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).
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.
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.
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.
New to hear:
Malou Tiquia (CNN Philippines)
Migrants (with unknown network origin):
- Shamcey Supsup-Lee
- Christine Jacob-Sandejas
- Giselle Sanchez
- 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.