news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Revisiting GMA News TV and Its Epic Failures on SONA Day

This is already becoming a habit.

For GMA News TV, their perceived indifference in important news coverage is undeniable. This was none more apparent than on the day the President of the Philippines delivers his State of the Nation Address.

In almost every year since the network rebranded from QTV in 2011, the tendency for GMA News TV is that they don’t always get involved in the SONA in more ways than one. Whenever the fourth Monday of July comes, all the network does is to air regular programming as if nothing important happens.

For instance, President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech this year started at 5:17 p.m. In the meantime, GMA News TV aired ‘Quick Response Team’ in the midst of the SONA (see video below).

It is understandable that GMA management wants to focus more on Channel 7 when it comes to live coverage of the SONA. But what the management do not realize is the overall purpose of GMA News TV (and of GMA News for that matter), which in the years since its launch has been largely neglected due to extracurricular activities not related to news coverage.

Considering that its rivals from Mother Ignacia (ANC/DZMM TeleRadyo), Shaw Boulevard (CNN Philippines) and Reliance (One News) worked a more extensive analysis on the day of the SONA, it is disgraceful to see GMA News TV stand pat and do almost nothing. It is as if they never wanted to be a news channel in the first place.

Perhaps if GMA News TV becomes a cable channel instead of going to free TV like they do now, such issues would have been mitigated. Such an arrangement would have allowed the channel to go 24/7, use English as the main language and cater to upper class audiences.

Unfortunately, the station is stuck on VHF channel 11 and can only play second banana to channel 7, another VHF station. And to make matters worse, GMA doesn’t even own the former due to broadcast restrictions; ZOE continues to own the channel while GMA only leases airtime.

If they are really that disinterested to remain a news channel, they can just rebrand back to QTV or become GMA+, a secondary entertainment channel of the mother network. Or GMA can just break their lease on Channel 11 and allow ZOE to move Light back to its original channel.

In many ways, GMA News TV is an undependable channel for all things news. What GMA did to this channel is so unglorifying that their boasting as the ‘no. 1 news channel’ does not make sense at all.

And on this SONA day, this channel simply failed to deliver when it mattered most. Shame on them.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, religion, television

In 100 Words: The Old ZOE TV Station ID

The station ID of ZOE TV Channel 11 never gets old.

Debuting upon the said station’s launch in 1998, it later earned a reputation as one of the longest-running station IDs in Philippine television. Even as ZOE changed programming lineups for the next seven years, this station ID still ran before every program aired on the said network.

ZOE kept the SID with them when they moved to Channel 33 in the mid-2000s. But by the time Channel 33 was renamed the Light Network, the usage of this SID became increasingly rare, and by 2014, it was essentially replaced by a new SID for Light Network.

Still, there is no denying the nostalgia surrounding ZOE TV’s original station ID. It may be overlooked by the station IDs of the network giants, but it definitely belongs among the best in Philippine television.

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cartoon, Philippines, religion, television

Superbook Now on ABS-CBN. Will The 700 Club Follow Suit?

‘Superbook”s Gizmo poses at the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center in Quezon City. (Photo credit: CBN Asia)

Young and old ‘Superbook’ fans must be surprised to see ‘Superbook’ on ABS-CBN. After all, the religious cartoon has been airing on GMA for seemingly like forever.

But in a strange twist of fate, CBN Asia, distributors of ‘Superbook’, decided to sign a deal with ABS-CBN to air the classic and revived editions of the program. Both versions started airing on the Kapamilya network on the weekend of July 12.

‘Superbook’, along with sister series ‘The Flying House’, were staples of GMA Network’s early morning programming during the ‘Where You Belong’ era. The said programs were also aired on ZOE-TV Channel 11, later known as GMA News TV, in the early 2000s.

With the move of ‘Superbook’ to ABS-CBN, does this mean ‘The 700 Club Asia’ will switch stations as well?

Like ‘Superbook’, ‘The 700 Club Asia’ is currently managed and produced by CBN Asia, whose parent company, the Christian Broadcasting Network, airs the original American version of ‘The 700 Club’.

The said program has also been a part of GMA’s programming for over 40 years, with the Asian version currently airing on GMA News TV during the late-night hours. But ‘The 700 Club Asia’ is not always synonymous with the Kapuso network.

‘The 700 Club Asia’ also aired on ABS-CBN’s sister network, Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action), during the early 2000s, as well as ABC-5 (now TV5). In 2006, GMA reclaimed the rights to the program and began airing it on QTV, which eventually became GMA News TV.

Although ‘The 700 Club Asia’ continues to air on News TV, there is a chance that the said religious program will jump back to ABS-CBN in the near future. If it does, then it will be a huge loss to GMA, whose financial and programming woes have been well-documented.

For now, ‘The 700 Club Asia’ will remain with the cash-strapped owners inside Timog Avenue. As for ‘Superbook’, new opportunities await in its new home at Mother Ignacia.

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