THIS SUNDAY NIGHT, the search for Filipina beauties out of 34 aspirants will be over on the Grand Coronation Night of the 52nd Binibining Pilipinas at the Big Dome (Smart Araneta Coliseum). However, when it comes to number crunching and counter-programming of the most awaited TV special, it’s another side of the story will be told and it starts right now.
The tale of the tape
Let’s tell what happened behind the numbers since 2011 where ABS-CBN carried Bb. Pilipinas from GMA as part of the full exclusive broadcast package of Miss Universe using the chart and data table below.
For those who don’t know what was on Sunday Night Box Office (SNBO):
- 2011: Dalaw, an independent film starring Katrina Halili
- 2012: Jose and Wally Concert
- 2013: Jose and Wally Concert II
- 2014: Clash of the Titans (dubbed)
All four editions, based on this graph, have a common consensus that Bb. Pilipinas dominated on the 2011 edition but succeeding editions ended up defeated to SNBO. Nevertheless, when it comes to the bar size, Kantar’s proportion favored Sunday’s Best as possible but SNBO has a wider margin on Nielsen’s data than Kantar’s.
Reasons of recent losses
The Turf gets four reasons why the record of accomplishment made ABS-CBN’s Sunday Best ended up losing the ratings game.
- GMA’s good counter-programming strategy: Both the 2012 and 2013 edition, based on the consensus of ratings, Kamuning crushed the delayed pageant with two comedy concerts from Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola of Eat Bulaga.
- The unkabogable, unavoidable, dark “horse:” Pageant fans who can’t go to the Big Dome and can’t afford cable blamed Vice Ganda and his eponymous comedy talk show, “Gandang Gabi, Vice!” for delaying their favorite specials. GGV began on May 22, 2011, about six weeks after the first Bb. Pilipinas on Sgt. Esguerra. Critics formed an analogy that the GGV’s high priority is somewhat similar to Kris TV (began three months later) with fuming NBA fans for delaying the Finals in June.
- No cable nor PPV: On the past four editions, ABS-CBN’s cable channels (e.g. Velvet, Lifestyle) was able to carry neither the live pageant nor a special pay-per-view (PPV) on the entity’s cable company, SkyCable. This year, even if there is the TVplus with no lifestyle digital channel, it’s a big “tough luck!” for finding a way to carry the pageant live.
- Results on the palm of our hands: In age of social media, the news comes to our digital portable companions real-time rather than wait for an hour. Rappler, a social news network site, established live blogging in 2012 during the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. Ever since, Rappler covered not just for national issues but also national entertainment events and it became the source of hope in announcing such results.
Rappler: wiretapper or truthcaster?
Hours after the coronation night, Rappler published an article on how ABS-CBN stopped them for live-blogging the said occasion. An e-mail was received from pageant requesting them “not to do real time live updates during the 2014 Bb. Pilipinas Coronation Night. Online updates should coincide with the live broadcast on ABS-CBN.” Rappler knew better about the scheme: the actual event began at around 8 p.m. but the televised event began about 9:30 p.m., right after GGV. They planned the live blog page five days before the coronation night. Rappler defended to the organizers with this statement:
“Part of Rappler’s mandate is to bring the experience of events we cover to those who cannot be there in person – the Internet and social media have made this possible in ways that were previously impossible… Since the site went online more than two years ago we have also live-tweeted various important lifestyle and entertainment events, including the annual Bb Pilipinas and Miss Universe pageants. In this new age of social media, controlling the flow of information online is an exercise in futility, as one way or the other, the audience will live-post highlights from the event, whether it be on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.”
Even if security persists in the Big Dome complying exclusivity between Mother Ignacia and pageant organizers to avoid them, journalists found their cunning ways to get inside. This year, Rappler will go in to the event to give the true and real-time proceedings despite the strict deal.
For this year…
GMA has yet to decide what SNBO special will be shown in order to counter-program another delayed telecast of the coronation night. James Ty III believed that MP featuring Sports Science would compete. Others believed to be a dubbed Hollywood film while one user commented from this Turf, Aicelle Santos’ birthday concert.
Predicting the ratings is arbitrary and based on the influence of its subscribed firms, causing its network loyalists to defend their institution and to offend the opponent (even small players), especially on social media. However, for the first time, the Turf will predict the ratings for this Sunday evening.
NOTE: The first figure is on Bb. Pilipinas Grand Coronation Night while the second is on GMA’s SNBO.
Kantar: 12.7 vs. 13.6
Nielsen: 15.3 vs. 21.6
No matter what would happen to this prediction, ABS-CBN should really fix flawed stipulations on their future editions if the exclusive contract with Bb. Pilipinas is renewed.
UPDATE (Mar. 12, 2015): This Sunday’s SNBO will be Expendables 2, a 2012 film featuring Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li and Chuck Norris.
[Photo courtesy of Localpulse.net / Bb. Pilipinas / ABS-CBN.]
[Chart created by author-admin using Microsoft PowerPoint, sources from Kantar and AGB Nielsen]