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