entertainment, movies, Philippines, religion, television

No More Sunday Mass for GMA, And It Sucks

Irrelevance on Sundays are becoming a norm for GMA, even in the early mornings.

On the first Sunday of 2015, the first two programs that GMA aired were ‘In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley’ and ‘Jesus The Healer’. What happened next shocked even the most religious of viewers.

Instead of the ‘Family TV Mass’ that is produced by the Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI), GMA brought back ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’, another movie block of theirs. An hour later, ‘Family TV Mass’ returned to its old home, the ever-unreliable IBC-13.

GMA’s decision to remove ‘Family TV Mass’ came at a not-so opportune time. Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in the Philippines this month, and dropping the ‘Family TV Mass’ is definitely not a good way to appease GMA’s Catholic viewers.

As a result, GMA now airs around four to six movie blocks on a weekend. Aside from ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’, their other movie blocks include ‘Kapuso Movie Night’ ‘Superhero Sunday’, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ (twice or thrice), and ‘Sunday Night Box Office’.

For GMA, it is back to their old ways. The lack of a Sunday TV Mass is once again apparent to the folks inside Timog Avenue, and they are clearly feeling the heat.

Airing ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’ at 6:00 a.m., much like the cartoons that GMA once aired against the TV mass on ABS-CBN and TV5, is an insult and a disrespect to the Christian religion. It’s one thing to air entertainment programs, but airing them this early on a Sunday is just a step too far.

And as far as GMA is concerned, they are becoming more desperate towards ratings than ever before, and it’s not because for a lack of trying.

With the removal of ‘Family TV Mass’, GMA is once again showing its unworthiness to the Catholic religion. And with Pope Francis’ visit looming, things are not looking good for GMA in a religious standpoint.

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FTT Year 2014 in Review: GMA

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 GMA Network, who endured yet another frustrating year.

Positives

In a year where anything could go wrong, only a few bright spots remained on the corner of EDSA and Timog Avenue.

GMA’s Afternoon Prime emerged as the network’s top performer on weekdays, with ‘Villa Quintana’ and its successor ‘The Half Sisters’ leading the way. Also enjoying impressive performances were ‘The Borrowed Wife’, ‘Yagit’, ‘Innamorata’ and ‘Ang Lihim ni Annasandra’.

Afternoon Prime’s predecessor ‘Eat Bulaga’ remained a force on noontime, gaining some notoriety for its ‘Suffer Sireyna’ segment. Fellow long-running programs ‘Bubble Gang’, ‘I-Witness’ and ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’ also continued to impress viewers.

Perhaps the most welcome sight on the Kapuso network this year was the return of the Sunday TV Mass after a four-year absence. In response to criticisms that GMA was biased towards Catholics, they got the services of Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI) to broadcast the weekly mass every Sunday morning, thus appeasing their Catholic viewers for now.

And finally, GMA earned numerous awards in both local and international award-giving bodies. GMA News and Public Affairs, in particular, continued to garner praise for its excellent journalistic work by winning another Peabody Award, in addition to numerous New York Festival awards.

Negatives

If there is one network who deserves much of the blame for its failures, it is GMA. And 2014 was just another tough year for the No. 2 network.

GMA Telebabad continued to be an underwhelming performer for the Kapuso network. Virtually every teleserye GMA threw at its disposal failed to make an impact, including the four-week long historical drama series ‘Ilustrado’, who performed badly against its rivals from Mother Ignacia.

The 19-year old ‘Startalk’ also underperformed this year, with timeslot changes to blame for its poor performance. Neither a return to Sundays (vs. ‘Buzz ng Bayan’/’The Buzz’), nor a transfer back to Saturdays (vs. ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ and ‘Failon Ngayon’) helped ‘Startalk”s performance this year.

An ongoing purge to GMA’s weekend programming proved to be not as tense as last year, although the slumping ‘Sunday All Stars’, a clear candidate for cancellation, moved to a later time to avoid ‘ASAP’. Three movie blocks on Sundays, along with ‘Asian Horror Stories’ on Saturdays, did not help GMA at all.

Being the king at answering ABS-CBN’s every move, GMA countered ‘Meteor Garden’ and other Kapamilya throwback Asianovelas by re-airing ‘Jewel in the Palace’, ‘Coffee Prince’ and others, none of which were successful. GMA also countered ABS-CBN by airing ‘Marian’, ‘Bet ng Bayan’ and ‘Don’t Lose the Money’ versus its rival’s programs, again to negative results.

Controversy also affected GMA in 2014. Both Aljur Abrenica and embattled GMA employees under the name ‘Talents Association of GMA’ filed lawsuits against the network for various complaints, while Sen. Bong Revilla’s arrest due to the PDAF scandal prompted the network to cancel ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ to avoid any negative publicity.

Overall, it was an abysmal year for GMA, both in terms of ratings, financial performance, and standards of quality.

Outlook

Ramon Ang may have taken some of the shares, but GMA’s fortunes continue to revolve around their aging pair of owners in Felipe Gozon and Gilberto Duavit. So expect another difficult and trying year on the corner of EDSA and Timog Avenue.

‘Second Chances’, a long-overdue series, will kick off GMA’s slate of new programs this 2015, but it remains to be seen whether or not will there be second chances for the said network this year. One thing’s for sure: a wild ride continues for the men and women inside the GMA Network Center.

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Philippines, religion, television

‘Family TV Mass’ on GMA, ‘Shalom’ goes back to IBC

Timow's Turf

Stjohnvianney

FOR OUR DEAR Catholic brethren around the world, today is St. John Marie Vianney Sunday. His feast day is tomorrow, August 4, and he is the patron saint of priests, the Holy Mother Church’s precious products of continuing the mission of Christ across the ends of the earth for almost two millennia.

Coinciding today’s commemoration and salutation to the Mother Church’s ministers, two television networks made a surprise move.

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Philippines, radio, religion, television

The Declining Importance of the 3 O’Clock Prayer on Philippine TV

Over two decades earlier, 3:00 p.m. in the Philippines had a special meaning.

Each and every day, most television stations in the country had enough time to air the iconic 3 o’clock prayer plug, asking Filipinos to pray at this hour for peace and forgiveness of sins. 3:00 p.m. in the Catholic religion also signifies the time of the death of Jesus Christ, which is usually celebrated on Good Friday during the Holy Week.

In the past, these stations aired a short clip of the 3 o’clock prayer, produced by the Divine Mercy ‘Say a Little Prayer’ Movement, located in Cubao, Quezon City. It was narrated by Bro. Don de Castro, a former DJ and television personality who founded the organization.

Unfortunately, management changes on other networks have rendered the 3 o’clock prayer useless, and today only the more Catholic-loyal ABS-CBN continues its tradition. In 2002, the Kapamilya network decided to create a Filipino version of the 3 o’ clock prayer. The video below is narrated by network executive and lead voiceover talent Peter Musngi.

Another version of the 3 o’clock prayer is currently used on DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 and its TV counterpart DZMM TeleRadyo, immediately after ‘Dr. Love Always and Forever’. This version is narrated by Bro. Jun Banaag, and is usually slower-paced compared to the Musngi version.

So what led to the decline of the 3 o’clock prayer on Philippine television?

Simple. Money, changing tastes and organizational structure has something to do with the decline of the 3 o’clock prayer. PTV-4, RPN-9 and IBC-13 have lost a lot of money due to bad investments, outdated equipment and stale programming lineups, while TV5 (formerly ABC-5) endured a change in programming and organizational structure which led to them eschewing not only the 3 o’clock prayer, but also the ‘Three Minutes a Day’ segment produced by the Family Rosary Crusade.

As for GMA 7, they have NEVER observed the 3 o’clock prayer at all, since the network’s ownership practiced Protestantism, which translated to the lack of Catholic programming.

Today, the 3 o’clock prayer is considered a product of a bygone era, where television was the only main source of entertainment for Filipinos. With a shift towards new technologies, it is clear that television stations will no longer be called upon to remind Filipinos to pray for peace and forgiveness of sins at 3:00 p.m., and as far as these stations are concerned, they seem more focused towards improving their programming and organizational structure than setting aside a few minutes for Christ.

In an era where Filipinos use the internet more often than their television sets, the 3 o’clock prayer is now considered a less important part of the Filipinos’ way of life. And it’s just so sad to see this tradition go.

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Broadcasting Notes on the Canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be canonized this Sunday at the Vatican.

The canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II will be a worldwide affair, one that involves over 200 countries broadcasting the event live and via satellite. And in the Philippines, the coverage of the event will be among the most extensive to date.

The canonization, slated to air this Sunday afternoon Manila time, will be aired in most stations of the country.

ABS-CBN

The Kapamilya network’s coverage on Channel 2 will be aired as part of both ‘Buzz ng Bayan’ and ‘TV Patrol Weekend’. Simultaneously, both DZMM TeleRadyo and the ABS-CBN News Channel will air a more comprehensive coverage of the canonization.

TV5

The Kapatid network’s coverage will be shown simultaneously on both Channel 5 and AksyonTV 41. Fortunately, no PBA games were scheduled on this day, as the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals was slated to begin the following day, giving News5 the opportunity to broadcast the event.

GMA

Instead of broadcasting the canonization on the main Channel 7, GMA decided to broadcast the event via its other VHF station GMA News TV 11. As a result, this Sunday’s edition of ‘Startalk’ will be aired without any opposition, as its rival program ‘Buzz ng Bayan’ will give way to the coverage of the canonization.

Other Stations

The government-owned People’s Television Channel 4 and IBC-13 will have a shared coverage of the canonization, while a separate broadcast will be aired for viewers of the Solar News Channel 9. However, there will be no live coverage on the Iglesia ni Cristo-owned Net 25 and the Members Church of God International-owned UNTV 37, for obvious reasons.

With that, From the Tube will like to congratulate both Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II on entering sainthood. God bless.

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