what's the story, pinoy tv?: the place where we spill all the beans about the history of philippine television.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

The full story of Philippine television can now be viewed in http://pinoytv.blogspot.com. Please change your links, thanks!

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Monday, September 29, 2003

'Probe Team' fears axing; Nothing final yet: network This was the headline in today's Philippine Daily Inquirer. Apparently, the Probe Team had an episode regarding the lifestyle check for the Pagcor chair, Ephraim Genuino. With Probe's contract with GMA set to expire on January, the move to axe the show after a controversial show smells suspiciously of censorship. Is GMA guilty of censorship?

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Monday, September 22, 2003

Adboard to discuss GMA-7 withdrawal from KBP

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Monday, September 22, 2003

Antonio Cojuangco group to buy ABC-5 for P5B: sources Another change of hands for the ABC network? I wonder how this will play out.

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Friday, May 24, 2002

Single: A Review
A couple of weeks ago, I came across a press release in the newspaper announcing a new reality based tv show about to launch in Manila. Due to curiosity, I decided to catch the premiere episode.

Broadcast over ABC-5, Single's concept is to follow the single guy who will be chosen out of their three candidates, on his dating adventures. The show's twist, according to the press release, is its interactivity, wherein the guys will be given feedback through text messages about what he should or should not do. In fact, the guy will be chosen based on the amount of text votes that he initially gets.

So who are the guys? Joel Trinidad is a theater actor, Marvel Julian is an assistant director, and Lee Espino is a model. Last night's 30-minute show followed them around in their natural environment, presumably to introduce the characters to the viewing public. All of them, according to the show, are willing to be documented for the next few weeks, and will be given their shot at "stardom."

My take on the first episode? Humdrum. While it did do its job of introducing the guys, it didn't do a good job at introducing the show itself. In my opinion, they weren't able to layout the rules that will set the tone for the next few episodes. Perhaps they'd do so when the single guy has been chosen, but it would have been better to establish it in the premiere. An unobstrusive host/voiceover who can guide us will help as well.

The guys, and the peripheral characters as well, were a bit too conscious of the camera as well. It felt like a lot of the things said and done were put on. I could imagine why, though, because if you follow a person around with no real tasks or anything, they would act the same way as the guys did last night. But still, whoever will be chosen should not mind the camera, and just act naturally. Personally, I think the only time that they should talk directly TO the camera is when they have an interview/confessional type thing going on. Otherwise, just do whatever you need to do.

The show is obviously quite low-budgeted, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, having a low budget doesn't excuse them from bad production values. Frankly, they need to train their cameramen more, make better edit cuts, and improve their audio system as well. Why? Let me count the ways.

Video. Each guy, apparently, only has one cameramen assigned to him. Thus, whenever the shot shifts from him to the person he's talking to, the cameraman has to make quick pans. This could be accomplished well if the cameramen are gifted. However, the quick pans result in dizzying on-air break shots that are blurred, defocused, and have awkward shot compositions. (Side note: When I was in school, it was impressed to us that on-air break shots are a no-no and would merit in a failing mark for that production. Watching the show last night made me realize exactly why.) There were too many shots of people whose heads had been cut off, or focused on weird body parts that were obviously not deliberate. In fact, the show has the feel of an amateur holding a videocam, following his friend around, trying to create a home movie, not a made for TV broadcast.

Audio. The audio quality, for the most part, is acceptable. However, there were some auditory distractions that took away some points. First, when Lee was talking on the cellphone, you could hear the telltale hum of the signal interference, which was quite loud. Second, when they were at a cafe outside, the background noise just muffled the audio of the guy. Props to them, though, for giving subtitles for the readers to understand what he's saying. Clearer audio, however, would be better. Third, some interviews were held at a place that was just bad for the audio, resulting in a cavernous Batcave-like echo. A better choice of interview location would be appreciated. Fourth, you could actually hear the microphone being fiddled with, whether deliberately or not.

On the plus side, though, I love their theme song, performed by this band called Stonefree. And, I got to see my old college when Marvel was onscreen. Eye-candy factor? 3.25 out of 5. However, Single still needs a lot of improvement, both conceptually and technically. I hope we see those improvements soon.

Single is broadcast over ABC-5 every Thursday, at 9:30 pm.

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Thursday, May 9, 2002

I always knew it was only a matter of time before Manila inaugurates a reality tv show. On May 23, Single will be launched on ABC 5, a show that will purportedly chronicle one guy's adventures on dating here in Manila. I imagine that it will be something like the concept of The Bachelor. The production company is lucky that it hasn't been shown in Manila, lest the local public immediately recognize their show as a copycat. Will the show be a hit? Honestly, I might tune in just to see how they execute the series. I'll let you know if I get hooked.

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Saturday, April 20, 2002

GMA 7 takes a more proactive stance in their competition with ABS-CBN.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2002

klasmeyts: a mini-review

I watched Klasmeyts, ABS-CBN's latest offering on the boob tube tonight. It is on its third week, I think, so I decided to see whether the hype that the network has been trying to pump has at least some sort of basis. They are propping it up as a live comedy skit show , a la SNL, I suppose. It is topbilled by Paolo Contis, Bayani Agbayani, Michael Flores, Keempee de Leon, and Herbert Bautista.

The show is not entirely live, of course. There are pretaped skits, interspersed with the live *antics,* if you can call it that, of the five mainstays. The live parts are mainly of them standing around in the set, talking to each other, and shooting their mouths off whatever topic. One of the live segments also included an interview with Joyce Jimenez, which served to tittilate the male part of their viewers. In fact, most of the show seemed geared to the male population. As is the case with most of the comedy shows here, scantily clad girls are part of the decoration. Regardless of whether they know how to act or not, they're there for eye-candy.

Speaking of acting, there was nothing spectacularly comedic about the actors there. Some might have a few funny moments, but for the most part, they just seem to be trying too hard. The jokes and gags on the different skits feel tired. They've been done and rehashed in various shows. Going Bananas/Bad Bananas, Tropang Trumpo, and Bubble Gang come to mind. The jokes have been passed on from person to person before that; whether by people casually joking around, joke books, or e-mail.

There is still a lot of room for improvement for this show. Hopefully, the writers, and everyone else involved with this show, will realize it despite the loud ring of self-congratulatory applause in their own network.

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Friday, March 1, 2002

Local hosts and shows get recognition at the New York TV Festival.

  • Arnold Clavio's Emergency was a finalist in the Best Public Affairs Program

  • Vicki Morales was nominated in the social issues category for the I-Witness episode, Sabah.

  • A report coverage by Howie Severino about journalists caught in the crossfire in Southern Mindanao was cited for breaking news coverage. The report was broadcast via The Probe Team.

  • Che-che Lazaro was awarded the silver medal in the social issues/current affairs category I-Witness for her report, "Bahay na Pula."

  • GMA's Sunday noontime variety show, SOP, was a finalist for the Best Variety category.

  • Mel and Jay was cited in the best talk/interview category.

  • Meanwhile, the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2001 pageant was finalist for best variety special.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Update on the History of Philippine Television

First and foremost, I would like to thank Ed Ching for some valuable information regarding some updates on the history of Philippine television.

Ed, a 36-year-old bank officer, and MBA holder from the De La Salle University, has been interested in media since he was in grade school. Due to his interest, he has noted historical observations partly from experience, and mostly through research. He writes:

"In my opinion, EDSA has resumed what I believe was an interruption in the growth of media during the Martial Law years. It was in 1992 that local media really boomed, both on radio and especially television, with the expansion of the free channel choices to the higher UHF band. What started the present media composition was made during this time. In a way, I became a witness to these openings. Here is a summary of the expansion of local television from 1992 onwards:

Feb. 21, 1992 - ABC Channel 5 was formally inaugurated in their all new studio complex in Novaliches Quezon City.

Feb. 21, 1992 - ABC Channel 21 Cebu becomes the first local UHF TV station in the country.

May, 1992 - Southern Broadcasting Network of Davao launched SBN Channel 21, the first local UHF TV station in Metro Manila. It was then known as World TV 21. The idea is to bring back programming similar to the forceably shut down FEN Channel 17 of the former Clark US Air Base a year earlier due to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

May, 1992 - Ermita Electronics Corp. launched the country's first UHF TV station fully devoted to rebroadcasting a foreign satellite channel with the then STAR-TV- controlled MTV Asia on Channel 23.

October 1992 - Byers Communications Corp. launches Intelvision 68 from a transmitter in Antipolo City. It becomes the first UHF station to introduce subscription TV. Its signals are encrypted in January. However, 6 months after, it folded up due to intense competition from cable.

August 1993 - Rajah Broadcasting Network became the first radio-based network to launch a TV station called RJTV 29, with a part music video and part home shopping format. It pioneered the first home shopping network in the country.

Oct. 31, 1994 - Radio Mindanao Network became the second radio-based network to launch a TV station called CTV31. It is also the first UHF station to be inspired by the format of a cable movie channel.

July 1, 1995 - GMA Network Inc. launches Citynet 27, becoming the first major radio-television network to operate a UHF TV station. It attempted to broadcast programming from the old Martial Law GMA 7 days.

October 5, 1996 - ABS-CBN launches Studio 23, becoming the second major radio-television network to operate a UHF TV station, and the first on UHF to adopt a general programming format. Since their introduction, other UHF stations never recovered in terms of ratings.

1997 - RJTV 29 became the first home of a new breed of local televangelists and became a vehicle for a then obscure sect leader Bro. Eli Soriano to become popular in their television program "Ang Dating Daan".

1999- Citynet 27 becomes EMC, the first locally programmed music video channel. It later became Channel V Philippines when it struck an agreement with STAR TV to localize the said music channel.

2000 - ETV 39 was launched, attempting to become the first free to air gambling channel on UHF with the nightly Bingo Pilipino draws. It fizzled out by late 2000 as former president Joseph Estrada banned its draws in response to public clamor.

2000 - Eagle Broadcasting Corp. launches Net 25, the first free-to-air documentary and technology channel inspired by Discovery Channel and Tech TV. It becomes the third radio based network to launch a TV station.

January 1, 2001- MTV Asia becomes MTV Philippines, a localized version of the all time favorite cable channel, through NBC UHF Channel 41. It was the only MTV channel being localized and aired for free in an Asian country.

April 26-30, 2001 - Net 25 became the first UHF station to broadcast a political event from the opposition and the only station to broadcast in full the infamous "Edsa Tres". The coverage was only stopped with an order from the Iglesia ni Cristo upon the request of the government.

June 15, 2001 - Zoe TV Channel 11 gives up 95% of its programming to CNBC Asia, making it the first VHF station to rebroadcast a foreign cable channel. The country is the only one carrying the channel without any subscription fee on a part-time basis.

July, 2001 - Channel V Philippines closes down because of conflict of interest between the owners of GMA, which was then being considered by PLDT, who handles MTV Philippines via NBC, one of its subsidiaries.

October, 2001 - After more than a year of test broadcasts, NU TV Channel 37 was formally launched as UNTV, the first alternative locally programmed music video channel."

Thanks again, Ed!

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Sunday, February 3, 2002

I found a very insightful and obviously well-researched article by my college professor and thesis adviser, Ms. Josefina M.C. Santos, discussing globalisation, tradition, and its effect on Philippine television. In the article, she mentions the four types of programmes present in Philippine TV programming today that have symbiotic relationships. She mentions telenovelas, animes, Magandang Tanghali Bayan, and Hoy Gising, among others.

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Thursday, January 10, 2002

While ABS-CBN is undeniably the largest and most profitable broadcasting corporation in the Philippines today, there is trouble brewing in the ranks. Talents are dismayed at the current situation at the Mother Ignacia studio. Will the show go on at ABS-CBN?

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Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Just a personal comment to everyone who's been visiting the site: Thanks a lot for visiting, I hope you've been enjoying it, and for those who've sent mail or signed the guestbook, thanks for the positive comments! :)

Meanwhile, if you're using the site as reference material for reports, projects or what not, that's great! That's one of the main reasons why I put up the site. However, I do hope that you remember to cite the page and the authors as your reference. Thanks!

Now back to your regularly scheduled program. Cheers!

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Wednesday, January 9, 2002

After Korek na Korek ka Dyan has lost its space on prime time tv, GMA has come up with a new game show concept. The show will be called K. It's a weekly videoke challenge hosted by Arnel Ignacio that will test contestants' musicality and memory.

From the description of the show, it seems to me like a cross between The Weakest Link/Survivor, Sing-galing and Tawag ng Tanghalan.

The show will premiere on January 13, 2002, Sunday, 7 pm. Will this show click? We'll find out soon.

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Monday, December 31, 2001

It has been proven once again that Philippine TV is also quite capable of producing award-winning programs in the international arena. More recently, Probe Productions' 5 and Up received the Best Youth Program award from the 2001 Asian TV Awards. This is an international award body that picks the most worthy show throughout the region. It is of course an honor that some of our programs have been deemed worthy of their accolade.

Meanwhile, here is a list of other Asian TV awardees from the Philippines.

  • Broadcaster of the year: Both ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation and GMA Network were highly commended.
  • Channel of the year: ABS-CBN (Runner-up), GMA Network (Highly commended)
  • Best single drama or telemovie: Maalala Mo Kaya: Wedding Ring (Winner), ABS-CBN; GMA Telecine Special: Umaga, Tanghali, Gabi (Runner-up)
  • Best drama series: Pangako Sa `Yo (Runner-up), ABS-CBN
  • Best entertainment special: A Christmas Prayer (Winner), ABS-CBN
  • Best news or current affairs special: Saksi sa Kasaysayan (Winner), GMA Network
  • Best music program: A.S.A.P. (Highly commended), ABS-CBN

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Monday, October 29, 2001

A couple of entries back, I wrote about the game show bandwagon on Philippine TV today. Click here for an article written by Bibeth Orteza about the same subject matter.

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Friday, October 26, 2001

Sky Cable is arguably, the largest cable company in the Philippines today. It is backed by the all-powerful Lopez empire, and is the cable arm of the ABS-CBN Corporation. It has also recently merged with Home Cable, also one of the larger cable tv providers in the Philippines.

And yet recently, all the channels from Star TV had been removed from their lineup. Sky had already removed Star World a couple of years ago, and now, have also removed ESPN, Star Sports, and the National Geographic channel as well. According to them, Star is making unreasonable demands on them, such as stipulating that they should carry all of the Star channels, and that they should pay US$8.5M, aside from the US$1.5M that should be paid to the Philippine government for the Star group. According to them, if they agree to do this, they would have to drop most of their channels.

Now the thing is, Star really has a lot of good shows. On Star World alone, the number of syndicated American shows that Filipinos love watching is quite large already. Add to that the fact that with ESPN and Star Sports, Sky-Home are dropping the two major sports channels in Asia. They are left with showing a golf tournament. And whether they like it or not, not everybody likes golf. The NBA, which will be shown live on November through ESPN, would be enough to get guys to switch their cable companies. In fact, a friend of mine who I saw yesterday, had done just that a couple of days ago.

If you're wondering how he did that, wonder no more. While Sky and Home, which I had already mentioned are probably the two largest cable companies in the Philippines, can't afford to have the Star channels, other, smaller cable providers can! For instance, Global, Destiny, and Las Pinas Cable, all carry the Star channels. So how is it possible that these independent companies are able to pay Star its demands?

Is Star giving these companies a special deal? Possible, but doubtful. Is Sky in a lot of trouble? Maybe.

So what are the channels left on Sky Cable? HBO, Cinemax, Hallmark Channel, CNN, Channel News Asia, CNBC, Arirang, E!, Solar, Discovery, Lifestyle Network, MTV (Philippines), ABS-CBN News Channel, NHK, Bloomberg, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Vid-Ok, Lakbay TV, AXN, BBC, a lot of Chinese channels, some religion channels, etc.

Now let's do a rundown of what Las Pinas cable, a very local (read: small) company is giving me for half of the subscription that Sky is charging. I have HBO, Hallmark Channel, CNN, Channel News Asia, CNBC, Arirang, E!, Solar, Discovery, MTV Philippines *and* MTV Asia, NHK, Bloomberg, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, a videoke channel, Lakbay TV, AXN, BBC, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Indonesian channels, some religious channels, Arirang, NHK, BS1, BS2, Wowow, CNTv, Lakbay TV, AXN, BBC, Hollywood Channel, etc. And will you look at that, it also has Star Movies International, Star Sports, ESPN, Viva Channel, Disney Channel, National Geographic, and Star World.

Will Sky's decision to remove Star from their lineup spell the demise of the company? Perhaps not, but it could really motivate a lot of people to switch to companies with more value for money.

Meanwhile, this is Skycable's side of the story. You decide what is more believable.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Want to join the game show bandwagon? Because ABS-CBN and GMA-7 just did! With the success of the localized version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, the production heads of the two leading networks came up with their own primetime gameshows. I honestly have not watched Game Ka Na Ba (on ABS-CBN) or Korek na Korek Ka Diyan (GMA) because I have been quite busy, so I can't give a review of these two shows. But as soon as I do, I will post my review here. If you have watched the shows, however, give us your two cents worth and tell us what you think.

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Saturday, October 6, 2001

What are some of the current trends in Philippine shows today? Looking at program grids, we see the regular drama shows, comedy sitcoms, the news and all that. But apart from those, shows that occupy the most number of television hours are soap operas, Mexican telenovelas, and to some extent, animes on GMA-7.
GMA-7 is a mixture of the three. It has animes like Ranma 1/2, Fushigi Yugi, Dragon Ball Z, Doraemon, and Lupin III. Its local soap operas include Kirara, and Ikaw Lamang Ang Mamahalin. Mexican telenovelas include Monica Brava, and Morelia
ABS-CBN, meanwhile, concentrates mostly on soap operas and Mexican telenovelas. After TV Patrol, the next two primetime hours are devoted to Filipino soap operas (Pangako Sa Iyo, Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan, and Sa Puso'y Iingatan Ka), followed by a Mexican telenovela (Camila). Apart from these, they also have their non-primetime soaps like Recuerdo de Amor (Filipino), Alicia (Mexican), and Tres Mujeres, also a Mexican telenovela.
There has also been an increase in documentary/newsmagazine type shows, for both ABS-CBN and GMA-7, such as True Crime, Pipol, Mission:X, The Correspondents, Emergency, and Imbestigador aside from the "old" shows such as Magandang Gabi Bayan, Brigada Siyete, and The Probe Team.
A relatively new phenomenon that has swept the nation is the local franchise of the US game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" that is shown on Viva TV (UHF Channel 13). Hosted by veteran drama actor Christopher de Leon, it in fact, claims to have dislodged no. 1 shows from the two leading networks for their timeslot. Because of this, another US game show, The Weakest Link, has been imported and transplanted locally, and will be hosted by Edu Manzano.

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Friday, October 5, 2001

Welcome to the What's the story, pinoy tv? web log. I have been receiving feedback that you would like to know about current events happening in Philippine television as well. So hopefully, if there are interesting things going on that are related to Philippine tv, you should be able to find those here. Meanwhile, feel free to browse the website to find out more about the history of television in the Philippine setting. Cheers!

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