President Noynoy Aquino’s impromptu speech in relation to the Disbursement Acceleration Program made a huge impact on television programming.
The near-30 minute speech saw the President defend the controversial bill, which has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Highlights of his speech include his criticism on predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Supreme Court’s declaration, and his enumeration of the DAP’s supposed benefits.
Unfortunately, his lengthy address proved too much for several television stations to handle. Episodes of ABS-CBN’s ‘Pure Love’ and GMA’s ‘My BFF’ were halted just 10 minutes into their running time, and were not resumed. The unfinished episodes of both programs are scheduled to re-air in full later tonight.
Meanwhile, the live NCAA seniors basketball game between Lyceum and Mapua on TV5 and AksyonTV was cut with over 3 minutes left, and was only resumed on the latter following the ‘Aksyon’ newscast.
And over at GMA News TV and ABS-CBN Sports+Action, episodes of ‘MARS’ and ‘Once Upon a Time’ were temporarily put on hold during the televised address, resuming after the end of the broadcast.
While GMA News TV and ABS-CBN Sports+Action’s decision to air the address and delay ongoing programming is excusable, the same cannot be said for their mother networks. Instead of pre-empting their teleseryes in favor of news coverage of the address, GMA and ABS-CBN continued to air them without realizing the consequences. As a result, their decision left viewers puzzled and unsatisfied, since neither program resumed following the address.
For NCAA fans, the feeling is all too familiar. TV5’s decision to cut away from the ongoing NCAA telecast was just another blunder committed by the network since acquiring the rights to the league. The lack of a commercial-free and uninterrupted online livestream service for the game was also a cause of concern.
Events like this should serve as a lesson to programming directors. In an impromptu national event like President Aquino’s address, programming directors should take note of the length of the event and the possible consequences to ongoing programs, so that they can be prepared for any eventuality. If done the right way, viewers will benefit well from the change.
With that in mind, the upcoming State of the Nation Address is just two weeks away. And for major networks, this event should help them restructure their programming in order to inform viewers of any pre-emptions.