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Revisiting GMA News TV and Its Epic Failures on SONA Day

This is already becoming a habit.

For GMA News TV, their perceived indifference in important news coverage is undeniable. This was none more apparent than on the day the President of the Philippines delivers his State of the Nation Address.

In almost every year since the network rebranded from QTV in 2011, the tendency for GMA News TV is that they don’t always get involved in the SONA in more ways than one. Whenever the fourth Monday of July comes, all the network does is to air regular programming as if nothing important happens.

For instance, President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech this year started at 5:17 p.m. In the meantime, GMA News TV aired ‘Quick Response Team’ in the midst of the SONA (see video below).

It is understandable that GMA management wants to focus more on Channel 7 when it comes to live coverage of the SONA. But what the management do not realize is the overall purpose of GMA News TV (and of GMA News for that matter), which in the years since its launch has been largely neglected due to extracurricular activities not related to news coverage.

Considering that its rivals from Mother Ignacia (ANC/DZMM TeleRadyo), Shaw Boulevard (CNN Philippines) and Reliance (One News) worked a more extensive analysis on the day of the SONA, it is disgraceful to see GMA News TV stand pat and do almost nothing. It is as if they never wanted to be a news channel in the first place.

Perhaps if GMA News TV becomes a cable channel instead of going to free TV like they do now, such issues would have been mitigated. Such an arrangement would have allowed the channel to go 24/7, use English as the main language and cater to upper class audiences.

Unfortunately, the station is stuck on VHF channel 11 and can only play second banana to channel 7, another VHF station. And to make matters worse, GMA doesn’t even own the former due to broadcast restrictions; ZOE continues to own the channel while GMA only leases airtime.

If they are really that disinterested to remain a news channel, they can just rebrand back to QTV or become GMA+, a secondary entertainment channel of the mother network. Or GMA can just break their lease on Channel 11 and allow ZOE to move Light back to its original channel.

In many ways, GMA News TV is an undependable channel for all things news. What GMA did to this channel is so unglorifying that their boasting as the ‘no. 1 news channel’ does not make sense at all.

And on this SONA day, this channel simply failed to deliver when it mattered most. Shame on them.


9 thoughts on “Revisiting GMA News TV and Its Epic Failures on SONA Day

  1. Not only for GMA News TV but the whole GMA News. Since it is SONA, one of biggest news coverage every year, it needs to be prioritized. But they just intended to play teleserye in the afternoon and started its coverage at 3:50 (where at that time the recently house speaker CGMA took an oath). They are already late actually at that time. And as far as I know, they also played Wowowin instead the delayed SONA. Another note, in their online platform, they don’t have the live broadcast of their coverage unlike the other channels (ABS, T5N, CNNPh, ANC, One News) and they only streaming the red carpet of SONA. Hello, it is not even Hollywood. I think this is their biggest failure as of now – not having a separate broadcast in GMA News TV, and not prioritizing their coverage thru tv and online. They need to level up and compete with other stations or else…

    • That was worse than I thought. GMA News showed its incompetence on that day and it went beyond its so-called ‘News’ TV. Honestly, GMA was really scared to lose to ABS that they only used Channel 7 to air the SONA. And sure enough, they failed to win (see Kantar ratings) and worse, they didn’t compensate with a more extensive coverage on Channel 11. Do they really have the right to be a world class news organization? Hell no. With apologies to Jessica Soho, GMA might as well get an overhaul ASAP. They simply got an F for their efforts.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pinagyayabang pa ng GMA sa mga commercial at social media nila na mas mataas daw ang ratings ng coverage nila. Ang yabang, sobra.

      • Always the denial type na akala nila’y maganda yung coverage ng SONA. It truly shows how foolish they are in subscribing to an inferior ratings provider like AGB.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There’s one thing that both ABS and GMA are both guilty of, and that’s their “fight” on whose SONA coverage had higher ratings. Both ABS and GMA aired commercials and made posts to prove their side. But in honesty, who ****ing cares about your SONA ratings? People just want to watch the SONA, they don’t care which station had higher ratings. Network wars extending even to stuff like this and the recent Pacquiao fight are very stupid and bring shame to the local TV industry.

  3. Business aside, despite having an all-news block from 6am to 1pm on weekdays, GMA News TV proved to be useless, kahit sa mismong SONA. At least Aksyon TV covered it despite being rendered useless for years already.

    GMA will never learn their lesson and will still commit this kind of gimmick next year out of their desperation to beat ABS-CBN. GMA’s failure last year will remain as one of the worst in their history by airing teleseryes on SONA day.

    • They can boast about their so-called ‘high’ ratings. Pero at the end of the day, mahina pa rin ang coverage nila sa SONA this year, and they can’t deny that.

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