news, Philippines, public affairs, television

ABS-CBN Regional Cancels Agri Tayo Dito, MagTV Na

Not even the largest regional television network group in the Philippines is spared from the inevitable.

Just recently, ABS-CBN Regional announced the cancellation of its two weekend morning programs ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’. The former, which was hosted by former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ winner Ruben Gonzaga, had been on the air for six years, while the latter, starring various hosts in different regional networks, had been running for a decade.

Both ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ earned Anak TV citations for being child-friendly programs. They also won several KBP Golden Dove and UPLB Gandingan Awards among other accomplishments.

No reason was given behind the cancellation of both programs. However, it is likely that ABS-CBN Regional pulled the plug for cost-cutting purposes, given the need to improve and strengthen all of its regional outlets and bring it to a high definition-ready standard of its Metro Manila flagship.

It is also possible that ABS-CBN Regional will not field in a replacement for both shows due to these aforementioned reasons. Instead, they are expected to show ‘Kapamilya Swak na Swak’ and ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ direct from Metro Manila.

The cancellation of ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ came months after the shutdown of the ABS-CBN Regional Channel last January. It is clear that ABS-CBN Regional is eyeing toward the future, and considering that its stations are still not up to par with Metro Manila’s, they had no choice but to cut some operating expenses.

The fate of the shows’ hosts and staff will also come into play. Given their loyal service to ABS-CBN, they could either be given an honorable discharge or a new role within the company.

Still, it remains to be seen what plans will ABS-CBN Regional bring to the table next. But for the Kapamilya viewers in the provinces, both ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ will be sorely missed.

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Analyzing the New ABS-CBN Regional Channel

The new ABS-CBN Regional Channel gives viewers access to virtually all programs of the Regional Network Group in any dialect. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

Living up to the Kapamilya moniker, the ABS-CBN family of networks recently added a new channel.

On August 1, the ABS-CBN Regional Channel was officially launched. The new channel’s premise is simple: it is a 24/7 cable channel that consists of programs straight from the ABS-CBN Regional Network Group.

Programs that air on the ABS-CBN Regional Channel include:

  • TV Patrol
  • Bagong Umaga Bagong Balita
  • Maayong Buntag Kapamilya
  • Agri Tayo Dito
  • MagTVna
  • Kapamilya Mas Winner Ka
  • Special events such as local festivals
  • MOR FM radio programs
  • ABS-CBN AM radio programs

In essence, the channel should benefit Metro Manila and other regional viewers who originate from their home provinces. Those who want to watch the latest news and information from their home town can watch the ABS-CBN Regional Channel in any place and any time.

All programs on the ABS-CBN Regional Channel will continue to air on their respective regional networks and in their original timeslots. That said, the channel will only complement rather than replace the entire Regional Network Group by accessing content from each station.

Even though ABS-CBN has already established a channel for the sake of its regional viewers, they still need to solve a long-standing issue regarding the need for unified programming. Some programs of the ABS-CBN Regional Network Group continue to air in place of select shows that would otherwise air in Metro Manila and other relay stations.

That said, it is the responsibility of ABS-CBN to give every region access to all of its programs in concert to that of Metro Manila. Though the ABS-CBN Regional Channel is a good start, it is still not enough, and resolving this issue of preemption and next-day broadcasts is a priority that ABS-CBN and its regional viewers should agree upon.

The ABS-CBN Regional Channel is available on SkyCable channel 4 (for Metro Manila subscribers), SkyDirect channel 14 (for nationwide subscribers), iWanTV, SkyOnDemand and select cable providers.

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