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Timow’s Open Pit No. 2: PHTV@64: Of Living Legends & Legacies

TODAY, October 23, 2017 marks the 64th anniversary of Philippine television and here on Timow’s Turf, we opened the second Open Pit on a matter related to the very significance of the number.

The number 64 is a perfect square number – in this case, a square of 8 (a number that is very auspicious in East Asia). In games, it’s the total number of squares of a board in chess and checkers. Baby Boomers have The Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four” and the Batang 90s have a Nintendo 64. In personal computers, some of them run on a 64-bit architecture.

On this article, we will discuss about our program’s living legends and legacies.

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Philippine TV’s Seven Deadly Sins

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Today is ASH WEDNESDAY, the first day of the penitential season of Lent.

For the simple yet observant faithful, it’s the opening salvo of the season of giving up luxuries, fasting and abstinence from meat (save fish and seafood). For the very pious, it’s also the heralding period to line up for confession and to seek repentance and reparation from such transgressions.

In the spirit, Timow’s Turf will tackle on this topic — the seven deadly sins — and how will it intertwine with the current situation on our television landscape.

The deadly or cardinal sins were inspired loosely from the Scriptures: Book of Proverbs (6:16-19) in the Old Testament and St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (5:19-21) in the New; Pope Gregory I codified the standard seven in AD 590.

For each sin, one or two network/s is leading and certain reasons are given why they’re qualified. However, some definitions of each vice are not to be taken solely from the ordinary dictionary’s interpretation but on spiritual reasoning as well.

Jump in for each revelation.

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Is AksyonTV becoming TV5’s News TV and S+A?

AksyonTV turns 6 years old today but quickly erodes its standing purpose.

AksyonTV turns 6 years old today but it quickly erodes its initial purpose.

SIX YEARS ago today, while viewers are awaiting for GMA News TV’s launch, TV5 jumped in unannounced over Channel 41; AksyonTV, the first news channel on free TV, was born.

They used to air round the clock as a slap of Channel 11’s broken promises to live their mantra, “Oras-oras, alam ko” but karma struck back in 2013 due to cost-cutting measures by the management as well as NTC’s rules and regulations for affiliated free-to-air TV stations.

The identity crisis

The era of being a homogeneous news channel began its decline when AKTV on IBC ended on May 31, 2013 by carrying over their committed sportscasts as they also covered the Sochi Winter Olympics a year after.

Recently, News5’s public affairs programs airing on AksyonTV became merely reruns with no motive to create new episodes. Since last year, EZ Shop and Shop Japan joined in the diversification of programming portfolio to lessen their lameness.

During the seven-month-old Duterte administration where long Senate probes and/or Presidential activities (Palace press conferences and speaking engagements) bear weight in shaping the public’s skeptical psyche, the channel didn’t move a muscle and caught the attention of the Turf‘s neighboring blog, From the Tube.

Ralph redressed their grievances and formulated proposals. However, when the priority Congressional hearings resume, they were abruptly cut — much to his ever-growing dismay — due to the simulcast of Raffy Tulfo’s Wanted sa Radyo on 92.3 News FM. Despite the radio show’s demanding popularity, he dubbed the Tulfo brother as the “Kris Aquino of Radio“.

Recently, Supernatural and Arrow reruns from TV5 eventually satisfied one of his demands as their main channel was too irresistible in covering the ongoing PBA’s Philippine Cup playoffs. But then, the PHTV Group forum founded out that move to be a hodgepodge rival to ABS-CBN’s S+A and News TV.

That said, AksyonTV’s initial purpose was defeated and was lopsided, leaving CNN Philippines (if you are in the free-to-air territory) and ABS-CBN News Channel victorious. 

What comes next for AksyonTV is now in Miguel Belmonte’s manual intervention.


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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/TV5

On Presidential Spotlight and IBC 13’s Lackluster Simulcast

This 2017, IBC 13 barely simulcast any Presidential activities.

This 2017, IBC 13 barely simulcast any Presidential activities. Could this be a sign of long overdue privatization?

THE TURF’s neighboring blog, From the Tube, published last Wednesday about the priority spotlight of the Presidency that disrupts the other supposed co-equal branch of Government, specifically the legislative (i.e. Congress). It did in few instances since last September.

The article was published as part of the 30th anniversary of our Constitution last week. That’s the same organic document President Duterte wanted to be revised mostly or replaced entirely from the unitary internal governance to federal. But then, Ralph would say, “It’s unintentional.”

Looking deeper, despite being 1/3 of the supposed independent and co-equal branches of government, we perceived the Presidency to be powerful or nearly absolute. Perhaps, contemporary history did establish that permanent notion — the most expansive inherited from Marcos. That said, the concept of checks and balances explicitly enshrined in the supreme law is good on paper.

On that piece, the YouTube streaming links to elected branches of government are provided. Unknowingly, such streams are used by die-hard fanatics to make a spin against their critics (read: enemies of change) through devising a sensationalized title and abusing the custom thumbnail and upload them as their own for raking and training in gullible netizens.

For seven months now, we’re familiar and enduring with the President’s profanity-laced and off-scripted remarks that are integrated within his engagements ranging from afternoon to midnight and the audience applauded and laughed over it without thinking too deeply and swarm their unconditional loyalty over the Facebook comment section.

Online streaming reactions and analysis aside, this also bothered the Turf about a particular progress of a still state-owned media outlet.

PTV doesn’t need further explanation as they’re the paragon of the unpredictable presidential priority for 43 years. Her sister, IBC, no longer simulcast his engagements recently as they go with their lousy home shopping programming either from EZ Shop or Shop TV (formerly Value Vision). It puzzled much if the privatization process is completed or not without any notice. One thing’s for sure, it’s the cost — aside from unpredictability — of simulcast that became the motivating factor after realizing the lackluster financial standing and performance in Old Balara.

Like Visayas Avenue’s news department, News Team 13 favors the President no matter what criticisms are thrown with an abysmal newscasting minutiae: no live reports, no phone patches, no virtual broadcast design/graphic. No wonder IBC’s always behind on news delivery and social media reach; it’s unsurprising why it’s snubbed from the public’s psyche and forum. Perhaps, that’s the reason why Media Newser Philippines never mentioned anything from them.

When it comes to digital television transition (DTT), the Turf barely heard PTV’s progress — save the roll-out with the partnership of Japan’s NEC but for Channel 13, it’s a totally lost cause. The Broadcast City case is already mentioned here last August that doesn’t need any reiteration.

In the era where alternative facts reign, pro-administration trolls and blind supporters have been enjoying their field day but for most of us including fence sitters awaiting their realization of collapse to complain, what a time to be alive.


“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” 

~Napoleon Bonaparte


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#PHTVzg2015: Media ng Bayan and 9TV/CNN Philippines

Another year has come and gone, but before we enter the sweet 2016, the Turf looks back on the rollercoaster moments of the remaining VHF networks: Media ng Bayan (PTV and IBC) and CNN Philippines.

Media ng Bayan

In the overall assessment, the government media consortium made successful coverage on both the Papal Visit (January 15-19) and APEC Summit (November 17-20).

PTV

Spilling the beans (February 6). Alberto Marbella, PTV’s Sports Division manager, did not renew the contract of PTV Sports mainstay and founder, Snow Badua. On that day, Badua finally decided to tell the truth on his Facebook profile exposing three instances against him: pocketing most of the cash, stealing funds for office supplies and violating the contract with other networks and working with them during mandatory hours on Channel 4. After his departure, PTV Sports remained on the air with Dennis Principe, Hadji Kaamino and Meg Siozon but with lamenting reactions for netizens.

Sacrificing shutdown for safety (Apr 2-4). The network was supposed to sign off for 3-day maintenance and about to lease their equipment to IBC for their live Holy Week coverage. However, Typhoon Chedeng entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility was about to make landfall in eastern seaboards of Luzon and thus, they gave up the annual maintenance with reduced broadcast hours with preparing the unexpected press briefing in NDRRMC.

Trying out but not renewed (April 6). On that day, the FilSports Basketball Association (FBA) was given a timeslot every weekday afternoon but it lasted until in early June (for two months) but it didn’t renew for another season due to misunderstanding and possibly delays. Thus, it was given away to TV5 on October.

The Sunday Afternoon Slop (April 19). Secarats Talent Management Services aired The Sunday Afternoon Show for teens and kids on that day but the initial taped variety format did not last that long compared to live, big-time Sunday variety shows in between and thus, shifted to dramatics but then it went off the air, following the instincts of low financing.

Diversifying home shopping (since May). Since that month, Shop Japan from the neighbor TV5 and TV Shop from sister IBC supplied the airtime on available timeslots in Visayas Avenue after ditching EZ Shop where no programs are committed and when no special coverage is scheduled — whether unexpectedly or not. Such strategy is somewhat a double-edged sword; it diversifies the product mix and rakes the network’s revenue but at the same time, it loses viewers’ attention.

Satire night (October 5). Have you heard of a satire program on a government station? If you answered “The Sic O’Clock News” and “Mongolian Barbecue,” then you probably had a good throwback but that shows were aired on the late 80s and 90s on IBC. On that Monday night on October, Bara-Bara, Anything Goes marked the resumption of such genre in a different state broadcaster. The program’s director is no other than comedian Leo Martinez — the actor who portrayed Pedro Paterno in Heneral Luna — and it marked the first show on Telebisyon ng Bayan to be rated SPG.

IBC

Diversifying the overdependent (since January). The year 2015 kicked off on an inept, overdependent and regressive network with EZ Shop‘s new companion, TV Shop with a well-known voice over. That’s right, the New Zealander expatriate, Brendan McCarthy. TV Shop currently acts as the reincarnation of Value Vision — with the most recognizable number (890-2345) — aired in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Unlike Value Vision, TV Shop does not explicitly state the price in the products they offer but some of them have a risk-free trial period. The strategy needs no further elaboration.

It wazzn’t happening (May). Ross del Rosario’s blog, Wazzup Pilipinas, decided to create an eponymous magazine show, Wazzup Pilipinas TV, every Saturday night on Channel 13 on that month. However, the pilot episode and three others were not able to air there for lacking funds to cover the fees of review rendered by the MTRCB.

Delayed, blocktimed collegiate leagues (July-October). Throughout the said months, two never-heard-of collegiate basketball leagues were aired on primetime as blocktimers. First, the Cebuano equivalent of NCAA, the Cebu Schools Athletic Federation, Inc. (CESAFI) on its 15th season was produced by VIVA Sports — a naïve sign of rekindling the relations after a decade. The second one, also on its 15th season was the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) under ATC Sports. Other sports that were aired as blocktimers on Broadcast City include tennis and American football, both of which produced and distributed by ATC Sports.

9TV/CNN Philippines

Prior to the launch of CNN Philippines, 9TV (until March 15) tried and tested different graphics for the Papal visit and found out somewhat successful especially its coverage. Onward March 16, the localized CNN in the country has been launched at 6 a.m. (on FTA) while certain programming from the predecessor have been carried over.

New public affairs programs (March 16). On the launch itself, two new public affairs program join the remaining carry-overs with Agenda with Malou Tiquia every Monday and Profiles with Mitzi Borromeo every Friday.

The news will never sleep (June 13). Within three months of the launch, no weekend news was able to cover and cause dismay to viewers on what is happening throughout the weekend. On that day, CNN PH finally devote the weekend with updates (on hourly intervals than weekday’s 15 minutes) and the flagship newscast (albeit 30 minutes). The current presenter of the weekend edition is Ina Andolong, following the resignation of Roanna Jamir.

Nearly lacking integrity. CNN Philippines almost go into the political bias as the Turf noticed the airing an advertisement of presidential aspirant, Senator Grace Poe (specifically, the young girl in the baptismal font scene). Her only son, Brian, was a correspondent on the network but took a leave in order to campaign his mom. With the recent en banc session in COMELEC, Poe was disqualified on running the presidency due to the grounds of citizenship and residency requirements after two divisions plead her unfavorably. That said, the newly renamed channel would return towards impartiality of election coverage.

Of lifestyle shows and carry-overs. Throughout the year, CNN PH Lifestyle provided five significant lifestyle programs (both new and carry-over and renewed season): Real Talk, Leading Women. Boys off the Record (a spin-off of Boys Ride Out), Bogart Case Files: On the Job and What I See?

Pillars and neophyte crumble but the EMAJs stays. Throughout 2015, two pillars of journalism: Nancy Irlanda and Jing Magsaysay stepped down from the news desk as Roanna Jamir, who joined since inception, resigned days after her exclusive interview by Media Newser Philippines. This changing presenter composition marks fear and trouble for credibility as entertainers masquerading as journalists (EMAJs) stayed longer than the rest.

Talents

New to hear:

Malou Tiquia (CNN Philippines)

Migrants (with unknown network origin):

  • Shamcey Supsup-Lee
  • Christine Jacob-Sandejas
  • Giselle Sanchez

Repatriates:

  • Aljo Bendijo (PTV)
  • Claire Celdran (CNN Philippines)

Outlook for 2016

So far, Media ng Bayan have yet to declare the opening of the national election special coverage as the rest of the VHF networks already began the saga weeks or months prior.

However, continuity in certain programming is not an option. Come June 30 and thereafter, when the new President of the Philippines will be inaugurated and that means, there will be changes of communications management and broadcasting policies with news and editorial slant towards him or her over both channels on the second half of the New Year.

Nonetheless, the Turf issues a RED ALERT over the said consortium.

PTV made a joint deal with Nippon TV to produce the eight-week-long Japan-serye “Halo Halo House” as part of the 60th anniversary of normalizing bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan, along with the coverage the state visit of Emperor Akihito and his consort, Empress Michiko, this late January.

For IBC, their financial performance and position is on its way worst than any TV broadcaster in the Philippines — even worse than any zombie from The Walking Dead. Based on the 2014 audit report from the Commission on Audit, Channel 13 is underway in the privatization process with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and KPMG-R.G. Manabat and Co. — but it would be completed slowly compared that of RPN’s. The privatization will be completed months after President Aquino stepping down from office.

CNN Philippines, on the other hand, will not be affected on the threat of discontinuity. However, certain programming needs to be improve such as producing more domestic news commentary and establishing a daily business report.

COA Audit Reports of PTV, IBC released

The Commission on Audit (seal pictured) is responsible for auditing government agencies and government-owned and-controlled corporations. Last Friday, the two government stations has released its audit report.

The Commission on Audit (seal pictured) is responsible for auditing government agencies and government-owned and-controlled corporations. Last Friday, the constitutional commission released the audit reports of two government stations.

THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT (COA) recently disclosed the audit reports for calendar year 2014 of the two government-owned stations, People’s Television (PTV) and Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) to the public Friday, July 31.

PTV: The equity has been doubled!

According to the audited financial statements, Telebisyon ng Bayan almost doubled its net worth with PHP 689.8 million from last year’s PHP 373.4 million. In the statement of comprehensive income, the sales revenue was slightly dipped to 133.2 million from PHP 143.6 million last year but made a net income with PHP 316.4 million (inclusive of subsidy) or 28.4% return on investment (ROI).

Factors behind such a short heyday in Visayas Avenue, according to the audit report, include coverage of:

  • State visit of US President Barack Obama (April 28-29),
  • World Economic Forum on East Asia (May), and
  • Congressional hearings
    • Pork Barrel Scam (since 2013 – June) and
    • Makati City’s anomalies (September – ongoing), just to name a few

Other than political coverage, the launch of their first Koreanovela “Here Comes Mr. Oh” (currently on hiatus), which garnered 800,000 viewers, was also behind such positive performance.

Meanwhile, her younger sister in Broadcast City told another side of the story.

IBC 13 falls off bottomless cliff

The audited financial statements reflected on Channel 13 the continual suffering, both in financial position and performance. The balance sheet dictates the worst picture with the bloated capital deficiency of PHP 893.5 million — 23.9% more than last year’s restated value of PHP 721.3 million. The most notable liability with priority on the network, the Retirement/Separation Pay Payable, accrued PHP 654.7 million (up 12.4% from last year) that it cannot easily be paid with all assets combined.

Operation wise, IBC suffered the worst net loss (numerical and magnitude wise) with PHP 172.2 million (2.5 times the amount than last year with PHP 70.4 million). Digging deeper into detail, gross income and operating costs are directly related to sales revenue but administrative costs continue to rise annually.

Factors of failure, aside from the most obvious perennial obstacle on relying EZ Shop, the sole home shopping to make the network’s ends meet, include the opportunity loss for the three-month trial of the primetime block deal with Asian Television Content Corporation (ATC) from June 2 to August 31. ONE FCKawaii International,  and the PBA D-League were not able to spare them from operational bottomless pit at the last minute.

Details of financial information on two networks are now available on the COA website.


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[Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Commission on Audit]

If the Binay-Trillanes debate would’ve continued…

[DISCLAIMER: This post may not please any readers who are not interested at national politics. Timow’s Turf apologized in advance.]

BIRTHDAY BOY'S BRISK. Vice President Jejomar Binay joined with the Marines in the Philippine Navy for the walkathon on his 72nd birthday. He announced the back-out of the debate scheduled Nov. 27.

BIRTHDAY BOY’S BRISK. Vice President Jejomar Binay joined with the Marines in the Philippine Navy for the walkathon on his 72nd birthday. He announced the back-out of the debate scheduled Nov. 27.

VICE PRESIDENT Jejomar Binay turns 72 today and makes a stunning announcement during his birthday celebration at the Navy Headquarters: he backed out the debate against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

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