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Around the Mediaverse: ARC, TAG Sign Off; Rappler Stripped of Registration

More sad news in Philippine cable television.

At midnight of January 15, the ABS-CBN Regional Channel and TAG permanently signed off the air. According to Creative Programs Inc., they cite a ‘change in business direction’ for the closure of the two channels.

The ARC was launched on August 1, 2016 in another attempt to make ABS-CBN Regional programs available outside its respective regional footprint. However, like the Sarimanok Channel (now the ABS-CBN News Channel), ARC was beset by various problems from the start and its inability to gain support from the mother network eventually led to its downfall.

Two months later, on October 19, TAG signed on, showing Tagalized foreign films. However, it also endured its fair share of problems, the most obvious of which is redundancy due to the fact that the films shown in the channel are also aired on sister channels such as ABS-CBN, CineMo, Cinema One and Yey!.

CPI will also end broadcast of the anime channel Hero on January 31. More on that in a future article.

Rappler Registration Revoked

Later that afternoon, some breaking news involving a rising media outlet shook the world of journalism. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it revoked its registration of Rappler due to an alleged violation of a rule regarding foreign ownership of media companies.

The SEC claimed that Rappler is being controlled by the Omidyar Network, a fund created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Rappler denied this statement, saying that the company is ‘100% Filipino-owned’ and that Omidyar is only an investor.

Rappler’s reported revocation of its registration was vehemently criticized by the likes of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, saying that it violated the rights of freedom of speech and the press. Malacañang denied these claims, saying Rappler violated constitutional rules and that it has nothing to do with President Rodrigo Duterte’s criticism of the outlet.

This said rule regarding the ban on foreign ownership of media companies has been in place since the 1970s. It can be recalled that GMA Network owner Robert ‘Uncle Bob’ Stewart sold the company to Felipe Gozon, Gilberto Duavit and Menardo Jimenez due to said rule, and MPB Primedia was also forced to sell its share of TV5 to Manny V. Pangilinan.

Despite its revocation, Rappler said it will continue to operate and will exhaust all legal efforts in order to reconsider SEC’s decision. Good luck with that.

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entertainment, movies, Philippines, television

Kapamilya Blockbusters, FPJ Return to ABS-CBN; Other Notes

Last Monday, ABS-CBN revamped its ‘Kapamilya Gold’ afternoon lineup by reintroducing the movie block ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’. The said program has been aired in both the morning and afternoon slots primarily to fill in programming slots on a temporary basis. ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ replaced the recently concluded ‘Juan de la Cruz‘ spinoff ‘My Little Juan’ in its timeslot, and airs after ‘Showtime’ and before ‘Dugong Buhay’.

The first film aired on the weekday return of ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ is ‘The Adventures of Pureza: Queen of the Riles‘, starring Melai Cantiveros. The program will focus more on Star Cinema‘s recent film releases, with occasional foreign films added for good measure. While ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ will only be used as a temporary fill-in while an upcoming afternoon teleserye is being planned, it will give viewers an opportunity to watch films they’ve never seen before in cinemas.

Before ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ moved back to its weekday slot, it aired during Sunday mornings, with its timeslot only preempted by ‘Pinoy Pride’ boxing matches and NBA games. However, with the expected return of ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ to the weekday slot, ABS-CBN announced that ‘FPJ: Da King on ABS-CBN’ will make its return. As the name suggests, it features classic films from Fernando Poe, Jr.‘s library of archives, which the Kapamilya network has exclusive rights. In addition, ‘FPJ: Da King’ will also air on Studio 23, Cinema One and Jeepney TV.

The ‘FPJ: Da King’ block will also be a fill-in program, after which it will again be replaced by NBA games and Pinoy Pride matches on ABS-CBN soon. However, don’t expect the FPJ films to be axed soon, as there will be a possibility of moving the program to another timeslot once the NBA season begins.

On another note, the hit teleserye ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’, starring Julia Montes and Enrique Gil, will officially conclude in three weeks. The teleserye has enjoyed consistently high viewership numbers despite pitting against equally strong GMA teleseryes ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ and ‘My Husband’s Lover’. The series finale is expected to air on October 4. Meanwhile, ABS-CBN started to air teasers for the upcoming teleserye ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’, starring Andi Eigenmann, which is expected to replace ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’ in its timeslot.

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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.

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