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FTT Year 2014 in Review: TV5

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 TV5, who made the transition from a mainstream to an alternative station this year.

The Positives

2014 was a year of change for TV5. And some changes were for the better.

A heavily-criticized coverage of the previous PBA season led to several tweaks in TV5’s current schedule. Initially made to benefit the NCAA, the FIBA World Cup, the Youth Olympics and the Asian Games, this was then implemented for the PBA, which was welcomed by fans after expressing their disgust with last season’s coverage.

The year also saw TV5 broadcast other major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, the U.S. NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the Winter Olympics. Furthermore, they aired the games of the ‘Batang Gilas’ in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, keeping in step with the moves made by ABS-CBN Sports.

TV5 viewers also witnessed the premieres of highly-praised weekly series ‘JasMine’ and ‘Trenderas’, as well as a new game show in ‘Quiet Please! Bawal ang Maingay’. TV5 also collaborated with both E! and Wattpad to broadcast ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’ and ‘Wattpad Presents’, respectively, to good reviews.

And finally, News5 garnered some awards from various bodies, particularly in the programs ‘T3: Enforced’, ‘History with Lourd’, ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ and ‘Bigtime’. ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ were also honored.

The Negatives

The transformation of TV5 was not without some obstacles, however.

When TV5 revealed its programming lineup for 2014, one of the upcoming programs mentioned was a Philippine adaptation of ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Unfortunately for the network, the project never materialized, even as they denied rumors that it was ‘shelved’.

Not all of TV5’s programs under Noel Lorenzana’s new initiative paid off. The programs that were cancelled in his first full year in charge include the likes of ‘SpinNation’, ‘What’s Up, Doods’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’, ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

TV5’s sports coverage was also not spared. Early this year, the Kapatid network introduced ‘Moneyball: Dribol op da Pipol’ to its PBA and NCAA coverage, much to the dismay of the more informative and knowledgeable viewers; eventually TV5 relented by moving ‘Sports5 Center’ to the livestream format (as ‘Sports 360’).

AksyonTV, TV5’s sister network, was severely crippled by News5’s programming changes, particularly after the cancellation of its original programs and newscasts ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Balitang 60’. As a result, the network became overly dependent on TV5’s programming, which is not a good sign for a news/sports channel like AksyonTV.

The sex scandal involving News5 anchor and Rescue5 leader Paolo Bediones in September also demoralized the network. While he left ‘Aksyon Tonite’ in the midst of the controversy (he was later replaced by Ed Lingao), he did return to host ‘Demolition Job’ and Rescue5 short videos once the impact of his scandal dissipated.

But perhaps the biggest news coming out of TV5’s camp was the departure of Sharon Cuneta. A P1 billion signee of the network a few years ago, Sharon joined TV5 with high expectations, but shows such as ‘Sharon: Kasama Mo Kapatid’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ and ‘Madam Chairman’ failed to deliver.

And finally, there is the annual issue of TV5’s overreliance on Tagalized foreign movies, as well as reruns of local programs.

Outlook

TV5 has already unveiled a list of new and returning programs for 2015, which will be discussed in detail very soon.

It was not a bad year for TV5, even with all the changes that took place. With a new year looming, Lorenzana and company now hope to build on these gains even further, though changes are still to be made as the year progresses.

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Sports5 Center Goes Online

An essential element to the PBA coverage on TV5 takes its act to the World Wide Web.

Since taking over the PBA games on a full-time basis this season, TV5 has made an all-out commitment to improve and liven its coverage. And that includes ‘Sports5 Center’ (formerly ‘AKTV Center’), the studio show that debuted in 2011 during the AKTV on IBC era.

But thanks to the TV5 networks’ congested schedule, and to the seemingly popular halftime game show ‘Moneyball: Dribol op da Pipol’, it became clear that ‘Sports5 Center’ has no place on TV5’s lineup. As a result, Sports5 management decided to improvise its presentation of ‘Sports5 Center’.

The end result is an online-exclusive broadcast of TV5’s flagship studio show, which debuted on October 19, the opening night of the PBA’s 40th season.

The now internet-only ‘Sports5 Center’ retains the basic elements of the original show, featuring pregame and postgame analysis from Sports5’s pool of analysts, with some semblance of humor in between. In addition, each postgame show will feature coach and player interviews.

The move of ‘Sports5 Center’ to the internet should give a huge sigh of relief to the more demanding and knowledgeable basketball fans. For those who are willing to learn about the performance of their players and teams at an even deeper level, this is the show to watch.

More importantly, it should relieve TV5 of a major burden, since the lack of available programming space prevents ‘Sports5 Center’ from even airing during PBA game days.

Already in the fourth season of its five-year deal, the PBA on Sports5 continues to be a work in progress, but the improvement in game coverage has taken notice. For the management of Sports5, bringing ‘Sports5 Center’ online should provide a huge boost to the network’s quest for a more comprehensive and advantageous coverage, something they clearly lacked in previous years.

Indeed, this is good news for knowledgeable PBA fans. And to Sports5, keep up the good work.

Note: ‘Sports5 Center’ will continue to air in between PBA games every Sunday on TV5. For more information, visit www.sports5.ph.

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The End of Sports5 Center?

Sports5 Center was shelved during this year’s PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals in favor of ‘Money Ball: Dribol Op Da Pipol’, as mounting costs loom.

Last week, TV5 introduced the ‘Money Ball: Dribol Op Da Pipol’ trivia game at every halftime of PBA games. However, the debut of the Android-based game also led to the ‘cancellation’ of the analysis segment ‘Sports5 Center’, which despite its entertaining and loose nature, has proven costly to Sports5’s production.

One of the first acts of Sports5 upon its reacquisition of PBA coverage in 2011 was to create a more entertaining pregame, halftime and postgame segment that was initially titled as ‘AKTV Center’. Here, the studio host and analyst(s) interact with various guests (namely current and former PBA players, and occasionally showbiz personalities) in discussing the games in general, with showbiz-related topics thrown on occasion. It also allows the viewers to interact with the hosts via social media through a question posted prior to each game.

Originally, ‘AKTV Center’ aired during most game days, except during provincial and non-Wednesday, Friday and Sunday matches, and was produced at the TV5 studios in Novaliches and at the game venues during the Finals. However, when TV5 decided not to renew its blocktime deal with IBC-13 nearly two years later, the segment was renamed as ‘Sports5 Center’, and was aired only on select games at the venues, before reducing it to only Sundays and eventually eschewing it in favor of ‘Money Ball’.

The ‘cancellation’ of ‘Sports5 Center’ hurts a lot. Why? Because this was the first time that the PBA experimented with a pregame, halftime and postgame show, similar to what the NBA’s national broadcasters are doing these days.  ‘Sports5 Center’ is essentially part-educational and part-entertainment, in a way that it has become very similar to ‘Inside the NBA’. But with TV5 still trying to solve its programming dilemma in hopes of airing all PBA games at its main outlet, and with the logistical consequences of setting up a temporary studio at the game venues, it appears that these segments will be out of the picture for the foreseeable future.

For now, there is no such thing as a halftime report in the PBA. In that case, good luck with the not-so entertaining halftime show known as ‘Money Ball: Dribol Op Da Pipol’.

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