When Studio 23 reformatted into ABS-CBN Sports + Action last January, it sacrificed a huge part of its programming. Among those purged by the new network were its broadcasts of the Academy Awards, which took place earlier today.
This year’s Academy Awards were shown live via the Lifestyle Network, which is not available on the popular P490 plan, and can only be accessed in other SkyCable subscriptions. Consequently, due to the reformat of Channel 23, it also forced ABS-CBN Channel 2 to air the Oscars, as it is commonly known, on a six-day delayed basis as part of ‘Sunday’s Best’.
Airing the Oscars live on free TV Channel 2 has had some serious consequences. First, it sacrifices its broadcast of highly-rated programs such as ‘The Singing Bee’ and ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. Second, the three-hour event would cause it to overlap with ‘It’s Showtime’. And finally, the Oscars were not as well known to lower-class Filipinos as ABS-CBN’s other weekday live events such as the Miss Universe pageant and the NBA Finals.
Having said that, it was unfortunate that this year’s Oscars never aired live on free TV, unlike before when it was possible for Studio 23 to air it. But thanks to the internet and cable TV, movie addicts were able to witness the antics of Ellen DeGeneres and the announcement of the winners. Still, it didn’t help that some movie fanatics without any access to these new technologies were unable to witness the Academy Awards earlier today.