THE FILIPINO has decided; Rodrigo Roa Duterte is the apparent winner of this election and will become the 16th President of the Philippines come June 30.
Before we move on to the next chapter of Philippine history, we will look how our channels on free-to-air television progressed so far throughout the six years of the outgoing administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III.
On the VHF
- ABS-CBN 2. Throughout the six years, ABS-CBN is without a doubt a benefit on entertainment and broadcasting innovation. Last year, they were able to market their exclusive digital television service box, known as the TVPlus. However, the main channel drew the starkest criticism over social media from politically motivated social media scholars with indoctrinating label of bias in news and public affairs for favoring the administration, especially the maintenance of Kris Aquino and Korina Sanchez (spouse of the second-place contender Mar Roxas) in the exclusive talent roster. Aside from the news and celebrities, the main channel made radical changes on the programming structure by ending Team Animazing, The Buzz and teen programming (Luv U ended last January) and by extending dramas (since Be Careful with My Heart) from late morning until evening every weekday and movie blocks on daytime. Even game show player treatment was not immune in our prying eyes to criticize.
- PTV 4*. The government station remained standstill and still favorable to the executive branch among other branches of National Government. In 2013, President Aquino signed Republic Act 10390 — amending the 21-year-old charter of the Network — allowing commercials to enter in the revenue and additional capitalization but so far, Congress has not yet been appropriated as such towards the government-owned and controlled corporation, based on the audited financial statements. In spite of this, they were able to air their first foreign entertainment program though dubbed, Here Comes Mr. Oh, initially aired in 2014 after two programming attempts failed to be materialized due to conflict and priority.
- TV5. During the six years, TV5 migrated their headquarters from Novaliches in Quezon City to Reliance in Mandaluyong City. However, it became a roller coaster media player; they may be defiant from the Big Two when it comes to entertainment but they failed to garner viewers due to mismanagement and preoccupied commitments. Programming commitments include sports (such as Olympics, FIBA and PBA) as they ditched anime in favor of Disney and Cartoon Network’s programs.
- GMA 7. Regional opportunities reached its apex until it slid down in 2014 with labor issues and regional networking group reduction. Recently, the network’s decision to remove trailers on teleseryes for the sake of their bottom line were given a backlash.
- RPN 9. Deemed completely privatized in the early half of his term, their NewsWatch brand ended its 43-year-old streak last 2012. From Solar TV, it became ETC (a female-oriented channel) until 2013 with Solar News Channel. On August 2014, the Tieng brothers relinquished their rights on the channel to the late former Ambassador Antonio Cabangon-Chua. Since March 2015, the channel became CNN Philippines and the broadcaster was easy to recognize as a legitimate and a credible news outlet.
- Channel 11. QTV became News TV on February 28, 2011. The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012 became their golden age of the news channel but after that, it went nowhere to a de facto reincarnation of QTV with films, documentaries, reruns of old public affairs and non-news programs.
- IBC 13. The most neglected and most ignored by the masses in Old Balara is the slowest in privatization process but the block time with AKTV (2011-13) was able to reduce the network’s indebtedness but not with Asian Television Content (2014). Last January, Malacanang gave a go signal for privatization through bidding.
On the UHF
- Channel 21. From 2010, this channel delivered Solar Entertainment’s ETC until 2011 as a news channel (as Talk TV and Solar News Channel) but back again to ETC on December 2013. Because of the complaints on the signal, the channel immediately strengthened their transmission power.
- Channel 23. ABS-CBN’s sister channel of the UHF transformed the youth channel (Studio 23) into a Sports and Action channel (ABS-CBN Sports+Action) in January 2014.
- NET 25. Due to their work ethics embedded by their religious owners, they can brag their channel as the first in high definition. However, following the scandal in the Church Administration last July 2015, the channel’s tag line “I am One with 25” were used to propagate the “glorious” Church Administration and to downplay its detractors and naysayers, especially Bro. Eduardo V. Manalo’s biological family (particularly, his mother and little brother Angel Manalo) and expelled ministers (especially, Lowell Menorca and Isaias Samson, Jr.). Not only the identification that has the bias but also the delivery of the news.
- RJTV 29. Doing business as 2nd Avenue, the channel remained unchanged.
- Channel 31. Although a testing ground for digital television, BEAM Inc. had an odd job for six years on analog. They started working as a game show channel (The Game Channel), then to action (Chase and Jack City) to the present-day mixture of telenovela, TV shopping and Greg Durante’s evangelical Christian programming.
- Channel 33. The former UniversiTV became Light Network in 2014 under ZOE Broadcasting Network of Bro. Eddie Villanueva after their Channel 11 is devoted as a second channel of their business partner, GMA Network. However, one criticism for this channel is the heavy favoritism of his son, (now Senator-elect) Joel Villanueva, and the liberating promotion of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as he was the Director General.
- UNTV 37. The broadcast joint of Ang Dating Daan was neutral during the start of his presidency but sat out of the fence in favor of the presidential administration since 2015 following the SAF 44’s mastermind finger-pointing and the Iglesia ni Cristo rally.
- SMNI 39. The channel of Quiboloyan galore remained unchanged. However, the channel agreed to lease an hour every weekday morning on IBC as their first program from 2012 until early 2015.
- Aksyon TV 41. Being a week ahead of News TV, Channel 41 was the first 24-hour news channel in 2011 but identity crisis began to reveal in 2014 after the withdrawal of AKTV on IBC.
- Channel 49. The former GEM-TV of Iglesia ni Cristo became INC TV in 2012. Like the sister channel, Net 25, it is tainted with scandal and tried to defend the Church Administration unconditionally.
That’s the comprehensive story of what happened on the landscape of Philippine television — well, in analog and in free-to-air — throughout the six years of Noynoy‘s presidency.
Digital television should’ve completely began this year but we’ll have to wait for a few years because of politicization of the policy due to the recent preoccupation to the presidential campaign.
Now that the elections are over, what will be incoming Duterte administration’s plan of action regarding this matter?
We will all just wait and see.
*PTV’s fate of the Duterte presidency will be discussed in the Turf this July once he is sworn in.
Thank you, PNoy, for serving our country.
Welcome President Digong.
[Photo courtesy of Journal.com.ph and PhilStar.com]