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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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ABS-CBN Takes the GMA Route in Re-Airing Princess Sarah

Once a rival, always a rival.

ABS-CBN recently announced that the popular children’s anime ‘Princess Sarah’ (Filipino title ‘Sarah, Ang Munting Prinsesa’) will be re-aired on the Animazing block starting October 13. The series, based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel ‘A Little Princess’, was first aired in Japan in 1985, and was later picked up by ABS-CBN in the early 90s.

The rebroadcast of ‘Princess Sarah’ was intended to capitalize on the recent popularity of internet memes that are related to the series. Most of the memes focus on Sarah, Becky, and potatoes.

In addition to ‘Princess Sarah’, ‘Marcelino Pan Y Vino’ will also be re-aired on Animazing. The two shows’ timeslots will be announced within the weekend.

In a reversal of roles, ABS-CBN is beginning to copy rival GMA’s own style of re-airing old animes in the early morning slot. And a lot of it has to do with their lack of success in this particular viewership period.

Whether it is Kantar or AGB Nielsen, ABS-CBN always falls prey to a more unconventional approach that GMA employs in this slot (sorry ‘Kris TV’ viewers). Even though GMA’s rebroadcasts of old animes deserve a whole lot of criticism, the fact that anime loyalists continue to enjoy such shows over and over again attests to their continued success.

On the other hand, new animes (or new seasons of existing animes) on ABS-CBN failed to garner any viewership, mainly due to constant preemptions in favor of events like the recently concluded 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Worse, the Tagalized ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ and ‘Mr. Bean’ are heavily edited, giving additional reason for viewers to tune out.

As a result, ABS-CBN decided to do the most unthinkable way possible, by re-airing ‘Princess Sarah’ and ‘Marcelino Pan Y Vino’. In doing so, they realized that in order to win back viewers in this timeslot, they need to copy someone else’s style and re-air some of their classic animated series, something that GMA has always been doing for years.

Whether or not they will succeed in the imitation of another station’s style remains to be seen. But for ABS-CBN, desperation is starting to sink in.

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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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I Do and Other Programming Changes on ABS-CBN

Following the conclusion of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’, a few changes were made on ABS-CBN’s programming.

The most significant of these changes will come this weekend, as ‘I Do’, dubbed the first ‘realiserye’ on the Kapamilya network, premieres this Saturday. Hosted by Judy Ann Santos, the upcoming reality program will feature nine couples with an existing relationship, all of which will vie for a P1 million cash prize, a house and lot, and a grand wedding.

Joining Juday in the upcoming series will be co-host Jason Gainza, along with life coach Pia Acevedo and marriage counselor Dr. Julian Montano.

The nine couples will reside in the ‘I Do’ village in Cavite, where they will undergo a series of challenges that will test their ability to forge a strong relationship. The council, led by Acevedo and Dr. Montano, will evaluate and decide the fate of each couple at the end of each challenge, while fan votes will determine the winner of the aforementioned prizes at the end of the series.

‘I Do’ will air every Saturday after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, and every Sunday after ‘Rated K’.

Weekday Programming Changes on ABS-CBN

Both ‘Kapamilya Gold’ and ‘Primetime Bida’ entered Monday with a different look after PBB ended.

On ‘Kapamilya Gold’, the lineup was reduced to only three programs, and as a result, the telenovela ‘Ana Manuela’ extended its running time to compensate for the departure of ‘PBB Uber’.

‘Ana Manuela’ will now air two episodes per day, and will be seen after ‘It’s Showtime’ and before the News and Current Affairs block.

Over at ‘Primetime Bida’, the Koreanovela ‘Miss Ripley’ took over the slot vacated by ‘PBB Primetime’. The entry of ‘Miss Ripley’ marked the return of the Koreanovela to ABS-CBN’s primetime lineup after over seven months of airing reality programs.

Starring Lee Da Hae (of ‘My Girl’ fame) as the seductive yet manipulative Emily, and Park Yoo Chun (of ‘Rooftop Prince’ fame) as the handsome and rich hotelier Marco, ‘Miss Ripley’ airs after ‘Aquino and Abunda Tonight’.

Speaking of Koreanovelas, the re-run of ‘Lovers in Paris’ is now on its final week. The second of a series of classic ABS-CBN Asianovelas to re-air on the network will end its run Friday morning.

Also concluding on Friday morning is the latest season of ‘The Singing Bee’. The highly-rated game show, hosted by Roderick Paulate and Amy Perez, will take a bow after a successful ten-month run.

Both programs’ timeslots will be taken over by the delayed telecast of the FIBA World Cup starting next week.

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ABS-CBN, TV5 Share Coverage of Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup

The broadcast rights for Gilas Pilipinas games in the upcoming FIBA World Cup will be shared by ABS-CBN and TV5. (Photo credit: PhilStar.com)

Solar Sports and Basketball TV are the main Philippine broadcasters of the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Meanwhile, rival networks ABS-CBN and TV5 will share the free TV coverage of the event.

On Wednesday, July 30, ABS-CBN Sports announced their schedule of games for the upcoming FIBA World Cup on their Facebook account. The list of games on both ABS-CBN 2 and ABS-CBN Sports+Action include those of the United States men’s basketball team, as well as Gilas Pilipinas national team. The said network will also air the knockout games that would lead up to the medal rounds.

TV5 will also have the rights to the FIBA World Cup, but they will only air the games of the Gilas Pilipinas team. Per the set-up made by both parties and Solar Sports, TV5 will air the Gilas games live while ABS-CBN Sports will follow suit on a delayed basis.

The announcement of both networks caused confusion and uncertainty when it was first reported back in June. TV5 even went as far as saying that the games of Gilas Pilipinas will be EXCLUSIVELY aired on the network, a ‘fact’ even confirmed by Gilas head coach and Sports5 management director Chot Reyes on Twitter.

But according to an article on Spin.ph, it was ABS-CBN Sports who were first awarded the free TV rights to the FIBA World Cup. It was only after Gilas qualified for the World Cup that Solar decided to strike another deal with TV5.

This was indeed a false advertising move by TV5. By insisting that their coverage of the Gilas matches in the Worlds would be exclusive, and not knowing about rival ABS-CBN’s own coverage, they simply alienated viewers and made fools out of their own management. In the end, they replaced their previous advertisements in favor of modified versions.

The truth is, Solar’s decision to simultaneously award both networks only intensified a fierce rivalry between the Lopez Group and the MVP Group. While their rivalry has been well-established in the corporate world, the two parties took their feud to a whole new level, simply because of Gilas Pilipinas.

Let’s just hope that both networks will work together to deliver a consistent and well-produced coverage of the national team’s matches. After all, the fans only expect nothing but the best for Gilas Pilipinas, and the coverage of their games is essential towards maintaining that support.

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