entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

WWE Raw and SmackDown Airs Live Next Week, But FOX’s Problems Resurface

WWE Raw and SmackDown will air live starting next week on FOX Sports Philippines, with a same-day replay on FOX Philippines. (Photo credit: WWE)

WWE Raw and SmackDown will air live starting next week on FOX Sports Philippines, with a same-day replay on FOX Philippines. (Photo credit: WWE)

WWE fans in the Philippines are in for a big surprise.

Starting next Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, new episodes of WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown will now air live at 8:00 a.m. on FOX Sports Philippines. Same-day replays will air within 12 hours of original broadcast on FOX Philippines.

With viewers becoming more dependent on WWE’s social media accounts to follow the action as it happens, it was only imperative for FOX to make this drastic measure. After all, the success of WWE Live in Manila last September only furthered wrestling fans’ desire to watch WWE programming on a regular basis.

Although the announcement was enthusiastically welcomed by WWE fans in the country, there are still some issues to address. Last Monday morning in Manila, many viewers awaited the live telecast of the Raw-exclusive Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on FOX Philippines, only to be greeted by replays of ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘American Dad’.

The erratic WWE pay-per-view scheduling issue on FOX Philippines has been well-documented since it fully acquired the company’s broadcast rights in 2014. There were times when WWE pay-per-views were aired on the channel live, and there were other occasions when it first aired within 12-13 hours of original broadcast.

And just recently, FOX began to focus more on the flagship Raw brand once the brand extension came into play. As a result, SmackDown-branded pay-per-views were not aired, and to make matters worse, SmackDown itself was aired on a one-week delay.

While FOX Philippines should be excused for not airing Hell in a Cell live (thank you ‘The Walking Dead’), their indecision is an inexcusable one. Come on, FOX Sports Philippines also airs WWE programming (mostly recap shows), so why not transfer those live pay-per-views to the said channel.

As for the delay and subsequent snubbing of SmackDown and its related programs, it is unfair to do such a thing. Both Raw and SmackDown are equally important and must-watch shows, and deemphasizing either one of them is insulting to any wrestling fan.

As both FOX networks move on to upcoming pay-per-views and episodes of Raw and SmackDown, one thing is certain: no one wants to be left behind. For wrestling fans, this is a promise that FOX will have to fulfill in the weeks ahead.

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action, Philippines, suspense, television, United States

Jack TV, FOX Philippines Battle for Heroes Reborn

A bidding war between Jack TV and FOX Philippines over ‘Heroes Reborn’ has left viewers of both networks perplexed, even though the former will air the series much earlier. (Photo credit: Solar Entertainment/Jack TV Official Facebook)

Two cable channels are now fighting for the right to air ‘Heroes Reborn’.

Jack TV and FOX Philippines have announced that they will both broadcast ‘Heroes Reborn’ via satellite starting tomorrow. The premiere broadcast of ‘Heroes Reborn’ on both channels will be as follows:

  • Jack TV – 11:00 a.m.
  • FOX Philippines – 11:35 a.m.

‘Heroes Reborn’ is a 13-episode miniseries that picks up from where the original series ‘Heroes’ left off. In the U.S., the mini-series will air on NBC, the same home network as the original.

The original ‘Heroes’ first saw the light of day in the Philippines when it was aired on RPN-9 via its Prime Shift and C/S 9 branding. The series ran from 2006 to 2010 and spanned four seasons.

Just recently, all episodes of the original ‘Heroes’ were re-aired on FOX Philippines, who also intend to air ‘Heroes Reborn’. However, Jack TV, a former sister station of RPN-9, also made their own case on the upcoming miniseries, and as a result, a bidding war began between the two networks.

The program rights battle between Solar Entertainment and FOX International Channels is no longer new. There have been instances of one program being aired on each of the company’s channels; for example, Jack TV and FOX Philippines have the rights to ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Family Guy’, among other programs, with the difference being that the former airs the current season and the latter the previous seasons.

That said, it’s hard to fathom the fact that two cable networks will premiere the same program at almost the same time. It is also confusing, because the viewers will find it hard to choose which channel to watch.

Perhaps the time has come for Solar’s Wilson Tieng and FOX International’s Jude Turcuato to settle this issue once and for all. The similarities between the two outfits should not go a little too far by airing the same program almost simultaneously, so they have to figure out a way to differentiate themselves according to content.

Let’s just hope that they work out a deal in the near future. After all, this is for the best interests of the viewer.

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cartoon, comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, Philippines, reality show, Sports, talk show, television

What Happened to Jack TV?

In my previous post I talked about the problems facing Solar Sports in recent years, and the need for a rebrand. But while Solar Sports is suffering from lack of content, fellow Solar network Jack TV is facing an identity crisis, something that needs to address as soon as possible.

Originally launched in 2005 as a block-timer to Solar USA, Jack TV achieved full-time network status the following year. At first, its programming ranged from sitcoms, animated comedies, wrestling programs and game shows to reality programs, gag shows and talk shows. However, in the last two years Jack TV began to reintegrate drama, suspense and action series inspired from its days as Solar USA, in anticipation of the launch of its sister network Jack City.

The resulting concoction left a bad taste in the mouths of some viewers. But perhaps the biggest damage to Jack TV’s reputation was when Solar let go of WWE programs in 2011, presumably due to high expenses. The loss of the WWE was devastating to Jack TV, as it provided wrestling fans with live pay-per-views along with full broadcasts of WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown.

Jack TV definitely needs to rebrand, period. They should start by dumping its animated comedies like The Simpsons and Family Guy, since Fox Asia currently air them. They should also get rid of sitcoms and place it on 2nd Avenue. And bring in more reality programs, such as The Biggest Loser. In short, better rename the channel or revert to the name Solar USA.

Jack TV, originally a male-dominated channel, now attracts females and high school youth. Having said that, a shift of audience also means a shift in programming, and Solar executives should begin the process of rebranding as soon as possible.

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