Philippines, Sports, television, United States

FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part IPart II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: PBA at Philippine Arena

The final three games of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals were held at the Philippine Arena. Not surprisingly, the venue was packed to the rafters, thanks in large part to the presence of crowd favorite and defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

Ginebra went on to defeat the Meralco Bolts in seven games, with Game 7 becoming the highest-attended PBA game ever with over 54,000 spectators. The victory also gave San Miguel Corporation a perfect 3-for-3 in terms of championships in the 2016-17 PBA season, with the San Miguel Beermen having conquered both the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup as well.

NOT: ESPN5

TV5 started 2017 by defiantly telling viewers to ‘choose courage’ in their station ID. By the end of the year, however, courage turned to cowardice as Chot Reyes gradually turned TV5 into a sports-oriented network and stripped whatever’s left of the station’s content.

The final straw came in October when TV5 signed a deal with ESPN to rename its sports division into ESPN5. Since then, the collaboration purchased the broadcast rights to the National Football League and U.S. NCAA college basketball to go along with local sports such as the PBA and the Philippine SuperLiga.

HOT: International Football on S+A

Already with the rights to the NBA, UAAP, NCAA, FIFA football, ABL and ONE Championship among other sports, ABS-CBN Sports acquired another big fish late in the year thanks to a collaboration with beIN Sport and Triple CH. The deal brought in the Premier League, La Liga and the UEFA Champions League to S+A.

The acquisition is, in many ways, beneficial to Filipino football fans who are craving to watch some of the world’s top footballers like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for free. However, with football having one of the most expensive broadcast rights in the world, it remains to be seen if ABS-CBN Sports’ risk will become a reward.

NOT: PFL on PTV-4

Suffice to say, the inaugural season of the Philippines Football League did not work out on the television side. The league faced plenty of problems with coveror PTV-4, namely weather postponements and the unexpected live broadcasts of President Rodrigo Duterte’s speeches.

By August the PFL suddenly disappeared from television as it became fed up with PTV-4’s presidential priorities. With the first season already complete, perhaps the time is now to find a new broadcast partner for next season.

HOT: NBA on ABS-CBN

2017 was a surprisingly productive year for ABS-CBN’s NBA coverage. Beginning with the 2017 playoffs, S+A aired NBA games every day up until the finals, with a few dates reserved for doubleheaders.

Once the finals began, ABS-CBN Sports employed a simulcast on both Channel 2 and S+A. The former featured commentary from Boom Gonzales and TJ Manotoc live from the U.S. while the latter used the feed featuring ESPN announcers Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke.

ABS-CBN also made NBA games available on S+A’s HD platform, which was previously separate and distinct from its SD counterpart. However, ABS-CBN’s surprise increase in NBA game coverage was just a reprieve for SkyCable subscribers, no thanks in part to a brewing controversy.

NOT: Solar Entertainment/SkyCable Controversy

It was deja vu all over again as Solar Entertainment pulled out its cable channels from SkyCable amid furor over NBA broadcast rights. The network claimed that ABS-CBN owed them millions of pesos for the rights to carry Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV.

The conflict remains unresolved as of now due to conflicting statements between the two parties. This left angry NBA fans with no choice but to switch over to other cable and satellite outlets or subscribe to NBA League Pass.

HOT: Sports News Programs on TV

2017 saw two new sports news programs debut on Philippine television. In January, the ABS-CBN News Channel premiered ‘Gametime’ with Migs Bustos at the helm, while in December, ESPN5 brought in ‘SportsCenter Philippines’ with Aaron Atayde, Lia Cruz, Magoo Marjon and Amanda Fernandez as its anchors.

Meanwhile, CNN Philippines’ ‘Sports Desk’ lost one of its pillars as Mico Halili announced his departure from the network amid rumors of a reorganization. Finally, PTV-4 announced that PTV Sports would return as a standalone program after nearly a year’s absence, with Dennis Principe once again at the helm alongside Meg Siozon and Angel Atienza.

NOT: WWE on FOX

Carriage issues also got in the way of WWE programming on FOX Philippines’ family of networks as it announced that they would cease ties with the wresting promotion after a six-year run. This was due to the two parties’ inability to agree on a renewal.

Shortly thereafter, TV5 announced that they would air WWE programs on their networks, but so far, only the condensed edition of SmackDown is currently on their lineup. As for Raw, the commercial-free 90-minute edition was made available on WWE’s YouTube page (for Philippine viewers only) while other programs can be seen via the WWE Network service.

Summary and Outlook

Overall, 2017 was both a challenge and an experience for media in the Philippines. Longstanding issues and pressing concerns were all over the place as each network tried its best to resolve each and every one of them.

Looking ahead to 2018, there are still plenty more challenges to conquer and some new tasks to take. The evolution in media does not stop here and From the Tube will continue to bring in the latest news in the world of broadcasting come next year.

In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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news, Philippines, Sports, television

Dissecting the Filipino Sports News Landscape with Entry of SportsCenter Philippines

It has been an eventful month so far for sports news programs in the Philippines.

As of this week there are four weekday sports news programs that currently air on Philippine television. These include:

  1. The Score (ABS-CBN S+A) – anchored by TJ Manotoc
  2. Sports Desk (CNN Philippines) – morning edition anchored by Andrei Felix, evening editions anchored by Mico Halili
  3. Gametime (ABS-CBN News Channel) – anchored by Migs Bustos
  4. PTV Sports (People’s Television Network) – anchored by Dennis Principe, Meg Siozon, Angel Atienza and Arianne Mallare

On Sunday, December 17, a fifth program will emerge. As part of ESPN’s new deal with TV5, the network will officially premiere its version of ‘SportsCenter’, to be anchored by Aaron Atayde and Lia Cruz.

Before viewers can get excited about ‘SportsCenter Philippines’, here is a summary of how each current program brings to the table. These are ranked according to quality and depth.

Sports Desk

A holdover from Solar News Channel era, CNN Philippines’ ‘Sports Desk’ has by far the best content of sports news that is to offer. The program is not shy to tackle all the sports news that people should know, whether it is the UAAP, the PBA or even other local and international sports.

It also helps that it airs three times a day, at 11:00 a.m., 6:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on weekdays. However, with news of Mico Halili potentially departing CNN Philippines for perhaps a full-time role as a commentator with ABS-CBN Sports, can the show continue to deliver with regular substitute Paolo del Rosario?

PTV Sports

This program has been in and out of PTV-4’s lineup in recent years (remember Snow Badua?), but its latest iteration is simply a straight-up summary of the whole day’s worth of sports news. There are a few interviews here and there but other than that, they are more into quick bursts of reports.

However, as PTV-4 is a government station, there is a tendency for the program to be preempted whenever President Rodrigo Duterte makes an appearance on national television. Still, when the show does air, expect plenty of juice extracted in each report.

Gametime/The Score

Both shows are currently aired on ABS-CBN sister channels: ‘Gametime’ on ANC and ‘The Score’ on S+A. Unfortunately, they do not offer much in terms of sports news as they merely focus on sporting events currently handled by ABS-CBN Sports (e.g. UAAP, NCAA, NBA, ABL), not to mention they do not usually air live.

For those who seek a greater scope into sports news (albeit on a weekly basis), there is ‘Hardball’ on ANC and ‘Fastbreak’ on DZMM. It’s sad to say that both ‘Gametime’ and ‘The Score’ are a disappointment since ABS-CBN treated them like a showbiz news program that is biased towards a particular network’s artists.

So what expectations do people have for ‘SportsCenter Philippines’? For one, the show will premiere on a Sunday (a weekend no less) and it is assumed that the program will air seven days a week as opposed to a mere weekday airing that other shows do.

Also, with TV5 possibly rebranding into a full-on sports network as ESPN5, the network is expected to highlight ‘SportsCenter Philippines’ as its centerpiece program with all the sports news that people should know. That said, it will be interesting to see how this new player fares amid a crowd of sports-hungry fans.

Good luck to ESPN5. As for its competitors, there is no way to go but up.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, radio, Sports, television

For TV5, It’s All About ‘Aksyon’

On July 21, TV5 will officially integrate their newscasts under the ‘Aksyon’ banner. The newscasts will be titled ‘Aksyon sa Umaga’, ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, ‘Aksyon Prime’, and ‘Aksyon Tonite’.

But prior to the relaunch, several other TV5 programs and entities have used the word ‘Aksyon’ since the brand was launched in 2010.

Aksyon JournalisMO

The first late night news program of TV5 following the sale to Manny V. Pangilinan, ‘Aksyon JournalisMO’ was first anchored by Martin Andanar, Cherie Mercado and Jove Francisco. Andanar was later replaced by Atty. Mike Templo, followed by Paolo Bediones. The newscast ran from October 25, 2010 to February 17, 2012, and features online opinions of citizens regarding various national issues.

Aksyon Solusyon

The public service program has been airing on Radyo5 92.3 NewsFM since 2011, and was first hosted by Cheryl Cosim and Richard Gordon. Cosim was later replaced by Amelyn Veloso, before current host Alex Tinsay took over the program in late 2012. Tinsay is now the sole host of the program after Gordon’s departure in early 2013. ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ also airs on AksyonTV.

AksyonTV

Named after the flagship newscast, AksyonTV was launched on February 21, 2011. Once hailed as the first 24-hour free TV news network in the Filipino language, AksyonTV later cut its operational hours due to rising costs. The network currently airs a mix of Radyo5 programs, ‘Aksyon’ newscasts, News5 programs, and Sports5 events.

Aksyon Weekend

The weekend edition of ‘Aksyon’, it first aired on April 10, 2010. The original anchors were Andanar, Mercado and Francisco, all of whom would go on to anchor ‘Aksyon JournalisMO’. Amelyn Veloso, Naomi Dayrit and Maricel Halili later took over Mercado’s vacated seat.

Initially an early evening newscast, it was moved to late nights on October 10, 2010 to make way for ‘Willing Willie’. Twenty days later, Atty. Templo replaced Andanar, after which the newscast was renamed ‘Aksyon Sabado’ and ‘Aksyon Linggo’. They were later replaced by ‘Pilipinas News Weekend’ in August 2012.

‘Aksyon Weekend’ was revived on January 16, 2013, with Raffy Tulfo and Grace Lee as anchors. Unlike the previous version, however, ‘Aksyon Weekend’ only aired on Saturday afternoons, mainly due to sports coverage and weekend entertainment programs. The revived ‘Aksyon Weekend’ ended its broadcasts on July 12, 2014.

Aksyon Sports

Hosted by Dennis Principe and Ron delos Reyes, ‘Aksyon Sports’ has been airing on Radyo5 92.3 News FM since 2011. The program also aired on AksyonTV, but was later cancelled. ‘Aksyon Sports’ solely focuses on recaps of sports events and discussions regarding various sports issues.

Aksyon Breaking and Related Bulletins

‘Aksyon Breaking’ (AksyonTV), ‘Aksyon Alert’ (TV5) and ‘Aksyon News Update’ (Radyo5 92.3 News FM) serve as the main news bulletins of News5. While ‘Aksyon Alert’ and ‘Aksyon News Update’ continue to air, ‘Aksyon Breaking’ was cancelled on July 13, 2014, in anticipation of a reformat.

Regional Aksyon

TV5 affiliates in Cebu and Davao air a regional version of ‘Aksyon’. ‘Aksyon Bisaya’ was first launched on July 18, 2011, after TV5 launched its Cebu affiliate. ‘Aksyon Dabaw’ was then launched on May 5, 2014, serving viewers of TV5 Davao.

Reaksyon

Formerly a stand-alone news and commentary program, it will now serve as a segment for ‘Aksyon Prime’ beginning July 21. Luchi Cruz-Valdes will continue to host the segment in addition to her anchoring duties on ‘Aksyon Prime’.

InterAksyon.com

The official news website of TV5, InterAksyon.com was launched in 2010, following the sale of the network to Manny V. Pangilinan. In addition to various news articles, clips of News5 programs and newscasts on TV and radio are also featured via its sister site News5 Everywhere.

This Monday, TV5 takes the ‘Aksyon’ name to new heights, in the form of ‘Aksyon sa Umaga’ (mornings), ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ (noontime), ‘Aksyon Prime’ (primetime) and ‘Aksyon Tonite’ (late nights). For News5, it is about strengthening and unifying the brand, believing that ‘more than the news, it is about action’ (‘higit sa balita, aksyon’). And that is exactly what they are attempting to accomplish.

However, it remains to be seen whether or not their new initiative will pay off. But for now, News5 will welcome a change of scenery, and will start over with a clean slate.

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