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TV5 A Wreck Under the MVP Ownership

Manny V. Pangilinan’s ambitious ventures turned out to be disastrous for TV5, and the network is now on an identity crisis. (Photo credit: Philstar.com)

Any improvement on TV5 is now an impossible dream.

In just two weeks, TV5 went from being a promising station to a shell of its former self. Even sister station AksyonTV is feeling the sting of TV5’s seeming downfall.

Much of the blame is centered on its owner, Manny V. Pangilinan. The businessman known as MVP purchased TV5 back in 2010 and was promised to improve the station in a few years’ time.

But instead of upgrading its signal strength and nationwide reach (a weakness of the then-ABC 5 during the ownership of Tonyboy Cojuangco), Pangilinan chose to revamp TV5’s programming and facilities in order to better compete with ABS-CBN and GMA. Unfortunately, MVP’s ambitious moves did not result in immediate success, and TV5 soon encountered turbulence.

TV5 first tried to form its own stable of artists (mostly veterans like Sharon Cuneta and Willie Revillame), and produced some programs that could have given ABS-CBN and GMA a run for their money. It failed, and not even the intervention of Vic del Rosario and VIVA Entertainment made a difference.

The Kapatid network then acquired the broadcast rights to some big-name sporting events (e.g. PBA, Olympics, FIBA World Cup) and even managed to strike a blocktime deal with IBC-13 (named AKTV) to aid in his quest. However, AKTV was a financial failure, and Sports5 had no choice but to air them on TV5 and AksyonTV, which proved to be detrimental to both networks.

Next in TV5’s agenda was the improvement of its news division, thus the establishment of AksyonTV and Radyo5 92.3 News FM. Despite the numerous awards given to them, News5 was criticized for its overemphasis on tabloid-style news reporting, as well as mismanagement from within.

Finally, TV5 invested in the satellite subscription service Cignal, and by 2015, it reached its target of 1 million subscribers. Still, its channel lineup remains paltry in comparison to its older cable competitor SkyCable.

Overall, the attempt to turn TV5 into a broadcast giant in the mold of ABS-CBN and GMA turned out to be a failure. Today, their programming as a whole is back to what the Cojuangco-era ABC 5 used to air, with a lot of TV shopping blocks, imported programming and movies, and in the case of Radyo5 92.3 News FM, too many vacant slots.

Now that TV5 is back to where they started, what will be the next move for MVP? Having wasted a lot of money making some ambitious yet unsuccessful ventures, it’s about time for his network to tear down and start over, or else the inevitability of bankruptcy or sale will soon hang over his head.

The next move starts now, MVP. Do the right thing and save TV5 from collapse.

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Wowowin Out for Two Weeks

Willie Revillame is on vacation, and so is ‘Wowowin’.

Both the host and the game show will take a two-week break starting today, in order to recharge and plan for ‘Wowowin”s upcoming first anniversary*. The vacated timeslot will be filled by ‘GMA Blockbusters’ until May 13.

In the meantime, ‘Wowowin”s new studio will be used temporarily by GMA News and Public Affairs for its ‘Eleksyon 2016’ coverage, which will kick off on May 9. Afterwards, a refurbished set is expected to be unveiled once ‘Wowowin’ returns on May 16.

The temporary hiatus of ‘Wowowin’ may benefit ABS-CBN in the short term. ‘We Will Survive’, in particular, has been slumping since its demotion to Kapamilya Gold, with ratings in the 10s on most days.

The brief absence of ‘Wowowin’ might put ‘We Will Survive’ back on track. Still, with the series not airing in select areas thanks to regional ‘TV Patrol’, it will not be easy for ‘We Will Survive’ to win without ‘Wowowin’ to oppose them.

The other series opposing ‘Wowowin’, ‘My Super D’, may be winning in the ratings, but the margin remained small. That said, the absence of the former may help ‘My Super D’ pull away, even if it’s only for a short moment.

As for GMA, this is an opportunity for the network to sustain the momentum in ‘Wowowin”s absence. Airing more recent hit movies on ‘GMA Blockbusters’ may do the trick, even as a few of their regional networks continue to air local news in place of the show’s first 45 minutes.

This is going to be an interesting two weeks for both GMA and ABS-CBN. Let’s see how the brief hiatus of ‘Wowowin’ will affect the fortunes of both networks from 5:00-6:30 p.m.

*‘Wowowin”s actual first episode was aired on Sunday, May 10, 2015. The show has been airing on weekdays since February 1, with the first 90-minute episode airing two weeks later.

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In 100 Words: Mixed Results for Wowowin’s New 90-Minute Format

Not even an additional 30 minutes helped ‘Wowowin’ in the national ratings. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

An extended running time for ‘Wowowin’ did not result in improved ratings.

Kantar’s national ratings for February 15 showed that ‘Wowowin’ earned a 14.6% rating. The show managed to beat ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ (11.1%), but still fell short to its regular rival ‘Pasion de Amor’ (18.1%).

The pattern continued over the next two days, as ‘Wowowin’ (16% & 15.3% respectively) won over ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ (12% & 10.9%), but lost to ‘Pasion de Amor’ (18.2% & 17.4%). While AGB Nielsen’s Mega Manila ratings indicate a decisive victory for ‘Wowowin’, the national ratings speak otherwise.

With ‘Pasion de Amor’ down to its final week (more on that in next week’s article), there is still hope for ‘Wowowin’ to catch up. But as ABS-CBN prepares for its replacement, things don’t seem to look so good for Willie Revillame on primetime.

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Wowowin Now on Weekdays

Willie Revillame is returning to a familiar spot, sort of.

Starting February 1, ‘Wowowin’ will air every Monday to Friday on GMA’s Telebabad block. The move was announced nearly two weeks after the said game show aired its final Sunday episode last January 17.

Most loyal followers of Willie Revillame are no stranger to his presence on primetime during weekdays. From 2010 to 2013, Willie hosted ‘Willing Willie’ and ‘Wil Time Big Time’ on TV5 six times a week, an attempt which did not go well for the Kapatid network.

During his time on TV5, Willie became embroiled in numerous off-stage and on-stage controversies. The most infamous of those events took place in March 2011, when a six-year-old boy performed a ‘macho dance’ that did not sit well with the majority, and led to the show’s brief suspension.

Even though ‘Wowowin’ enjoyed a resurgence since moving to an earlier timeslot on Sunday afternoons, it was clear that Willie was not satisfied with its success. Thus, at the urging of GMA Network executives, both parties decided to move ‘Wowowin’ to weeknights, a move which seems risky for the network.

Although ‘Wowowin’ will air much earlier than Willie’s prior shows on TV5, it will still face intense competition on its timeslot. The final four weeks of ‘Pasion de Amor’, in particular, will be ‘Wowowin”s first opponent, and based on the ABS-CBN teleserye’s constant success, it will not be easy for ‘Wowowin’ to topple.

Also, like the Sunday episodes, ‘Wowowin’ will only air for an hour, and will be aired on tape-delay. GMA made it clear from the start that ‘Wowowin’ will be strictly supervised so as to prevent any untoward incident that have affected Willie’s shows in the past.

Risks aside, for Willie Revillame and his loyal followers, this is a win-win situation. Now that ‘Wowowin’ will be aired five times a week, viewers can enjoy the same old ‘bigyan ng jacket’ style every day of the week, much like the old days.

‘Wowowin’ airs weeknights at 5:30 p.m. on GMA Telebabad, starting February 1.

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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Best

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this year.

AlDub Invades Eat Bulaga and the World

The now-popular Kalyeserye segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ began on July 16, as a then-unknown Maine Mendoza (under the Yaya Dub character) caught the eye of rising Kapuso star Alden Richards. Since then, AlDub grew into a social media phenomenon, and it culminated into a slew of advertisements, magazine covers, a supporting role in ‘My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore’, and a sold-out ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ live episode at the Philippine Arena.

While the popularity of AlDub had some negative effects on GMA and its rivals, there is no denying that the duo became the key ingredient that introduced ‘Eat Bulaga’ into a new generation. The 36-year-old variety show is now enjoying its best ratings in years, thanks largely to AlDub.

LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine Dominate Primetime Ratings

While AlDub dominated noontime, primetime belonged to ABS-CBN’s three hottest love teams.  The year began with LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) of ‘Forevermore’ continuing their winning run, before handing it over to KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) of ‘On the Wings of Love’.

The success of LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine were crucial in Primetime Bida’s thorough domination of Telebabad in the national ratings. Although GMA responded with BiGuel (Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix) in ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and GabRu (Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid) of ‘Let the Love Begin’, they were unable to make an impact.

A New Sunday Afternoon Habit

August 9 saw a new rival for the 20-year-old ‘ASAP’, but they did not expect it to be different. In came ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, GMA’s newest variety show that emphasized more on comedy than musical performances.

The presence of ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden RicRhards (with Maine Mendoza later added) helped ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ defeat ‘ASAP’ on a consistent basis. In response, ABS-CBN moved ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ to Sunday afternoons as ‘Banana Sundae’, but it still failed to reverse the trend.

Willie Revillame Returns 

Speaking of Sunday afternoons, May 10 saw the return of Willie Revillame to the small screen with ‘Wowowin’. Initially airing every mid-Sunday afternoons, it later moved to an earlier timeslot after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, where it has since flourished.

Even though Willie faced an arrest warrant over the ‘Willing Willie’ macho dancer kid case, this didn’t stop him from receiving accolades for ‘Wowowin’. The rebirth of the controversial host was capped off with a pair of awards for best game show and host in the PMPC Star Awards.

Wattpad Presents Turns 1

The teleserye dominance of ABS-CBN and GMA did not deter TV5. Following the cancellation of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in early November, ‘Wattpad Presents’ became the network’s longest-running active entertainment program, having been on the air for over a year.

Under-appreciated by most television viewers, ‘Wattpad Presents’ was able to make it over a year thanks to an endless supply of new stories and a dedicated fanbase. It is considered a perfect alternative to the long and dragging storylines that a teleserye usually provides.

ABS-CBN Goes Digital and HD

February 11 saw the much-awaited launch of ABS-CBN TVPlus, the first-ever digital terrestrial television service in the country. The so-called ‘mahiwagang black box’ quickly became popular, selling nearly a million units.

Then on October 3, ABS-CBN HD was launched, bringing virtually every program on Channel 2 into crystal clear high definition. And finally, ABS-CBN announced that they will replace Balls HD with ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD starting January 1, ending a six-year run for the network’s first-ever HD channel.

Kapamilya Gold Reloaded

Teleseryes made their return to Kapamilya Gold on January 13, as ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ premiered on the afternoon block. This was followed by four other series: ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’ and ‘And I Love You So’.

Since then, the battle between Kapamilya Gold and Afternoon Prime dramas became a tight one, both in ratings and momentum. However, it didn’t stop ‘The Half-Sisters’ from achieving the one-year milestone in June.

NCAA Returns to Channel 23; UAAP Extended

After a fruitless three-year tenure with Sports5, the NCAA returned to ABS-CBN Sports in late June. The renewed partnership featured new innovations, such as social media interaction and high-definition broadcasts.

ABS-CBN Sports also signed a fresh five-year deal with the UAAP, following another successful season. The network now plans to extend its coverage to other UAAP tournaments, in addition to full coverage of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

The Big Two-0

November 27 saw ‘Bubble Gang’ celebrate its 20th anniversary with a documentary special. The 20-year-old gag show continues to defy time, maintaining its status as a Friday night habit despite an evolving cast of talents and advancements in technology.

Also reaching its 20th year is ‘Saksi’, the second longest-running active free TV newscast in the country. So is ‘ASAP’, who despite fading ratings with the entry of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, remains a fixture on Sunday noontime.

Janella, Jana Shine on Lunchtime

Following up the success of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ was a difficult task, but Janella Salvador and Jana Agoncillo proved that they were able to thrive with this challenge. Janella’s ‘Oh My G’ and Jana’s ‘Ningning’ flourished as one the country’s top-rated programs on weekdays, despite a stiff competitor in ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

In response, the TAPE-produced talk show starring Ryzza Mae Dizon was rebooted into a drama series as ‘Princess in the Palace’. However, the reformat did not produce the desired results.

2015 was another year to remember for television viewers. Although ABS-CBN continued to reign this year, GMA and TV5 enjoyed their own share of moments as well, and with digitization now underway, the preparation for a full-digitized television signal in the Philippines is on.

So what is in store for 2016? Find out as From the Tube continues to look at events and changes that shape Philippine media.

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In 150 Words: Banana Sundae Impressive, But Not Enough

The move to Sunday afternoons somewhat benefited ‘Banana Sundae’.

The final airing of ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ last November 7 only garnered a 3.9% rating in Kantar, which is clearly affected by the presence of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ and ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’. Upon moving to Sunday afternoons, however, the newly-rebranded ‘Banana Sundae’ showed some improvement, as they managed ratings of 14.4 and 12.7% in its first two weeks.

This was not enough to beat GMA’s ‘Wowowin’, though, as Willie Revillame’s game show earned ratings of 14.9 and 14.1%. The same can be said for AGB Nielsen in Mega Manila, as ‘Wowowin’ defeated ‘Banana Sundae’ in each of those weeks (20% and 16.6% vs. 9.8% and 8.3%, respectively).

Despite the defeat, ABS-CBN seems impressed with ‘Banana Sundae’. Nevertheless, Martin Nievera and a few other netizens did not approve of the network’s decision to move ‘Banana Split’ and cut ‘ASAP”s airtime, but let’s face it, it’s clear ABS-CBN needed something to perk things up since ‘ASAP’ is losing big time to ‘Sunday PinaSaya’.

Change is clearly in the offing for ABS-CBN on Sunday afternoons, and ‘Banana Sundae’ is one of them.

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