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The End of Studio 23

Left: Studio 23’s ‘Premium Network’ logo from 1996-2010. Right: Studio 23’s ‘IbaKabarkada’ logo from 2010-14.

Studio 23 has announced that it will sign off for the last time this Friday. Replacing the Kabarkada channel will be an unnamed sports channel that will begin operations the next day. But before the change becomes official, here is a look back at the network’s history.

Debuting on October 12, 1996 as a primetime-only block, Studio 23 was first utilized by ABS-CBN as its answer to GMA’s then-sister station Citynet 27. The network would make its own niche in 1998 when it started to air the Metropolitan Basketball Association, the first sports event produced by the soon-to-be ABS-CBN Sports division. By 2001, Studio 23 became a full-fledged network after MTV was dropped in favor of MYX, and ruled the UHF television landscape after the demise of Citynet 27.

It was the acquisition of the UAAP broadcast rights, however, that changed Studio 23 forever. The network began to air UAAP men’s basketball in 2000, and soon after, Studio 23 gradually veered away from the foreign canned programs in favor of their own productions. The shift of content was evident midway through the 2000s, when Studio 23 began to carry the ‘Kabarkada Mo’ slogan, emphasizing its programming focus towards the youth and young adult demographics.

In 2010, Studio 23 not only adopted a new logo, but also changed programming once more. Filipino is now used to dub some of the foreign programs. The all-English ‘News Central’ was replaced by the all-Filipino newscast ‘IbaBalita’. And in a preview of things to come, more sports events were added, such as the NBA, UEFA and Philippine Azkals soccer, WWE, UFC and Top Rank Boxing.

Which leads us to January 17, 2014. Throughout this week two different teasers currently air: one to say farewell and thanks to Studio 23, and another to welcome the upcoming all-sports channel. And based on the teasers, it is clear that the objective of ABS-CBN is to expand and develop its sports properties to a wider audience.

By Saturday, the new name of Channel 23 will be officially unveiled. But for now, we say goodbye to Studio 23 and its 17 years of ruling the UHF television landscape. Thanks for all the memories.


61 thoughts on “The End of Studio 23

  1. James Ty III says:

    With this new sports channel, there will be pressure on Aksyon TV and GMA News TV to come up with their own sports programs.

      • James Ty III says:

        Is it possible for the PBA games to be aired on the new channel especially with many PBA fans expressing their opposition to TV5’s sked?

      • I think so. If ABS-CBN can improve Channel 23’s signal, it would be possible. But since they are so committed to the UAAP they can’t prioritize the PBA for now.

        And seriously, GMA needs to step up in order to make it more balanced. But they have to be sold to a corporation (e.g. MVP, Henry Sy) to become more competitive.

    • zzzz says:

      mas may advantage ang GMA News TV dahil VHF Channel yan. compared sa Channel 23 and Aksyon TV na UHF Channel. also GMA News TV may mga sports programs na rin sila

      • The problem is that GMA wasted a lot of money running two VHF stations and producing inferior programs. And as James said, GMA’s sports programs are produced by other outfits and not GMA’s in-house crew, so it doesn’t pale in comparison to Sports5 and ABS-CBN Sports. Plus they don’t have an OB van for sports.

        So while News TV has a reach advantage, GMA overall has a disadvantage in resources.

  2. James Ty III says:

    Ralph, speaking of News TV, that channel is replaying Bayan Ko with Rocco Nacino nightly, including weekends, at 10 pm. Some of News TV’s late night shows have been axed.

      • James Ty III says:

        That’s what I noticed too. News TV has changed its Sunday sked with Good News now aired at 7:15 pm, Reel Time at 8 pm, documentary specials at 9 pm and Bayan Ko at 10. Replays of I Witness are shown at 11 pm before Bro. Eddie Villanueva’s show.

        Even MARS is a QTV-like show.

        Two Sundays back, News TV replayed its Tagalized documentary on Whitney Houston.

      • Yung Channel 11 nga ang nagpapadagdag ng gastos sa GMA overall. Just look at that network and see how worse they really are compared to the new Channel 23 and AksyonTV.

        Simply put, GMA needs to place that network back to Channel 27, which has been extremely inactive since the demise of Citynet 27. At least di magastos.

  3. James Ty III says:

    Not only that, GMA aired Venom on SNBO last Sunday versus the documentary of Cheche Lazaro on ABS. This shows how bad GMA’s programming is.

  4. James Ty III says:

    Right. She is a blocktimer. ABS gave her the airtime because of the fact that it was with ABS that she began The Probe Team.

      • James Ty III says:

        Eat Bulaga is the only show that is saving GMA from collapse. All of GMA’s shows on weekends suck, especially on Sundays with all those movies plus True Horror Stories which is not a teen show.

        And Mike Enriquez is up against Vice Ganda at that.

      • Imbestigador should be up against Failon Ngayon instead. Pareho kasing investigative yung tema, so why not pit both shows against each other. Celebrity Bluff should be moved to Sundays opposite GGV.

  5. James Ty III says:

    GMA is airing Imbestigador because all their previous shows against GGV collapsed. Mike’s show is being used by the Kapuso Network as a desperate measure.

    Look at the shows GMA tried to air versus GGV but all collapsed: SHOW ME DA MANNY, PARA SA IYO ANG LABAN NA ITO, PARE & PARE, ANDRES DE SAYA, THE PROTEGE, SANIB PUWERSA.

    • Sayang. Kung ganito rin pala itsura ng programming nila pag Sundays, ba’t di na lang religious programs yung i-ere at 9:30, tapos maagang sign-off, to simply put themselves out of their misery.

      • James Ty III says:

        It’s a waste of money talaga. SAS is no match to ASAP which was why Ogie Alcasid left GMA. He would be a waste on SAS as a judge. But at TV5, he is not doing well either after his show with Sharon Cuneta was axed.

  6. James Ty III says:

    Home Sweetie Home (19.7%) vs. Pepito Manaloto Ang Tunay Na Kuwento (19.5%)
    Rated K Handa Na Ba Kayo? (18.1%) vs. Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho (18.1%)
    Gandang Gabi Vice (14.9%) vs. Imbestigador (11.4%)
    Sunday’s Best Cheche Lazaro Presents Panahon Na’ (3.9%) vs. Sunday Night Box Office ‘Venom’ (9.6%)

    That’s according to the Kantar Media ratings posted in http://www.starmometer.com. What’s your reaction?

  7. James Ty III says:

    Sunday’s Best starts at 10 pm at the same time as SNBO. Maybe it’s because some viewers like the Tagalog dub on the GMA movies.

  8. Gabby says:

    UPDATE: Studio 23 will be renamed as ABS-CBN Sports+Action starting this Saturday. Studio 23 instead will be end today. 🙂 Nagpaalam na ang Myx, Iba-Balita at Jeepney TV sa channel na ito. May magaganap daw na countdown sa biyernes

  9. joazar says:

    pano n ang myx hindi n pla mapapanood kahit wla n ang studio 23, so boring ang abs cbn dapat ipasara n yan walang kwenta sports n yan nkaka sawa..

    • Wala na tayong magagawa, Studio 23 reformatted to an all-sports network, that’s all. And if you think ABS-CBN is boring, think again. Di mo alam kung bakit tinatalo nila ang GMA sa ratings araw-araw. Pati sa sports patok sa ratings ang ABS-CBN kahit pa delayed siya paminsan-minsan. Which is why ABS-CBN Sports + Action was created to capitalize on the growth and popularity of various sporting events.

  10. joazar says:

    nagsimula pa ang studio 23 noong october 12,1996,may mtv pa noon pero ngaun myx n.sunod studio 23 n pinaalis nla,mga putang ina cla mga abs cbn cla mandaraya tlaga sabi ng gma 7……

    • Yes MTV used to air on 23, but because ABS wanted their own music channel, MTV had to go. And when MYX debuted in 2001, MTV moved to Channel 41 and stayed until 2007. 41 eventually became AksyonTV.

      And again it is ABS-CBN’s own desire to create an all-sports network to capitalize on its growth. At kung sabihing mandaraya ang ABS, yeah may pagkukulang sila like the cable issues against GMA. However, don’t deny that they have reigned over GMA ratings-wise, that’s why they’re the No. 1 station in the Philippines today.

  11. James Ty III says:

    What’s nice about the new channel is that NBA replays are now aired earlier at 7 pm compared to 9:30 pm during the Studio 23 days. The new channel got rid of Iya Villania’s Gag U which would surely not fit the new channel’s image.

      • Well may MYX pala siya. And I remember diba when you said Boyet Sison was barred by ABS-CBN from continuing as a PBA barker. What about Ai Dela Cruz? MYX VJ siya, but she also does the NCAA sideline coverage for Sports5. Nakakalito.

  12. James Ty III says:

    I’m also confused regarding this matter. Sports5 nga is tapping former UAAP girl Apple David for PBA duty come the semis.

  13. Dani says:

    hindi na maganda yung ginawa ng Studio 23 na puro sports, I hate it. Not all people like sports. Litong lito ako nung mawala yung MYX and surpirsed na puro sports na! big time SUCK!

    • Channel 23 wanted to be different, so they made the switch to being a sports channel. And besides, there are millions of Pinoy sports fans right there. Di naman dapat lahat ng channel ay entertainment; the need for diversity should be emphasized.

  14. Ringkai says:

    Ginawang sports channel nga, pero bakit tinanggal yung WWE? Sayang, mas consistent pa naman manood noon sa Studio 23 kaysa sa youtube na nag-bu-buffer pa.

    • Mahal ang rights ng WWE. Buti na lang kinuha na nito ng FOX Philippines. Also, ABS’s sports channel wanted ‘real’ sports and not ‘sports entertainment’, which the latter applies to WWE as a fake combat sport.

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