action, Philippines, suspense, television, United States

Jack TV, FOX Philippines Battle for Heroes Reborn

A bidding war between Jack TV and FOX Philippines over ‘Heroes Reborn’ has left viewers of both networks perplexed, even though the former will air the series much earlier. (Photo credit: Solar Entertainment/Jack TV Official Facebook)

Two cable channels are now fighting for the right to air ‘Heroes Reborn’.

Jack TV and FOX Philippines have announced that they will both broadcast ‘Heroes Reborn’ via satellite starting tomorrow. The premiere broadcast of ‘Heroes Reborn’ on both channels will be as follows:

  • Jack TV – 11:00 a.m.
  • FOX Philippines – 11:35 a.m.

‘Heroes Reborn’ is a 13-episode miniseries that picks up from where the original series ‘Heroes’ left off. In the U.S., the mini-series will air on NBC, the same home network as the original.

The original ‘Heroes’ first saw the light of day in the Philippines when it was aired on RPN-9 via its Prime Shift and C/S 9 branding. The series ran from 2006 to 2010 and spanned four seasons.

Just recently, all episodes of the original ‘Heroes’ were re-aired on FOX Philippines, who also intend to air ‘Heroes Reborn’. However, Jack TV, a former sister station of RPN-9, also made their own case on the upcoming miniseries, and as a result, a bidding war began between the two networks.

The program rights battle between Solar Entertainment and FOX International Channels is no longer new. There have been instances of one program being aired on each of the company’s channels; for example, Jack TV and FOX Philippines have the rights to ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Family Guy’, among other programs, with the difference being that the former airs the current season and the latter the previous seasons.

That said, it’s hard to fathom the fact that two cable networks will premiere the same program at almost the same time. It is also confusing, because the viewers will find it hard to choose which channel to watch.

Perhaps the time has come for Solar’s Wilson Tieng and FOX International’s Jude Turcuato to settle this issue once and for all. The similarities between the two outfits should not go a little too far by airing the same program almost simultaneously, so they have to figure out a way to differentiate themselves according to content.

Let’s just hope that they work out a deal in the near future. After all, this is for the best interests of the viewer.

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cartoon, education, entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Is RPN-9 Destined to Return?

The RPN name and logo was last used on air in 2012, after which Solar Television took full control of the network’s airtime. (Logo courtesy of the Radio Philippines Network)

All eyes are on Channel 9 and a possible return to the RPN name.

On July 21, Solar News Channel decided to drop the word ‘Solar’ from its news programs. Consequentially, the renamed programs are now simply known as ‘Daybreak’ (morning), ‘The Headlines’ (news updates per 15 minutes), ‘Newsday’ (afternoon), ‘Cebuano News’ (Cebuano language afternoon), ‘Kapampangan News’ (Kapampangan language afternoon), ‘Network News’ (early evening), ‘Nightly News’ (late evening), and ‘Sports Desk’ (sports).

In a related development, Media Newser Philippines also reported through a network insider that News9, the news department of the original Radio Philippines Network, will also be revived to replace the Solar News name, with a target launch slated for the last quarter of 2014. The report came after Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation acquired RPN’s stake from Solar Entertainment.

Then starting August 16, cartoons and educational programs will take over SNC’s weekend morning programming. SNC’s ‘Kids Weekend’ will feature the return of ‘Sesame Street’ to Philippine television, as well as other memorable cartoons such as the ‘Care Bears’, ‘Strawberry Shortcake’, ‘Batman’ and the DC Comics Universe, and ‘Pokemon’.

With all these developments, does this mean the old Radio Philippines Network name will return on the air? Or will this lead to an even bigger plan?

Let’s face it, Channel 9 is and will always be known as RPN-9. Not Solar News Channel, C/S 9, Solar TV, ETC, or any other incarnation in its history. RPN has been an iconic brand on Philippine television, and through good times and bad, the network always provided a great show for its viewers.

More importantly, with SNC’s slow move away from a purely news-oriented network, the possibility of bringing back the RPN name on air seems certain. Even the revival of the long-running but recently retired newscast ‘NewsWatch’ is bound to happen.

But there is one problem. Ramon Ang recently acquired a 30% stake of GMA Network, which means that he now has two stations in his watch. According to Media Newser Philippines, a merger between GMA and Solar News is inevitable, unless Ang gives up partial ownership of Channel 9.

Ang’s ownership of both networks will certainly affect the fortunes of both parties. Since GMA News and Public Affairs is the more recognizable and more credible of the two, they will be more than happy to absorb Solar News into their department. And as far as viewers are concerned, Solar News remains an unproven commodity even after three years of continuous operation.

Then again, these are all possibilities and might be subject to change in the near future.

It is clear that the sun is definitely setting on Channel 9’s latest incarnation. As the ‘Solar’ name is quietly being retired from the brand, a new era in the history of the Radio Philippines Network is about to take place.

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news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Solar News Channel Goes to Channel 9

Solar News Channel will go national starting tomorrow with a move to RPN channels across the Philippines.

For the fifth time since Solar took over operations of the Radio Philippines Network, Channel 9 will take on a new identity. The all-news network Solar News Channel will move to RPN starting tomorrow, featuring the same programming along with upcoming dialect-based news programs and talk shows.

Meanwhile, its previous iteration ETC has taken over SNC’s place at SBN 21. ETC previously called channel 21 home from 2008-11, and was one of Solar’s erstwhile cable networks to embrace the move to free TV.

Solar’s history with RPN started as a blocktimer in 2007. At that time few people knew about the network’s financial problems. Initially the agreement with Solar was made in hopes of revitalizing RPN. But as the years went by Solar gradually took over RPN’s programming, save for the network’s self-produced ‘Newswatch‘, and by 2010 virtually every program on RPN belonged to Solar Entertainment.

The end came near for RPN when Solar acquired 34% of its shares, after which most of the network’s employees were laid out in favor of Solar’s staff. As it turned out, RPN was absorbed under the Solar umbrella, and ‘Newswatch’ ended production by 2012.

The RPN-Solar block was initially called ‘Prime Shift’, before it transitioned to C/S and then C/S 9. All three iterations were catered to a more masculine audience, and normally featured crime, suspense and reality-based programs. In 2009 it adopted a new identity as Solar TV, adding entertainment and talent-based programs. Then in 2011 the Solar TV name was dropped in favor of ETC, and removed most male-based programs to cater to a more feminine audience.

While the Solar TV name was inactive, Solar executives continued to operate the network in absentia. Then in late 2011 Solar began integrating its own news operations into the fledgling Talk TV network, which eventually evolved into the Solar News Channel. By the middle of the year SNC’s flagship programs ‘Solar Network News‘ and ‘Solar Nightly News‘ were airing on channel 9 in between ETC’s programs, hinting at a possible transfer.

SNC’s move to channel 9 should benefit the said network. With a reputation for delivering straight news without the excesses of sensationalism, the professionally sound approach of SNC is a great alternative against the mainstream networks’ tabloid-based journalism. More importantly, the move to the VHF band will help improve SNC’s reach and clarity, in an effort to become more competitive.

In a few hours Solar News Channel will go on air in its new home. It may have been a daring move by the Solar management to finally go national after a few years of building its news department, but it should be all worth the wait.

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