entertainment, MTRCB, Philippines, reality show, television

MTRCB Lays Down the Law on PBB: 737

A very different ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ awaits its viewers.

This was after the MTRCB imposed some strict guidelines to the show following complaints that it offended viewer sensibilities. Among these complaints included the controversial ‘bromance’ between 12-year old Bailey May and 18-year old Kenzo Gutierrez.

In a four-page resolution that was signed by the MTRCB, they ordered the producers of PBB: 737 to:

  1. Immediately institute remedial and self-regulatory measures to ensure the protection, welfare and development of all participants, especially minors, as well as the viewing public, a sizable percentage of which is made up of minors
  2. Immediately cease and desist from requiring participants to engage in activities and tasks which may be deemed hazardous to their life and safety
  3. Enter into a strict and close collaborations with the Board, from July 10 until the end of the season
  4. Require all story editors to undergo a ‘Matalinong Panonood’ and audience sensitivity seminar on July 16, 23 and 30 at the MTRCB office
  5. Require ABS-CBN and SkyCable to place an advisory at the beginning of each episode of the three programs, stating that ‘the program may contain sensitive material’ and that ‘viewer discretion is advised’, as long as minor housemates remain present on the show
  6. Elevate the rating classification of PBB: 737 Gold (aired every weekday afternoon) to ‘Strong Parental Guidance’ (SPG), with descriptions of themes, language and sex, from July 10 to the end of the season, or as long as minor housemates remain present; same rule applies to PBB: 737 on Jeepney TV
  7. Limit its application for permit to exhibit to seven episodes per application in order to ensure the correct and proper implementation of the committed remedial and self-regulatory measures
  8. Strictly implement a comprehensive ‘closing-out’ discussion by a subject matter expert after the completion of every task or challenge for the proper understanding of the lesson
  9. Ensure all parallel broadcast of PBB: 737 in cable television and in other media, including social media, shall not be in contravention with the directives and objectives of this order

Even before the MTRCB ruling was made public, ABS-CBN has already shut down the SkyCable and iWanTV livestream of PBB: 737, citing the netizens’ irresponsibility towards the Bailey-Kenzo ‘bromance’ incident. The cancellation took effect a week prior to the meeting between the MTRCB and ABS-CBN executives.

This is not the first time that the MTRCB responded to an incident that took place inside the Big Brother house. Since the first season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, there have been similar obscene incidents that earned the ire of the MTRCB, the most recent of which was the nude painting task during last season’s ‘All In’.

That said, the producers of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ should be responsible for the way the housemates, especially those below legal age, are being treated. PBB is among the most-watched programs on Philippine TV today, and any further controversy on the show may hurt its strong viewership.

Hopefully this should serve as a lesson to all other Filipino reality shows, both current and future. After all, no one wants to be offended by something immoral.

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entertainment, internet, news, Philippines, public affairs, Sports, television, VOD service

Another Missing Element in GMA’s Repertoire

The lack of a video-on-demand and live streaming online service is another problem that GMA is facing today. (Photo credit: GMANetwork.com)

Online live streaming and video-on-demand services in the Philippines are becoming a useful tool for viewers who want to catch up on their favorite programs.

But while ABS-CBN and TV5 currently have their own VOD and live streaming websites, it is GMA’s lack of a similar website that leaves a lot to be desired.

At the start of the current decade, both ABS-CBN and TV5 took advantage of the internet in order to showcase their television programs. The Kapamilya network launched their iWantv! service starting in 2010, while the Kapatid network followed suit with their own catch-up TV service a few years later. TV5 also launched News5 Everywhere for their news programs.

This left GMA as the only major TV station without a licensed website dedicated to catch-up and live stream programming. As a result, Kapuso viewers were forced to go elsewhere.

Past episodes of GMA programs were uploaded daily on YouTube and other video websites, without any regard for copyright infringement. In addition, the presence of unlicensed live streaming websites made it easier for Kapuso viewers to access GMA programs online and in real time.

Much like the inconsistency and lack of ratings success in their programming, the apparent mismanagement of their contracted artists, the lack of a sports division, and the overt dependence on re-runs, budget concerns are dragging GMA down. And with the lack of any available funds to capitalize on new media, it is no secret why GMA has not been successful of late.

While the partial acquisition of Ramon Ang will help boost GMA’s fortunes, it remains to be seen if his magic touch will pay off. But right now, GMA is an entity with a lot of problems. And the lack of a VOD and live-streaming website is just another dilemma for the embattled network.

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