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FTT Year 2014 in Review: ABS-CBN

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on ABS-CBN, who continued to dominate television ratings this year.

The Positives

High ratings, top trending topics, and a slew of awards. Just another impressive year on Mother Ignacia.

Primetime Bida remained ABS-CBN’s strongest suit in its weekday arsenal, led by the block’s top-rated program of the year, ‘The Legal Wife’. Meanwhile, the Kapamilya network’s reality and talent shows continued to overwhelm the opposition, led by top-raters ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ and the second season of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’.

Long-running programs ‘TV Patrol’, ‘ASAP’, ‘The Buzz’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ remained at the top of their game, while ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, and even the returning ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ became a force to be reckoned with.

ABS-CBN Sports also enjoyed an extremely successful year, starting with the launch of ABS-CBN Sports+Action in late January. High ratings during this year’s NBA Finals and the UAAP men’s basketball and women’s volleyball finals eventually led to the two leagues’ renewal of broadcast rights later this year.

The Kapamilya network’s award closet continued to grow, particularly in November’s Star Awards for Television, where ABS-CBN received a total of 34 awards. They also scored big in the Anak TV and Catholic Mass Media Awards, among other bodies.

The Negatives

Not all news is good, however. ABS-CBN also endured some missteps throughout the year, all of which made a significant impact on the network’s performance.

While Primetime Bida dominated primetime, they also had a fair share of busts. Julia Barretto’s acting debut as ‘Mirabella’ failed to impress, while the reboot of ‘Dyesebel’ and ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ never lived up to expectations.

‘Be Careful with My Heart’ may have dominated the headlines in 2013, but it was a different story in 2014. The show’s ratings declined for much of the year, before rebounding on the show’s final episode on November 28.

The last two quarters of 2014 saw the decline in quality of Kapamilya Gold. The network’s last two afternoon soaps, ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’ and ‘Moon of Desire’, were replaced by a combination of Asianovela reruns, ‘Bet on Your Baby’, the ill-fated ‘Ana Manuela’, and ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’, a sign that ABS-CBN is letting GMA dominate the afternoon slot.

Speaking of reruns, ABS-CBN brought back the highly successful ‘Meteor Garden’ to rave reviews. Later reruns of Asianovelas and even classic Japanese cartoons such as ‘Princess Sarah’ proved unsuccessful, however.

Controversy hounded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ from the moment the mostly celebrity cast was selected all the way to late-coming housemate Daniel Matsunaga’s victory. It also spelled doom for ‘It’s Showtime’ hosts Vhong Navarro (beaten by Cedric Lee’s group) and Billy Crawford (post-Star Magic Ball fiasco), thus continuing the infamous curse.

And finally, ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs had its own share of problems. February saw a questionable report on ‘Bandila’ regarding a ‘flesh-eating disease’ in Pangasinan, and then several months later, ‘TV Patrol’ anchor Korina Sanchez made an unnecessary remark about Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby), praying that the storm would swerve to Japan.

Outlook

Fortunately for the Kapamilya network, Marc Logan kept things light and loose when his show, ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’, premiered last August. But seriously, this was another successful year for ABS-CBN, even with the problems and controversies surrounding it.

Looking ahead, a reunion between Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin looms in ‘Flordeliza’, even as ‘Pangako sa ‘Yo’ will have its own reboot with Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. This and a lot more will come as the calendar turns to 2015.

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Philippines, Sports, television

Improving the UAAP Finals Setup on Channel 2

FEU and NU will meet in the UAAP men’s basketball finals starting this Saturday, with select games airing on ABS-CBN Channel 2. (Photo credit: Interaksyon.com)

The UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament is down to just two teams.

For the first time since Season 55 (1992), neither the De La Salle Green Archers nor the Ateneo Blue Eagles will be involved in the championship round. Instead it will feature the FEU Tamaraws and the National University Bulldogs, who disposed their respective opponents in Wednesday’s sudden-death semis matches.

The unlikely pairing between FEU and NU is not only ‘the best thing that ever happened in the UAAP’, according to FEU head coach Nash Racela, but it also makes for some compelling television as well. Both teams are aching to end a nine and 60-year title drought, respectively, and are also seeking redemption after they fell short in last year’s Final Four.

For the fifth consecutive season, select games of the UAAP men’s basketball finals will be aired live on ABS-CBN Channel 2. But despite the fact that they have aired the finals for five years, there were only three potential championship clinchers that aired on Channel 2; namely, 2011’s Ateneo-FEU Game 2, and Games 2 and 3 of last year’s La Salle-UST finals.

Let’s face it, in spite of the high ratings that ABS-CBN enjoyed with the UAAP, the one thing that is holding them back is its programming lineup. Since Channel 2 began broadcasting the UAAP men’s basketball finals, the only day that Channel 2 was able to broadcast is on Saturday afternoons, as timeslots on other days of the week were shut out in favor of teleseryes, and in the case of Sundays, ‘The Buzz’.

That said, ABS-CBN should have been figuring out this mess already. Perhaps they can use this setup: Game 1 on a weekday via ABS-CBN Sports+Action, and all potential clinchers on a Saturday via ABS-CBN Channel 2.

With this setup, more viewers will be interested in a possible must-win game rather than an appetizer of a series opener. But then again, this approach will depend on weather conditions that may postpone any game.

Nevertheless, this year’s finals between FEU and NU should be an interesting one, regardless of which ABS-CBN channel will air the game live. While the Finals won’t have the benefit of a popular star like Kiefer Ravena or Jeron Teng to fill viewers’ appetites, it should still give them plenty to cheer for two teams with contrasting yet proud UAAP legacies.

And with that, may the best team win. Good luck.

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