business, entertainment, fantasy, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

How Did Encantadia and Other Fantaseryes Hurt GMA in the Long Term?

GMA’s big investment on fantaseryes took its toll on the network’s long-term plans. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The upcoming requel of ‘Encantadia’ is worth watching, that is, if you’re really a die-hard Kapuso fan.

But while anticipation is high on the new ‘Encantadia’, the broadcasting and financial aspect of GMA leaves a lot to be desired. It’s already 2016, and yet GMA is still way behind its competitors as far as their broadcast standards are concerned.

Much of the blame was due to the numerous big-budget primetime fantaseryes that GMA produced in the mid to late 2000s. With so much money invested on these projects, their ability to spend on updated equipment, facilities and other production and talent matters was compromised in the long term.

From 2004 to 2011, GMA produced big-budget fantaseryes such as ‘Mulawin’, ‘Darna’, the ‘Encantadia’ trilogy, ‘Captain Barbell’ and ‘Dyesebel’, among others. They were able to succeed in the ratings, but the high costs of making these series soon took its toll on GMA.

Looking at how GMA currently stacks up with ABS-CBN and TV5, it is clear that they have a lot of catching up to do. In fact, there were some key factors present on ABS-CBN and TV5 that were absent on GMA, such as:

  • An independent sports division (Shakey’s V-League and Manny Pacquiao fights, among others, were co-produced by other outfits)
  • Experimental 16:9 HD broadcasts (GMA still airs its programs in 4:3 standard definition, save for recent imported programs and TAPE-produced ‘Princess in the Palace; GMA also lacks an HD channel of its own)
  • Sister digital TV channels (ABS-CBN has CineMo and Yey!, while TV5 has Catsup)
  • Cable and satellite TV subscription service (ABS-CBN has SkyCable, while TV5 has Cignal)
  • Video-on-demand, livestream and digital-exclusive online service (ABS-CBN has iWanTV, while TV5 has News5Everywhere and Digital5)

Factor in the ongoing problems within the Artist Center, GMA’s regional networks, sister station GMA News TV, GMA Films and the public relationship department, and you have a network that is now standing on just one leg. Poor GMA.

It’s a pity to see GMA struggle at almost everything in recent years, and now that they’ll produce a requel of ‘Encantadia’, more problems lie ahead. That said, if GMA continues its ongoing slide, they will be in for a rude awakening.

Standard
entertainment, Philippines, television

HD on Philippine Television

The widescreen HD version of the MTRCB Parental Guidance advisory. Note the letterboxes on the top and bottom of the screenshot.

High-definition television in the Philippines is a virtually novel concept. This new medium in television broadcast gives viewers a wider and clearer resolution that what standard-definition provides. A high-definition broadcast necessitates the use of flat-screen television sets, which are more spacious and less bulkier than a standard television set.

HDTV was given a test run in the United States and Europe in the 1990s, but it was not until the late 2000s when virtually all television broadcasts in the Atlantic started to air in HD. In the Philippines, ABS-CBN subsidiary SkyCable launched its HD service to its customers in 2009. That same year, the mother network began broadcasting UAAP‘s 72nd season in HD, marking the first high-definition television broadcast in the Philippines. In the years that followed, ABS-CBN began to shoot its teleseryes with HD cameras, beginning with 2011’s ‘Budoy‘.

This year, ABS-CBN’s popular kiligserye ‘Be Careful with My Heart‘ is just one of several Kapamilya drama series being shot with HD cameras. In addition, they are also shooting ‘Juan Dela Cruz‘, ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’, ‘Dugong Buhay’, and ‘My Little Juan’ in HD. In June, TV5 began to shoot its teleseryes in HD, starting with ‘Misibis Bay’ followed by ‘Undercover’. However, at the moment GMA has yet to divulge any plan of broadcasting their teleseryes with the use of high definition cameras.

This is a welcome development in the history of Philippine television, however it may take several years before the Philippines makes its full transition to high definition television. This year was the first step, however.

Standard