Philippine Television

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Philippine Broadcasting Station Notice

How do Filipino radio stations and television channels close down for the night and say hello to the new broadcast day? This article provides a Philippine framework for ideal station notices

Collaboratively written by Timow (Timothy John Paragas) at Timow’s Turf and Dzhenina (Jenine Shiongshu) at Ingliserong Hermana


WHEN GRAVEYARD-SHIFT* workers come home and finally turn on their TV or radio, they could hear a voice-over saying it’s the end of the broadcast day–and the worker can miss out their opportunity of programming. They could hear the national anthem or noise this time. Technically, it’s termed “station notice” that happens during “closedown/startup” (British termed) or “sign-on/sign-off” (American termed, commonly used).

In third-world countries and elsewhere, channels and stations do not broadcast 24 hours a day, thus, it is obligatory to them to air an announcement about signing on or off at a fixed time. This is also a good time for viewers and listeners to change channels or turn off their TV and radio.

Below, this collaboration article provides a Filipino framework to station notices and rituals when beginning and ending broadcasts.

Common traits

A Philippine broadcasting station’s sign-on and sign-off sequence typically have essential segments, though not in exact sequence, below:

  • Dead air, static slide, or test tone (test card on TV)
  • Station identification (including the call sign and the frequency), top of the hour ID, jingle, or corporate song
  • Program schedule
  • Technical information (transmitter and studio location, power output and list of electronic communications engineers and first class radio-telephone operators)
  • Authorized NTC permit number (BSD-xxxxx-xx) and expiry date
  • Affirmation of programs’ compliance with the Movie and Television Rating and Classification Board (TV only)
  • List of affiliate stations
  • Actual, recorded station notice (mandatory on radio, but may not be read aloud on television)
  • Morning or evening prayer (specifically, Muslim prayers in some Mindanao stations)
  • The choral, instrumental or combined rendition of the Philippine National Anthem

Accessories

Other TV and radio stations can incorporate or deduct other elements other than the core ones. Let’s investigate in each mode.

On Radio

Some radio stations can air official provincial and city songs, in addition to the national anthem. For example, in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, RW 95.1 FM plays the choral version of “Imno ning Kapampangan” (“Kapampangan Hymn”), while Davao City’s Radyo Ukay 819 AM broadcasts the Davao Girls’ Choir rendition of “Tayo’y Dabawenyo” (“We’re Davaoeños”).

While commercial radio stations follow the aforementioned standard formula, some frequencies may deviate. One such example is the government-owned Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS).

On the AM side, Radyo Pilipinas 1 (738) and 2 (918) Metro Manila simply cut to the National Anthem after some music or station identification as they leave the air at night and when they come back as day breaks. Their sister shortwave station, Radyo Pilipinas Overseas Broadcast that runs 1½-hour Filipino and English services, reminds its listeners on the time of broadcast in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and a station notice that cites the frequencies and broadcasting source where the channel’s in. An a cappella singing of the National Anthem is appended before (at sign-on) and after (when leaving the air) the announcement.

On the FM side, FM2 DWFT-FM (formerly DWBR) 104.3 MHz perhaps has the best example. Listen:

As provided by an aircheck dated February 3, 2017 — after their first and formal full day of rebranding — they did not disclose a roster of professionals; either the Agency knew that the same personnel manned the operations of PTV, or they are just merely lazy.

 

On Television

One of the best signature accessories is ABS-CBN, when Peter Musngi made this announcement for sign-on: “Ladies and gentlemen, in a few seconds, we will be on simultaneous nationwide satellite broadcast. Please stand by.” This was followed by a patriotic message encouraging every Filipino to wave their flags in their homes and workplaces. It has been Channel Two’s tradition since 2002. Note that ABS-CBN seldom signs off recently due to O Shopping.

Another accessory would be a video montage of the station can be played with an easy or noticeable background music. For examples, former American-targeted Far Eastern Network Television (FEN) in Clark and Subic and BEE TV 7 in Butuan City.


*In provinces, a few daytime workers. Certain stations outside Metro Manila sign off between 5pm and 10pm and resume broadcasting at daybreak.

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The Turf’s Insight on Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

After 30 years, South Korea is hosting another Olympics but this time on the other season.

THREE DAYS from now, the sporting eyes of the world will fixate on South Korea for the 16 days of glory in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

While it may not be in the Filipino sporting aficionados’ attention due to the geographic consideration as a tropical country, it is a noteworthy moment for two athletes that will partake and will banner under the Three Stars and a Sun.

THE ROOKIE AND THE VET. Asa Miller (left) will participate in the Winter Olympics as the alpine skier while Michael Christian Martinez (right) will be given another chance to shine in figure skating.

Asa Miller, the 17-year-old rookie, despite his residence in Oregon, will be the first alpine skier to compete for the Philippines in 26 years. Meanwhile, 21-year-old skater Michael Christian Martinez, despite failing to make the qualifying cut on the CS Nebelhorn Trophy, finally gets another chance to shine after Sweden relinquished the spot due to the unsatisfied performance level of Alexander Majorov by their national Olympic Committee.

In addition, this edition of the Winter Games will make the debut of two Southeast Asian nations: Malaysia (with alpine skier Jeffrey Webb and figure skater Julian Yee) and Singapore (with short track speed skater Cheyenne Goh).

Promotion Bluff

Last January, the promotion of the Winter Games was aired over ABS-CBN, presuming that their sports channel, S+A, would cover the games for the first time. However, the speculation bubble was popped out as TV5 – for the fourth overall, second in the concerned season and the first time under the ESPN5 brand — is confirmed to cover  exclusively, according to SportsCenter Philippines.

Conflict in ceremonies, clear in competition

With the confirmed news, both ceremonies that begin and end the Games will face conflict on the main channel and might be consequently covered live on AksyonTV.

The opening ceremony on Friday, February 9, will begin at the same time (7:00 p.m. Philippine time) with the traditional PBA evening game – in this case, NLEX Road Warriors vs Meralco Bolts. The closing ceremony on February 25 will coincide with FIBA Asia World Cup Qualifier game against Japan in our home court.

That said, it wouldn’t be surprising as TV5 will favor both games of hoops over both showcases of the artistry of the international multi-sport event.

Competition journey

On the bright side, when it comes to the competition proper for our contingents, there is no problem in live coverage, in terms with TV5, as they will take place in the morning – as we are one hour behind South Korea. Provided, they will delay the NCAA (U.S.) basketball.

Miller’s debut will take shape from this Sunday (February 11) until February 22 if his first-time performance is exceptional.

On the other hand, Martinez’s two-day competition will kick in on February 16 – fortunately, both holidays on both nations (Lunar New Year or “Seollal” in Korea) — with the short program and followed by the free skate.

Unfazed by unavoidable

While one or few said that TV5’s return to cover the Olympics is where they rightfully belong, not everyone is convinced.

For them, it could be a repeat of what happened back to Rio in 2016 where they fail to commit full-blown coverage despite the live streaming on the network’s YouTube channels.

To be honest, ABS-CBN (through S+A) would have been a bit worse in cover the Winter Games since they are preoccupied with NBA, UAAP and NCAA volleyball tournaments, English (Premier) and Spanish (La Liga) football and the inaugural Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL). It’s new cable-exclusive sports channel, Liga, wouldn’t apply as they don’t have football or basketball in the competition.

On the other hand, PTV would be the worst if they cover their first Winter Olympics; both ceremonies would cut any significant 20 minutes each due to Lotto and the competition proper could be disrupted by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s daily press conference and by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

Anyway, the Turf wishes both of our athletes the best in their respective journey in South Korea — amidst the lack of support from both the government and the Philippine Olympic Committee — and also to the rest of the athletes of the world.


Just a little throwback Tuesday…

 


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Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, International Olympic Committee (IOC), KGW and Ilustrado Magazine

International TV Laws That Can Be Done in the Philippines

[Requester: Albert Brian Gimao]

THE PHILIPPINES is a sovereign republic, which means they are governed by the rule of law and such application spreads throughout the archipelago.

We have enacted laws that regulate industries and we have its corresponding departments and agencies to execute.

In the mass media industry, specifically on television, we have legislation from setting aside time for children’s television to place closed captioning in every program possible.

When the President signs them into law, the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) were automatically crafted. Subsequent rulings and orders issued from the government agencies, such as the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Movies, Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), together with non-government associations such as the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), made up the official interpretation on the potential legal loopholes.

While its proper implementation remains problematic, there are some other laws around the world concerning the industry that can be done here. (more…)

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

Timow’s Turf Action-Packed 2018 Outlook

UPDATED as of January 9

TV5 covers the Rose Bowl for the first time right now.

IF YOU ARE READING THIS POST RIGHT NOW, you are supposed to be at work (except for the government sector) but if you are a student (with classes resuming tomorrow or next week) and happened to be a sports aficionado, you are probably watching the Granddaddy of Them All – the Rose Bowl.

With that, Timow’s Turf opening salvo kicks off with the New Year outlook — on sports.

Why tackle on sports and not on entertainment or news? Simple; sports is obviously action-packed but it is well-defined, well-planned and agreed upon years in advance, unlike the two categories.

Major Sporting Events of the Year

NOTE: All dates listed are converted to Philippine time.

Super Bowl LII

The US Bank Stadium will be the venue of Super Bowl LII

  • Date: February 5
  • Place: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Broadcaster: TV5

The Big Game will culminate the most controversial season of the National Football League (NFL).

Players from defending champs New England Patriots took the knee during the National Anthem.

Throughout the league’s season, some players knelt during the national anthem as a sign of resistance and defiance that aroused President Donald Trump’s umbrage on Twitter.

Justin Timberlake, for his third appearance in the Super Bowl halftime show, will go solo for the first time.

However, it can only get worse than that as Justin Timberlake returns for the third time as the solo headlining act of the halftime show. Despite going solo this time, some will never forget him over the wardrobe malfunction on Janet Jackson 14 years ago.

XXIII Winter Olympic Games

The Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, opened last September, will be the center of both ceremonies of this year’s Winter Olympics.

  • Date: February 9-25
  • Place: Pyeongchang, South Korea

Although few sporting competitions began the day before, this Olympics would mark for the first time the northern neighbor (North Korea) will compete for the international multi-sport event. However, Russian athletes are unclear to enter the Games due to the state-sponsored doping scandal in which the International Olympic Committee suspended the concerned national committee. Should they enter, they will participate under the Olympic flag instead of the white-blue-red tricolor.

Since our Michael Christian Martinez failed to clinch a spot for not making the clear cut from the qualifying CS Nebelhorn Trophy, someone might take his place to hold the banner. Asa Miller, despite being a resident in Oregon, USA, will represent the country due to dual citizenship as the first alpine skier in 26 years.

On that note, local broadcasting remains in limbo between ESPN 5 and PTV 4. Should there be agreement, viewers might focus on his competition along with the artistry of opening and closing ceremonies.

2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup

  • Dates: June 8-12
  • Place: Philippine Arena, Bocaue, Bulacan
  • Broadcaster: unknown but definitely TV5

Back at home, this fifth internationally 3×3 basketball event will feature separate competitions for men’s and women’s national teams. All together, 40 teams from 37 member associations will compete within five days.

Since the finals will be held during Araw ng Kalayaan, cultural events (such as rondallas, regional dance troupes and singers) are also planned alongside in the grounds with the tournament proper.

2018 (FIFA) World Cup

  • Dates: June 14 – July 15
  • Place: Russia
  • Broadcaster: S+A

This most recognizable international football tournament marked not only the failed appearances of strongholds of Italy, Netherlands, the United States, Cameroon, Chile, New Zealand, Ghana and Ivory Coast but the debut of two small countries, Panama and Iceland.

Our Azkals failed to qualify but our soccer aficionados will have to adjust as night owls as live coverage will kick off from late night to wee hours.

18th Asian Games

  • Dates: August 18 – September 2
  • Place: Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia
  • Broadcaster: Unknown (could be PTV, TV5 or both)

After hosting the SEA Games seven years prior, Indonesia will welcome athletic contingents from the concerned continent on the said key cities.

Due to the successful return of covering last year’s SEA Games, PTV 4 might cover this one after their 16-year hiatus but TV5’s experiential competitive base could be a pitching advantage for attaining exclusive broadcast rights. The Turf will not be surprised if, like last year, PTV has the exclusive rights to cover as TV5 will cover both basketball competitions – regular and 3-on-3.

Continuing Sporting Sagas

FIBA World Cup 2019 Qualifiers (Asia)

Gilas Pilipinas knocked Chinese Taipei in the home court last November 27.

The road to China for Gilas Pilipinas in Group B will continue on February 22, as they will be the away team in Australia. Three days later, they will play Japan at home court. On June 29, they will play as the away team in Chinese Taipei and on July 2, they will play Australia at home.

Regardless of that outcome as they have enough wins to secure advancement; Gilas will play three out of four teams in Group D – Kazakhstan, Iraq, Iran, and Qatar – on Group F with the same home-and-away basis from September 2018 to February 2019.

Nonetheless, it will still continue the adversity of PBA’s current (43rd) season and the next one.


Are there other sporting events for this year that you think it really needs attention? Do let us know.


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Photos courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons, Christian Science Monitor, Kyodo News, FIFA, Indonesia.travel, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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.

It’s The Most Werpaful Time of the Year (Philippine TV Christmastime 2017-18 Insights)

UPDATE:

  • December 17 @ 13:03. Confirmed details on Manila Clasico and MMFF.

 

INDEED.

The most wonderful time of the year is here, but Filipino…

Per tradition, Timow’s Turf heralds the annual holiday programming primer for the fifth time, spanning from today (December 6, 2017) until possibly January 2, 2018.

As it is the first Christmas in the age of Trump, this year, it will be classified according to appropriate categories but not necessarily on periods as in previous editions.

With Christmas and New Year’s Eves both fall on Sunday this year, primetime lineups will definitely have to adjust, especially to ABS-CBN on both cases and GMA on the latter as PTV 4’s main Lotto Draw are forced to be scheduled early at 2:30 p.m.

During this span, teleseryes will normally be scheduled but there are usually no finales and its premieres during the very Christmas/New Year festivity fortnight while trade launches from the South Triangle Duopoly (S.T.D.) and CNN Philippines are happening for the upcoming year (as long as they keep their promises or else).

What else is in store? Jump in for more.

NOTE: Inaccuracies and updates can happen throughout this post.

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Program Visual Case Study: Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post should serve as a guide for graphic designers, web developers, video editors and social media team.]

KKMK logo

Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko will turn 42 on December 1.

KAPWA KO MAHAL KO is the currently the longest over-all and continuous public service television program in the Philippines since December 1, 1975, on GMA 7. Presented by Connie Angeles and Orly Mercado, it currently airs every Saturday at 5:30 a.m. for half an hour. This television program is very well known for its iconic sign language interpretation window.

As mentioned last month, this show is one of the living cornerstones for Timog Avenue and because of the promotion of this article, it seems their official website is conducting a feedback survey where The Turf took it willingly.

On its 42nd anniversary this coming week, Timow’s Turf investigates visually on the program and what flaws can we constructively resolve that are found intertwined on their TV program, their website and their social media handles.

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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