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.
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.
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.
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.