movies, music, news, Philippines, public affairs, religion, songs, television

The Real Anniversary of UNTV

The original logo of UNTV, adopted by the current station upon their ‘claimed’ establishment in 2004.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of UNTV, the 24-hour television station managed by Daniel Razon. In reality, however, the station should be celebrating its 13th year in the television industry.

So what happened to the first three years of UNTV’s existence?

Apparently, it was the decision of the station’s management to use 2004 as its starting point. UNTV, as a public service station, took off once ‘Ang Dating Daan’ of Bro. Eli Soriano arrived on the scene, and from that point on, they eschewed the rock video format in favor of news, public affairs and educational programs that complemented ‘ADD’.

The arrival of Daniel Razon further legitimized UNTV’s approach to public service. He established a free bus ride, job fairs, legal counseling and health care services, and other means to serve the masses.

Thus, the station claims that they were established in 2004, and not 2001 as witnessed by older television viewers.

In my opinion, UNTV’s decision does not make sense. If the station claims to have been established in 2004, why did they use the original NU 107-inspired logo from 2001 as its first logo? And why did they choose to keep the UNTV name?

The fact is, their decision to reformat without rebranding and renaming the station is an insult to the legacy of UNTV’s previous rock-oriented era. Having said that, it is hard to imagine that the now public service-oriented UNTV was the same station that once aired rock music videos and independent short films.

Looking back, UNTV’s history from 2001-04 should have been given some respect. The station should be credited for launching the careers of Ramon Bautista, Arvin ‘Tado’ Jimenez, Jun Sabayton and Angel ‘Erning’ Rivero, hosts of the popular reality comedy series ‘Strangebrew’. In addition, UNTV should also be responsible for introducing independent film-making to a mainstream audience, courtesy of the ‘Eat My Shorts’ segments.

But perhaps the most important way to pay tribute to the original UNTV is their promotion of Pinoy rock (and alternative rock music in general) to the mainstream, in the form of music videos. And finally, the station should commend NU 107 DJs Francis Reyes, Zach Lucero and Ron Titular, and musicians Diego Mapa and Jason Caballa, for hosting programs that solely focus on promoting various genres of rock music.

Sadly, those three years in UNTV’s history were nothing but an afterthought. One must wonder if that particular era in UNTV’s history will be given a proper tribute. Only time will tell, but for now, UNTV’s claim of being established in 2004 will continue to hold.


38 thoughts on “The Real Anniversary of UNTV

  1. It’s like GMA 7, they claimed it is 64 years old last June. It does as a reference point of their incorporation and radio operation but not on TV until 1961.

    • In UNTV’s case, it’s about an identity change gone wrong. Instead of a full-scale rebrand complete with a new logo and name, they kept the logo and name intact but changed its format. And worse, they decided to ignore the first three years of the station’s existence even though there was a continuity with it.

      Kung pwede nga, they could have renamed the station after Ang Dating Daan (which dominated the network’s programming), but they stayed put.

  2. James Ty III says:

    UNTV is set to launch its new FM station on the 107.5 frequency, which used to be occupied by NU 107 then the current WIN RADIO under Manny Luzon. UNTV already has an AM station on the 1350 khz frequency formerly occupied by the El Shaddai group of Bro. Mike Velarde.

  3. KG says:

    Temporary silang nakapwesto ang UNTV FM at UNTV Radio sa UNTV center sa may EDSA-Philam pero sa January 2016 ay lilipat sa mas malaking 18-storey broadcast center na ilang metro ang pagitan sa current UNTV building.

  4. Alps says:

    The beginning of the end of UNTV as a mostly Pinoy rock and indie short film channel is reflected by this quote from Wikipedia: “In 2004, however, UNTV with their blocktime with Tapatan, Inc. from broadcaster Jay Sonza, became the permanent home of Ang Dating Daan, gradually reduced and eventually abandoned airing rock music videos, and introduced informative and educational programs on UHF free TV. ”

    It was not until 2007 that Daniel Razon’s Breakthrough and Milestones Production Inc. (BMPI) acquired UNTV, turned it into a public service channel, and its logo finally changed.

    • Yes, Jay Sonza’s group did acquire some blocktime on UNTV. But the biggest mistake of UNTV was their decision to retain the logo and name of the network while allowing a blocktimer to take over their network as part of their reformatting process.

      Siyempre magagalit ang fans ng Strangebrew at ng NU dahil sa ginawa ng UNTV. To this day, UNTV does not recognize the 2001-04 era of being a rock/indie channel, insisting that they were only founded in 2004 in its current form.

      Jay Sonza remains with UNTV as an executive, but he is no longer active as a broadcaster.

  5. Nameless says:

    For me, if Daniel Razon is very willing to dress his UNTV as a public affairs/religious channel very well, then he should completely drop the UNTV name. Instead, UNTV shall be rebranded as ADD-TV. I suggest Sir Atom Henares to step down and create another new network w/c really defines what the “real” UNTV/NU107 is. UNTV’s current rival today in TV industry is Net25. Isang malaking sampal sa mga rock fans ‘yung tila pagre-reformat ng UNTV w/o changing the name.

    • I agree. Keeping the UNTV name and logo but reformatting into a public affairs channel is a slap to the face. Mas appropriate talaga na ipangalan ni Daniel Razon ang Channel 37 after Ang Dating Daan, which comprises 70% of the network’s programming.

      And yes, Atom Henares should sell his network to Daniel Razon. Total wala na rin sa kanya ang control ng parehong istasyon after NU left the airwaves. If I were Atom, he should join Tiger 22 and help out in managing Jam 88.3.

      • Nameless says:

        Oo nga pala! Can you please write also an article of your thoughts about the another reformat of 107.5FM & Win Radio’s arrival on 91.5FM? During UNTV’s “10TH ANNIVERSARY” kasi (w/ open-close quote pa), the Daniel Razon’s management also announced their teaser about what 107.5 will be after Win Radio’s exit.

        Meanwhile, radio patron Manny Luzon already resigned from UNTV as he led the transfer of Win Radio to 91.5FM which was used to be the home of “Big Radio”, and its transmitter was successfully moved to Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong (near the Solar Media Center).

  6. James Ty III says:

    Speaking of Manny Luzon, his son Mark is a PBA coliseum barker aside from being a DJ and program director of the 91.5 frequency.

  7. Jayson Moy says:

    About the statement above that
    “The fact is, their decision to reformat without rebranding and renaming the station is an insult to the legacy of UNTV’s previous rock-oriented era.”

    They actually REBRANDED the station…though not RENAMED — rebranded on the way you pronounce UNTV.

    2001-2004 (old) – it’s [un-tee-vee]
    (as if “un” in undo/ under)

    2004-present & it’s [you-en-tee-vee]
    UN Television (you n tv)

    that’s it…

    though for the meantime, they retained the old logo…

    • I don’t call it a rebrand if they kept the old logo. Yung change of pronunciation ng UNTV does not justify a real rebrand.

      In fact, Channel 37 would have renamed AND rebranded themselves as ADD-TV, or Ang Dating Daan TV, rather than UNTV, just to avoid any confusion from loyal NU fans. But instead, the network stood pat and kept the name intact whilst becoming a public service network.

      Being a fan of the old UNTV, particularly Strangebrew (and of the late Tado Jimenez), nakakainsulto ang ginawa ni Daniel Razon sa Channel 37. Sorry but honestly, Razon should have done the right thing by renaming the network rather than keep the name that was synonymous to indie directors and rock bands in the Philippines.

      • Jayson Moy says:

        Don’t know if Atom has something to do with this…if he allowed Razon to rename the station in the first place…dahil sya pa rin ang may-ari.

        ADD established a different TV network purely religious named The Old Path (TOP) Channel because they have full control over those broadcasts…

        I think the change in pronunciation is okay…and the current logo depicts ADD’s blue/ yellow inclination vs. untv’s red/ black logo 🙂

      • Again, it shows na hindi na responsible si Atom sa direction ng kanyang istasyon. It’s Daniel’s station, not Atom’s, even though Atom can claim he’s still the titular owner.

        If I were Atom, I would allow Daniel to change the station’s name and overall brand rather than play with the old one, because it doesn’t make anymore sense.

        And yes, ADD has an international station called TOP. Pero pwede pa rin naman yung ADD-TV since TOP is intended to be used internationally while ADD is intended for Filipino viewers.

  8. ramones1986 says:

    If Daniel Razon will acknowledge the 2001-04 era of UNTV (which is next to impossible), I think he’ll consider it as the “prehistoric UNTV”.

  9. Jc says:

    UNTV just recently rebranded as UNTV Life. I guess with that rebranding, this TV network might create additional digital channels under the “UNTV” brand.

    • We’ll see.

      Technically UNTV just turned 14, not 11 as they claim. Had they changed their name to UNTV Life (or better yet, ADDTV since the network is now operated by the Ang Dating Daan), that 11th anniversary of theirs would’ve made sense. Oh well.

    • Yes I know. Problem is they kept the UNTV name anew. That brand (and rock-oriented music videos format) belonged to Atom Henares. Daniel Razon should’ve changed the name of the station to ADDTV to be more appropriate to his format which is public service and religious programming. This still doesn’t make sense.

      • Well, then, there’s an image problem here! Now, there are two solutions:
        1. They have to change their name. It’s very clear that continuing to use the “UNTV” brand would be offensive to the fans of the old pre-2004 UNTV, not to mention confusing it with United Nations Television. EFSTV? Ridiculous, there’s more to it that Bro. Soriano. ADDTV might make sense for its ownership, but then again, to me it seems like a news & talk channel (with music and religious programs, not to mention the public service shows). “Public Service TV”, perhaps?
        2. If Razon must insist on using “UNTV”, he has to own up to the station’s past, and must clarify what it means and how it relates to the network’s current identity and format. From what I know, it originally was a derivative of DWNU’s call sign for its TV music video service, and it also ended up meaning “un-TV” (“un-” being a prefix), meaning “the opposite of TV as we know it”. Perhaps he can use that as a starting point to emphasize its difference from typical TV networks. Furthermore, he has to make sure that it can’t be confused with United Nations Television by unsuspecting foreigners. I have no idea if the UN can file lawsuits for trademark infringement, and if so, whether Razon can afford to fight back or not.

      • Logically, the first suggestion is much better. Though Channel 37 is still Atom Henares’ network, he no longer controls it. It’s Daniel Razon’s network now, and a more appropriate name for the station would’ve distanced it from its all-rock music self. Any station name in relation to Bro. Eli’s or Ang Dating Daan would help, since the said program mostly dominates the lineup.

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