Media Issues

Timow’s Quarterly Open Pit (QuOP) No. 3: Cable Closures & Cord Cutters

IF ONE of your New Year’s resolutions is pledging personal financial responsibility, then this QuOP might be the place for you.

Cable Closures

While we kicked in 2018 with blasts of firecrackers, our cable and satellite companies greeted it with the blasts of closures.

Ralph Domingo’s From the Tube mentioned the first wave on its opening salvo post last January 3 where Solar’s CT channel ended its service after the big hit of the carriage dispute against SkyCable last year while Dream Satellite TV ceased operations after 16 years due to bankruptcy (in legalese, under court rehabilitation) and stiff competition.

Next two waves

The next two waves all happened from Creative Programs Inc., the subsidiary responsible of pay TV channels made and maintained from Mother Ignacia.

The second wave will happen two days from now where Tag and ABS-CBN Regional Channel (ARC) will close down. The former’s redundant backlogs and responsibilities might be transferred to Cinema One but the latter would mark the second failed attempt to run a regional channel since 1996.

Hero_TV_logo_2015

However, the third wave grabs the most attention, perhaps for young ones and feeling young. HERO, the round-the-clock anime channel, will pull the plug come the 31st (Wednesday) after 12 years of service.

4 Reasons Why

Emphasizing on the latter’s stunning announcement, four reasons were clearly defined for the X-ed factor:

  1. Dwindling subscribers (from boycotts) which converts to lesser earnings,
  2. Expensive acquisitions on new animes (even in seasons),
  3. Denigrating dubbers by actually watching from pirated sites, and
  4. Tight yet threatening competition from its rivals (e.g. Animax and Aniplus)

Consequently, HERO‘s impending and imminent loss will be TVPlus‘ gain, particularly in YeY‘s programming.

Other cable channels from CPI will remain intact. While ANC will maintain as it is due to sustainable support, Lifestyle might be reimaged to “metro.style” to match with their similarly-themed-and-named magazine and its corresponding website. (Take note of the word ‘might.’)

Cord Cutters

Perhaps, you are unfazed by this move as you contemplated it and end the service early in favor of your laptops and mobile devices to save some dough. Then, you are classified as a “cord cutter.”

Cord cutters are former cable viewers that ditch entirely or limit their hours in favor of available over the Internet due as such content can be either free or significantly cheaper than the same content provided via cable or satellite.

That reminds the Turf of Kevin Trinidad — graphic artist by trade and education, pop culture geek by heart and passion. While we mocked him for his immature and weird persona, some of his tweets posted prior to deleting his Twitter account, alongside his political rants, were dedicated on binge-watching Netflix originals — which has to be the best-implied example of how a cord cutter behaves.

So far, we have yet to conduct a nationwide survey on cable ownership and plans on canceling their subscription to get the formal picture.

South Triangle’s Response

The trend of cord cutting from the States triggered ABS-CBN’s forward-thinking approach to launch iWanTV video-on-demand (VOD) service in 2010, eight years before those aforementioned cable channels’ demise.

Meanwhile, just a stone’s throw away, GMA Network began rolling theirs this year with GMA ONE ONline Exclusives since they don’t own and operate at least one cable channel of their very own from the very start – automatically excluding GMA Pinoy TV and Life TV since it cannot be provided domestically unlike its gigantic neighbor.

The three pioneer programs premiered last New Year’s Day are Adulting (Atom Araullo), #Goals (Gabbi Garcia) and Fact or Fake (Joseph Morong).


Do you have other cable news that will happen this 2018? Don’t hesitate to comment.


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Featured image courtesy of Digital Trends, logos courtesy of ABS-CBN/Wikimedia Commons

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Timow’s Turf Zeitgeist 2017: The Petmalu Events of Philippine Media (Part II)

For Part I, click here.

Another year has gone by but before it flips on to 2018, let’s look back on the colorful, unpredictable (or as we say, petmalu) events in Philippine media on Timow’s Turf Zeitgeist 2017.

For this year, the Zeitgeist will be similar to a Facebook news feed with like and five reactions that you might side on with the Turf‘s probable reasons.

Charting the New Horizons

On June 12, Billboard Philippines initially launched four charts after nine months of formation:

  • Philippine Hot 100 for local and international popular hits
  • Philippine Top 20 for local popular hits,
  • Catalog Chart for local popular hits lasting more than 3 years, and
  • K-Pop Top 5

Possible Reaction & Reason:

  • Love: Some music lovers saw the Charts as a form of knowing and motivating their local performers. Acting as the yardstick of fair airplay would also mean fewer biases from FM radio stations’ respective charts.

Breaking Silence

The closing year marked the tipping movement of sexual harassments calls from entertainment (from film producer Harvey Weinstein), on the news (Matt Lauer, NBC’s Today main presenter) and to politics (Roy Moore, the defeated candidate for US Senator in Alabama).

The Philippines has the similar case to this.

Jensen and the Flips’ frontman Jensen Gomez and guitarist Sam Valenia were were allegedly sexually harassing several women. In light of that claims, the band was dropped from several gigs.

The band was one of the featured artist of Coke Studio Philippines, the weekly music show on TV5. (YouTube clip of one of  their performances below)

Aside from Jensen and the Flips, some members of other indie acts MilesExperience (sometimes referred to as Msex) and SUD were also called out for the same reason.

Possible Reaction & Reason:

  • Angry: Either on bandwagon mode or not, violence against women is a serious issue in the light of uncouth and crass global leadership. (Ahem.)
  • Haha: For anti-feminists and pro-patriarchy apologists, it’s gone too far and asks them to go home and make a sandwich.
  • Sad: To sum up, “Where did we go so low?

One Sound, One Blow

JAM 88.3, WAVE 89.1, MAGIC 89.9, 99.5 PLAYFM AND 103.5 KLITE joined forces five times this year from June 30 to November 17 for #OneSoundPH to promote OPM.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love: The advocacy behind #OneSoundPH aspires more on unity than on division.
  • Wow: One can say that it marks the beginning of temporary resistance to tribalism in radio industry.

PH Wants Their (Own) MTV

Coinciding the 36th anniversary of MTV in America, this sixth incarnation (MTVph) is a collaboration of Viacom and Solar Entertainment.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love: For music lovers, obviously, and those who love to tune in their reality shows.
  • Haha: Too bad, there’s no worried reaction but if they have one, it’s because of the survivability of this incarnation amidst YouTube and audio streaming services (e.g. Spotify).

Atom Araullo Goes Over the Bakod

On September 15, Atom Araullo announced his departure from ABS-CBN on Umagang Kay Ganda. A few hours, DZBB hinted his return, which was realized the week after.

When this news broke out, they are questioning the network if there is a non-compete clause in his contract. In contract law, a non-compete clause is which one party (an employee) agrees not to enter into a similar profession in competition against another party (the employer).

Despite this, his departure was done voluntarily and amicably. His first documentary in his new home in Kamuning was “The Philippine Seas” aired last November 5; as a result, he joins I-Witness.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Wow: Alternative for shocked, of course, this announcement initially stunned the Big Two’s base.
  • Sad: Of course, solid Kapamilya fans were shocked to see him go from the institution for 15 years.
  • Love: For Kapuso diehards, this marks the reunion since his inaugural presence on 5 And Up that shaped up the career in journalism.

Choosing Courage? More like Choosing Destiny via Carelessness

TV5 went on a sporadic mode throughout 2017 under the short-lived “Choose Courage” campaign by its ambitious head-cum-coach Chot Reyes.

AniMEGA came back after the full year hiatus but their flow of programming is completely disrupted as with dubbed US TV series and few third-party produced local entertainment programs (Brillante Mendoza Presents, Lakbai, Coke Studio Philippines and the Philippines Next Top Model: High Street) due to the hard time to say “no” to sports.

In the News & Public Affairs Department, they tried Turning Point and Manindigan but didn’t last for the same reason, along with the department’s constant inattention. Not to mention, the scuffle between Ed Lingao and the two Tulfo brothers last June worsened the damage despite reinstatement of the Word of the Lourd segment.

The network’s tipping point happened on October 12, while the National Football League’s regular season were put into play for the first time, TV5 signed the deal with ESPN for more sporting content.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Wow or Love. For sports aficionados, ESPN5’s prospective new offers (such as NCAA U.S.) are worth something to look forward.
  • Angry. The non-sporting sectors are not happy with their deal due to the slated sporadic non-sports programming. Not to mention, undelivered offers were washed out (e.g. Brillante Mendoza’s Amo, Travel 360 & Bloggers TV).
  • Haha. Critics are unsurprised because TV5’s destiny is consummated. Some of them called out this permanent deal as a waste of money. (Bigyan ng Worst TV Network of the Year Award yan!)
  • Sad. Realistic pessimists knew what has happened — TV5 is deemed beyond repair. Aksyon sa Umaga, despite winning a Catholic Mass Media Award, was cancelled in order to accommodate live and/or delayed coverages of other sports due to time zone difference. On the other hand, Aksyon Tonite’s running time was slashed in half.

Fulfilling Their Promises, Going Even Further

CNN Philippines fulfilled all their titled promises for this year from their trade launch last December 2016 – namely, Political Insider, Hoop Nation, My Philippines, Trippies and Harvest.

Yet, they have done more than just that.

Throughout the year, they expanded newscasts on weekday midmornings (as Newsroom Ngayon) with Ruth Cabal and weekends at lunchtime – born out of circumstances (e.g. Marawi standoff) — with Mai Rodriguez, together with Sports Desk and revitalized the early evening weekday newscast with News Night.

  • Love or Wow. For media newsers, CNN Philippines fulfilled everything than the Big 3 that just keeps on breaking. (Bigyan ng Best TV Network Award ‘yan! May nanalo na!)
  • Haha. Gilbert Remulla engaged a Twitter war from netizens and then, his show was axed. (Karma is not a liar; she keeps receipts.)

The Honorable, Dishonorable, Mixed & Sad Mentions

Honorable Mentions

  • TV Patrol turned 30 and its public service caravan.
  • CBS’ Madam Secretary punched the fictional Philippine president in the face.
  • Voltes V and Daimos’ released its new dubs on GMA.
  • RX 93.1 dethroned Love Radio 90.7 in KBP Golden Dove Awards.
  • Star Movies and Star World were replaced with Fox Movies and Fox Life in June and October respectively.

Dishonorable Mentions

  • Miguel Belmonte. The Radyo5 head neglected his duties to reform 92.3 News FM due to his commitments on The Philippine Star.
  • Harry Roque. The human rights lawyer turned into the compromised Presidential mouthpiece.
  • Mocha Uson. No need to explain as her acts caught on camera and on social media speaks for itself.

Mixed Mentions

  • CNN Philippines’ personalities. They come (Ruth Cabal), go (Nicolette Henson and Mico Halili) and come back (Menchu Macapagal).
  • James Deakin. The CNN Philippines’ motoring hero who braved the senators in the hearing of granting emergency powers on traffic last August had some kryptonite. According to an observer in PHTV Group, his show, The Service Road, does not mention NLEX, SCTEX or SLEX due to indirect influence of the dominant advertiser San Miguel Corporation on the network.
  • Xander Ford. Many considered him the Jake Paul of the Philippines, although much older and experienced. His name will forever be remembered as the epitome of our non-political sensationalism this year.
  • CBCP’s radio & television franchise expiration. The House of Representatives did not act upon the renewal of franchise for the CBCP due to the clashing standoff with President Duterte. While Radyo Veritas remains unaffected due to extension signed by predecessor Aquino, the expired franchise (since August 7) did not affect their online radio operation. This move is feared to be the prelude for ABS-CBN come 2020.
  • Martin Andanar. He may be a visionary in broadcasting reform but his political quips and antics within his office (e.g. blunders in the Philippines News Agency) are not amused.
  • Aljur Abrenica. After years of limbo with GMA, he jumped ship to ABS-CBN.
  • Lloyd Cadena. The YouTube celebrity turned DJ of Love Radio 90.7 replacing Papa Jack.

Sad Mentions (those who passed away)

  • Nikka Cleofe-Alejar (one of PTV anchors) — last July due to wasp sting.
  • Amelyn Veloso (the swooning CNN Philippines mainstay) — last August due to liver metastasis.
  • Hashtags member Franco Hernandez drowned in Davao Occidental last November.
  • Isabel Granada
  • Direk Soxie Topacio

A(n e)motion of thanks

That being said, 2017 was a year of predicaments in the media industry. Other specific events are not mentioned because the Turf focuses beyond entertainment (try visiting From the Tube) as politics are lessened due to assumption that everyone knows what just happened. Other specialized colleagues, such as Media Newser Philippines will have to wait until middle to late January for their consensual judgment of who are the winners and losers in the news industry of the imminently closing year.

Whatever comes in 2018, Timow’s Turf will still document the happenings and continue to share the insights.

Aside from the usual supportive patrons, we would also like to thank the following people that debuted and made 2017, specifically, Paul Justin Baloloy of Chakuy Productions, Jojo Bailon of View on the 3rd and Kevin L. Estrada.

 Until then, have a pristine and serene New Year.

Timow’s Turf Zeitgeist 2017: The Petmalu Events of Philippine Media (Part I)

Another year has gone by but before it flips on to 2018, let’s look back on the colorful, unpredictable (or as we say, petmalu) events in Philippine media on Timow’s Turf Zeitgeist 2017.

For this year, the Zeitgeist will be similar to a Facebook news feed with like and five reactions that you might side on with the Turf‘s probable reasons.

United for the Crown

Wurtzbach Mittenaere

Television tribalism on the Big 3 stopped temporarily since two years ago when on January 30, the 65th Miss Universe was held in the Mall of Asia Arena in which Miss France Iris Mittenaire succeeded Pia Wurtzbach in the title. The next edition, where Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned, on November 27 did not do the joint pooling.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love & Wow: It was a rare moment for the Big 3 to unite for a common purpose, aside from certain events such as the annual State of the Nation Address.
  • Sad: Local bets Maxine Medina landed at Top 6 (January) and Rachel Peters landed worse at Top 10 (November).

Government-Owned Radio Overhaul

PBS2017The first full year of the Duterte presidency saw the staggering process of state radio reform under the Philippine Broadcasting Service.

Envisioned by PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar and supervised by Bong “Sonny B” Aportadera to match those from the BBC in the UK, they launched their brands anew, chronologically: FM2 104.3 MHz, RP1 738 kHz and RP2 918 kHz. Since November 1, FM1 87.5 is currently under test broadcast and now waiting for the formal launch.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love: FM2 104.3 knocked out Retro 105.9 as the “classics authority.”
  • Wow: As part of the reform, the refurbishment of radio equipment was able to compete with commercial counterparts. Not to mention, in both AM and FM, their radio representation reached Top 10 (according to Nielsen) as of 3rd quarter this year.
  • Angry: Die-hard icons of the President became part of the roster of personalities such as the three of four Tulfo brothers and Alex Santos on RP1. Well, what can you really expect from a state-owned media enterprise?

To be fair, FM2 would have been the Turf’s Best FM Radio Station of the Year but due to some flaws, it is classified No. 2 on the books; better luck next time. Speaking of state-owned media enterprise

Para sa Bayan o Para sa Pangulo?

PTV logo 2017 (without wordmark)

As part of state-owned media reform, this year, PTV made substantial operational and programming changes:

  • While awaiting the reorganization of PTV as promised on the first State of the Nation Address last year but they fulfilled one specific goal: Salaam TV was launched as a digital TV subchannel last July.
  • On the main channel, they aired the CGTN block, which reflects the archetype of President Duterte’s foreign policy pivot.
  • As the presidential propaganda station, they covered just one episode of Mula Sa Para, Para Sa Masa presented by Rocky Ignacio, which is replaced with Sa Totoo Lang with Erwin Tulfo.
  • In the public service aspect, Damayan returned after a seven-year hiatus as Damayan Ngayon with William Thio and Emily Katigbak.

By April 2018, PTV is announced to air NHK educational TV programs.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Love: In the eyes of the subservient herd, their feelings/emotions are unconditional.
  • Haha: For the rationalists, PTV’s reforms are still very different from being a fully-fledged public broadcaster like the BBC. During the ASEAN Summit last November, Sass Sasot made a scene against BBC correspondent Jonathan Head but got her airtime from PTV. The colleagues were also given a show months prior on this network. Not to mention, Vasra has a lapsed marketing division. (CLUE: Look at the billboard provided here; it’s directed to Erwin Tulfo’s social media handles.)
  • Angry & Sad: With overhaul comes with the cost; Xiao Chua and Kathy San Gabriel were formally and informally discharged while replacing it with lackeys like the Tulfo brothers and Alex Santos.
  • Sad: Philippines Football League fans were disappointed with the televised coverage within two months of the inaugural season due to the usual Presidential engagements.
  • Wow: Sports fans were shocked to see the return of SEA Games coverage on this network after 10 years.

Light Network goes Digital

light-network-goes-digital

In light of the Digital Television Summit led by former DICT Sec. Rodolfo Salalima that extends the analog shutdown to 2023, Light Channel 33 formally ceased analog transmissions on February 28 and began its digital transmissions the following day.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Wow: NET25’s loyal base was shocked that an underdog beat them after years of DTV experimentation.
  • Love: DTV enthusiasts were enthralled by their move and hoping that the rest of the channels would catch up.

Destined to Lose Fans

DTBY

Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza – the duo that formed AlDub in Eat Bulaga – advance their showbiz career together from noontime to primetime with Destined to Be Yours.

While the AlDub hype train beefed up, the performance was mixed. While AGB Nielsen reported a big gain on them on the premiere, Kantar published otherwise with ABS-CBN swept on their first day. Like all other 24 Oras lead-out teleseryes, they didn’t last and conceded to FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

After DTBY, in November, Maine published her open letter stating that she and Alden are “just friends” but it elicited negative responses by heartbroken and speculative fans.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Angry: In DTBY’s premiere, ADN was furious with the Kantar ratings. With the open letter, the chunk of fandom enters their stage of denialism.
  • Sad: Upon reading Maine’s open letter, it seems AlDub Nation’s support was waning and the fans grieving — some were quick to speculate with spreading rumors but some kept the faith by staging a “white rally.” (They wore white shirts and thus, they are very not related to the controversial Charlottesville rally last August.)

A Wish Finally Comes True

Wish 107.5

Wish 107.5 is a radio station associated with UNTV or its religious group, Members Church of God International that produced Ang Dating Daan. Like its AM counterpart, La Verdad 1350, their mobile radio booth, dubbed the Wish Bus, is where bystanders can see performers.

In March, they reached 1 million subscribers in their YouTube channel containing Wishclusive performances, which consequentially earned commercial sponsors in their subsequent auditions, recognition in newspapers and further innovate (e.g. Wish Card) for convenience at faster growth.

Suffice to say, The Turf considers this as the Best FM Station of the Year.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Wow or Love: For its loyal base (aside from the MCGI adherents), they were flattered with appreciation from foreigners’ reaction videos. Such reactions and innovation enhance the reputation of the radio station that goes beyond their walls (of the bus, for that matter).

Inept Basket Case but Not Digitally Behind

The vigilance on IBC 13 remains a staple here on the Turf.

Since March, its free to air coverage is in low power mode, which ended up losing half of the cockfighting shows such as the longest-holding Tukaan.

At first, critics (including the Turf) initially assessed and considered the moribund network as a pariah in terms of digital television transition due to the aforementioned observation, alongside general mismanagement and slow updates on privatization process until last October when they test on Channel 26 and disclosed the said frequency for the first time — much of mixed emotions of chagrin and relief.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Like or Love: For sabong fans, IBC’s loss of half of its concerned programs is TV5’s and S+A’s gain.
  • Wow: El Shaddai members were stunned by the development, their home for 25 years, while their own Channel 35’s progress is stagnant. (Anong masasabi ninyo, mga ka-DBS?)

Ika-6 na Utos sa Ika-6 na Araw

 

The idea of GMA’s famous afternoon kabitserye to extend to Saturday was thought to beIANU an April fool’s joke for the viewers but it was real. Its expansion was successful in knocking out the competitors from Mother Ignacia. The rival did not answer back for It’s Showtime lead-out teleseryes.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Wow: Fans of the show were at first happy with the expansion but some shows concern of burnout for lead stars Gabby Concepcion, Sunshine Dizon and Ryza Cenon.
  • Sad or Angry: For the morally upright, it’s a disappointment. For the critics, it can be summed up in one word: cancerous.

Fantaseryes Pa More

GMA Fantaserye

GMA Telebabad in 2017 marked the sprout of fantaseryes as the 24 Oras’ lead-out show.

After the successful Encantandia requel in 2016 came another with Mulawin vs. Ravena.

Then came the second season (book) of Alyas Robin Hood (portrayed by Dingdong Dantes), the controversial fantaserye that copied CW’s Arrow, premiered and finally, Super Ma’am (portrayed by his wife, Marian Rivera) took over the timeslot thus forming a conjugal back-to-back fantaserye block until ARH’s shorter season ending.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Haha: Repeatedly, critics already made the verdict: aside from relying on old guns, fantaserye spending would take the toll on other rooms for improvement in Timog Avenue, such as digital television testing.
  • Sad: In DongYan’s seryes, it would have been nice if the couple crossed over to make the best story to satiate new taste but it’s just mere wishful thinking since crossovers are not part of the Philippine television culture unlike those in America.

Radyo Kontra pero Pirata

Radyo Kontra Droga 98.3

In May, two suspicious radio stations were DXed in the Metro Manila area, Radyo Kontra Droga 98.3, and Radyo Kontra Weeaboo 107.1. The latter is reported to be split into two in Metro Manila with 89.5 on the North — affecting the frequencies of Wave 89.1 and Magic 89.9.

Possible Reaction & Reason

  • Angry: We have called out NTC for lack of attention and its powers to stop both suspicious stations, the easy payment of fines and light sentences. The solution seems so obvious: well-defined regulations, stiffer fines, and penalties on the concerned laws against such radio piracy.

 

Part II of the series will continue on Friday. Stay tuned.

Should Our Movies Be Scheduled Seasonally? (Timow’s Turf 4th Anniversary Special)

TO COMMEMORATE the 4th anniversary of this blog (actually marked last Thursday), I personally want to delve beyond the usual staple of television and radio insights.

In nine days, Metro Manila Film Festival is coming but I understand that everyone wanted to enjoy Christmas entertainment with their families, friends or even themselves in other forms due to the half of lineup being commercialized and I started to think about it.

Can we imagine if we have a theatrical release calendar akin to those in North America?

 

 


TRANSCRIPT:

Christmastime is almost here and that means Metro Manila Film Festival is also near.

However, not everyone will troop to the cinemas because half of their lineup is commercialized, as some of them would find some other forms of diversion on how to spend their happiness in their pockets a.k.a. the 13th-month pay.

Despite this, the film festival naturally serves as a barrier, creating the seasonal cycle for regular local commercialized films for the year from January 8 until Christmas Eve.

Sounds great, right? But can we imagine if we can narrowly further down into the calendar for major film studios similar to those in America?

Movie marquees change every week to accommodate fresh theatrical releases. Unlike theirs where they change every Friday in which it determines the box office weekend, we change it every Wednesday except during Holy Week where Black Saturday is the release date when major malls normally resume operation. Thus, we have 50 weeks for general release, to begin with.

However, major Hollywood studios do not release their magnum opuses in certain months. These are the so-called “dump months” because they fear of inauspicious box office receipts and critical review figures.

The first part is due to cutting back their expenses from the preceding holidays, the harsh winter weather, Super Bowl & the awards season while the second part is due to young, potential moviegoers are heading back to school.

Imagine if the Philippines applied this concept. Where would it be placed?

Aside from January for the MMFF repercussion, we might as well include June for school openings – leaving four weeks each will draw down to 42.

Hence, there will be two ordinary film periods – the shorter one in time for Valentines’ Day until Mother’s Day and the longer one from July until Christmas Eve with one week in August set aside for the new and successful Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, remaining with 41.

However, if the Film Development Council of the Philippines heeded the popular calls of extension for PPP to match those with MMFF, we will finally end up with 40 available weeks for ordinary films.

In terms of PR, most regular masterpieces would normally publicize up to its third week.

Divide 40 by three and disregard the decimals, a film studio could optimize their annual portfolio up to 13 films a year, exactly the number Star Cinema released their regular films back in 2016.

So who would benefit from the movie calendar reform?

The primary beneficiary would be the film company’s producers.

Firstly, screenwriters would be given much time to brainstorm and to store creative juices before pitching them all into the script.

Secondly, actors, particularly to those with active television roles, would have a very concentrated work-life balance.

Thirdly, the postproduction staff will have more time to create and to enhance their masterpiece’s quality before general release.

The other beneficiary would be the major film awards organizations. The proposed movie calendar reform would aid them in creating the criteria for eligibility and selecting its winners.

Of course, for there are pros, there would always be cons.

Film production companies would lose revenue and patronage base.

Its workforce can be demotivated, as breaks might give them too much time to procrastinate.

Last but certainly not the least is the stakeholders – cinema owners and moviegoers, where aside from getting a culture shock, they tend to lose revenue and patience, respectively.

So where would you stand? Do you agree with the movie calendar reform? Do you have modifications you want to hear and to expect? Let us know in the comments below and have a peaceful Christmas.

Why Are Our Late Night Talk Shows Afraid to Take A Dig on Our Politics?

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article is written in anticipation of U.S. President Donald Trump meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte from tomorrow until Tuesday (November 12-14). This is also a comprehensive response to Joshua Jimenez’s Banat entry last July 21. Due to expected vitriol, readership discretion is SERIOUSLY ADVISED.]

 

From tomorrow until Tuesday, US President Donald Trump will meet President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines after APEC Vietnam 2017.

 

LAST APRIL, the news and opinion site Vox tackled about comedians, particularly in late night shows, becoming “rock stars” for chiding incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump’s unpredictable predicaments and praised them for outsmarting free-to-air and cable news reporters for their low tolerance of bull.

For the internationally conscious rising Filipinos, one can admire the shade throwing of John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers with less effort via YouTube — if they cannot afford monthly cable or any video-on-demand subscriptions. Some wished it could happen here with the similar-minded leadership and similar-minded hyperpartisan divisiveness but many asked why it barely or never happens in reality.

In America, the jurisdiction of concerned agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is clearly defined and unattached, thus, independently attached from any branch of government. Hence, it’s not easy for Trump to just revoke the license of NBC after getting butthurt over a late night show and demanding “equal time” in his mere personal tweet.

Our counterpart, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is under the Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT) – which the term “independent agencies” is legally nonexistent here – but the functions are similar to those in the U.S.

However, the primary answer to the question on where our similarities end and a difference begin would be — as few libertarians would say — our near-absolute historically shaping government/State intervention that leads us to cowardice and unconditional submission.

This is why our talk shows decided to interview most, if not all, showbiz celebrities and non-politician newsmakers and taking digs is diminished as a segment just like the reinstated Word of the Lourd on then-balanced TV5 as its offshoot standalone program, Kontrabando didn’t last.

Imagine if ABS-CBN’s Gandang Gabi Vice was like HBO’s Last Week Tonight, President Duterte would get even more insane to spew more threats of non-renewal of the network’s franchise without end; even though, he did not know he was, ironically and ungratefully, the guest of that show back in 2015 just before his candidacy. (This can also apply to Trump’s ungratefulness to NBC during The Apprentice.)

 

Banat mentioned diminishing audience interest after the initial huge following but notice that the demographic trends are assertively changing and rising (from our millennial generation onwards) – choice seems to be their consensual plea over networks’ profit.

Another question that might be asked if there is enough supply of comedians that takes any dig. To be honest, we do have enough supply – slightly oversupplied — but we don’t see all of them on TV taking such a magnitude of verbal slay.

We don’t hear Allan K talk on that specific topic in Eat Bulaga because of his fear of the admin ally Senator Tito Sotto; Boobay could but can’t due to her regular commitment as a bluffer on Celebrity Bluff (which is not a talk show) while Ethel Booba – the Charot Queen – is barely seen on TV but she’s actively slaying up on Twitter.

Sadly, the last resort of roast throwing would possibly be on comedy sketch programs.

In the past, we do have political spoofing, ironically, in a government-owned network with The Sic O Clock News but not much externally and internally nowadays. Last year, GMA’s Sunday PinaSaya made a spoof of Duterte (portrayed by Jose Manalo) meeting with Trump (portrayed by Mike “Pekto” Nacua).

However, its rival, Banana Sundae, was not able to duplicate it.

Why is it easy for Americans to do them?

Simply, Americans are natural risk-takers; we are not.

While their presidential administrations come and go, their shows still go on despite different presenters once the new season — not necessarily coterminous with their term — kicks in; ours tend to cut short due to their butthurt reactions and spewing threats of the ax before their term ends.

Don’t get it wrong, our comedians can be great talk show hosts to chide as Vice Ganda would but its internal conservative mindset and the eternal network war culture hinders them to take bigger possibilities (i.e. diversity of programming for the networks and diversity of the comedian’s portfolio).

That being said, let’s not give the prospectively returning Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A. any ideas on his new home on PTV this month as unconditional compliance is still king over defiance. Not to mention, his show might be disrupted in favor of their true star.


Playing it safe is the riskiest choice we can ever make.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach


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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN

Siphoning Political Livestreams: It’s A Post-Truth Thing

[Dedicated to Ralph Domingo]

LAST WEDNESDAY, the Senate probe on purveying fake news was a newsworthy story for the digitally savvy millenials in the toughest political age.

Mocha Uson in the Senate

Mocha Uson was grilled before the Senate last Wednesday for proliferating and purveying fake news.

In the said hearing, the senators, especially Nancy Binay, grilled Presidential Communications Office Assistance Secretary Mocha Uson and RJ Nieto (the webmaster of Thinking Pinoy) for proliferating disinformation and degrading opposition politicians while serving in their respective government positions. Other personalities present were Atty. Abigail Valte (the deputy spokesperson of predecessor Noynoy Aquino) and few representatives from the legitimate media.

The next hearing over the said topic will be announced later.

Being a legislative hearing of interest, livestreams from media outlets will definitely be the part of the drill. Anyone connected from social media will notify you real-time.

For its diehard supporters, it was an opportunity to siphon such sources and claim it as theirs without proper attribution.

Whenever some are so busy with important things throughout the day but they want to know what really happened to the country, they can simply search on to YouTube and voila!

Its search engine, the terms you input might land on diehard pro-administration YouTube channels than those from legitimate media outlets and that is a serious business.

How to spot a YouTube video from a die hard?

While fake news sites are obstructed through third-party web browser extensions, its YouTube channels, sadly, are not and thus, are definitely shareable in most social media platforms. However, it’s not difficult to spot a YouTube video that was created from a diehard supporter. Here are the five common signs.

Screenshot (38)

A screenshot of the famous Senate hearing last Wednesday. Look at Rappler’s (a verified YouTube channel); compare that to Tawanan at Balita PH or other similar channels.

  • The custom thumbnail abuse. This feature is one of the primary ways of deception. They take a screenshot, paste it on a graphics software, add some WordArt and it’s all set for publishing.
  • The loudmouth title. Most searches in caps lock (LIKE THIS ONE) in order to provoke and to grab their attention. The titles were usually defending pro-administration officials and shaming the opposition. Adding “PANOORIN” is not necessary but it is a decisive factor for their view count.
  • The consistent description structure. Most of the video descriptions usually follow the same structural formula as with their related uploads. That also includes the lack of any proper attribution.
  • The channel is not verified. A verified YouTube channel are those with a check mark and the prerequisite: they must have at least 100,000 subscribers. Thus, pro-administration channels might not reach that number and consequently, might not be verified.
  • The video content usually includes the titles. They are usually located at the top and/or bottom (in the letterbox format) or lower graphics (intentionally obscuring those from media outlets) rendered from their desktop-based non-linear editing software.

Aren’t they supposed to be prosecuted for infringement or are they exonerated and called it a legal piracy with state-sponsored blessing? This is where BusinessWorld’s article last November drives us now. Whatever they have done was credulous or simply in Filipino, nauto.

The Turf’s Insight

Siphoning off content from legitimate media organizations (such as ANC, GMA, Rappler, Inquirer, CNN Philippines, etc.) is somehow an indirect way of delegitimizing and discrediting its professional journalists in order to pursue their absolutist agenda without any checks and senses of right or wrong and to undermine his political opposition as “enemies of the state” with all their minds, hearts and souls.

Sadly, their eyes that were dictated by hasty generalizations, treated the press, which is considered the fourth estate, at par with terrorists (like the Maute Group) as the “enemy of the state.”

As mentioned last November, the culture of impunity did not just happen the traditional outside of goons, guns and gold but also in the cyberspace with keyboards, trolls and coins. Well, a study in Mexico finally holds true as our country was ranked worst over-all in such terms in their Global Impunity Index report from Universidad De Las Americas.

Think about it. According to Reporters without Borders (RSF), the Philippines is ranked 127th of 180 in the 2017 Press Freedom Index, which is situated at the “difficult situation.”  Given the social media age and the current circumstances, where will our country – that is significantly contributed to the global post-truth era – land in a few years that we asked and deserved?


P.S. For those readers in the United States who happened to have the same sentiment, you’re not alone.


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Photo courtesy of the Philippine Star. Screenshot grabbed by the author.

Why Don’t We Have Our Own ‘Jeopardy’?

(Dedicated to The Professional Heckler & So What’s News)

TODAY – tonight, rather — I Can See Your Voice’s (ABS-CBN) Sunday iteration will challenge the spiritually reviving karaoke-based game show, All-Star Videoke (GMA).

However, here on Timow’s Turf, we will neither talk on any of the two; despite both entertaining, they are not for stimulation, as it can be or is a form of escapism (depending on one’s personal philosophy).

Most of you might say, “Why not a trivia quiz show?” but some would raise a common objection because there is already Celebrity Bluff (GMA) but then answered back, saying that they need direct, ordinary – not indirect, celebrity – participation just like Jeopardy.

As exactly said on the tin, this special feature will find the answer to the situation but first, let’s delve into the related background before answering the question.

Show background

Currently running on its 34th season, Jeopardy is an American trivia show, presented by Alex Trebek. The show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in a form of an answer and they must respond in a form of a question.

The first two rounds

Contestants will have to pick a category and a clue value. After the clue is fully read aloud, any contestant may ring in, respond verbally in a form of a question; if the response is right, the corresponding value is added, get it wrong, and it’s deducted.

However, there is one “Daily Double” hidden in the first round and two in the second but before the clue is revealed, the contestant must declare a wager up to one’s current score. Get the response right and it adds value or otherwise, it’s subtracted.

Final Jeopardy

The contestants who have positive score after two rounds will proceed to the Final Jeopardy. There, the category is revealed before the commercial break. During the break, the contestants will enter their final wager (from 0 to their current score) in the electronic display. After the break, the host will read the final clue and then, they have to write their response within 30 seconds.

Afterwards, the contestants’ responses are revealed in order of their pre-Final Jeopardy scores from lowest to highest. Like the two rounds, if they respond correctly and properly, the wager adds the current score while incorrect answering, failure to respond or failure to phrase as a question deducts it.

The contestant that has the highest score wins and returns in the following match and will lead on selecting the first clue on the next match.

Jeopardy’s involvements with Filipinos

Fans of this show will remember Ken Jennings winning 74 straight matches in 75 appearances back in 2004 – the longest streak in the game show’s history but on December 8, 2014, a Filipino named Patrick Fernandez from Irvine, California participated but failed to defeat challenger Ann Conger, landing in second place.

Our country has been mentioned in clues ranging from lechon (food) to Alma Moreno (politics).

What are ‘complicated reasons?’

Now we go back to the main question: Why we don’t even have a localized Jeopardy?

If your answers were any one of these: network war culture, overemphasized pandering to the masses, or anti-intellectualism. You do have a point.

The likes of the Battle of the Brains or the Digital LG Quiz of the 1990s and early 2000s are now portable in our pockets but free data promos in mobile communication duopoly excluded websites that could enrich minds for understanding general and specific knowledge. Hence, we have a double-edged consequence of a very significant populace that is prone or at an irreversible point of disinformation and misinformation — making materialization an obstacle. In addition, the nature of the show will interest few despite the gradually rising share.

Interestingly, Jeopardy franchises were neither acquired nor materialized in Southeast Asia. Had done so, Singapore would have been the first but Indonesia claimed it — citation needed — but without any signs of the latter’s emergence.

Thought-stimulating experiment needing questions

Should a network acquired the local franchise; it would have been easy for ABS-CBN due to experience as GMA would go original and TV5 would always destine to fail. Of course, the main objection to this is the selection of contestants that are mostly celebrities at the expense of audience exploitation, which is contrary to their longtime philosophy of servicing the Filipino. Remember their version of Family Feud? Despite the ratings and clear classification as a thought stimulating show, it fared no better than its predecessor networks due to such treatment.

If they promise to come clean, the next in the checklist would be hosting. In the recent years, three men are well-renowned hosting franchised shows: Billy Crawford, Robi Domingo & Luis Manzano.

Most of you complained about the trending host rotation: Wala nga bang iba kundi sila? (Don’t you have another than them?) Currently, Crawford is still hosting Little Big Shots as Manzano is just getting started with ICSYV; so, Robi Domingo would have definitely been a no-brainer but of course, Robi is busy with University Town as part of the UAAP. Thus, we need a new one.

All right, assuming that settled it, the last thing is the time slot. When kids come back home from school in the afternoon, there is a good chance that they will turn on the TV – if they don’t have mobile devices and that’s why Jeopardy would serve better at that time. The sole benefit is one less slot for cringe-worthy, SPG-laced and cancerous teleserye in Kapamilya Gold but the offsetting drawback is always the never-ending resolution of the 5:00 p.m. dilemma outside Metro Manila.


What do you think? Is it time for a real Jeopardy Philippines?


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