The Turf’s TV Zeitgeist 2014: Media ng Bayan and 9TV

THE NEW YEAR will be handed over in 4 days but before we bid adieu to 2014, here is the look back of what happened over the boob tube on the Media ng Bayan (PTV and IBC) and 9TV.

Fr. Mario gets a new home (Jan 26). After the rename of Channel 23 as ABS-CBN Sports + Action on Jan 18 and its preceding weeks, Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite’s TV Mass finally got the lease with Channel 9 (as Solar News Channel) every Sunday at 9 a.m. This marked the first time since 2007 that a religious program aired on the channel frequency but liturgically observant Catholics remain disappointed with his liturgical dancers.

ATC@IBC and its surviving remnants (Jun 2). The fourth primetime blocktimer on the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation was materialized on that afternoon of June 2. Asian Television Content Corporation leased late weekday afternoon with Hi-5 (a decade off from its recent airing) and The Two Sides of Ana, the first Mexicanovela to be aired in the nation since the Marimar hype. La Teniente became a Saturday staple for ATC. On July, the blocktimer and the Philippine Basketball Association signed to broadcast the PBA Developmental League on IBC on October 27. However, on September 1, viewers were shocked that ATC was no longer around without any prior announcement. TV monitors believed that low advertising caused the pullout and sports observers fear of not seeing the D-League, but the smaller but latter group saw otherwise, albeit delayed. ONE F.C., the Asian version of Universal Fighting Championship — once carried daily during 2013, now every Saturday — resumed broadcasting after the pullout on November 13. On November 16, the distributor-producer carried NHK World’s Kawaii International every Sunday afternoon in order to pull audience from boring musical variety shows on the Big Two.

Serbisyo All Access (June 9). This is the first program ever to be aired live using the Filipino language on Solar News Channel. The public service show aired from 10 a.m. to noon, every weekday, tackles certain topic days or hours before broadcast with the help of relating government agencies. Gani Oro and Amelyn Veloso currently host this show.

HD trial and error (Jul 28). According to Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan of PinoyJourn, the President’s Fifth State of the Nation last July 28 was broadcast in high definition thanks to the capital outlay investment by the President’s media bureau, Radio Television Malacanang (RTVM). Long overdue may be from major players, it wasn’t the national address that made the modernization possible; it was two months ago when the World Economic Forum on East Asia was hosted here with test run on outside broadcast. On the day of the President’s speech to the Congress, not so uniform carrying of the feed of RTVM was noticed by Bagaoisan, during the speech the format switched from full HD to letterbox and vice versa while other networks using that feed attempt to crop out black portions.

News in two national languages (Aug 4). On Solar News Channel, Cebuanos are now meeting up with Kapampangans at 1:00 p.m. every weekday since that day. Both Cebuano News and Kapampangan News have split equally into 30 minutes; Nicolette Henson-Hizon is the main presenter of the second new regional newscast.

Change in ownership, same news quality (Aug 13, 23). On the first mentioned date, the naming of Channel 9 changed from Solar News Channel to 9TV and would took place on ten days later but before the announcement, the name of “Solar” dropped on newscasts. On the day of the name of change, the Tieng brothers relinquished the ownership to Nine Media Corporation’s chief, former Ambassador Antonio Cabangon-Chua.

Kids Weekend (Aug 23). Originally aired on August 16, Kids Weekend was inaugurated in time with the network name change. The kids block aired Sesame Street, two DC Comics cartoons, two Hub (now, Discovery Family) shows and most importantly, the new season of Pokemon (Pokemon XY, in this case). The block was praised for being dub-free and lesser edits (except for Sesame Street was split into two because the show lasted an hour but given 30 minutes each weekend). There is the same day replay in the weekend afternoon of September 6.

New lifestyle shows on 9TV. During the first month, Boys Ride Out became a talk of the town — or forum — hosted by Magic 89.9 FM’s “Boys’ Night Out” Slick Rick, Sam YG and Tony Toni. Local YouTube celebrity Bogart the Explorer (Marco Ho) gave an excellent opportunity to shine on this network with the Bogart Case Files. In order to compete with BBC’s Top Gear on their own channel, James Deakin hosted Drive every Sunday at 9 p.m.

Radyobisyon’s incongruence (Oct 6). Media ng Bayan (including Radyo ng Bayan stations) attempted for a unified morning show as One Morning Cafe did in 2007 on that day. Unfortunately, IBC 13 was delayed by six hours, thanks to Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s SMNI 39 strong weekday morning airtime lease since April 2012. The hour-long morning news program, Radyobisyon, pooled presenters from the government media consortium: Francis Cansino of DZRB-AM, Vivienne Gulla of PTV, Czarinah Lusuegro of IBC, Emil Carreon and Julius Disamburun.

Instant name change for Channel 9 (Oct 12). Media Newser announced ahead of the instant change of name after two months of the 9TV brand; CNN Philippines will be the new name come January. The concerned firm confirmed this news after a partnership between Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific and Nine Media Corporation was signed. The deal will initially last five years paying monthly fees in exchange of expertise, programming and broadcast rights. Before the rename, CNN’s news items and weather center was used noting the people that the network is on test run.

The return of foreign entertainment on PTV (Nov 3). After two strikes of broken promises of foreign entertainment of the government station, “Here Comes Mr. Oh” finally arrived on that day at 5:30 p.m. “Mr. Oh” is the first foreign drama in 14 years since American sitcom “Cybill” aired on Visayas Avenue. Even though it was dubbed much joining the bandwagon with the Big Three, our country’s commercial networks snubbed the 2012 Korean drama due to low ratings back at home. Though it may be late, it belongs to the top shows when it comes to viewership of Channel 4 with the Lotto Draw and PTV Sports.

Back to the (grass) roots (Dec 9). PTV aired the recently concluded Shakey’s Girl’s Volleyball League (SGVL) on that day until last Friday on the National Capital Region leg in order to fill the gap of late afternoon before “Here Comes Mr. Oh.” The said sports coverage was the first for a few years since ASEAN Basketball League.

Channel 9’s Once in a blue weekend moon. Only four weekend dates Channel 9 was able to deliver the news: (1) Sunday, April 27 during the canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II; (2) Sunday, July 27 during the Iglesia ni Cristo Grand Centennial, November 1 during All Saints’ Day and December 6-7 during the special coverage of Typhoon Ruby.

Outlook for 2015

The future of Channel 9 — as CNN Philippines — would signify a grandstand of news competition over the credibility criteria with other networks. However, the non-news and non-CNN shows on 9TV at this time would now be at risk of hitting the sack once renaming will take effect.

PTV will slowly liberate their schedules this year in order to prevent informatively boring reruns, despite of expecting the same trial-and-error scheme. According to Gabby Hernandez, a December 5 NewsLife item mentioned the Visayas Avenue forging a deal with FilSports Basketball Association, a grassroots developmental league despite of the forgivable lack of sports division.

IBC 13 — the network mostly snubbed by citizens — now faces the stage of privatization until 2016, according to PCOO Sec. Sonny Coloma last September, but impatient citizens and observers think critical and fear that the stage will follow the same old red-tape bureaucracy. As the time for digital TV draws near, the sole network has no testing phase unlike other networks. Thus, investing digital TV-ready equipment would mean more cash outflows (including operating expenses) and more indebtedness for the network.

Tomorrow, the Turf will discuss the last part of his TV Zeitgeist: the selected UHF networks that are noticeable during 2014.


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