entertainment, lifestyle, news, paid programming, Philippines, public affairs, religion, Sports, television

FTT Year 2014 in Review: Other Networks

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on the minor TV networks in the Philippines.

Highlights

A transitional period from the Solar News Channel to CNN Philippines got underway in August. Temporarily known as 9TV, the network was launched on August 23 after Antonio Cabangon-Chua purchased the network from Solar Entertainment’s Wilson Tieng; CNN later signed an agreement with Nine Media Corporation to rename the station as CNN Philippines early next year.

Net 25 also unveiled a new look, featuring a logo inspired from an eagle’s wing (in reference to its parent Eagle Broadcasting Corporation). The station then joined forces with sister station INC-TV 49 to cover the events surrounding the centennial of the Iglesia ni Cristo, including the Grand Evangelical Mission at the Philippine Arena that opened the centennial celebrations.

And finally, UNTV broke ground on the new broadcast center that will open in two years. The groundbreaking ceremony kicked off the station’s 10th anniversary (13th if the rock music format of UNTV were to be included in its history).

Lowlights

In June, IBC-13 and Asian Television Content Corporation joined forces to launch the ATC @ IBC block, featuring a lineup consisting of telenovelas, lifestyle and travel programs, and sports events. Low ratings and loss of revenue caused the block to be cancelled, though ATC later returned to broadcast the PBA Developmental League’s Aspirants Cup on IBC-13 in late October.

Solar Entertainment’s problems continued after the loss of 9TV to the ALC Group. Weeks after the sale of Solar News to Chua’s group was announced, Solar lost another partner in RMN and BEAM Inc. after the latter ceased its affiliation agreement, resulting in the loss of Jack City from free TV 31 in favor of religious programming and O Shopping block.

PTV-4 also made some drastic steps to improve their programming. While ‘Oh Ja Ryong is Coming’ was launched as planned, ‘K-Pop Idol Search – Pinoy Edition’, a partnership between PTV and HBKOR Inc., remains in limbo, as its launch date remains uncertain.

Outlook

The transition to digital television in a few years represents numerous challenges for the minor networks, some of which involve budgetary concerns. Still this is an obstacle that can be overcome, especially now that Philippine television is headed into a new era.

Both the ATC-IBC and PTV-HBKOR deals are at a crossroads, while Nine Media’s new venture as CNN Philippines is about to get underway. This and more as 2015 begins in earnest.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Another Last-Minute Change Further Ruins GMA Telebabad

‘More Than Words’, starring Elmo Magalona and Janine Gutierrez, was supposed to premiere November 3, but was moved instead to November 17. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

It is becoming an infectious habit for GMA Telebabad to screw its viewers.

Last Friday, the official Facebook account of the upcoming Kapuso teleserye ‘More Than Words’ announced that they would air starting Monday, November 3. However, in a last-second move, GMA decided that the series will air beginning November 17 instead.

And in a rather awkward change of direction, GMA chose to air a re-run of the Koreanovela ‘Coffee Prince’ yesterday, as a replacement to the fill-in programs ‘Seasons of Love’ and ‘Elemento’. As Timow’s Turf pointed out, the decision of GMA to re-air ‘Coffee Prince’ was in response to government station PTV-4’s airing of ‘Here Comes Mr. Oh’, which is really pointless given that PTV-4 is not a rich network giant that GMA is.

In essence, the latest programming change implemented by GMA’s entertainment division only made things even more complicated.

By re-airing ‘Coffee Prince’ on the early evening slot, GMA has essentially conceded defeat to ‘Pure Love’, one of ABS-CBN’s strong primetime performers. The Filipino remake of the Koreanovela ’49 Days’ has been a thorn on GMA’s side since its premiere, as it beat the likes of ‘My BFF’, ‘Seasons of Love’ and ‘Elemento’.

Because of that, expect nothing from ‘Coffee Prince’ on primetime since it is a re-run. Sorry GMA, but ‘Coffee Prince’ is no ‘Meteor Garden’.

With regards to ‘More Than Words’, the postponement of its premiere came at a not-so opportune time. The historical drama ‘Ilustrado’ is on its final two weeks, and it is expected to be replaced by the Jennylyn Mercado-starred series ‘Second Chances’.

Given the recent tendency for GMA to cram its teleseryes on primetime, it seems likely that GMA will use this strategy once again, just to include ‘More Than Words’ on Telebabad. This should spell disaster for the Kapuso network, as the potential eight-pack would push ‘Saksi’ to the more dreaded 11:15-11:30 slot, and worse, further the gap between Telebabad and ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

Already wrecked by poor ratings and lack of bankable and relatable stars, this latest blunder only shows how dilapidated GMA Telebabad is now. And unfortunately, it only gets worse from here.

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