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FTT Year 2014 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, who made the transition from a mainstream to an alternative station this year.

The Positives

2014 was a year of change for TV5. And some changes were for the better.

A heavily-criticized coverage of the previous PBA season led to several tweaks in TV5’s current schedule. Initially made to benefit the NCAA, the FIBA World Cup, the Youth Olympics and the Asian Games, this was then implemented for the PBA, which was welcomed by fans after expressing their disgust with last season’s coverage.

The year also saw TV5 broadcast other major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, the U.S. NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the Winter Olympics. Furthermore, they aired the games of the ‘Batang Gilas’ in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, keeping in step with the moves made by ABS-CBN Sports.

TV5 viewers also witnessed the premieres of highly-praised weekly series ‘JasMine’ and ‘Trenderas’, as well as a new game show in ‘Quiet Please! Bawal ang Maingay’. TV5 also collaborated with both E! and Wattpad to broadcast ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’ and ‘Wattpad Presents’, respectively, to good reviews.

And finally, News5 garnered some awards from various bodies, particularly in the programs ‘T3: Enforced’, ‘History with Lourd’, ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ and ‘Bigtime’. ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ were also honored.

The Negatives

The transformation of TV5 was not without some obstacles, however.

When TV5 revealed its programming lineup for 2014, one of the upcoming programs mentioned was a Philippine adaptation of ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Unfortunately for the network, the project never materialized, even as they denied rumors that it was ‘shelved’.

Not all of TV5’s programs under Noel Lorenzana’s new initiative paid off. The programs that were cancelled in his first full year in charge include the likes of ‘SpinNation’, ‘What’s Up, Doods’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’, ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

TV5’s sports coverage was also not spared. Early this year, the Kapatid network introduced ‘Moneyball: Dribol op da Pipol’ to its PBA and NCAA coverage, much to the dismay of the more informative and knowledgeable viewers; eventually TV5 relented by moving ‘Sports5 Center’ to the livestream format (as ‘Sports 360’).

AksyonTV, TV5’s sister network, was severely crippled by News5’s programming changes, particularly after the cancellation of its original programs and newscasts ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Balitang 60’. As a result, the network became overly dependent on TV5’s programming, which is not a good sign for a news/sports channel like AksyonTV.

The sex scandal involving News5 anchor and Rescue5 leader Paolo Bediones in September also demoralized the network. While he left ‘Aksyon Tonite’ in the midst of the controversy (he was later replaced by Ed Lingao), he did return to host ‘Demolition Job’ and Rescue5 short videos once the impact of his scandal dissipated.

But perhaps the biggest news coming out of TV5’s camp was the departure of Sharon Cuneta. A P1 billion signee of the network a few years ago, Sharon joined TV5 with high expectations, but shows such as ‘Sharon: Kasama Mo Kapatid’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ and ‘Madam Chairman’ failed to deliver.

And finally, there is the annual issue of TV5’s overreliance on Tagalized foreign movies, as well as reruns of local programs.

Outlook

TV5 has already unveiled a list of new and returning programs for 2015, which will be discussed in detail very soon.

It was not a bad year for TV5, even with all the changes that took place. With a new year looming, Lorenzana and company now hope to build on these gains even further, though changes are still to be made as the year progresses.

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TV5 Airs One Game of NCAA Final Four. And It Sucks.

The NCAA Final Four begins tomorrow, but only one game will air on TV5. (Photo credit: Inquirer.net)

The NCAA Season 90 men’s basketball Final Four begins tomorrow, but TV5 will continue to air just one game. ONE!

The second Final Four game between the second-seeded Arellano Chiefs and the third-seeded JRU Heavy Bombers will be the only game airing on the main TV5 network. Meanwhile, the first game between the top-seeded San Beda Red Lions and the fourth-seeded Perpetual Help Altas will be relegated to AksyonTV.

Both games will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena starting at 2:00 p.m.

Having reached the critical point of the season, it is expected that TV5 will air both games of the NCAA Final Four, considering its importance. But as it turned out, old habits do die hard for the Kapatid network.

Consider this: from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m., TV5 airs Tagalized foreign films under the ‘Movie Max 5’ banner. That means for over 2 1/2 hours, the Kapatid network is airing nothing but movies that have been aired over and over again by HBO, Star Movies, and other free TV networks.

So much for being bored.

The only times that the 1:30-4:00 p.m. window became relevant was when important sports events took place. Such was the case during the recently-concluded Youth Olympic Games, FIBA World Cup and Asian Games.

That said, it would have helped TV5 if both games were to air. Instead, they balked at this opportunity, and as a result, a movie will air on the aforementioned timeslot rather than a Final Four game.

The increasing tension between TV5 and the NCAA can no longer be ignored. Three years of timeslot and channel changes, questionable scheduling and personnel decisions, unnecessary gimmicks, lack of promotion by the former, and controversial events such as the Mapua-EAC brawl, are beginning to take its toll on the relationship between the two parties.

And this latest programming decision by TV5 only compounds an already deteriorating situation.

Tomorrow, four NCAA teams will face off to determine a pair of Finals berths. But with TV5 airing just one game, don’t expect anything from their Final Four broadcasts.

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Back to ‘Normal’ Ways for AksyonTV

AksyonTV brought back reruns of programs such as ‘Cocktales’ following the conclusion of the 2014 Asian Games. (Photo credit: Daphne.ph)

After sharing the coverage of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the Asian Games with TV5, it is back to ‘normal’ for the embattled AksyonTV.

The conclusion of these sports events means that re-runs of old AksyonTV and TV5 programs were once again occupying the network’s vacant hours.  Other than the ongoing NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the rest of AksyonTV’s content reverted back to where they were in the summer of 2014.

AksyonTV’s return to a rerun-based programming does not help their cause at all, and it is clear that they are in extremely bad shape to compete against the likes of ABS-CBN Sports+Action, 9TV and GMA News TV.

Back in May, I wrote about the need to improve AksyonTV’s programming. In summarizing the needs of AksyonTV to improve in order to be competitive, here are my suggestions:

  1. Eliminate the dependence of simulcasting TV5’s newscasts, and produce their own that do not conflict with the mother network.
  2. Make Radyo5’s ‘Orly Mercado All Ready’ as the main morning show of the network.
  3. Produce more original programs.

Since then, however, AksyonTV’s programming quality got even worse, despite the return of Radyo5 programs ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ and ‘Remoto Control’ to the fold.

In July, the network stopped producing ‘Aksyon Breaking’ and ‘Aksyon Weather’ updates, as well as ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Balitang 60’. Then in September, old programs such as ‘Cocktales’ and ‘Wasak’ were brought back.

In addition, the network decided not to air new episodes of ‘Demolition Job’ and ‘History with Lourd’, as well as a new program called ‘Unang Tikim’. Instead previous episodes of KBO were re-aired, much to the dismay of its viewers.

For AksyonTV, this is an already alarming situation. Instead of trying to improve the network’s programming quality, it seems like the management is becoming extremely casual in operating the lackluster station, especially when there are no sports events to cover.

If TV5 wants to upgrade and improve the status of its UHF counterpart, the management should start acting on this matter right now. Otherwise, AksyonTV’s days will be numbered, to the point where a permanent sign off is difficult to resist.

AksyonTV is definitely a good network to watch. But with the kind of programming they have right now, this will not help their standing among the other major UHF networks.

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Face the People, Let’s Ask Pilipinas Return

Ogie Alcasid replaces Aga Muhlach as host of ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’. (Photo credit: Ogie Alcasid’s Instagram account)

TV5’s two standout programs are back, with new hosts eager to make a mark.

It was announced that ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ will return for another season this Monday. The former will now air at 10:15 a.m., followed by the latter.

In addition, both programs will receive new hosts. Edu Manzano will now join Gelli de Belen and Tintin Bersola-Babao as the third host on ‘Face the People’, while Ogie Alcasid will replace Aga Muhlach for ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

Edu was last seen regularly as host of ‘What’s Up, Doods’, which ceased production in December 2013, while Ogie will return to weekday programming three weeks after his tawaserye ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ ended on June 20.

Both programs were once aired as part of the now-defunct ‘Everyday All the Way’ afternoon to evening block. ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ was last seen on March 28, before it was replaced by ‘Beki Boxer’, while ‘Face the People’ aired its last episode on June 6, before it gave way to a re-run of ‘Star Confessions’.

Their transfer to the morning slot is intended towards the accommodation of upcoming sports events on the Kapatid network. TV5 is slated to air the Gilas Pilipinas matches in the FIBA Asia Cup, the FIBA World Cup, and the Asian Games, along with the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.

The return of both programs is just one of several programming changes that TV5 will implement this month. More on the other changes in future articles.

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