cartoon, Philippines, religion, television

GMA Pits Cartoons vs. Sunday Mass on Other Networks

In an unexpected change of schedule, GMA decided to move ‘In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley’ to an even earlier timeslot, at the wee hours of 4:00 a.m. Then come 6:00 a.m., a mix of cartoons and anime started airing on the network.

What GMA did is disrespectful and insulting to the Christian religion. Sunday is supposed to be a day of relaxation, rest, recreation and recollection, and yet GMA decided to become desperate by airing cartoons at 6:00 a.m. in hopes of drawing more kids who lacked the motivation to go to church. It is a counter-programming strategy that has gone too far, and GMA deserves a lot of flak for it.

Putting cartoons on an early Sunday morning were nothing new to GMA. Older viewers of the network may remember the time when ‘Word of Hope’ and Cathedral of Praise’s ‘Dawn of Revival’ were being aired before the general entertainment programs. That was back when GMA’s logo was a rainbow. But once the network decided to change its logo into a rainbow-colored heart, they decided to drop most of the religious programs by 7:00 a.m. and air animated programs. From then on its religious programming was restricted to the sunrise hours, before relegating them to the wee hours as of today.

GMA should realize that the majority of the Philippine population remains under the Roman Catholic religion. Going to church, if not watch the whole mass on television, is an obligation for every Catholic family. But by counter-programming them with cartoons every Sunday at 6:00 a.m., GMA seems to promote the notion that they are ‘anti-Catholic’, and in doing so, they try to lure away people from the church and back into their homes, which is not a good idea.

In the end, GMA’s decision to counter-program the Sunday Mass with cartoons will backfire on them. Sorry to the loyal Kapuso viewers, but it is a decision that definitely does not sit well within the Catholic majority in the Philippines.

Notes: Family Rosary Crusade resumed its broadcasts on the new ABS-CBN Sports+Action yesterday. It now airs at 5:00 a.m. Also, the Healing Eucharist on ABS-CBN Channel 2 is now simulcast on Sports+Action Channel 23 every Sunday at 6:00 a.m.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

A Viewer’s Guide to the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend

 

This year’ NBA All-Star Weekend in the Philippines will again be shared by both ABS-CBN and Solar’s Basketball TV.

On February 15-17 (Manila time), the NBA will once again stage its annual All-Star Weekend. And at the midseason classic in New Orleans, hundreds of media outlets around the world, including the Philippines, will be on hand to cover the proceedings.

Here’s is a viewer’s guide on how to watch the NBA All-Star Weekend in the Philippines.

ABS-CBN, Solar Will Use Separate Feeds

ABS-CBN will send Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc to cover the All-Star Game. Like last year, the duo will also be on hand to call the All-Star Saturday events. As a result of Boom’s assignment to the All-Star Game, the UAAP women’s volleyball play-by-play for the rest of the eliminations will be handled by Anton Roxas and Eric Tipan. The Rising Stars Challenge on ABS-CBN will likely use TNT’s broadcasters.

Basketball TV and NBA Premium will use the TNT play-by-play for all three events. In addition, BTV will send Riki Flores to do player interviews and document other All-Star events such as Jam Session. Riki’s All-Star coverage will be used on the short segments ‘The Grind’, ‘One on One’, and ’24 Seconds’.

Both networks will be using the NBA TV International feed for all three events.

All-Star Saturday and All-Star Game on Sports + Action

Unfortunately, ABS-CBN Channel 2 will only broadcast the Rising Stars Challenge. The rest of the All-Star events will be handled by sister network ABS-CBN Sports + Action on Channel 23, as the broadcast of these events will be in conflict with ABS-CBN programs such as ‘Matanglawin’, ‘Kapamilya: Minute to Win It’ (last two weeks), and ‘Be Careful with My Heart’.

Expanded Coverage on Basketball TV and NBA Premium

And finally, from February 15-17, most, if not all programs on Basketball TV and NBA Premium will be related to All-Star Weekend. This includes Jam Session, the All-Star Celebrity Game, the NBA D-League’s own All-Star Weekend, Commissioner Adam Silver’s press conferences, pre-event and post-event coverage of the Rising Stars, All-Star Saturday and All-Star Game, and the player practices for the All-Star Game. The NBA TV feed will be used for most of the programs.

With that, I expect both networks to give their best in broadcasting the annual NBA All-Star Weekend. The showcase is a fun and exciting event that basketball fans will surely not miss. After all, it is an ‘All-Star Weekend’, where the league’s best players converge in one roof.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, Sports, television

GMA News TV Needs to Reformat or Move

GMA News TV is a network with so many issues. Whether it is the airing of classic films, the continuous airing of old public affairs programs, or the reluctance to air more live sports events and press conferences, the network is clearly at a disadvantage. And as a result, the network’s ability to compete with more established players is put into question.

Unlike AksyonTV and ABS-CBN Sports + Action, GMA News TV receives very little support from its parent network. Other than the live news programs, News TV offers mostly repeats of former GMA public affairs programs, classic films, and Filipino-dubbed documentaries. In addition, part of the channel’s shares are still owned by ZOE TV, hence the airing of ZOE programs like ‘Jesus the Healer’ and ‘Diyos at Bayan’.

Having said that, GMA seriously needs to reformat News TV, if not move it to another channel. The current programming content does not speak to the name of the network, and more akin to its previous name QTV-11. Perhaps renaming the network back to QTV, albeit with a more balanced programming catered to both genders, may be the right thing to do. But the reformat will only possible if the GMA bosses are extremely committed to support Channel 11.

If that does not work, another option for the network is to sell the shares of Channel 11 back to ZOE and move its operations to the inactive Channel 27, in order to save money. However, the second option may only be possible once the network is sold to another corporation, and if the network promises to avoid the same mistakes that hounded its previous occupant Citynet 27.

To be honest, there is no need for a ‘GMA News TV’. That network is a redundant piece of junk that needs to be disposed. A news channel requires a majority of its content to be news that is constantly updated, and public affairs programming that is adept to the modern times. Unfortunately, GMA News TV does not adhere to such standards.

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Philippines, Sports, television

No to UAAP on TV5

The UAAP’s recent surge of popularity can be attributed to ABS-CBN’s effective marketing strategies in events like the Cheerdance Competition, something that rival TV5 needs to address in its sports programs to become more competitive.

TV5 is at it again. After earning the rights to air the Super Bowl and the Winter, Youth and Summer Olympic games, its next target is the UAAP, which is currently under ABS-CBN Sports.

Spin.ph reported Saturday that a letter of intent was submitted by TV5 to the UAAP board expressing its interest to acquire broadcast rights to the league. The same article also said that ABS-CBN is determined to extend its current contract, which is expected to expire after Season 77 (2014-15).

I think TV5 is not a good fit for the UAAP. Their sports division has been frequently at odds with the entertainment department over the scheduling of the PBA and other events, and their coverage of the NCAA and UFL has often been erratic. In addition, AksyonTV is not as powerful as ABS-CBN Sports + Action in terms of reach and clarity, not to mention lacking the commercial advertisements needed to support the network. In short, the potential acquisition of the UAAP games by TV5 will only complicate matters.

Having said that, it is only appropriate that the UAAP should remain with ABS-CBN Sports. Its 14-year relationship brought nothing but growth, improvement and popularity, and keeping the said league with the Kapamilya network will only continue to foster a comfortable and loyal relationship between the two parties.

But if TV5 is really determined to acquire the UAAP coverage, they should address their programming and advertising issues first. Not only that, they need to improve their existing facilities and equipment to be at par with what ABS-CBN is currently doing. And finally, the Kapatid network must prove worthy of the coverage by airing more NCAA games in sports other than basketball (its contract with that league also expires after 2014-15).

TV5’s pursuit of the UAAP will only begin in 2015. But for now, it is ABS-CBN Sports who is responsible for the broadcasts. And as far as the rights were concerned, I hope that the UAAP will remain a Kapamilya for an extended period of time.

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drama, Philippines, religion, talk show, television

What Will Happen to the Family Rosary Crusade on ABS-CBN?

The reformat of Studio 23 to ABS-CBN Sports + Action also affected religious programs such as the long-running ‘Family Rosary Crusade’.

The reformatting of Studio 23 to ABS-CBN Sports + Center has had some consequences, and that includes religious programming such as ‘The Word Exposed’, ‘Sunday TV Healing Mass’, ‘Friends Again’ and ‘Family Rosary Crusade’. Of the four, ‘Family Rosary Crusade’ has been aired the longest, and as a result of the reformat, its extremely loyal service to ABS-CBN is put into doubt.

‘Family Rosary Crusade’ has been on ABS-CBN since the network’s early days, starting with the ‘Family Theater’ presentations hosted by its founder, Fr. Patrick Peyton, CSC. When ABS-CBN returned from the incarceration of Martial Law in 1986, ‘Family Theater’ also made a comeback under the title ‘Ang Pamilya Ko’, but poor viewership caused it to be cancelled, and was replaced by a magazine show simply titled ‘Family Rosary Crusade’. Even after Fr. Peyton died in 1992, FRC continued to air on Channel 2, before it was moved to Studio 23 in 2003 in favor of weekend general interest magazine shows.

Which leads to the current status of the FRC on ABS-CBN. Although the said program crossed over to other networks such as PTV-4, RPN-9 and ABC-5, ‘Family Rosary Crusade’ remains closely identified with ABS-CBN thanks to its lengthy loyalty and trust. And it is that loyalty that keeps FRC on the air for a long time. However, thanks to the reformat of Studio 23 into a sports-based network, the status of the FRC on ABS-CBN becomes unclear, and if the network decides to distance themselves from the FRC, it will cause uproar within the Catholic majority.

In my opinion, ABS-CBN should continue airing ‘Family Rosary Crusade’. Moving it back to Channel 2 before or after the Sunday TV Mass should keep Catholic viewers happy. And if not for the ‘Family Rosary Crusade’, ABS-CBN would not have positioned themselves as the No. 1 television network, because as they say, ‘The family that prays together, stays together’. And that’s a fact.

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news, Philippines, reality show, Sports, talk show, television

Introducing ABS-CBN Sports + Action

ABS-CBN Sports + Action will make its on-air debut tomorrow, replacing Studio 23.

Channel 23 on the UHF band has a new name. It was announced during a press conference in Makati yesterday morning that the name of the said channel will be called ABS-CBN Sports + Action, and the programming content will feature mostly sports, with occasional sprinkling of news and action series in between.

The new network will officially debut tomorrow. And as a preview of things to come, Channel 23 is currently airing replays of sporting events that occurred in the past year, along with a delayed broadcast of the UEFA Champions League and UAAP men’s football.

ABS-CBN Sports + Action will air a wide variety of sporting events, ranging from the UAAP, Philippine Azkals, Pinoy Pride and Top Rank Boxing to the NBA, UEFA, UFC and the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup. In addition, they will also produce a 15-minute sports roundup called ‘The Score’, and a 30-minute discussion-based newscast called ‘News +’.

Carrying over from Studio 23 are action-based drama series such as ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ and ‘NCIS’, as well as the movies from Fernando Poe, Jr.’s film library and WWE programs. The network will also dabble into reality programming with ‘The Ultimate Fighter’.

With the unveiling of ABS-CBN Sports + Action, viewers can expect a lot of sports coverage from all corners. And it should also serve notice to other competitors who will try to emulate the new style of the said network.

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