Philippines, Sports, television

UAAP Final Four and Finals to Stream Only on iWant and ABS-CBN Sports Website

Talk about making some restrictions.

The UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball Final Four is currently in progress with Ateneo already clinching the first slot of the Finals while Adamson and UP continue to dispute the other ticket. Unfortunately for viewers who are on a road trip or are away from home, they only have two choices to watch the rest of the tournament.

On ABS-CBN Sports’ official YouTube page, they posted a live stream of rolling advisories redirecting viewers to watch the UAAP Final Four on iWant and ABS-CBN Sports’ official website. The statement that will greet viewers is as follows:

“Watch all the games of the Final Four live on sports.abs-cbn.com or iwant.ph!”

In short, there is no live stream of the UAAP Final Four on ABS-CBN Sports’ YouTube channel at all. Instead, viewers can only watch the games online for free on the ABS-CBN Sports website or the iWant app (the latter requires user registration).

The same approach will apply during the UAAP women’s basketball stepladder playoffs, of which ABS-CBN Sports began covering in earnest. Considering last week’s debacle during the cheerdance competition (the YouTube stream crashed on occasion due to the heavy volume of viewers), it only made sense for ABS-CBN to avoid a repeat of such incident.

It also encourages the network to take full use of other sporting events that would have otherwise been inaccessible to the public. For instance, the Premier Volleyball League and the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball tournament will still be available live and free on the ABS-CBN Sports YouTube channel, because the network wants to promote the sport of volleyball very seriously.

As for the possibility of airing the men’s basketball finals anew on ABS-CBN Channel 2, it remains to be seen if the network will still push through with the plan. Considering ‘It’s Showtime”s recent penchant for working overtime, ABS-CBN Sports executives might as well stick with only S+A and live stream for the series.

The UAAP men’s basketball Final Four continues Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. with Adamson and UP disputing the last Finals slot. Game 1 of the Finals will begin Saturday.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Not a Good Sign: The Declining Interest of Late-Morning Dramas on Philippine Television

‘Playhouse’ is only averaging around 13% in the ratings, a far cry from past late-morning teleseryes aired on ABS-CBN. (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

There was a time when late-morning teleseryes on television were a thing in this decade.

It started in 2012 when the unlikely pairing of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap took off with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. The series became an immediate hit, reaching ratings of as high as 27%, and ran for over two years.

From then on, ABS-CBN kept the wheel rolling, airing either romantic comedies such as ‘Oh My G!’, ‘Be My Lady’ and ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ or kid-oriented tear-jerkers like ‘Ningning’ and ‘Langit Lupa’. ABS-CBN even tried to get serious for once with the triathlon-themed ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

But in the past several months, late-morning dramas began to lose viewer interest. By August, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ slumped to around 13-15% in the ratings (this despite having Jodi and Richard in the series), and this decline only continued through its successor ‘Playhouse’.

Over on GMA, the network already waved the white flag at the start of the month. Their most recent local late-morning drama, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, was cancelled last November 2, and after only two weeks, GMA moved the Koreanovela ‘Woman of Dignity’ to an earlier timeslot due to poor ratings.

Prior to that, GMA tried to counter ABS-CBN with their own dramas that were either self-produced or under the TAPE Inc. production team. Unfortunately for GMA, each of their dramas backfired, with the likes of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’ ending after only two or three months.

While ABS-CBN continues to claim victory over this timeslot, the declining ratings of ‘Playhouse’ is something that should cause a lot of concern to the network. If the 13% ratings are of any indication, then there must be something wrong.

Either that viewers are getting tired of watching too much of the same thing, that the story in itself lacked substance and originality, that the cast is boring, or that they just can’t wait for ‘It’s Showtime’ to start. Whatever the case, it is up to ABS-CBN to regroup and see what needs to be corrected.

It is too early to tell if this will spell the end for Filipino late-morning dramas. That said, one can only hope that a turnaround in fortune is imminent, but if this spell continues, then a programming reboot is necessary.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko and Ika-5 Utos Falter Despite Swapping Timeslots

It’s just another blunder for the much-maligned GMA Afternoon Prime.

Despite a change in timeslots, the performance of ‘Ika-5 Utos’ did not change drastically. The series continues to falter in the ratings, with ‘Ika-5 Utos’ averaging only 12% compared to 17% for ‘Kadenang Ginto’.

Even ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’, the series that took over ‘Ika-5 Utos” previous timeslot, is underachieving as well. Its premiere episode last October 22 managed only an 11.2% rating compared to 16.7% for ‘It’s Showtime’.

‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko”s first foray into Saturday afternoons was somewhat respectable, as it came within 2.1% of ‘It’s Showtime”s rating last October 28. However, the following Saturday’s episode felt like a repeat of the weekday episodes performance-wise as ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ fell to 10.7% whereas ‘It’s Showtime’ rose to 18.1%.

So far, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ averages only 11% while ‘It’s Showtime’ scores at around 17%. To their credit, though, the ratings disparity between the weekday and Saturday episodes is not as drastic compared to its previous occupant ‘Ika-5 Utos’.

Still, it did not change the fact that GMA continues to wear its viewers down with a six-a-week teleserye. They tried it successfully with ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, but after that, it grew stale.

Let’s face it, pitting a teleserye against Vice Ganda and company is an exercise in futility. And considering how strong ‘It’s Showtime’ is right now, GMA is making themselves pay for this risk-or-reward move.

While it’s still too early to judge ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’, its poor start may have set the tone for yet another underachieving GMA Afternoon Prime drama. Unless it turns things around like what happened to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, GMA may as well cut short ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ if it continues that way.

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entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, songs, talent show, television, variety show

Tanghalan ng Kampeon: GMA’s Answer to Tawag ng Tanghalan

A brewing rivalry continues to emerge between ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Wowowin’.

After the latter show copied the former in going past its normal allotted time, ‘Wowowin’ now takes a shot on ‘It’s Showtime”s popular singing competition ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’. Their response is a singing competition of their own, one that is just as familiar to audiences as ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’.

From Star Bytes by Butch Francisco (The Philippine Star, 2003):

Tanghalan ng Kampeon — Conceived and born on RPN 9 as Ang Bagong Kampeon, this amateur singing contest moved to GMA7 when its creator, Wilma Galvante, also transferred in 1988 to Channel 7 where she is now one of the station’s top bosses. Tanghalan had great production values and was also eagerly awaited by its followers because of the great rapport between the two hosts, Pilita Corrales and the late Bert Marcelo.

Consider it sealed. In a similar deal ABS-CBN undertook for ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ on ‘It’s Showtime’, GMA revived ‘Tanghalan ng Kampeon’ as a segment of ‘Wowowin’.

The premise of ‘Tanghalan ng Kampeon’ is simple. Any individual aged 16 to 40 years old with a knack to hit the right notes are welcome to audition in this competition, with the winner receiving a GMA recording contract, house and lot, and P2 million in cash.

With GMA short on talented singers in the wake of Regine Velasquez’s highly-publicized move to ABS-CBN, it only made sense for the network to revive a long-forgotten singing competition to shore up their talent pool. But to go as far as to take a page out of ‘It’s Showtime”s book, that’s too much to ask for.

Perhaps GMA should acknowledge ‘Wowowin”s brewing rivalry with ‘It’s Showtime’. Never mind that the two shows air in different timeslots, their perceived similarities appear perfect to pit against one another.

The start date of ‘Tanghalan ng Kampeon’ on ‘Wowowin’ is yet to be determined. But for fans of this show, the wait can’t come soon enough.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko Looks to Make Saturdays Relevant Anew

As stubborn as they come.

Even in a losing cause GMA continues to defy the norm. Their insistence comes in the form of one afternoon drama that airs from Monday to Saturday.

Initially they only used this formula for ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, by far their most successful afternoon drama in the recent past. But later dramas such as ‘Contessa’ and ‘Ika-5 Utos’ proved to be flukes as neither show was able to keep viewers tuned in six times a week.

And after only 36 episodes, GMA demoted ‘Ika-5 Utos’ to a later timeslot to make way for yet another ‘kabitserye’. As far as the new series ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ is concerned, there is no need to explain, not even the story itself.

(Spoiler alert: one of the lead characters is a gay man who underwent sexual reassignment surgery ala Jake Zyrus to become a woman)

For those who still want to check in on the plot, just click this link. Enough said.

Anyway, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ will be led by Kris Bernal, Rayver Cruz, Thea Tolentino and Jason Abalos. The supporting cast will include Lotlot de Leon, Devon Seron, Annalyn Barro, Caprice Cayetano, Jean Saburit, Ricardo Cepeda, Maricris Garcia, Matthias Rhoads, and Phil Noble.

While ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ has some recognizable names and an intriguing yet familiar storyline, the challenge now for the show is its ability to keep viewers glued to their seats from Monday to Saturday. Considering its opponent is ‘It’s Showtime’, it is not going to be an easy task, especially on Saturdays.

That said, GMA can only hope that ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ will give Vice Ganda and company a lot more than they can chew. If not, then it will not be a surprise to see GMA demote this series and try a new strategy every Saturday.

Directed by Mark Sicat dela Cruz, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ airs every Monday to Saturday after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Demoted: Ika-5 Utos to Move to Second Slot of Afternoon Prime

After only 36 episodes, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ will move to a new timeslot next week and will no longer air on Saturdays as it continues to underachieve in the ratings. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

Talk about ending a relationship before it even started.

Starting Monday, October 23, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ will air in the second slot of GMA’s Afternoon Prime to make way for the upcoming series ‘Karibal Ko ang Asawa Ko’ (more on that later this week). The series will take over the timeslot that will be vacated by ‘The Stepdaughters’.

‘Ika-5 Utos’ was initially placed in the leadoff slot of Afternoon Prime when it first premiered last September 10. The spiritual successor of the successful ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, many expected ‘Ika-5 Utos’ to be as competitive and as formidable as its sister series.

Instead, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ never lived up to the hype. Its premiere episode only scored 10% while ‘It’s Showtime’ managed 16.2%.

From that point forward, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ barely hit the 10% mark in some of its episodes while ‘It’s Showtime’ scored around 15% or better. However, things only got worse once Saturday arrived.

On average, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ only scored 6% less than ‘It’s Showtime’ every Saturday; in contrast, its weekday episodes average 4-5% less. Considering these factors, it is clear that viewer fatigue is starting to set in and they grew disinterested with another episode on Saturdays.

Overall, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ will have aired 36 episodes by the time the show moves to a new timeslot next week. The good news for the series moving forward is that there will be no more Saturday episodes, a day in which ‘Ika-5 Utos’ tends to underachieve more.

It will also mean a new opponent for ‘Ika-5 Utos’. Instead of getting humiliated by Vice Ganda, the series will now have to face Beauty Gonzalez, Dimples Romana, Adrian Alandy and Albert Martinez of ‘Kadenang Ginto’.

But this does not mean the end of ‘Ika-5 Utos” troubles. If the pilot episode is of any indication, then ‘Kadenang Ginto’ could become a difficult hurdle for ‘Ika-5 Utos’ to overcome.

Next week will be a new place and a new time scenario for ‘Ika-5 Utos’. But can a change of scenery help ‘Ika-5 Utos’ reverse its fortunes?

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