entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, Sports, television, TV shopping

Before One News: A Look Back on AksyonTV, 5’s Failed Attempt at a News Channel

AksyonTV was the first 24/7 Filipino language news channel, but financial losses led to its transformation into T5N’s complement channel. (Logo courtesy of The 5 Network)

Next week will herald a new chapter for News5.

On May 28, the news division of The 5 Network (T5N), along with The Philippine Star and BusinessWorld, will launch One News, a 24/7 English language news channel exclusive to Cignal. But before the fireworks take place, here is a look back at 5’s former news channel AksyonTV.

AksyonTV was launched on February 21, 2011, and was initially billed by 5 as the first 24/7 Filipino language news channel on free TV. During its first few years of operation, AksyonTV filled its programming lineup with simulcasts from Radyo5 92.3 News FM, as well as original programs exclusive to the network and other shows that also air on then-TV5.

Over the next several years, however, AksyonTV slowly drifted away from its original purpose and was rendered irrelevant by television think-tanks. The gradual decline of AksyonTV can be attributed to the following factors:

  • Overspending

When AksyonTV was first launched the MVP Group was on a spending tear, pooling all their resources in hopes of making TV5 competitive and at par with long-time giants ABS-CBN and GMA. However, they failed to account the poor reach and infrastructure of the network, leading to financial losses and consequently, this next factor.

  • News5’s Problems

In order to cut its losses, News5 elected to cancel original AksyonTV programs and focused more on 5’s newscasts and radio programs. However, News5 was soon hampered by the departure of numerous top talents and the downsizing of its staff, affecting not only AksyonTV but also 5 overall, leading to this next factor.

  • Arrival of Sports and Entertainment Shows

The lack of any original news programming forced 5 to reformat AksyonTV into a complement channel of T5N, adding ESPN5 programs, entertainment shows and TV shopping to the menu. The change in AksyonTV’s content also led to the launch of Bloomberg Philippines, which eventually morphed into One News.

Overall, AksyonTV was not a bad attempt by News5 in terms of operating a news channel. But had the network improved its reach and infrastructure, AksyonTV might have remained competitive and viable alongside the likes of GMA News TV, DZMM TeleRadyo, CNN Philippines and the ABS-CBN News Channel.

Unfortunately, with the launch of One News next week, it is clear that AksyonTV has outlived its usefulness. One can only hope that 5 will do something about AksyonTV in the immediate future, whether it is rebranding the network or selling it to other broadcast outfits.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Inday Will Always Love You to Give Since I Found You a Run for Its Money

Talk about a lethargic follow-up.

After a strong premiere week, harsh reality hits the ABS-CBN primetime romantic comedy series ‘Since I Found You’. From averaging in the 20s its first week, its ratings are now down to around 18%.

To make matters worse, its closest competitor (in this instance GMA’s ‘The One That Got Away’) made an inspiring rally to pull to within 3%. Although it may not be enough to overcome the deficit by the time the series ends tonight, it should give ABS-CBN plenty of concern when it comes to the fourth teleserye in Primetime Bida’s lineup.

Starting Monday night, a new headache for ‘Since I Found You’ will come in the form of Barbie Forteza and Derrick Monasterio. Their new series ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ is set in Cebu and will feature the culture and the sights and sounds of this popular Visayan city.

In ‘Inday Will Always Love You’, Happylou (Barbie) is a Manileña lechon store assistant who decides to return to Cebu in search of her father and to help her impoverished family who lives near the train tracks. Encountering the rich and kind Sir Philip (Ricky Davao), she begins to take care of him after the latter suffered a heart attack, and in turn, he helps Happylou search for her father.

Sir Philip also introduces Happylou to Patrick (Derrick), his nephew, and the two begin to forge a healthy relationship. But Patrick’s mother Amanda (Gladys Reyes) and his girlfriend Ericka (Kim Rodriguez) will look to put a wrench in their plans, and when Sir Philip dies, they look to make Happylou’s life a living hell.

Also part of the cast are Juancho Trivino, Manilyn Reynes, Nova Villa, Tina Paner, Super Tekla, the “Lumen Twins” Charisse and Charlotte Hermoso, Kimpoy Feliciano, Buboy Villar and Fliptop artists Mzhayt and Price Tagg. It will be directed by Monti Parungao and Rember Gelera.

If the premise of ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ sounds familiar, then one should remember another locally-themed romantic comedy in ‘I Heart Davao’. Both series were produced by GMA Public Affairs and the setting was based on a popular tourist destination in the Philippines.

But if ‘I Heart Davao”s brief run is any indication, then ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ is in for a reality check. Still, with its incoming competitor ‘Since I Found You’ not doing exactly well in spite of its ratings, one can expect ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ will enjoy a longer tenure and perhaps steal some victories from its rival.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ can change the primetime romcom arms race. With that, best of luck to this series.

‘Inday Will Always Love You’ airs weeknights after ‘Kambal Karibal’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Close But No Cigar: The One That Got Away’s Final Week

Who’s the ex that Liam is looking for?

Indeed, GMA’s ‘The One That Got Away’ had quite a journey. Its run of 88 episodes suggests that it performed well, but on the contrary, it still fell short.

‘The One That Got Away’ first premiered on January 15, 2018 as a replacement to ‘My Korean Jagiya’. The series starred Dennis Trillo, Max Collins, Solenn Heussaff and Rhian Ramos, and it featured a storyline of one man’s near-death experience coupled with a difficult decision of choosing among his three exes who he feels the most connected.

Unfortunately for ‘The One That Got Away’, it struggled right out of the gate, only getting around 12% in its first few months on the air. On the other hand, ABS-CBN’s more serious primetime drama ‘The Good Son’ earned 6% more than its rival.

Ratings for ‘The One That Got Away’ somewhat improved as the calendar turned to April, and by May, it rallied to average around 14-15%. Despite that, it was not enough to beat both ‘The Good Son’ and ‘Since I Found You’ in its timeslot, although lately the series is starting to close the gap.

Such is the cruel fate of GMA’s primetime romantic dramas. Just as ‘The One That Got Away’ began to find its stride, the series was down to its last few episodes, thus giving them no chance of catching up to ‘Since I Found You’ which has faltered of late.

But to the series’ credit, it still gave a good account of itself. Notwithstanding the huge odds, it was clear that ‘The One That Got Away’ was one of GMA’s better romantic comedy series, one that is well-written and had a stellar cast that connected well with the audience.

Come this Friday, one ex-girlfriend’s life will change while two others will have to ponder about their future. Find out who really is the ‘one that got away’.

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digital television, entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, Sports, television

ABS-CBN TVPlus Sales Reach 5 Million Units

Five million and counting.

ABS-CBN announced this week that sales of the groundbreaking ABS-CBN TVPlus black box has reached the 5-million mark. This will put the network on track to meet the six-million sales target by the end of the year.

The steady growth of ABS-CBN TVPlus can be attributed to its low price, availability of several digital-exclusive TV channels and clearer picture quality. The boxes only cost P1499 and with a corresponding ABS-CBN Mobile SIM card, consumers can access exclusive ABS-CBN digital channels in CineMo, Yey!, Knowledge Channel, DZMM TeleRadyo and Kapamilya Box Office (KBO).

While ABS-CBN TVPlus is mainly used at home, some public and private vehicle owners have also invested on the device to improve picture quality in their TV screens while on the go. Although ABS-CBN discourages the use of TVPlus in automobiles, it did not stop vehicle owners from trying to improve the viewing experience of riders.

TVPlus is currently available in 15 key locations, mainly concentrating in the Greater Manila Area, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Benguet and Pangasinan. ABS-CBN is also looking to expand the current coverage area that TVPlus encompasses, with the announcement coming in the near future.

ABS-CBN also launched a new generation TVPlus box that is only available in Cebu and Davao. Sold for P2999, it now comes with a wifi stick that will enable customers to access the internet through ABS-CBN Mobile.

So far, the lack of competition in the digital TV sector has enabled ABS-CBN TVPlus to pull away in terms of sales. However, rivals GMA Network and Solar Entertainment are currently in the process of creating their own digital devices, which means that in a few years, one expect a dogfight between the three broadcast giants and their digital TV offerings.

For more information on ABS-CBN TVPlus, click this highlighted link.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

Eat Bulaga’s Suffer Sireyna Problem

Super Sireyna and Suffer Sireyna will forever be synonymous to one another.

Super Sireyna had been a recurring segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ for the past several years. The segment invites transgender men to compete in a beauty pageant akin to the more prestigious Binibining Pilipinas contest, and each contestant had to assume the persona of a particular female celebrity, whether local or foreign.

Suffer Sireyna, on the other hand, was introduced as a response to Super Sireyna by host Joey de Leon. First held in 2014, the segment involves ordinary but mostly ugly men dressed in drag (with a corresponding pseudonym to mock a particular celebrity) that were forced to compete in ridiculous challenges (hence the word ‘suffer’).

While the Suffer Sireyna segment had been mostly entertaining, not all were pleased by its mocking depiction of ordinary men with obvious physical flaws. Nearly four years ago, John Ryan Mendoza of Outrage Magazine criticized Suffer Sireyna for parading the candidates as ‘freaks for the whole country to laugh at’.

When Suffer Sireyna returned earlier this year, another critic stepped in and picked up from where Mendoza left off. Facebook user Alwyn Ignacio commented on the matter, saying that it is not funny and is disrespectful to the LGBT community.

TAPE Inc., the producers of ‘Eat Bulaga’, have not responded in kind to either Mendoza’s or Ignacio’s post. Regardless, it is one thing to take pride towards the LGBT community, but it is another thing to degrade and make fools out of them for the sake of entertainment.

For a noontime show that has nothing left to prove after nearly 39 years of unparalleled success, Suffer Sireyna may probably go down as one of its weakest points. No matter how entertaining and engaging this segment is, it is clear that the LGBT community is not happy with what Suffer Sireyna is doing (unless you’re Allan K or Paolo Ballesteros).

This Saturday, ‘Eat Bulaga’ will hold the next stage of Suffer Sireyna competition under the name Suffer Sireyna Intergalactic (a mock response to Super Sireyna Worldwide). If this is the ‘end’ as Joey de Leon claims for the segment, then one can hope for a good riddance.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, radio, television

In 100 Words: Gawad Tanglaw 2018

Guess which stations are tied for Best TV Station at the 16th Gawad Tanglaw Awards.

There were obviously no surprises here as long-time rivals ABS-CBN and GMA shared the honor of being the top television station in the country at this year’s Gawad Tanglaw Awards. But despite the tie, it was ABS-CBN which wound up with more individual awards, bagging 30 to GMA’s 13.

ABS-CBN’s total haul was highlighted by the four awards given to the cast of ‘Wildflower’, three to ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and nine to the ABS-CBN News Channel. Meanwhile, GMA’s haul was dominated by its news division, with 12 of the 13 awards given to its news programs and personalities.

Aside from television, the Gawad Tanglaw Awards also honors the best in film. Click the highlighted links for the list of winners.

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