74 thoughts on “Unified 5: Introducing The Network Formerly Known as TV5

  1. Anonymous says:

    So I guess they’re taking inspiration from foreign networks like Channel 4 in the UK or Network Ten in Australia. Not surprising considering much of their content these days is foreign-produced, just Tagalized. They’re turning into a 21st century version of “Where You Belong”-era GMA, only with even less money and direction.

    Honestly though, I still have a soft-spot for the Ka-Shake era TV5. It was arguably their most successful era, with popular shows like Talentadong Pinoy, Wow Mali, and WWTBAM, plus their primetime anime which gained them a decent following. It was through TV5 where I discovered Shakugan no Shana and my favorite J-Pop singer, who remains my favorite singer almost 10 years later. While I think their current focus on sports has its fans, considering the decline in popularity of the PBA, and the fact that their other sports remain niche at best, it really won’t help them in the long run. Although I don’t think the Ka-Shake era will ever return, maybe with better managers (i.e. anyone but Chot), I hope that in the medium-to-long term, they find a strategy that will serve them well and will allow them to no longer be a shadow of their former self. I don’t think competing with ABS and GMA will become a possibility at least in the short-term, but hopefully, they will be courageous enough to carve out a sustainable niche.

    Also, what’s gonna happen to Hyper and PBA Rush now? Are they still doing okay? Considering AksyonTV’s struggles, it would be sad to see the sister channels doing poorly too.

    Also, now that they’ve rebranded for like the third time since their relaunch back in 2008, will they drop the “Kapatid” moniker now? I barely even hear or see them use that anymore.

    • Hyper and PBA Rush still exists. As for the Kapatid moniker, they still use it for the Alagang Kapatid Foundation and the Kapatid International TV, but other than that, they won’t mention the word 95% of the time.

      Regarding the Ka-Shake era, blame the change to the Kapatid era on the rumors regarding foreign ownership of a media network (which is obviously banned) during the time MPB Primedia operated TV5’s entertainment programs. If only TV5 can find that same spark from before (plus some technical improvements), they might as well remain relevant.

      • Yep. Basically, it’s Felipe Gozon’s fault.

        No wonder why GMA is basically too stubborn under his watch.

        The Kapatid moniker on TV5 is almost nowhere to be seen. Better leave the Kapatid moniker to the Iglesia ni Cristo.

      • GMA could’ve been the next great hope for the PBA, except that they don’t commit to sports that much and they use all the money in their coffers for their fantaseryes.

        T5N is basically phasing out the ‘Kapatid’ moniker, but if they want to get this brand out, why not just stick to TV5/T5N International and change the name of their charity organization from Alagang Kapatid to Alagang Singko.

    • If this is a total rebrand to a different format I would write about it but they only changed the logo and not their programming. Thus no article about Light 33’s rebrand as this is only a minor change.

      TV5’s case is different as they totally overhauled their programming and it eventually led to a logo change.

    • Unfortunately, he focuses more on the mainstream over UHF but he has a point — it’s a mere cosmetic change unlike a more significant transaction such as the fully digitalized TV transition last year.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Also, I just noticed that even their new station ID seems to be subtly focusing on basketball, with all those shots of people playing basketball. And how much of the TV captures are of sports programs, as opposed to news programs and the like. Not a good sign.

    • What I think could be the scenario for 5 up to 2022 (this is all conjecture):

      1. The over-dependence on sports would start to take a hit on the network’s ratings. By the end of the year, the network would be at the bottom of the ratings of the national networks (perhaps accompanying IBC). The news division would have all but collapsed, as journalists and presenters alike have either fled or been fired. Those that remain would most likely be sports journalists (veteran or newly-minted). What little newscasts they have may end up using social media footage, stringers, or no footage at all.

      2. By 2019, the 5 brand would have collapsed altogether, having failed to do anything to change the perception of it becoming a sports channel. TV5 Network Inc., in desperation, signs a new deal with ESPN to use the name full-time, as ESPN Philippines. News5 would disappear from TV, and switch to online distribution (though the viability of the operation would be questioned). Newscasts (as in general news bulletins) would disappear from the airwaves of the network, barring a law, presidential act, or KBP rule that networks with national reach should have a national newscast (codifying something that is customarily done here).

      3. By the time the 2020 Olympics rolls around, TV5 Network Inc. would have sold off the Nation Broadcasting Corporation radio stations (including DWFM 92.3 NewsFM Manila) to other companies. The radio network would have split up, with 92.3 being acquired by Brigada and the others becoming independent or joining other networks. AksyonTV collapses in the aftermath of a major debacle during a broadcast of the Games, leading to frustration with the IOC (or whoever sells media rights for the Olympics). The stations which carried it would encounter the same fate. It misses numerous potential business and expansion opportunities (such as mergers with IBC, ABS-CBN, and GMA).

      4. Out of desperation, TV5 seeks loans from banks, and fires Chot Reyes, replacing him with a foreigner (assuming this is allowed). ESPN Philippines is rebranded to something else. Increasing incompetence by upper management causes the foreigner to leave and is replaced with someone else. After a massive strike in mid-2021, the former ESPN Philippines collapses in the same manner as what happened to DuMont in the United States, with the larger stations and affiliates of the network becoming independents, and the smaller stations either joining other networks or closing down. TV5 Network Inc. falls into receivership, and exits broadcasting.

      5. By 2022, in the aftermath of other major network collapses, the country is forced to change its media laws to allow some foreign ownership. By this point, the former TV5 stations still on the air have become somewhat profitable as independent stations, carrying all sorts of programming from the network archives, independent producers, cable companies, and low-budget regional programs (including in Manila). Sports programs continue under the ESPN Philippines name, but it is syndicated to other stations.

      Again, this is just conjecture, but who knows what would happen?

      • Whatever the case, something must be done to avert the inevitable. T5N (I’m gonna call this network as such instead of TV5 for reasons related to their rebrand) is still a valuable commodity and losing this network could hurt the TV industry in the Philippines, not to mention the local sports properties, news personalities and digital investments that come with it. It will be a huge loss if this networks ends up bankrupt and in litigation.

      • Anonymous says:

        I still don’t get why people are speculating that Brigada could buy News5. Has Brigada ever publicly expressed such an interest?

      • Anonymous says:

        Also, if TV5/T5N (T5N apparently just being a secondary name and not its official name) does die, it will be a huge blow to the PBA and PSL. Who would take them up? I could imagine that, unless someone else helps the PSL, they might end up struggling and would eventually cease operations/merge with the PVL. As for the PBA, I can’t imagine them going to another channel in the short term for reasons I’ve already mentioned before. And with thr MPBL having a promising start and the backing of local governments, even though the MPBL is not meant to be a direct competitor to the PBA (unlike the old MBA), the PBA could end up struggling if the Kapatid network goes the way of ABC 5 and RPN.

      • The only way PBA can survive in case T5N falls is if they can convince GMA to open their sports department, which is next to impossible given the network’s reluctance to air sports programs. Same goes with the PSL. But they need to try no matter what because GMA is perhaps the only network left who can give sports programming a shot.

      • I really doubt this collapse will happen in the near future. I couldn’t see it happening. Tipid mode ang Singko. They’re keeping things in a minimum with all this cost-cutting measures/restructuring. Kung nagkasabay yung pag-produce nila ng costly teleseryes/malaking talent fees na ginawa ng entertainment division nila at itong lucrative ESPN5 deal, doon babagsak ang TV5.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s just sad that TV5 now needs to rely on PBA, and the PBA now has to rely on TV5. Both are clearly on the decline, and if one collapses, as much as I hate to say it, the other could as well. As for PSL, given a lack of support, I suppose their best option is to merge with the PVL. Honestly I’m surprised that hasn’t been done.

      • One thing that’s hurting pro volleyball: politics and exclusivity. And unlike basketball, volleyball doesn’t even have specific levels of competition. We can call the PSL and PVL as a ‘club league’ but not a professional one since they still allow college players to participate. LVPI needs to reorganize and change this perspective.

        As for the PBA, they and T5N will be very inseparable now since the latter also operates PBA Rush. If they were to be separated, who will take care of PBA Rush?

      • Perhaps TV5 should learn a bitter lesson. You can’t simply rely on sports alone. Basically, despite the change to The Five Network (you may call if T5N, I will still call the network TV5), the direction is going nowhere at this point.

        As for speculation that Brigada could buy News5, I would love that idea, but I would rather see Brigada acquiring just 92.3 in Manila and its sister stations in Baguio and Bacolod. Ralph is right. 104.7 transmits out of Batangas kaya limitado sa ngayon ang potential to reach the Mega Manila market (aside sa Brigada Healthline blocktime sa 91.5 Win Radio), but who knows.

        TV5 already waved the white flag since Chot Reyes came in and they’re still waving it. Their recent Olympics coverage is a mess. Delayed pa ng one hour ang Opening Ceremony sa Aksyon TV. Ewan ko na lang sa Closing Ceremony kung delayed pa rin yan.

        PBA is basically the only reason why TV5 is still relevant right now. Without PBA, IDK what would happen to the good old channel 5.

      • In short, TV5 is back to where they were during the last days of ABC-5: a directionless network with an uncertain future. Every day appears to be borrowed time for them. It’s as if the network is at the end of the world.

      • Anonymous says:

        Methinks the decline began long before Chot came aboard. I guess TV5’s now infamous overspending poaching artists from 2 and 7 not only backfired horribly, but gave TV5 (I refuse to call them T5N for sentimental reasons) financial problems that never went away. Somehow I think the focus on sports isn’t really a simple choice: they probably had no choice since their entertainment shows failed hard and they were losing money. Seeing that sports was one of the few things people cared about in their channel, they probably decided to do a Hail Mary and divert resources to that.

        Ralph and other readers: is it fair to say that the PBA has hurt TV5 more in the long-term than it has helped? It’s great that they have a partnership and they can rely on each other, but it’s interesting to speculate how well TV5 could be doing now if they didn’t get the TV5 contract and instead focused on their entertainment and news divisions. They’d probably still be bleeding cash, but at least they’d be producing shows that more people care about. As much as we hate to say it, the PBA is really only supported by a minority these days: arguably even the NBA is more mainstream here now,

      • In the first place T5N should not have gotten the PBA but the latter had no choice due to their reluctance to air games on low-power UHF channels. Unfortunately the problems between the two were apparent from the start. AKTV on IBC-13 first aired the games but when Sports5 elected not to renew the contract with IBC, they were moved to AksyonTV for a time. However, PBA’s insistence towards VHF channels eventually forced the move to Channel 5 at the cost of entertainment shows. The rest was history.

        Had GMA become more committed to covering sports this would not have happened. TV5 would have stayed competitive with some entertainment shows while the PBA would have found a new partner in the Kapuso network (GMA News TV would have been a worthy broadcaster for the PBA if not for Gozon’s lack of interest towards sports). Also, had the PBA finally become willing to welcome UHF channels they would have not encountered these sorts of problems. Look at the UAAP. Their popularity is growing yet they are only aired on a UHF channel which is S+A. The PBA doesn’t need a VHF channel for exposure, period. They must find other ways to connect with the fans beyond TV coverage.

      • Anonymous says:

        So I guess what you’re saying is: while TV5 had its share of bad decisions that led to this point, their struggles are also partly the PBA’s fault as well? That TV5’s poaching and overspending wouldn’t have been so bad if the PBA didn’t force TV5 to make accommodations?

      • Exactly. Like I said, blame the PBA’s insistence towards VHF channels for putting T5N in this predicament. But even without the PBA T5N would still struggle because the money they would’ve used to improve their equipment, clarity and reach instead went to the artists, thus sacrificing their long-term plans for a short-term fix.

      • No wonder. The PBA still thinks that airing their games on VHF would lead them to wider exposure. Sadly, this is not the case right now. PBA is basically stuck with their 80s mentality.

      • There is social media and playing more games outside Metro Manila to widen the fanbase. TV alone won’t help the PBA. The teams not named Ginebra need to find ways to further expose their brand to the masses.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s weird how the MPBL is already making an impression on its local fans, with games getting decent attendance. While I suppose it could be partly due to novelty and free/cheap tickets, it could also be that its fans (which seem to mostly come from the masa) are becoming able to appreciate with the teams and connect with them. They’re able to build fanbases in a relatively short amount of time. Wonder why can’t the PBA’s non-Ginebra (and to a lesser extent, non-San Miguel/non-Magnolia) teams can’t do that.

      • Simple: the MPBL is a home-and-away league, although for now they hold doubleheaders where the first game is a neutral-site game while the second one features the home team against its visiting opponent. Teams are based on cities/provinces, thus helping them connect more with the fans due to a case of local pride. The LGUs also play a part in encouraging these fans to support the teams and come to home games with them.

        As for the PBA, the league is based on corporations rather than cities/provinces, thus making it more difficult to connect with the fans. A team like Phoenix, Blackwater, KIA and even the MVP companies would have a hard time enticing fans since they focus more on their own businesses rather than basketball.

      • Even home games of Alab Pilipinas of ASEAN Basketball League gained interest as of late. MPBL and ABL benefited from the popularity of S+A as the premiere sports channel on free TV. The PBA board should watch MPBL or ABL on S+A if they want to remain relevant and popular, especially on the digital age. They should also watch UAAP and NCAA basketball on S+A to know for themselves why both collegiate leagues are more popular than PBA. PBA should get out of their 80s mentality by replacing the board members na stuck sa 80s and replace them with newer members na may knowledge sa social media at willing sa change, such as airing games on UHF. It’s high time for the PBA to consider airing their games on UHF TV or risk themselves being left out by the MPBL and the ABL, especially by the UAAP and the NCAA.

      • More than just TV, they should also cut ticket prices as well. No one can afford a P1000 ticket on patron for a PBA game except for the rich and affluent people. Try to keep prices as cheap as possible. Dapat nga mga P500 lang ang patron seat then the GenAd section should only be around P100 para naman maka-afford ang masa.

  3. Bula says:

    At least, chot is giving the company a clearer and interesting direction. A vision afterall is created to manuever all resources to propel the business forward and toward the intended objectives.

    Its a wait and see game. But here’s hoping, T5N rebranding is the real deal

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, but it’s a vision to make it a sports channel. That could work for a niche channel or a cable channel, but probably not for a Big 3 network like TV5. Their current sports focus means they’re now competing with S+A as opposed to either competing with ABS/GMA, or carving out their own niche.

      • Technically it’s just the Big 2 in ABS and GMA at this point. T5N is no longer in that company. In fact, their programming and focus alone is below that of even minor religious-oriented networks such as Net 25 and UNTV. If only Chot Reyes can push the right buttons…

      • TV5 waved the white flag already, so wala na ang Big Three. TV5 is now almost all-sports and considered a S+A clone/wannabe with its current direction. T5N is going nowhere. GMA is still haunted with questionable decision making, especially on the involvement of GMA Public Affairs on entertainment programming, as well as the constant pagmamayabang sa ratings. ABS is still the Big One, but with the recent developments of Showtime going overtime and TV Patrol airing 15 minutes late, IDK if ABS would take a risk by going into that direction.

        Every network has its own share of problems. That’s why fantards of their respective loyal networks failed to notice the shortcomings of their networks they admire.

  4. Bula says:

    Agree, big 3 is a thing of the past. T5n buried this dream, shy away from head on collision with 2 and 5. Find and carve its own niche market? Why not? Tv landscape has changed and continue to change dynamically and unexpected because of technology advancements

    • But TV5 as of this point is basically a repeat of what happened on ABC 5 between 2007-08. Sports might be a good niche, but TV5’s overspending on expensive sports rights (like the NFL, US NCAA, the current ESPN deal and the Olympics) is costly and will result to the network’s downfall. Leave sports to S+A. They’re a much better sports channel than TV5 and Aksyon TV combined. From market reach to signal to sports coverage, S+A is still the premiere sports channel on free TV.

      • Emphasis on market reach and signal. Those were the two things that T5N sorely lacked. Sadly, the money that would’ve been used to improve its facilities were instead utilized on insignificant matters (you already know that).

    • Sa ABS? May S+A at Liga but on their main channel — they practiced that pag dumating ang Finals ng UAAP MBT at NBA.

      GMA? Don’t me! Wala silang pakialam for a million years kundi puro teleserye ang inaatupag.

    • Sports might be their last-ditch effort, but TV5 is essentially going nowhere at this point. Solar is no longer the great network they used to be back in their heyday with few sports properties left. Ralph is right. GMA cares more about fantaseryes, which drained their finances.

    • But Gozon and his associates are still deaf about this. Masyadong obsessed si Gozon na talunin ang ABS-CBN. Ayan tuloy. Puro yabang.

      Speaking of TV5, I might see them going down in the ratings. TV5 is now going nowhere.

      • Kantar should get rid of T5N’s primetime figures since they’re essentially irrelevant. They don’t even post its daytime figures because of the lack of worthy shows.

    • Simple lang yan. MPBL is a league composed of teams based in a particular area of Luzon and Metro Manila, unlike the PBA whose teams are based on corporations. Siyempre mas angat ang local pride dahil nakaakit ito ng maraming manonood at pumupunta pa sila sa mga sarili nilang home court para maglaro sa harap ng mga fans. PBA is more established of course pero madalang lang sila maglaro sa mga probinsya. Kung manonood ka ng PBA game sa Araneta, MOA, Cuneta o Ynares obvious naman yung lack of attendance since most of the corporations ay hindi naman gaanong sikat.

      • Problem with them, however, was their reluctance to play outside Metro Manila. Madalas sa Araneta o MOA sila. Plus some of the teams in the league don’t have quite a following dahil hindi naman sineseryoso ang promotion at advertising ng ilang koponan. Tapos marami pa silang kontrobersya. The only times they sell out now is when Ginebra is playing (usually Manila Clasico or playoff games) or Game 6 or 7 of the finals. Other than that, mga 100 or so na lang ang nanonood every game these days.

      • MBA, UAAP and MPBL get big crowds most games, yet they air only on UHF TV which is Studio 23/S+A. Magaling lang talaga sa hype, reach at promotion ang ABS-CBN, at yan ang laging kulang sa 5.

  5. Anonymous says:

    >mga 100 or so na lang ang nanonood every game these days.
    Seriously? That seems harsh. I know non-Ginebra games these days are “nilalangaw”, but my estimate is that attendance is in the hundreds, maybe at most 1,000 on a good day.

    With that said, if their attendance continues to be that poor, they might need to try moving games to the Ynares Sports Arena (Pasig, not Antipolo) or even the San Juan Arena. That’s how far they’ve fallen. That, or they could try lowering the ticket prices (which the middle class can afford, but since the PBA’s fanbase is mostly masa, is probably too expensive).

    • Well, the PBA did play most games at smaller venues like the PhilSports Arena and Cuneta during the mid-80s to the 90s, reserving only Araneta for select playdates. They might as well go back to that formula not to mention lowering ticket fees for masses to afford. Of course, the PBA also need to find other ways to promote the game such as social media and outreach projects.

      • Anonymous says:

        The PBA is active on social media right? They can probably tap into that. Or maybe they already are, but they’re failing miserably since on social media, only Ginebra and maybe San Miguel get much discussion. Do you have any practical suggestions on how the PBA could expand its fanbase and avoid “nilalangaw” games?

        Also, how come ABS and GMA ignore them? I can understand GMA, but ABS is weird considering DZMM and ANC report on the PBA. And it can’t be for contractual reasons since I’ve seen S+A report on the PBA on occasion, and PBA news is posted on the ABS-CBN News website.

        Also, maybe a suggestion for the PBA: look at how the NBA has multiple TV partners and doesn’t rely on just one: maybe the PBA could try to consider shopping out the PBA to more than one network? It historically did this in the 80s and 90s, when I think RPN and IBC among others simultaneously showed PBA games (not sure, I wasn’t alive in the 80s). If, for example, ABS and TV5 could split the rights, that could be a win-win for all involved: the PBA gets its TV coverage, ABS would be able to air the PBA without sacrificing its other commitments, and TV5 can free up space for non-sports programs. Of course, the problem is willingness: ABS, even if it wanted to, probably wouldn’t be able to air the PBA on the main channel, while S+A could but it would be difficult due to schedule conflicts and the PBA’s insistence on airing on VHF channels. And the PBA might be too tied to TV5 considering PBA Rush and Chot.

      • Besides, exclusivity between networks is always prevalent. One network doesn’t want the other to take over the broadcast rights of a particular league, let alone share the right. This is not the U.S. where it’s a fair game for all.

        Regarding the need for the PBA to expand their social media presence, that should also be the responsibility of the individual teams. U.S. pro and college leagues encourage each of the teams to run their own Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram accounts in order to entice their fanbase to follow these teams. The PBA should do the same to their teams, especially the less popular ones.

        As far as news coverage go, we’ve tackled that before in a previous article. Go search for it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yes I’m aware of the previous article (I even commented on it), but that article only explained the situation, it didn’t delve into the possible reasons. Pretty sure I asked a similar question in the comments section there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also, something tells me the PBA might need to learn a thing or two from the UAAP. While the UAAP has its share of controversies, and attendance can be poor during weekday games (understandable since students are usually still in class), even UAAP games of less popular teams still tend to attract better attendances than the PBA. The UAAP can regularly sell-out during big games and playoffs, while the PBA has difficulty doing even that unless it’s Ginebra that’s playing or if it’s an out-of-town game.

      Apparently the PBA played a game at the San Juan Arena a year or two ago, and even at that relatively small venue, they weren’t even able to sell even half of the seats. Even PSL/PVL games at the same venue tend to sell out at least the lower tiers, and sometimes even the upper tiers in big games. The PBA must have done something wrong if alternative leagues are getting better attendance.

      And for TV5? Honestly I don’t think most of the blame can really be put on them: if anything, considering how the TV5 focuses on the PBA so much at the expense of everything else, I would say that the PBA has harmed TV5 more than TV5 has harmed the PBA (even during the Solar years, there were already signs that the PBA was struggling; attendance has been an issue long before TV5 got the PBA rights).

      • Well, the PBA is not alone in solving attendance issues. All of the teams (Ginebra included) and even the star players should also be responsible for filling these seats regularly. But to do that, perhaps the PBA should start thinking out of the box in an attempt to curb declining attendance. Plus a more positive public relations reputation is a must, otherwise fans could stay away.

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