Philippines, Sports, television, United States

In and Out: TV5 Announces, Then Pulls Out NFL

Unless things change, the NFL will not be seen on Philippine television in the foreseeable future after Sports Illustrated Asia backed out and TV5 pulled out any scheduled games from its lineup. (Photo courtesy of the National Football League)

America’s most popular sport appears to be on its way out of the Philippines.

Sports Illustrated Asia, formerly the All-Sports Network (ASN), dropped the NFL from its lineup of programs at the start of the 2017 season. The channel best known for airing the National Hockey League, U.S. NCAA college football and college basketball had been broadcasting NFL games for nearly a decade now.

Almost simultaneously, TV5 announced that they will carry NFL games this season. But as soon as they placed the schedule of NFL games on its website, they decided to pull them out at the last minute in favor of ‘Movie Max 5’.

This means that for the first time in decades, the NFL will not be seen on Philippine television this season (unless one network will air the Super Bowl this February). It’s a shame considering that the league has had a long and distinguished love affair with Filipino sports fans and American expats, even though it falls behind basketball, volleyball and soccer in terms of local popularity.

Going back to TV5, the last-minute pullout of NFL games is the latest in a series of blunders committed by the network this month. Last week, TV5 ceased airing Cartoon Network and Boomerang shows in favor of TV shopping and movies, then in another last-minute move, they postponed anew the premiere of Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Amo’.

These moves are typical of Chot Reyes’ incompetence as a network executive. Once lauded for promoting the network’s ‘Choose Courage’ mantra, Chot’s questionable decisions has now turned the slogan into a joke.

The NFL, despite its lack of popularity in the Philippines, would have filled TV5’s suddenly moribund schedule. Had it aired as scheduled, people would have praised Chot Reyes for this fearless and courageous move.

Instead, Chot retreated like a coward and instructed his staff to pull them out in favor of endless Tagalized movies and TV shopping blocks. Which leads to where TV5 is now, a network lacking any sense of direction.

Considering the expensive broadcast rights of the NFL, perhaps TV5 was right in not pursuing the league. But without a ‘Plan B’, all signs point to Chot Reyes becoming a pariah in the world of Philippine television.

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In 100 Words: TV5’s ‘Choose Courage’ Station ID

TV5 under Chot Reyes is all about ‘courage’.

The network’s latest station ID was unveiled two weeks ago, and it featured the network’s newest offerings summarized in a one-minute film. The message of the station ID was simple: people should always overcome challenges and find the strength to escape fear.

As far as the station ID goes, the message may be prophetic, but what is the point when there are still some weaknesses to address. Remember the talk about TV shopping and News5 show reruns, not to mention all the problems that AksyonTV faces?

That said, unless Chot Reyes addresses these glaring issues, the ‘Choose Courage’ slogan that TV5 projects this year will not apply today. Until then, TV5 must take the long road in order to prove that they are indeed ‘courageous’.

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In 100 Words: Alagang Kapatid Dominates TV5’s YouTube Channel

With the exception of clips from 'Alagang Kapatid', there is nothing new to see on TV5's YouTube page.

With the exception of clips from ‘Alagang Kapatid’, there is nothing new to see on TV5’s YouTube page. (Logo courtesy of TV5)

The pitiful state of TV5 goes beyond programming and operations.

Just look at the official YouTube channel of TV5. Much of their recent content is now dominated by clips of the program ‘Alagang Kapatid’, the public service program hosted by Cheryl Cosim, and not of the entertainment shows  they used to air.

Considering that 85% of TV5’s programming today is fully devoted towards foreign programs and TV shopping blocks, it is possible that they are unable to upload any of the content due to copyright reasons. The fact is, there is nothing interesting about TV5 at this point, other than the presence of the PBA and the aforementioned shows that attract a niche following.

Perhaps they should just rename the channel as ‘Alagang Kapatid Official’ since it’s all about the said program. Enough said.

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TV5 Dismisses About 100 Employees as Part of Restructuring Efforts

TV5's termination of around 100 employees is the latest in a series of problems that surround the network. (Photo credit: TV5)

TV5’s termination of around 100 employees is the latest in a series of problems that surround the network. (Photo credit: TV5)

TV5’s housecleaning under Chot Reyes continues.

This past week, reliable sources reported that about 100 employees of the network were dismissed as part of a major restructuring effort. These include some of TV5’s producers, cameramen, engineering crew, reporters and other talents.

They were, according to sources, fired via a text message, and were given pink slips by the human resources team. Furthermore, a second wave of layoffs awaits more employees starting this week.

TV5 President and CEO Chot Reyes addressed the news in a memo obtained by MediaNewser.com:

Despite operating at a financial loss for the past years, the company has exerted all efforts to minimize the effects of the organizational restructuring on our people. As a result of an extensive study, it has become evident that some jobs and skills will no longer be required by the company, while some other positions are deemed overmanned.

In response to Chot Reyes’ address, the TV5 Employees Union posted their own statement regarding the network’s latest move:

TV5’s termination of around 100 employees is the latest in the ongoing saga surrounding the Kapatid network. Within the last half-year, TV5 made some cost-cutting moves in hopes of fulfilling MVP’s ‘break even by 2017’ promise, such as the controversial decision to allocate more hours to TV shopping blocks, and the dissolution of the entertainment department.

Despite these changes in strategy, it is clear that TV5 is going nowhere with the product they are promoting at this point. As much as the network wants to promise something new to their viewers each and every time, they can no longer afford to do so due to the irreversible damage that they are enduring.

That said, Manny V. Pangilinan’s promise of ‘breaking even’ this year appears to be in vain. And to make matters worse, he has no choice but to settle the matter with the terminated employees, who demand compensation to make up for their unjust dismissal.

The year 2017 is off to a so-so start for TV5. While they are trying their best to once again rebuild their overall operations, this latest issue only shows that they are once again making fools out of themselves.

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