drama, entertainment, Korea, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Koreanovelas Add to GMA News TV’s Woes

GMA News TV added Koreanovelas to its ever-confusing lineup. (Promotional photo courtesy of GMA Network)

It is hard to tell what kind of network GMA News TV is right now.

In the last three years, From the Tube has been able to dissect the programming issues that surround the sister channel of GMA Network. Whether it is movies, drama series, reruns of public affairs shows, boxing matches or even TV shopping blocks, the true identity of GMA News TV continues to be a question mark.

Now add another wrinkle to this ongoing dilemma. Enter Koreanovelas on GMA News TV.

It all started on July 11, when News TV began to air reruns of three Koreanovelas, namely ‘Empress Ki’, ‘Pinocchio’, and ‘The Producers’. All three were broadcast on GMA’s Telebabad block a few years ago, each with varying degrees of success.

By re-airing Koreanovelas from the parent network, GMA News TV is once again defying the notion that they are indeed a news channel. To make matters worse, the management made the network look as if they are a mirror image of Channel 7, or perhaps the second coming of the old QTV.

What happened to the slogans ‘Oras-oras, Alam Ko’ and ‘Serbisyong Totoo’? It doesn’t make any sense.

The issues surrounding GMA News TV have been well-documented since their 2011 rebrand. As far as the most critical viewers are concerned, News TV is ill-equipped to be a news channel based on content alone.

Let’s face it, a revamp should have been in the works for this channel at this point. Even rival AksyonTV, a one-time news channel, is gradually morphing into a sports channel in the mold of ABS-CBN Sports+Action.

That said, it is never too late for Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Nessa Valdellon to finally give up on this venture. GMA News TV is going nowhere fast, and adding Koreanovelas only made things worse.

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Philippines, religion, television

In 100 Words: The 700 Club Asia Returns ‘Home’

GMA made a surprising programming decision this week.

Starting Monday, December 14, ‘The 700 Club Asia’ will be seen on Channel 7 every weeknight at 12:00 a.m. This brings the CBN Asia-produced program back to its original home for the first time in 13 years.

The return of ‘The 700 Club Asia’ to Channel 7 came just in time for the show’s 20th anniversary. Thus, it was only fitting for the program to move back to the channel where it all started as they celebrate two decades on television.

As for the show’s now-vacated timeslot on GMA News TV, how will the so-called ‘news’ station ever fill the void? A lot of possibilities are on board for News TV come this Monday as they try to replace ‘The 700 Club Asia’.

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action, drama, entertainment, hits, music, news, Philippines, songs, Sports, television, United States

1995 Flashback: The Rise and Fall of Citynet 27

Citynet 27 was the first UHF station owned by a major broadcast network. Sadly, the station lasted only six years and endured three major rebrands during that span. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

ABS-CBN’s UHF TV network (currently ABS-CBN Sports+Action) has been on the air since 1996, but they’re not the first major network to have a sister UHF channel.

That distinction belonged to GMA Network’s original sister TV station, Citynet 27.  Established on August 27, 1995, the station became the fifth UHF TV network in the country, after SBN-21, DZEE-23 (the predecessor to ABS-CBN’s UHF channel), RJTV-29 and CTV-31.

Citynet 27’s initial focus was on canned programming (mostly from the U.S.), ranging from sitcoms, dramas and action series to sporting events. These programs were moved from GMA-7 in order for the latter to add more local programming.

The channel soon faced intense competition with the launch of Studio 23. While Citynet remained the premiere source for upscale-laden programs, it became clear that GMA is losing money from this venture, and by 1999, Studio 23’s continued emergence and popularity prove to be too much for Citynet to handle.

As a result, GMA had no choice but to reformat Citynet 27 into a music video channel. Initially known as EMC (Entertainment Music Channel), GMA soon joined forces with STAR TV to carry Channel V Philippines, and the rebranded station was launched near the end of 1999.

However, the partial acquisition of GMA’s stake by PLDT (later re-sold to Felipe Gozon, etc.) forced Channel V Philippines to sign off in mid-2001. Among the primary reasons include conflict of interest (PLDT owned MTV Philippines through Nation Broadcasting Company) and increasing competition with MTVPH and the newly-launched MYX.

GMA was left without a sister channel for the next four years. Then in 2005, they entered into a lease agreement with ZOE-TV and launched QTV (later rebranded as GMA News TV), with Channel 27 briefly serving as a repeater.

Today, DWDB 27 is currently inactive, possibly for future use as a digital TV outlet. The station would have turned 20 this year had GMA kept it active.

To this day, GMA continues to regret its failed experiment of Citynet 27. With the network now enduring some financial issues, they can only hope that the lessons of Citynet 27 will be applied to whatever decisions they will make moving forward.

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drama, entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

News TV Continues Fall From Grace with Amaya Rerun

‘Amaya’ returned to the airwaves, this time on GMA News TV last Monday. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

It doesn’t get any worse for GMA News TV.

After defying the logic of a news channel with classic movies and reruns from their previous incarnation QTV, News TV took it one step further by re-airing an old teleserye from their parent channel. And it was led by no less than the network’s so-called ‘Queen of Primetime’.

‘Amaya’, the 2011 ‘epicserye’, started re-airing on Channel 11 last Monday. The said series, which took place in 16th century Visayas, starred Marian Rivera, with supporting roles from Rochelle Pangilinan, Glaiza de Castro, Sid Lucero, Mikael Daez, Aljur Abrenica, Diana Zubiri, Gardo Versoza, Raymond Bagatsing, Lani Mercado, Gina Alajar and Ayen Munji-Laurel.

The series originally aired on GMA from May 30, 2011 to January 13, 2012. ‘Amaya”s run coincided with the gradual decline in the network’s performance during the current decade, as ABS-CBN’s counterparts began to dominate the ratings.

Nevertheless, ‘Amaya’ received citations from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the Department of Education for its culturally significant story.

But that is not the real story behind News TV’s decision to re-air ‘Amaya’. Having exhausted all of their programming material to air, and having lacked the drive and the resources to produce more news programs, News TV resorted to another desperate manuever: re-airing older teleseryes from the parent Channel 7.

News TV is no stranger to airing historical and socially-significant dramas. After all, they aired GMA News-produced mini-series such as ‘Titser’, ‘Katipunan’ and ‘Bayan Ko’ to critical success, and they even re-aired the equally costly but less popular drama ‘Ilustrado’ at one point.

But ‘Amaya’ is a different animal. After all, it was a ‘true’ teleserye that GMA produced, and not a mere mini-series like the aforementioned ‘Ilustrado’.

And while ‘Amaya’ shares a similar historical significance as the other dramas, the fact that it had over 150 episodes to boot makes it an exhausting series to watch and remember. That said, re-airing ‘Amaya’ is a waste of time and space for GMA News TV.

So what’s next for the suddenly teleserye-friendly News TV? Will they re-air a Koreanovela remake like ‘Endless Love’, a fantaserye like ‘Encantadia’, or a more mature drama like ‘My Husband’s Lover’? We’ll never know, but one thing’s for sure: the worst is yet to come for GMA’s troubled little sister.

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news, Philippines, public affairs, religion, television

‘Unreliable’ News TV Strikes Again

GMA’s coverage of Pope Francis in the Philippines only utilized its main station Channel 7, and little of its sister station GMA News TV Channel 11. (Title card courtesy of GMA Network)

Once again, GMA News TV is in the hot seat.

The recent visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines was one of the most highly anticipated in recent history, and a majority of free TV and cable stations in the country were there to extensively cover the event. And yet here is News TV, who, other than a few sporadic updates on the Pope’s visit, was a virtual no-show in the event of such high magnitude.

What they aired instead were their regular programs, that of reruns and old movies. This was in contrast to rival free TV sister stations AksyonTV and ABS-CBN Sports + Action, who managed to cover the event in full even though they were simulcast from their parent networks.

The lack of involvement on the part of News TV is inexcusable. Even though News TV and its parent GMA Network are four channels apart on the VHF band, there should have been a way to give News TV a heavier role, even if it means simulcasting from the parent network.

News TV’s simulcast of Channel 7’s coverage would have benefited viewers, especially those with signal problems on the parent network. It also would have helped enhance News TV’s own reputation, which has been ruined by their radical programming decisions.

Instead, the folks at GMA News decided to use the main Channel 7 in their coverage, leaving News TV useless for the duration of the coverage except for a few minutes of news updates.

So why claim the station as ‘News TV’ when they did not even become involved in this event? And why are they still airing movies and reruns from a previous incarnation? This doesn’t make sense at all.

In the end, News TV’s inability to make their presence felt in a big event like Pope Francis’ visit will continue to haunt them. Sooner or later, GMA executives will need to make a decision regarding News TV, otherwise it will remain in limbo for the foreseeable future.

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Philippines, religion, television

‘Family TV Mass’ on GMA, ‘Shalom’ goes back to IBC

Timow's Turf

Stjohnvianney

FOR OUR DEAR Catholic brethren around the world, today is St. John Marie Vianney Sunday. His feast day is tomorrow, August 4, and he is the patron saint of priests, the Holy Mother Church’s precious products of continuing the mission of Christ across the ends of the earth for almost two millennia.

Coinciding today’s commemoration and salutation to the Mother Church’s ministers, two television networks made a surprise move.

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