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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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, public affairs, talk show, television

‘Banana Nite’ Absent from ABS-CBN Last Night

The popular ‘Ihaw Na’ skit featuring Jayson Gainza in a parody of Boy Abunda did not air as ‘Banana Nite’ was ‘replaced’ by ‘O Shopping’.

It was around 11:15 p.m., and ABS-CBN was about to wrap up their late night newscast ‘Bandila’. I was expecting to see ‘Banana Nite’ go on-air. But instead something else happened on the Kapamilya network.

Last night the spinoff to the popular gag show ‘Banana Split’ did not air as expected, and was replaced by the ‘O Shopping’ infomercials. ABS-CBN did not specify the reason as to why ‘Banana Nite’ was replaced by ‘O Shopping’ in its timeslot.

The reported absence of ‘Banana Nite’ coincided with rival GMA welcoming the late night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ to its fold. Jojo Alejar’s show runs back-to-back with ‘The Tim Yap Show’ every late night, though because of GMA’s public affairs programs, they were not able to air opposite the timeslot that ‘Banana Nite’ typically occupies. In addition, its absence also came at a not-so opportune time; female cast members Sunshine Garcia, Aiko Climaco and Jef Gaitan were featured in FHM Philippines’ January 2014 issue.

Apparently, despite rave reviews on the skit ‘Ihaw Na’ starring Jayson Gainza in a parody of ‘Bandila’ anchor Boy Abunda, ‘Banana Nite’ has not been faring well in the ratings, although it has nothing to do with its timeslot. Let’s face it, ABS-CBN did a great job moving their current affairs programs (now ‘Pinoy True Stories’) to the late afternoon slot. And while GMA’s public affairs programs have been beating ‘Banana Nite’ in its timeslot, when compared to ‘Pinoy True Stories’, the numbers favor the latter.

‘Banana Nite’ was a wonderful experiment for ABS-CBN with regards to late night entertainment. Unfortunately, its unscheduled absence remains a mystery.

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