cable TV, Philippines, Sports, television

In 150 Words: BTV, NBA Premium Return to SkyCable

Some good news await basketball fans in time for the new NBA season.

SkyCable announced Tuesday that Basketball TV and NBA Premium will be reinstated in their lineup effective immediately. In its statement, Sky said that they welcome this development as it is in keeping with the status quo order earlier issued by the court.

It can be recalled that both channels were abruptly shut down prior to the start of the 2017 NBA Playoffs due to legal issues between Solar and ABS-CBN regarding broadcast rights. Solar claimed that ABS-CBN owed them millions of pesos in unpaid carriage fees, and in response, SkyCable claimed to have paid said carriage fees as part of the licensing fee it rewarded to the NBA.

However, the reinstatement of Basketball TV and NBA Premium on Sky will only be temporary with the court decision on the matter still pending. For now, though, basketball fans should be more than happy to catch up with daily NBA action every morning on both channels.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Stepdaughters, One Last Time

‘Asintado”s chief rival will call it a day.

On Friday, GMA’s ‘The Stepdaughters’ will air its final episode. This series, starring Megan Young and Katrina Halili as rivals-turned-stepsisters, enjoyed a long run but was essentially overshadowed by the success of its archrival ‘Asintado’.

‘The Stepdaughters’ first aired on February 12, 2018. The premise of the series was of two women who became rivals via the makeup business: one who is already established in the industry and the other with aspirations of entering said business.

Later on, Mayumi (Megan) and Isabelle (Katrina) became stepsisters when Mayumi’s mother married Isabelle’s father. Mayumi also fell in love with Francis (Mikael Daez), even as Isabelle tried to win his trust.

While ‘The Stepdaughters’ managed to air 178 episodes by the end of its run, the series’ overall performance suggests that it should have been winning on a consistent basis. Instead, ‘The Stepdaughters’ ran into a brick wall in Julia Montes, whose afternoon series ‘Asintado’ won by an average of 4% in the ratings.

But ‘Asintado’ is not the only show that gave ‘The Stepdaughters’ a lot of trouble. In most afternoons, ‘The Stepdaughters’ was aired against ‘It’s Showtime’ and likewise could not keep up with Vice Ganda and company.

‘The Stepdaughters” final two weeks saw the show go up against a new ‘kabitserye’ in ‘Kadenang Ginto’. So far, ‘Kadenang Ginto’ proved to be just as strong an adversary for ‘The Stepdaughters’, as seen by its 4.8% ratings advantage in its pilot episode last week.

Regardless of its shortcomings, ‘The Stepdaughters’ proved that it can keep up with the best that ABS-CBN has to offer. Notwithstanding the lack of victories in the ratings, GMA should be more than pleased with the way ‘The Stepdaughters’ battled until the end.

This week will see the conclusion of one of GMA’s most underrated series. One can only hope that ‘The Stepdaughters’ will exit with a bang and leave a lasting impression to its audience.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Precious Hearts Revival Series Continues with Los Bastardos

From ‘Araw Gabi’ to ‘Los Bastardos’.

On Monday, the revived ‘Precious Hearts Romances’ series will continue with a second pocketbook adaptation in ‘Los Bastardos’. And much like its predecessor ‘Araw Gabi’, ‘Los Bastardos’ will showcase mature and sensual themes that is typical of the ‘Precious Hearts Romances’ franchise.

‘Araw Gabi’, which starred JM de Guzman, Barbie Imperial, Phoebe Walker, Jane Oineza, Vina Morales, Rita Avila, and Raymond Bagatsing among others, premiered on April 30 and will air its 119th and final episode later today. The series enjoyed a decent run with an average of around 15% in the ratings.

‘Araw Gabi”s satisfactory performance prompted ABS-CBN to continue with the ‘Precious Hearts Romances’ adaptations. This time, five of the Kapamilya network’s male heartthrobs will grace the small screen with ‘Los Bastardos’.

‘Los Bastardos’ will be led by Jake Cuenca, Diego Loyzaga, Marco Gumabao, Albie Casiño, and Joshua Colet, who will play five brothers born and raised by one father (Ronaldo Valdez) and five different women who fell in love with him. The series will look at how these five half-brothers discover their origins and fight for the right and power of his family.

Based on the Precious Hearts Romances pocketbook ‘Cardinal Bastards’, ‘Los Bastardos’ tells the story of Don Roman (Ronaldo), a rich man who lived a happy life with a small family. But a severe tragedy forces him to make love with four different woman which will bear him four different sons to go along with a fifth from his own family.

The five brothers are Isagani (Jake), his long-lost son from his first love; Joaquin (Diego), the only son who will grow up under his care; Marco (Matteo), who will grow up alongside Don Roman’s rival family; Connor (Joshua), a conman hellbent on destroying Don Ramon’s wealth; and Lucas (Albie), who grows up not knowing about the man he serves is his own father.

Also part of ‘Los Bastardos’ are Marijoy Apostol, Mica Javier, Jane Oineza, Maxine Medina, Ritz Azul, and Kylie Verzosa. Completing the supporting cast are Perla Bautista, Ana Abad Santos, Joyce Ann Burton, Pinky Amador, Jeffrey Santos, Isabel Rivas, Lito Pimentel, Rosanna Roces and Bert Reyes.

For what it’s worth, ‘Los Bastardos’ will have its hands full following up the success of ‘Araw Gabi’. But if there is any indication about Kapamilya Gold’s recent streak of good fortune, expect this series to do just fine.

‘Los Bastardos’ airs weekdays after ‘Kadenang Ginto’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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entertainment, music, Philippines, songs, talent show, television, variety show

The Inevitable: Moving to ABS-CBN Might Rejuvenate Regine Velasquez’s Career

From Kapuso… to Kapamilya?

The future of Regine Velasquez’s career has been hanging in the balance over the past month. As Regine’s contract with GMA is set to expire, there were reports of her moving to ABS-CBN to join her husband Ogie Alcasid.

Those rumors escalated further when Regine unexpectedly showed up at the ABS-CBN Ball Saturday night despite making an appearance on ‘The Clash’ for its final weekend (Saturday’s episode was pre-taped while Sunday’s episode was aired live). With all things considered, is Regine of no use to GMA and would be better off joining ABS-CBN?

First things first, let’s look back at recent history. Back in 2015, Regine was a host and performer on ‘Sunday All-Stars’, but low ratings and changing timeslots forced GMA to give up the show and allow APT Entertainment to take over the Sunday noontime slot with ‘Sunday PinaSaya’.

Regine did not join ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ because of a perceived ‘lack of familiarity’ and from that point on her career with GMA stalled. Her two acting projects in ‘Poor Señorita’ and ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ failed to beat Coco Martin”s long-running series ‘Ang Probinsyano’, while a primetime variety show in ‘Full House Tonight’ ran for only four months.

While Regine remained visible as an on-air talent via the cooking show ‘Sarap Diva’, it was clear that her days with GMA are being numbered. The fact is, Regine is no longer that relevant as a Kapuso star with all those recent projects that did not work out.

It only got worse when her one-time co-performers on ‘SOP’ (namely Ogie Alcasid, Jaya, Kyla, Jay-R and Janno Gibbs) found a new outlet in former rival ‘ASAP’. With GMA lacking any capable recording artists to keep up with ABS-CBN’s, Regine finds herself helpless to cope with the dearth in talent.

Which is why moving to ABS-CBN might help rejuvenate her career. Not only will she expected to make appearances with her former ‘SOP’ brethren on ‘ASAP’, she will also have an opportunity to become a judge in one of ABS-CBN’s upcoming talent shows (rumor has it that she might join ‘The Voice’ as a judge).

More importantly, Regine’s love for performing will be rekindled within Kapamilya walls, especially during ‘ASAP’. That alone may be a long shot given the abundance of performers on ABS-CBN, but given Regine’s track record that may be too good to pass up.

Still, it will be up to Regine Velasquez to decide the next phase of her career. Let’s just hope that she chooses something that will be best for her.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Asintado’s Final Week

It all comes down to this.

‘Asintado”s final episode is slated to air this Friday. But in many ways, this series turned out to be unpredictable.

First aired on January 15, 2018, ‘Asintado’ was placed in the leadoff slot of ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. It was to be the comeback series of Julia Montes nearly a year after starring in the long-running afternoon series ‘Doble Kara’.

But unlike ‘Doble Kara’, ‘Asintado’ performed on a relatively quiet scale. Debuting with a 17.7% rating, the series hovered between 14-17% for much of its run.

Despite that, ‘Asintado”s ratings were more than enough to dispatch its rival GMA dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘The Stepdaughters’. And considering that it now airs at 3:50 p.m. on a regular basis due to the longer-than-usual running time of ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Asintado”s performance was still impressive at best.

Overall, ‘Asintado’ will have a total of 187 episodes by Friday’s finale. As far as ABS-CBN standards go, this is already a long run.

If there is anything to pick up about ‘Asintado’, it is on how some of the cast members adapt to a role they were not used to. Julia Montes, long known for her dramatic skills regardless of being a villain or a protagonist, became more of an action star in this series as her character Ana sought vengeance on the loved ones she lost.

Shaina Magdayao, as Samantha, embraced the bad girl role particularly well, that is until it was revealed that Samantha and Ana were actually long-lost sisters. Paulo Avelino, as Gael, was no slouch either in working the good and bad side of his character.

In the last few weeks of ‘Asintado’, the focus shifted to Nonie Buencamino’s character Salvador, whom Ana blamed for the murder of her wife (and Salvador’s son) Gael as well as his wife Miranda (Lorna Tolentino). While Nonie”s credits as a villain were few and far between, his portrayal of Salvador may have been his best yet as a heel.

That said, the last week of ‘Asintado’ should be a good one. Whether or not Ana gains her much-needed justice remains to be seen, so stay tuned to find out the ending to this story of revenge and vindication.

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Philippines, Sports, television

ABS-CBN Sports to Televise All Games of the PVL Open Conference

“WE NEED IT!”

This is perhaps the plea of volleyball fans as the Premier Volleyball League enters its season-ending Open Conference. Having said that, ABS-CBN’s decision to finally televise every match of the Open Conference came as part of a harsh lesson learned during the Reinforced Conference.

Back in May, ABS-CBN Sports received plenty of criticism for the live streaming issues that took place during a PVL On Tour stop at Tuguegarao. Reluctantly, the network was forced to air weekend games on S+A for the remainder of the tournament before it televised every game of the finals.

Regarding the PVL Collegiate Conference, the exhibition nature of the tournament meant that only the first playdate and the finals were aired on S+A while the other games were aired on live stream. But ABS-CBN Sports, for its part, was able to address its concerns on live stream access by offering the PVL games on YouTube free of charge.

Which leads to the Open Conference. In part two of getting things right with volleyball fans, ABS-CBN Sports announced that all games of the tournament will be aired on LIGA while select matches will be televised on S+A.

The coverage format goes like this:

  1. All games live on LIGA, ABS-CBN Sports YouTube channel and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/pvl
  2. Second game of Sunday doubleheader live on S+A.
  3. First game of Sunday doubleheader airs on a delayed basis after the live second game on S+A.
  4. Saturday doubleheaders air on a delayed basis every Monday at 2:00 p.m. on S+A.

The PVL Open Conference began Saturday with a doubleheader at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The opener meant that an MPBL game between the Bataan Risers and Cebu Sharks was not televised on S+A to give way to the live match between Banko Perlas Spikers and Iriga-Navy Oragons, a concession that was met with approval from volleyball fans.

The ongoing tournament will also feature Reinforced Conference champion Creamline Cool Smashers, Pocari Sweat Air Force, PetroGazz Angels, Tacloban Fighting Warays, Akari-Adamson Lady Falcons and Motolite-Ateneo Lady Eagles. Here is the entire tournament schedule.

About the only drawback here is that LIGA is only available on SkyCable and SkyDirect. But other than that, volleyball fans couldn’t get any happier.

Good luck to all the teams in the ongoing PVL Open Conference. And thanks to ABS-CBN Sports for giving the fans what they want.

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