hits, music, Philippines, songs, television

Sixth Incarnation of MTV in the Philippines to Launch Tomorrow

A revival of MTV in the Philippines will be launched tomorrow. (Logo courtesy of Viacom International Media Networks)

A new version of MTV in the Philippines will be seen anew.

On Tuesday, August 1, the sixth incarnation of MTV’s Philippine channel will officially launch in a majority of cable and satellite outlets in the country. This new channel, a collaboration of Viacom and Solar Entertainment, will be known as MTVph.

Viacom International Media Networks vice president and general manager Paras Sharma is excited to revive the MTV brand in the Philippines, saying:

“We are thrilled to work with Solar Entertainment Corporation to not only bring a brand new MTVph into the Philippines, but expand MTV’s reach across platforms. We already have a strong MTV fan base in the country, so this move solidifies our on-going commitment to bolster local programming to cater to the viewing preferences of our Filipino young audience.”

The premiere will coincide with the 36th anniversary of MTV in the United States. Before YouTube became the go-to-source for popular music videos, it was MTV that popularized the vehicle, turning unknown artists into superstars almost overnight with the help of music videos.

However, the history of MTV in the Philippines is anything but memorable. There have been five prior incarnations of MTV in the country, none of which lasted as long as the original.

  • MTV Asia (1992-96) – Aired on Channel 23 licensed by Ermita Electronics Corporation. Viacom and STAR TV joined forces for this venture, until the latter’s decision to launch Channel V eventually led to its demise.
  • MTV Philippines (1996-2000) – Channel 23 was acquired by ABS-CBN and rebranded as Studio 23. MTV continued to air in the channel during the daytime, but its broadcast ended after ABS-CBN launched MYX.
  • MTV Philippines (2001-07) – By far the longest-lasting and most popular incarnation, the original MTV Philippines was aired on Channel 41 24/7 through a partnership with Viacom and the Nation Broadcasting Corporation. The partnership ended once NBC and Viacom parted ways.
  • MTV Philippines (2007-10) – A partnership with Viacom and All Youth Channels, this version of MTV was the first to air exclusively on cable and satellite. However, AYC chairman Francis Lumen ended the partnership in 2010, and for the next four years, the MTV seen in the country was that of MTV Southeast Asia.
  • MTV Pinoy (2014-16) – Viacom and Viva joined forces to launch the more recent localized version of MTV. Unlike previous incarnations, MTV Pinoy aired mostly Filipino-dedicated content. After its dissolution, an MTV Pinoy block aired on MTV Southeast Asia for a few months.

Now that this latest incarnation of MTV in the Philippines will be launched anew, a few questions remain.

  • Will it become relevant in the age of YouTube and other streaming services?
  • Will Solar’s recent poor financial history play a big factor in this venture?
  • Will MTV be able to compete against contemporaries MYX and Channel V?

One can only hope that MTVph will make a lasting impression and not suffer the same fate as its previous incarnations. That said, if Solar can somehow put their finances into order, then MTVph will be in good shape in the years to come.

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drama, entertainment, fantasy, game show, hits, music, songs, suspense, talent show, television

TV5’s New Weekend Schedule

It will be a brand-new weekend slate on TV5 starting this week, highlighted by the premiere of ‘Born to Be a Star’. (Logo courtesy of TV5 and VIVA Entertainment)

New shows mean a new schedule for TV5 this weekend.

As previously announced, the first wave of shows under the co-production of TV5 and VIVA Entertainment will make their debut this month. Not only that, a few returnees will air new episodes as well.

The Saturday night lineup on TV5 will be as follows:

7:00 p.m. – Born to Be a Star

8:00 p.m. – Tasya Fantasya

9:00 p.m. – Wattpad Presents

10:30 p.m. – MTV Top 20 Pilipinas

On Sunday nights, the lineup looks like this:

7:00 p.m. – Born to Be a Star

8:00 p.m. – #ParangNormal Activity

9:00 p.m. – Barangay Utakan

10:00 p.m. – Sports 360/UFC on TV5

If there’s one thing in common about the schedules, it is that ‘Born to Be a Star’ will be aired on both Saturdays and Sundays, which is now typical of other reality talent shows in the country. It is likely that they will adopt the format of one performance and one results episode per weekend, with the auditions possibly the focus of the first episodes.

‘Born to Be a Star’ will take over the timeslots of both ‘LolaBasyang.com’ (Saturdays) and ‘Barangay Utakan’ (Sundays). The former, a co-production of TV5 and IdeaFirst Company, is currently on hiatus, while the latter, a News5 production, will now be moved to a new timeslot at 9:00 p.m.

Occupying the previous timeslot of ‘#ParangNormal Activity’ will be ‘Tasya Fantasya’, the upcoming fantasy series starring Shy Carlos and Mark Neumann. While the former initially announced that last Saturday’s episode was to be their finale, due to insistent public demand, new episodes of ‘#ParangNormal Activity’ will now be seen every Sunday at 8:00 p.m.

Aside from ‘Born to Be a Star’ and ‘Tasya Fantasya’, the TV5/VIVA consortium will also join forces in airing MTV Pinoy’s ‘Top 20 Pilipinas’ on Channel 5. This will mark the first time in nearly a decade that an MTV program will be aired on free TV.

MTV Pinoy’s ‘Top 20 Pilipinas’ will replace ‘History with Lourd’ and ‘Kaya’. While the former is expected to move to a new timeslot, the latter’s status remains unknown.

Meanwhile, ‘Wattpad Presents’ will have a new format with their move to Saturday nights. As part of the change, one story will be presented in a 90-minute made-for-TV movie.

And as for ‘Sports 360’, this week’s episode will be preempted anew in favor of TV5’s broadcast of UFC 196. Perhaps it’s about time for the said show to move to AksyonTV so as to prevent any further interruptions.

An interesting weekend awaits for both TV5 and VIVA. As for changes in the weekday slot, stay tuned.

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drama, entertainment, movies, music, news, Philippines, Sports, television

The End of Studio 23

Left: Studio 23’s ‘Premium Network’ logo from 1996-2010. Right: Studio 23’s ‘IbaKabarkada’ logo from 2010-14.

Studio 23 has announced that it will sign off for the last time this Friday. Replacing the Kabarkada channel will be an unnamed sports channel that will begin operations the next day. But before the change becomes official, here is a look back at the network’s history.

Debuting on October 12, 1996 as a primetime-only block, Studio 23 was first utilized by ABS-CBN as its answer to GMA’s then-sister station Citynet 27. The network would make its own niche in 1998 when it started to air the Metropolitan Basketball Association, the first sports event produced by the soon-to-be ABS-CBN Sports division. By 2001, Studio 23 became a full-fledged network after MTV was dropped in favor of MYX, and ruled the UHF television landscape after the demise of Citynet 27.

It was the acquisition of the UAAP broadcast rights, however, that changed Studio 23 forever. The network began to air UAAP men’s basketball in 2000, and soon after, Studio 23 gradually veered away from the foreign canned programs in favor of their own productions. The shift of content was evident midway through the 2000s, when Studio 23 began to carry the ‘Kabarkada Mo’ slogan, emphasizing its programming focus towards the youth and young adult demographics.

In 2010, Studio 23 not only adopted a new logo, but also changed programming once more. Filipino is now used to dub some of the foreign programs. The all-English ‘News Central’ was replaced by the all-Filipino newscast ‘IbaBalita’. And in a preview of things to come, more sports events were added, such as the NBA, UEFA and Philippine Azkals soccer, WWE, UFC and Top Rank Boxing.

Which leads us to January 17, 2014. Throughout this week two different teasers currently air: one to say farewell and thanks to Studio 23, and another to welcome the upcoming all-sports channel. And based on the teasers, it is clear that the objective of ABS-CBN is to expand and develop its sports properties to a wider audience.

By Saturday, the new name of Channel 23 will be officially unveiled. But for now, we say goodbye to Studio 23 and its 17 years of ruling the UHF television landscape. Thanks for all the memories.

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entertainment, music, Philippines, television, United States

When MTV Ruled the Philippines

MTV Philippines

Before MYX came along, there was MTV, a network focused only on music videos.

Before MYX became the ultimate destination for local and foreign music videos, Filipinos tuned in to MTV. Originally a block-timer with Studio 23 in the late 1990s, MTV spun off in 2001 and took over full-time on Channel 41 through the Nation Broadcasting Company. This forced ABS-CBN to make a channel of their own, which eventually became MYX. Soon after viewership on MTV Philippines grew, in large part to charismatic VJs such as KC Montero, Sarah Meier and Belinda Panelo.

MTV Philippines prospered thanks to its broadcast of major events such as the Video Music Awards, MTV Movie Awards, MTV Asia Awards, and the MTV Pilipinas Awards. But more than just music videos, MTV also provided both animated and live action programs produced by the US MTV. In addition, MTV Philippines also launched the VJ Hunt, where they search for potential talent for future shows. The popularity of MTV in the Philippines proved to be final nail in the coffin of Channel V Philippines, and the then-GMA owned network was cancelled midway through 2001.

Unfortunately, the popularity of YouTube and the widespread availability of MYX in the country would doom MTV Philippines, and in 2007 free TV broadcast of MTV Philippines was shut down by NBC. MTV Philippines continued to air on cable until 2010, when it was shut down for good in favor of MTV Southeast Asia. The closure of MTV in the Philippines coincided with the shift of MTV’s content in the US, where less music videos were aired in favor of more original programming, such as Jersey Shore.

Despite the demise of MTV, it remained influential to many Filipinos. MTV was the first full-time network in the country to air music videos on most hours, in order to promote an artist or band’s work. It also introduced Filipinos to the video jockey or VJ, and their exposure to television helped them land more lucrative hosting jobs elsewhere. MTV also provided directors an opportunity to learn their craft, and in doing so, helped them earn praise and adulation from viewers. Finally the content aired on MTV was essential in exposing the viewer to the realms of adult reality television, helping it stand out from others.

While MTV is gone, it will never be forgotten. MTV proved to be a standardbearer for all music channels. And if not for MTV, MYX would not have become a preeminent music video channel it is today.

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