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Philippine Cable and Digital Channels Face Issue of Redundancy

Hero is one of several cable channels in the Philippines that was shut down this year due to redundancy in content. (Logo courtesy of Creative Programs Inc.)

Redundancy has become a common theme for cable and digital channels in the Philippines.

In the first half of 2018 alone, viewers witnessed a closure of numerous cable channels in the country. On the local side of the spectrum, there was Hero, TAG, ABS-CBN Regional Channel, CT and 2nd Avenue, and on the international front there was Toonami.

There were also some rebrandings and resurrections of several channels as well. CPI made LIGA the second coming of Balls in time for the FIFA World Cup (replacing ARC, TAG and Hero in the process) while rebranding Lifestyle into Metro Channel, and then the MVP Group converted Bloomberg Philippines into One News.

So why do these things happen to our beloved cable and digital channels? The most cited reason is financial constraints, but it goes deeper than that.

When two channels air similar content with one another, redundancy happens. This is exactly the case that befell the likes of Hero, TAG, CT, 2nd Avenue and Toonami because they feature similar themes and genres with one or several channels.

Hero and Toonami, for example, became victims of cord-cutters and other channels such as Cartoon Network, Boomerang, AniPlus, Animax and even Yey!, which show some anime and action series as well. Same with CT and 2nd Avenue who share some of the programming with sister channels Jack TV and ETC.

Going further back, CPI shut down Velvet in 2014 and moved some of its content over to Lifestyle. Four years later, Lifestyle was rebranded into Metro Channel and is now essentially a second coming of Velvet.

There is also LIGA, which was launched for the FIFA World Cup but is expected to face similar redundancy issues as Balls since its only other source of content are events that air on ABS-CBN S+A. Finally, the rebrand from Bloomberg Philippines to One News has made AksyonTV (a former news channel-turned-T5N clone) redundant, something the MVP Group must address moving forward.

However, redundancy is not limited to cable channels alone. Yey!, for example, has a movie block called ‘Kid Sine’, but some of the films shown here are also aired on sister channel CineMo (under the CineFantasya and CineKomedya blocks).

Yey! also airs reruns of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ while CineMo rebroadcasts ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Bagani’ on weekends. Such reruns should have been exclusive to Jeepney TV.

These are just some of the examples that face cable and digital channels today. Considering the competitive nature of this business, trying to stay unique and distinct in terms of content is not as easy as it looks.

So the best that these channels can do right now is to remain innovative and wide-eyed to the audience while keeping themselves afloat. This juggling act may be difficult, but when done properly, they can stay on the air for a long period of time.

entertainment, Philippines, television

SkyCable Signal Problems

Today is the fourth straight day that I see static imagery on my TV. At first it was a manageable and minor situation but as the days went by the static images remain. Four straight days without Nicklodeon, Cartoon Network, HBO, Cinema One, ANC, Fox Sports, Basketball TV and other cable channels, that’s enough waiting for for a desperate viewer. And I am not the only one affected by this.

For days, many people in the Metro Manila area have been asking SkyCable regarding the lack of signal in their area. And yet, SkyCable continues to respond with this statement: “Our team is still working on this, Sir. Please bear with us for now.” Well, it’s been four days, and yet there’s no progress. I even tried to ask them about the reason behind the sudden signal loss, but they stayed mum.  I also tried to call their hotline, but the operator keeps saying that their lines are busy at the moment. This is a lack of urgency and a disservice to customers who availed of SkyCable subscriptions.

For the management at SkyCable, kindly explain the recent situation comprehensively. We, as the subscribers of your service, would really want to make the most of the subscription we get and pay. We deserve a clear and expanded viewing experience, so act now and restore all the signals immediately. Do it as best as you could, and hope this situation will never happen again. Thank you.