at least four months of airing. Also getting the ax were the sitcom ‘Toda Max’, after lead star Robin Padilla reportedly left, and ‘The Buzz’, which was reformatted as ‘Buzz ng Bayan’. ABS-CBN’s programs were likewise not spared from MTRCB’s iron hands, as ‘ASAP’ was reprimanded in February for Anne Curtis’ sensual outfit and performance.

ABS-CBN personalities were also involved in various controversies. ‘Kris TV‘ was nearly cancelled when its host Kris Aquino announced her resignation after getting embroiled in a custody case with then-husband James Yap for their son Bimby. However, a month later, Aquino announced that she would only take a ‘leave of absence’ in June. As of now, ‘Kris TV’ continues to air in the morning slot.

And last November, Korina Sanchez criticized CNN’s Anderson Cooper regarding the latter’s report about the slow delivery of goods to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). As a result of the negative reaction she received from netizens, Sanchez took a ‘leave of absence’ before returning to duty a month later.

Outlook

ABS-CBN capped off the year by showcasing the love team of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla on ‘Got to Believe’, young child star Raikko Mateo on ‘Honesto’, and budding star Jessy Mendiola on ‘Maria Mercedes’. For 2014, they are expected to introduce another potential star in Julia Barretto on ‘Mirabella’. Going forward, ABS-CBN is poised for another banner year, and as long as their products continue to entice audiences, ABS-CBN will remain the country’s top network.

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FTT Year 2013 in Review: FM Radio

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on the FM radio stations of Metro Manila, with the emphasis on the reformatted stations and DJ lineups.

Reformatted Stations

In July, two FM stations started airing under new on-air identities. ABS-CBN’s DWRR 101.9 rebranded from ‘Tambayan’ to ‘MOR: My Only Radio for Life’, in the process adopting the brand of its regional FM networks. While they still air masa-based music, they started to adopt more love advice shows in the vein of DZMM‘s ‘Dr. Love with Jun Banaag’, which other stations soon adopt.

Advanced Media Broadcasting‘s DWKX 103.5 reformatted from ‘Wow FM’ back to ‘K-Lite’. The rebrand came as a result of the departure of its lead DJ Mr. Fu.  Upon returning to the ‘K-Lite’ brand, they decided to adopt the station’s late-1990s adult contemporary format as opposed to the rock-laden format of later years. Veteran DJs Mondo Castro (from NU 107), Carl ‘McFly’ Guzman (original K-Lite) and Alex ‘Max Speed’ Gotinga (Magic 89.9) would form the core of the new ‘K-Lite’, alongside rookies and other established voices.

DJ Lineup Changes

Magic 89.9 created a huge roar from the radio community when they suspended ‘Good Times” Mo Twister, Tin ‘Suzy’ Gamboa and Noelle Bonus in June for an alleged sex-related joke. As a result, Sam Oh and Gibb from 99.5 Play FM filled in to host ‘First Thing in the Morning’. Mo would later return from suspension last December to co-host the program.

Meanwhile Noelle was moved to Play FM to co-host ‘The Playground’ with Nikko Ramos, while Suzy was reinstated by Magic to host ‘The Big Meal’ with CJ ‘the DJ’ Rivera. Suzy was moved because of Riki Flores’ transfer to ‘PopStop’. Riki was moved to pair with Andi Manzano after Jessica Mendoza left Magic for her post-graduate studies in Boston.

Other notable DJ departures include RX 93.1’s Jinri Park (studies), Play FM’s Tim Yap (other commitments), and Jam 88.3’s Julz Savard (vocalist for Save Me Hollywood). And as mentioned, defunct Wow FM’s Mr. Fu resigned before the reformat, eventually finding a new home on 106.7 Energy FM.

Outlook

The FM radio landscape for 2014 will be more or less predictable. Some stations will reformat, while notable faces will either move to other stations or depart entirely. And the worst part of it all is that 90.7 Love Radio and 101.1 Yes FM will continue to boast their claim as the top two stations. Nevertheless, the incoming year should bring hope and prosperity for radio stations trying to reach out to a specific audience, and to maintain the kind of music they play.

 

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comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, news, Philippines, public affairs, radio, reality show, Sports, talk show, television

FTT Year 2013 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, which enjoyed a slow start before rebounding with a respectable fourth quarter.

The Positives

After it was suspended for a good part of last year because of the you-know-what, T3: Reload rebounded in 2013 with a more toned-down approach, yet maintaining the same ol’ nastiness that the Tulfo brothers constantly address to the bullies and anomalous officials. This year also saw Radyo5 welcome Ben Tulfo and his ‘Bitag sa Radyo’ program after its departure from UNTV, in the process uniting the three brothers on the same umbrella, with Erwin also co-anchoring ‘Punto Asintado’ with Martin Andanar and Raffy hosting ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ with Nina Taduran.

In September, TV5 hired Noel Lorenzana in an effort to overhaul its programming. The end result were three program blocks: ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’, and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’. This alternative programming approach would bear fruit by the end of the year, as several of its programs finished among the Top 15 in the Nielsen Media Research ratings. In addition, the network’s willingness to reach out to a younger audience also paid dividends, as programs such as ‘SpinNation’ were among the top trending topics on Twitter.

TV5 also scored big in its sports coverage, with the recent airings of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup Finals, and the Gilas Pilipinas games at the FIBA Asia Championship earning high viewership figures. And to cap off a resurgent finish to the year, TV5 officially christened the new TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong City.

The Negatives

Under Perci Intalan, TV5 tried to compete against more established powers GMA and ABS-CBN. However, it only resulted in revenue losses. None of TV5’s own teleseryes (‘Kidlat‘, ‘Undercover’, ‘Cassandra: Warrior Angel’, ‘Misibis Bay’, ‘Enchanted Garden‘, ‘Never Say Goodbye’) even made noise in the teleserye wars, and programs such as ‘Jeepney Jackpot’, ‘Kanta Pilipinas‘, ‘Alabang Housewives’ and ‘Boracay Bodies’ were critical failures.

But perhaps the most crucial reason behind the reformat was ‘Wowowillie‘. The noontime show, a symbol of the Intalan era, finally left the airwaves in October after three years, numerous controversies and massive losses. Host Willie Revillame would ‘retire’ shortly afterwards. In addition, TV5 originals ‘Face to Face’ and ‘Talentadong Pinoy‘ were also cancelled; its hosts Amy Perez and Ryan Agoncillo would secure new contracts with ABS-CBN and GMA respectively after departing.

TV5 also encountered numerous problems with its sports coverage. In May, they cut block-time ties with IBC-13, but were urged to stay until the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations. As a result the NCAA was forced to air its nightly games on AksyonTV; the long-delayed finals was aired on TV5 in the early afternoon. And to cap off, many PBA fans were angered when TV5 decided to air only the ‘marquee’ games of the ongoing Philippine Cup live during weeknights and Saturdays, leaving the signal-deficient AksyonTV to air the rest.

Outlook

The motto for TV5 this 2014 should be ‘There’s nowhere to go but up’. With Noel Lorenzana spearheading the rebuilding project, TV5 will continue its commitment to programs that are favorable to younger and socially active citizens. And as they open the TV5 Media Center, it appears that things are on the upswing.

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TV5 Moves to the New TV5 Media Center

The computer-generated model of the TV5 Media Center at the corner of Reliance and Sheridan in Mandaluyong City.

Today is the first working day for News5 employees in its new headquarters in Mandaluyong City. The TV5 Media Center, a brainchild of owner Manny V. Pangilinan, will serve as the corporate headquarters of the network, and will feature six TV studios, newsrooms for News5, post-production facilities, a radio booth for Radyo5 92.3 News FM, technical operating rooms, and production space for TV5’s other programs.

Construction of the TV5 Media Center began on January 2011, and took nearly three years to complete. The new edifice is built as part of TV5’s ongoing efforts to update existing technologies and facilities for a seamless transition to digital broadcasting. In addition, its close proximity to the center of Metro Manila and its highly elevated location should yield a much-improved broadcast signal.

With the move to the new Media Center, TV5 becomes the fourth major broadcast network to operate in Mandaluyong City. Quest Broadcasting’s Magic 89.9, 99.5 Play FM and Jam 88.3, and FBS Radio’s Mellow 947 currently operate at Paragon Plaza in the corner of EDSA and Reliance, while Solar Entertainment currently operate at the Worldwide Corporate Center in Shaw Boulevard.

The opening of the TV5 Media Center should give a huge boost for the Kapatid network, as it continues to find its niche as an alternative to common programming.

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FTT Year 2013 in Review: GMA

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on the GMA Network, which had a rather abysmal performance this year.

The Positives

There have been a few bright spots for the Kapuso network. ‘Bubble Gang‘, ‘Eat Bulaga‘ and ‘Startalk‘ continued to impress in the ratings on their 18th year. ‘Pepito Manaloto‘ and ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho‘ became social media stars, and ‘I-Witness’ racked up nominations on various international award-giving bodies. They even gained notoriety by unveiling eight-year-old child star Ryzza Mae Dizon as host of her eponymous talk show.

But perhaps GMA’s most important contribution of the year was ‘My Husband’s Lover’, whose same-sex relationship storyline was both praised and derided by critics during its run. The network also scored big with Megan Young‘s victory at the 2013 Miss World and Manny Pacquiao‘s win over Brandon Rios.

GMA’s other network News TV 11 branched into the teleserye genre with ‘Bayan Ko’ and ‘Titser’, with both series earning critical and commercial acclaim. Despite the fact that both programs were uncharacteristic of a typical all-news network, its political and socially conscious storylines made it an appropriate choice to air on the said network.

The Negatives

Teleseryes like the revived ‘Anna Karenina’, ‘Indio’, ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’ and ‘Love & Lies’ didn’t even last at least six months, and despite the success of ‘My Husband’s Lover’, none of the other teleseryes clicked with viewers. GMA also tried to place a kiligserye (‘With a Smile’) in the morning slot, but it didn’t work out either.

On weekends, ‘Party Pilipinas‘, ‘Extra Challenge‘, ‘Teen Gen‘, ‘Dormitoryo’, ‘Hot TV’, ‘One Day Isang Araw’, and ‘Para Sa ‘Yo Ang Laban Na ‘To’ became victims of GMA’s continued purging of that slot. Eventually GMA resorted to airing four movie blocks on weekends in order to save costs. But the truth is, a majority of GMA programs have been extremely lackluster of late, and as a result of declining ratings and ad sales, its revenue declined from last year.

Worse, GMA programs ‘Bubble Gang’, ‘Unang Hirit’, ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ were summoned by the MTRCB for indecent episodes. Even sister network News TV 11 suffered thanks to repetitive public affairs programs and unconventional movie blocks.

Outlook

So what’s next for GMA? They are expected to unveil a trio of new teleseryes starring Jennylyn Mercado (‘Rhodora X’), Marian Rivera (‘Carmela’) and Louise delos Reyes (‘Kambal Sirena’) in the new year. However, with its rival continuing to push the envelope thanks to its younger roster of stars and newly-acquired television franchises, GMA is again under pressure to improve its lackluster 2013 showing. And with its lack of purpose and ability to adapt and change haunting them, it looks like GMA is poised for another down year.

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