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TV5 Continues its Rebuild

The painful rebuilding process continues for TV5, in an effort to earn a sizable audience.

Over half a year ago, TV5 established its ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’, and ‘Everyday All the Way’ blocks. However, as the calendar flipped to 2014, these programming blocks were deemphasized and it appears TV5 is not satisfied with how they turned out.

Through the first four months, TV5 gradually brought in new programs as part of its continuous restructuring process, which also included a relocation away from its old Novaliches headquarters in favor of the newly-opened TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong. The adjustment to a new location was difficult though, as the staff attempted to learn new digital-based methods in producing its programs.

In the news department came in Saturday night public affairs series ‘Kaya’ and ‘Yaman ng Bayan’, and the Thursday night program ‘Bigtime’. On the other hand, ‘Good Morning Club’ once again claimed its position as the only morning news program with a running time of under two hours, when management decided to cancel the ‘Good Morning Girls’ and ‘Good Morning MamuTin’ segments (which were taped as opposed to live broadcast on other programs), and renamed ‘GMC’ as ‘Good Morning Ser’.

In terms of entertainment, TV5 replaced ‘Madam Chairman’ with ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, while introducing another ‘tawaserye’ in ‘Beki Boxer’. On the other side of the spectrum, ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ essentially replaced ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, though the latter program remained on air until April, when it was finally cancelled in favor of the sitcom ‘One of the Boys’.

And finally, TV5 partially satisfied basketball fans by airing live PBA games almost every day in primetime, including an increase of Saturday broadcasts to two games. But with the network’s broadcast of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics (and potentially the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup) a few months away, it is expected that more adjustments will be made in terms of accommodating the network’s sports coverage.

That said, TV5 should not stand pat and continue improving its lineup for the long term. It is a difficult and painful process, but when done right, the network’s fortunes should pay off.

Now what to do with AksyonTV? The question will be answered in another article.

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Coming Soon: Confessions of a Torpe, Plus Other TV5 Updates

Both Ogie Alcasid and Alice Dixson will be part of ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, slated to launch this March 3.

Last October, TV5 decided to distinguish themselves from its competitors by airing a more light-hearted primetime comedy and drama series ‘Madam Chairman’. This March, the Kapatid network is set to introduce a similarly-themed series as a worthy follow-up.

Enter ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, a series topbilled by Ogie Alcasid, Bayani Agbayani, Gelli de Belen, Wendell Ramos, Plita Corrales, Alice Dixson, Jojo Alejar, Albie Casino, and Mark Neumann. This will be Alcasid’s first weeknight primetime series as a Kapatid; his intended first series ‘The Gift’ was shelved for the time being. Alcasid, de Belen and Ramos are also part of the gag show ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’, while Neumann and Dixson recently starred in the Studio5 original ‘Lady Next Door’. ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ debuts this March 3.

The departure of ‘What’s Up Doods?’ enabled News5 to fill the 10:30 slot with a pair of documentaries. First aired was ‘Kaya’, hosted by News5 executives Patrick Paez and Luchi Cruz-Valdes. The two-parter, aired last February 8 and 15, tackled issues such as stem cell treatment and the impending worldwide disaster that may affect the Earth. Tonight, another documentary called ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ will focus on the country’s natural resources and the responsibility that comes through it. The documentary will be hosted by Interaksyon.com editor-in-chief Roby Alampay.

And on the ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block, ‘Bigtime’ will take over the slot vacated by ‘Dayo’. Aired every Thursday before ‘Pilipinas News’ and hosted by Twink Macaraig, ‘Bigtime’ will focus on various individuals as they share their hard work and triumph, as well as secrets to their success.

Meanwhile, starting February 24, ‘Aksyon’ and ‘Pilipinas News’ will now be broadcast inside a newly-built virtual studio at the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong. In addition, the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics will be aired Monday midnight on TV5 and its affiliates. And finally, the U.S. NCAA March Madness is coming to TV5 this March, with further details coming in future articles.

It has been said that the only way TV5 can be relevant today is when they introduce alternatives to already established norms in television viewership. So far, it has paid off despite committing several missteps. And with more alternative programs coming in the succeeding weeks, expect TV5 to expand its effort in bringing a different kind of programming to more knowledgeable viewers.

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Radyo5 Still Preferred Over DZMM, DZBB On the Road

Radyo5 92.3 News FM remains the leading all-news station for drivers in Metro Manila.

Four years ago, TV5 made a daring decision to launch Radyo5 92.3 News FM, the first all-news radio station on the FM band. They even made a catchphrase to promote the move, telling listeners to leave the old and distorted sounds of the AM band (“Iwanan mo na ang lumang tunog ng AM”).  This year, Radyo5’s reputation continues to grow, even as it remains the only such station on the FM band.

The PSRC Car Coincidental Survey recently ranked Radyo5 as the most preferred all-news radio station among Metro Manila motorists in 2013, ahead of traditional AM radio rivals DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 and Super Radyo DZBB 594. While it is unfair to compare Radyo5 to the AM stations of ABS-CBN and GMA due to its difference in modulation, the fact that more and more drivers are shifting to Radyo5 for its clearer sound and lack of distortion compared to its AM contemporaries only justified its No. 1 ranking.

This past year, Radyo5 welcomed Ben Tulfo and Orly Mercado to its stable of hosts. Ben, who along with brothers Erwin and Raffy host ‘T3: Reload’ on TV5, brought his ‘Bitag Live’ program to the station, while Orly returned to the broadcast booth via ‘Orly Mercado: All Ready’. In addition, the station moved from the old Novaliches studios to the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong, just in time to welcome 2014.

All told, 2014 is shaping up to be an even better year for Radyo5, especially now that they have upgraded their facilities and relocated to the virtual center of Metro Manila. And with the drivers continuing to prefer Radyo5 over its AM counterparts, expect the station to once again top the motorists’ surveys.

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The ‘New’ AksyonTV in 2014

The entry of ‘Juan Direction’ to AksyonTV virtually changed the landscape of the all-news network arm of TV5.

When AksyonTV decided to cease its 24-hour broadcast last December, there were hints that the network will revamp its programming and improve its reach. And as 2014 got underway, viewers were treated to a ‘different’ AksyonTV than in years past.

Gone were AksyonTV original programs ‘Cocktales’, ‘Wasak’, ‘Crime Klasik’, ‘Dokumentado’, ‘Dong Puno de Kalibre’, and ‘Presinto 5’. The cancellation of these programs had an adverse effect on TV5. With the exception of the PBA replays, TV5 has been signing off after ‘Reaksyon’ on weeknights; their sign-off comes in much earlier than that of the government station PTV-4 and former blocktimer IBC-13.

As a result, the ‘new’ AksyonTV now features TV5 original programs, AKTV carryovers such as the PBA, NCAA and boxing events, Radyo5 simulcasts, newscasts such as ‘Aksyon’, ‘Pilipinas News’ and ‘Andar ng mga Balita’, and several remaining AksyonTV original programs. But perhaps the most radical example of the ‘new’ AksyonTV was ‘Juan Direction’, which is currently part of TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ slate of entertainment programs.

Despite claiming to be a ‘documentary-reality’, ‘Juan Direction’ is mostly entertainment-based, which is not what AksyonTV is. The fact that it airs on TV5’s entertainment block still bothers me. Would it be good to see a quintet of muscular Fil-Brits, all of which have showbiz potential, enjoy a trip around the country on an all-news network? I don’t think so, unless you watch GMA News TV and their movie blocks.

This year is an adjustment period for AksyonTV, as signal improvements, programming changes and the move to the Media Center in Mandaluyong are in progress. But without its core public affairs programs, the transition period of the network may be tougher than anyone can imagine.

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FTT Year 2013 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, which enjoyed a slow start before rebounding with a respectable fourth quarter.

The Positives

After it was suspended for a good part of last year because of the you-know-what, T3: Reload rebounded in 2013 with a more toned-down approach, yet maintaining the same ol’ nastiness that the Tulfo brothers constantly address to the bullies and anomalous officials. This year also saw Radyo5 welcome Ben Tulfo and his ‘Bitag sa Radyo’ program after its departure from UNTV, in the process uniting the three brothers on the same umbrella, with Erwin also co-anchoring ‘Punto Asintado’ with Martin Andanar and Raffy hosting ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ with Nina Taduran.

In September, TV5 hired Noel Lorenzana in an effort to overhaul its programming. The end result were three program blocks: ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’, and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’. This alternative programming approach would bear fruit by the end of the year, as several of its programs finished among the Top 15 in the Nielsen Media Research ratings. In addition, the network’s willingness to reach out to a younger audience also paid dividends, as programs such as ‘SpinNation’ were among the top trending topics on Twitter.

TV5 also scored big in its sports coverage, with the recent airings of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup Finals, and the Gilas Pilipinas games at the FIBA Asia Championship earning high viewership figures. And to cap off a resurgent finish to the year, TV5 officially christened the new TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong City.

The Negatives

Under Perci Intalan, TV5 tried to compete against more established powers GMA and ABS-CBN. However, it only resulted in revenue losses. None of TV5’s own teleseryes (‘Kidlat‘, ‘Undercover’, ‘Cassandra: Warrior Angel’, ‘Misibis Bay’, ‘Enchanted Garden‘, ‘Never Say Goodbye’) even made noise in the teleserye wars, and programs such as ‘Jeepney Jackpot’, ‘Kanta Pilipinas‘, ‘Alabang Housewives’ and ‘Boracay Bodies’ were critical failures.

But perhaps the most crucial reason behind the reformat was ‘Wowowillie‘. The noontime show, a symbol of the Intalan era, finally left the airwaves in October after three years, numerous controversies and massive losses. Host Willie Revillame would ‘retire’ shortly afterwards. In addition, TV5 originals ‘Face to Face’ and ‘Talentadong Pinoy‘ were also cancelled; its hosts Amy Perez and Ryan Agoncillo would secure new contracts with ABS-CBN and GMA respectively after departing.

TV5 also encountered numerous problems with its sports coverage. In May, they cut block-time ties with IBC-13, but were urged to stay until the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations. As a result the NCAA was forced to air its nightly games on AksyonTV; the long-delayed finals was aired on TV5 in the early afternoon. And to cap off, many PBA fans were angered when TV5 decided to air only the ‘marquee’ games of the ongoing Philippine Cup live during weeknights and Saturdays, leaving the signal-deficient AksyonTV to air the rest.

Outlook

The motto for TV5 this 2014 should be ‘There’s nowhere to go but up’. With Noel Lorenzana spearheading the rebuilding project, TV5 will continue its commitment to programs that are favorable to younger and socially active citizens. And as they open the TV5 Media Center, it appears that things are on the upswing.

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TV5 Moves to the New TV5 Media Center

The computer-generated model of the TV5 Media Center at the corner of Reliance and Sheridan in Mandaluyong City.

Today is the first working day for News5 employees in its new headquarters in Mandaluyong City. The TV5 Media Center, a brainchild of owner Manny V. Pangilinan, will serve as the corporate headquarters of the network, and will feature six TV studios, newsrooms for News5, post-production facilities, a radio booth for Radyo5 92.3 News FM, technical operating rooms, and production space for TV5’s other programs.

Construction of the TV5 Media Center began on January 2011, and took nearly three years to complete. The new edifice is built as part of TV5’s ongoing efforts to update existing technologies and facilities for a seamless transition to digital broadcasting. In addition, its close proximity to the center of Metro Manila and its highly elevated location should yield a much-improved broadcast signal.

With the move to the new Media Center, TV5 becomes the fourth major broadcast network to operate in Mandaluyong City. Quest Broadcasting’s Magic 89.9, 99.5 Play FM and Jam 88.3, and FBS Radio’s Mellow 947 currently operate at Paragon Plaza in the corner of EDSA and Reliance, while Solar Entertainment currently operate at the Worldwide Corporate Center in Shaw Boulevard.

The opening of the TV5 Media Center should give a huge boost for the Kapatid network, as it continues to find its niche as an alternative to common programming.

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