TV5 launches new ESPN5 venture

It’s been four years since ESPN disappeared from Philippine airwaves and Filipino viewers will now able to see ESPN content after so long, like The X Games and SportsCenter. (PHOTO: TV5 and ESPN, Inc.)

Back after four years.

Back in the 90s and into 2000s, Filipinos were able to see ESPN content through a dedicated ESPN channel targeted towards Asia. It was a joint venture between ESPN, Inc. and STAR TV. Eventually, as 2013 enters, STAR TV’s then-parent company, News Corporation (now 21st Century Fox), decided to buy ESPN’s stake in the ESPN Asia venture and rebranded into Fox Sports.

Limited ESPN programming was seen on various channels since ESPN Asia became Fox Sports, like on Outdoor Channel or Solar Sports.

And earlier today, TV5 Network, Inc. and ESPN, Inc. eventually announced a long-term collaboration agreement to introduce a new, but somewhat familiar, sports brand that will serve Filipino sports fans.

Enter ESPN5.

Sports5 will be rebranded as ESPN5 starting tomorrow’s PBA coverage. As for sports lineup, according to Sports5, ESPN5 will air TV5’s current sports portfolio, which includes the PBA and FIBA competitions, Gilas basketball, UFC and the PSL, along with thousands of hours of sports coverage and ESPN content, which include more than 70 NFL games per season. This include Monday Night, Sunday Night and Thursday Night Football games, as well as the entire NFL Playoffs, the Pro Bowl, and the Super Bowl. Other ESPN programming includes live studio programming (e.g. Around The Horn and Pardon The Interruption), US College Basketball (including the much-anticipated March Madness), ESPN’s Big Fights library, ESPN’s award-winning documentaries, Major conference American College Football, IndyCar racing and US NCAA college sport championships. Also on the pipeline is the localized SportsCenter Philippine Edition, and will be produced everyday from TV5 Media Center along Reliance Street in Mandaluyong. SportsCenter Philippine Edition will air on TV5 and Aksyon TV.

According to Mike Morrison, the Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Asia-Pacific, “ESPN’s focus around the world is simple: to serve sports fans. This long-term collaboration across television and digital allows us to jointly serve millions of sports fans in the Philippines with exceptional content and coverage. We are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we bring ESPN’s great content, and decades of experience in sports media together with a dynamic leader in Philippine sports broadcasting like TV5.”

According to TV5 President Vincent “Chot” Reyes, “Our partnership with ESPN, long recognized as the worldwide leader in sports, gives us tremendous upside in the quality of sports programming that we bring to the market.  ESPN strengthens our current position as the country’s sports authority. It is also a testament to our belief that the Filipino audience deserves the world’s best in sports content and programming.”

Sports5 reiterated that the content deal between ESPN and TV5 is “part of TV5’s effort to deliver the most comprehensive, wide-ranging sports coverage in the Philippines, with Filipino audiences benefiting from the combination of local and global sports coverage, exclusive, industry-leading news and information programming from both ESPN and TV5.”

It might be good news for Filipino sports fans who missed ESPN since its disappearance last January 28, 2013, for TV critics, it’s still too early to tell whether the venture will be successful or not, and TV critics reiterated the need for TV5 to strengthen its signal in order to fully compete against ABS-CBN’s S+A and their more local sports offerings.

The signal alone is also hampering TV5 ever since and MVP spent huge amounts of money to lure in big-name celebrities with mixed results. Nowadays, TV5 is basically a majority sports channel, with some entertainment programs (mainly US imports), news, cartoons, movies and home shopping. Was it money well spent on the new ESPN5 venture? It’s still too early to tell ESPN5’s fate, but we will look back on TV5’s overspending and sports spree next time.


TV5 launches new ESPN5 venture

Yabang Tales: Stations’ obsessions on being #1

Looks like the #1 obsession is contagious.

It seems that once na nagiging #1 ang himpilan mo, doon na naguumpisa ang pagmamayabang. I have to admit that it’s true, especially on stations which I will spotlight. Better stay tuned to find out why.

Kantar and Nielsen surveyed listeners and viewers on what station they listen or watch the most and the basis on their surveys will be forwarded to broadcasters and advertisers. Survey results will affect the outcome and performance of a certain station. Stations would be proud of being #1 on a certain time, but boasting about being #1 for a long time, pagmamayabang na yan.

Let’s talk about the stations that liked to boast about being the best, but survey results proved otherwise.

MBC FM TRIO (Love Radio, Yes The Best/Yes FM and Easy Rock)

First on the spotlight is the MBC FM trio. DZRH might be home to Mocha Uson and Greco Belgica, but they will be discussed on another time. Let’s spotlight the MBC FM triopoly first. First up on the MBC FM trio is MBC’s flagship FM station, Love Radio.

Love Radio loves to boast about being #1 for 15 years already, especially to its loyal listeners, as well as advertisers. But boasting about it for a long time actually hurt the station’s portfolio, as MOR and Barangay LS have beat them in Metro Manila Kantar and Nielsen surveys. Even their provincial FM stations have suffered ratings slump, as well, being defeated by stations like MOR (in Puerto Princesa, Legazpi and Davao), Barangay (in Cebu (Nielsen)) iFM (in Gensan (Kantar)), or even Brigada News FM (in Cebu (Kantar), Gensan (Nielsen), Zamboanga and Koronadal). Reason to blame? The loss of Papa Jack (he resigned his post on Love Radio and has since moved to Energy FM (as Papa J)) did hurt Love Radio. Even with the addition of Lloyd Cadeña, Love Radio slumped to #3 on the January 2017 Kantar Media survey, and we are certain for sure that Love Radio will stop boasting about being #1 and accept the fact that MOR and Barangay LS are the kings of FM radio in Metro Manila.

The second on the MBC trio is Yes The Best. Yes FM Manila changed its branding to Yes The Best to target millenials, while provincial stations kept the Yes FM name. Despite its focus to target millenials, Yes The Best even boasted about being #2.

So much for being The Millenial’s Choice. Based on January 2017 Kantar Media survey, Yes The Best is actually #6, trailing behind iFM (#5) and its own sister stations Love Radio (#3) and Easy Rock (#4). Even their playlist is actually masa-based and targeted jejeje millenials, not the real millenials. If you’re a real millenial, there are other options for your music mix. There’s Home Radio, or even music streaming sites you can listen to, if you’re sick and tired of Yes The Best’s masa playlist.

The third station on the MBC trio is Easy Rock. Even on the January 2017 Kantar survey, Easy Rock is #4 among all FM stations surveyed in Metro Manila. Want to know why? Their playlist is almost identical to its sister stations Love and Yes, and more and more PUJs and PUV drivers listen to that station. Even Ralph talked about why WRock is way better than Easy Rock. If you missed WRock, you can still listen to their Cebu station online.

GMA 7: NUMBER 1???

Another station who loved to boast being #1 is GMA 7. They have Nielsen ratings survey to back it up, but they insist on being #1 nationwide, especially in Mega Manila and Urban Luzon, without any regard to the rest of Luzon, as well as Visayas and Mindanao, where there are several major markets on these areas. Kapuso fanatics will defend their beloved network till death, but TV observers noticed problems the network must face: their beloved weekday Astig Authority block is sinking, lack of talent development, as referenced by negative reviews of Full House Tonight and overemphasis on veteran talent, especially ignoring younger talent, blurred lines between GMA Entertainment (producing a public affairs program) and GMA Public Affairs (producing much-criticized entertainment programs), closure of originating regional stations, producing expensive programming, and questions surrounding GMA’s digitalization plans. With GMA facing a lot of problems, the only way to save GMA is for Gozon to give up his controlling stake and to fire Rasonable for good.


Even some provincial stations are not safe on the yabang craze. They still claim that they’re #1 from here and there, but ratings figures proved otherwise. Even on my home market, Koronadal, Happy FM Koronadal boasted on being #1 (just like their sister stations in Cotabato and Kidapawan) but have not even reached #1 for five years already since 2011, either from Kantar or Nielsen (and they finished #2 on Q4 2016 Kantar ratings on that market, which I will tackle soon).

As a listener myself, I have the right to make choices on my music mix. If these stations insist on their pagmamayabang mantra, it might end up on their downfall. Just stop boasting and make quality listening and viewing choices more convenient to Filipinos. So stop boasting.

Yabang Tales: Stations’ obsessions on being #1

Game Ng Bayan Ends Friday; I Will Survive to Replace Game Ng Bayan

‘Game Ng Bayan’ ended its run after six weeks and 28 episodes. The show is unable to beat ‘Wowowin’ throughout its run. (Photo: ABS-CBN PR)

After six weeks, ‘Game Ng Bayan’ will end its run on Friday. The show is constantly behind ‘Wowowin’ in the ratings, either from Kantar or Nielsen. Despite its favorable timeslot in Metro Manila (5:00pm), ABS-CBN Regional Network Group decided to air the said show at 9:00am (it used to air at 4:15pm when the Koreanovela ‘My Love Donna’ was aired on the said network). According to Kane Errol Choa, the Head of ABS-CBN Corporate Communications, the said show brought fun and entertainment to its loyal Kapamilyas, especially in participating barangays. According to Choa, the main host Robin Padilla will focus on his role as one of the judges of ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, Eric Nicolas will stay as the co-host of ‘I Love OPM’, Alex Gonzaga, MJ Lastimosa and Negi will focus on other projects.

According to reports, especially from MJ Felipe, ‘We Will Survive’ will replace ‘Game Ng Bayan’ this Monday and ‘My Super D’ will premiere on the same day on ‘We Will Survive”s timeslot. Will ‘We Will Survive’ beat ‘Wowowin’? Time will tell.

Catch the series finale of ‘Game Ng Bayan’ this Friday at 5:00pm (9:00am on ABS-CBN RNG) and ‘We Will Survive’ move to its new timeslot, this Monday at 5:00pm (time TBA on ABS-CBN RNG) on ABS-CBN.

Game Ng Bayan Ends Friday; I Will Survive to Replace Game Ng Bayan

Dance Kids Ends, I Love OPM Begins

After the success of Dance Kids, I Love OPM is the latest of ABS-CBN’s weekend offers, a singing search for foreigners who love and appreciate Original Pilipino Music. (Photo: ABS-CBN)

After the success of Dance Kids, which saw the dance duo Lucky Aces won last Sunday, ABS-CBN will launch its new offering, a singing search for foreigners who really love Original Pilipino Music.

Enter I Love OPM.

I Love OPM is a singing search like no other. Unlike most singing search that we see on TV (the latest is the revival of Born To Be A Star which aired on TV5), this singing search features foreigners who loved and appreciate Original Pilipino Music (OPM).

The said singing search is hosted by It’s Showtime mainstay Anne Curtis and comedian Eric Nicolas. The judging panel includes Toni Gonzaga, Lani Misalucha and Martin Nievera.

Catch the journey of these aspiring foreign singers starting this Saturday right after Maalala Mo Kaya and this Sunday right after Rated K on ABS-CBN.



Dance Kids Ends, I Love OPM Begins

JRDV’s World Year In Review: PH Cable TV

As 2015 ends, let’s take one last look at the biggest news in Philippine cable TV.


After seven years, Balls served cable viewers with FIFA, UFC, UEFA, US Open, ATP, FIVB, UAAP and NCAA games, in which ABS-CBN Sports had rights. With the loss of UFC, which spiked the popularity of this channel, ABS-CBN Sports + Action now have a bigger shoes to fill in. (Photo: ABS-CBN Corporation)

It’s the end of the era for Balls, the last of ABS-CBN’s three replacement channels last 2008 which replaced the Solar Entertainment-owned Solar Sports, BTV, Jack TV, ETC, C/S and 2nd Avenue due to contract issues. Eventually, ETC, C/S and 2nd Avenue found their free TV homes via SBN 21, RPN 9 and RJTV 29, while other Solar channels were dropped. Balls replaced Solar Sports and BTV on Sky, Maxxx replaced C/S and Jack TV on Sky, and Velvet replaced ETC and 2nd Avenue on Sky.

Since Maxxx and Velvet are already gone, let’s talk about Balls. Its programming initially consisted of ball sports (football, basketball, golf, tennis and volleyball). It even aired French Open (before moving to Fox Sports last 2014) and US Open tennis Grand Slam tournaments, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, English Premier League, ATP matches, FIVB, FIFA World Cup, Azkals matches,  The programming broadened further to include boxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts and 2011 SEA Games. Balls gained attention when it aired UFC matches from 2009 to 2015, promoted UFC matches and even boosted the popularity of UFC in the Philippines.

With the loss of UFC rights looming, ABS-CBN decided to shut down Balls for good, and it happened last January 1 at 12:00mn. Its last programming was indeed UFC. Speaking of UFC, Sports5 currently hols the rights of UFC matches, and we’ll talk about it on this post.

As for high-definition broadcasts, Balls HD was the first Filipino cable channel to broadcast in HD. It aired UAAP and NCAA matches in high definition. The high definition feed of Balls was replaced with ABS-CBN Sports + Action HD, airing UAAP and NCAA games in HD, as well as sports coverage in which ABS-CBN Sports have rights, excluding NBA, in which HD broadcasts are aired at NBA Premium TV instead.


ANC had a major overhaul on its logo, ditching Arial Black on the ‘ANC’ on its logo, a newly-modified rhombus logo and the red-blue title scheme on the network’s programs, which was first implemented on The World Tonight last January 12, 2015. (Photo: ABS-CBN Corporation)

The best is getting better than ever. After the high-profile hirings of Christian Esguerra, Cathy Yap-Yang and Nancy Irlanda on the said network, ANC decided to have a major makeover, and it happened last October 26.

The most notable change is the weekday morning lineup of ANC. Mornings @ ANC used to air at 9:00am before the revamp. Nowadays, Mornings @ ANC is now at 5:30am (the said timeslot was used to simulcast Umagang Kay Ganda of ABS-CBN channel 2). ABS-CBN even utilized its Rockwell studio in Makati for ANC programs, such as Mornings @ ANC and Market Edge. Headstart with Karen Davila stayed on its usual timeslot.

Market Edge, hosted by Cathy Yang, premiered last September 1 and it was initially aired at 3:00pm, replacing News Now @ 3. Its initial focus was to break down the closing numbers as the Philippine Stock Exchange ends its trading session. After the network revamped, Market Edge now airs every mornings @ 9:00am, replacing Mornings @ ANC which aired on the said timeslot. The morning edition looked down the top business news, as well as opening figures from Asia-Pacific stock markets, including the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Nancy Irlanda hosted two programs: News Now @ 10 (which airs every weekdays @ 10am) and Shake with Nancy Irlanda (which airs every Saturday @ 9:30am and Sundays @ 4:30pm). News Now @ 10 serves as Nancy Irlanda’s first newscast since leaving Solar Nightly News last 2014. On The Money now airs every 10:30am, instead of 7:30am (right after the UKG simulcast).

With new lineup and new logo, ANC is and will remain as the news channel which served the latest news and information, something even its newer rivals won’t ever do.


Cignal expanded with newer channels. One of the new channels launched is Bloomberg TV Philippines, the country’s first business news channel. (Photo: TV5 Network and Bloomberg L.P.)

Cignal expanded on a new way and it reached a milestone no other pay TV operator has done before: having more than 1 million subscribers.

Since we’re focused on Cignal’s expansion, let’s take a look on the new channels aired on Cignal. One of them is Bloomberg TV Philippines. Just months after Nine Media Corporation and Turner Broadcasting System’s brand-licensing agreement giving way to the birth of CNN Philippines, MediaQuest Holdings decided to negotiate with Bloomberg Television and reached a deal to create the Philippine version of Bloomberg TV. TV5 even lured Atty. Rod Nepomuceno away from 9TV (now known as CNN Philippines) to help with the new channel. After various delays, the Philippine version of Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Philippines, finally launched on October 5. Despite the hype, the new channel had its share of controversy: having Shawn Yao read headlines every top of the hour with her own show Top 5. Despite its controversies, Bloomberg TV Philippines aims to serve the growing needs of the Philippine business community.

Another new channel added on Cignal was Sari-Sari Channel. This channel offers a wide variety of shows from Viva Entertainment and TV5 portfolios. (Photo: Viva Communications, Inc. and TV5 Network, Inc.)

Another new kid in town is Sari-Sari Channel. It is a joint venture between Viva Communications and TV5. This channel airs archive shows and movies from Viva Television and VIVA Films, Studio5 original movies, and in-house original productions. The said channel had its test broadcast last December 1 and will formally launch on January 15.

Another shocker is Cignal acquiring the rights of UFC matches from ABS-CBN Sports, which gives you to this next item.


After being rendered useless by most television observers, Hyper will now air UFC matches starting this January. Living up to the expectations of Balls is a hard task ahead for this sports channel. (Photo: TV5 Network)

We mentioned earlier that ABS-CBN’s rights to air UFC matches lapsed last December 31 and Balls will sign off for good. The question is where UFC matches will air now that Balls is now gone? The answer is Hyper. The said channel was rendered useless by most Philippine TV observers until recently, when Sports5 announced that they will take over the rights to air UFC matches starting 2016. Filling the huge gap is a huge challenge for Hyper, since this channel is not well-known to most Philippine TV observers or even carried by provincial cable TV operators.

That’s the biggest developments on Philippine cable TV in the year 2015. 2016 should be exciting for Philippine pay TV and it will be an exciting year.

JRDV’s World Year In Review: PH Cable TV

Billboard Hot 100 – October 3, 2015

Here are the Top 10 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of September 26, 2015.

1. The Weeknd – The Hills. No. 2 last week.

2. Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean. No. 3 last week.

3. The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face. No. 1 last week.

4. Silento – Watch Me. No. 4 last week.

5. Selena Gomez feat. A$AP Rocky – Good For You. No. 7 last week.

6. R. City feat. Adam Levine – Locked Away. No. 9 last week.

7. Fetty Wap feat. Remy Boyz – 679. No. 8 last week.

8. OMI – Cheerleader. No. 5 last week.

9. Drake – Hotline Bling. No. 16 last week.

10. Major Lazer & DJ Snake Featuring M0 – Lean On. No. 6 last week.

All videos of the Top 10 songs can be viewed above. Our thanks to Billboard for this week’s Billboard Hot 100 Top 10. For more Billboard Hot 100 updates, stay tuned every week on From The Tube blog.

Billboard Hot 100 – October 3, 2015


Capitalizing on AlDub’s success, GMA is now trying to air a rerun of Alden Richards’ old historical drama Illustrado, which was produced by GMA News (credits: GMA Network)

Call it desperate.

Capitalizing on the recent success of the accidental love duo AlDub (Alden Richards and Yaya Dub), the so-called #1 News Channel on Free TV will air another teleserye rerun after Amaya. Enter Illustrado.

This historical drama series failed to impress on its initial run on GMA as more viewers are tuned in to its rival Two Wives. Even the mature scenes on Two Wives were way more interesting to viewers and netizens alike, unlike the historical value of Illustrado. It was produced by GMA News and Public Affairs as its first venture on GMA Telebabad.

GMA hasn’t moved on from Alden’s past blunders, hence with AlDub getting more popular as of late, here we are with this rerun.

Let’s see if the rerun of this historical series will make an impact on a struggling News TV, especially on GMA’s loyal viewers and Alden’s new fans.

This rerun will start this Monday, September 21, 3:00pm on GMA News TV.


AlDub Hype Gone Worse

AlDub is becoming more and more popular right now, especially with the new commercials featuring the duo: McDonald’s and Talk ‘N Text.

But the hype is gone worse.

GMA News is way too focused on AlDub nowadays, with Kalyeserye summaries part of news items of all GMA newscasts, as well as GMA News TV’s newscasts.

And it doesn’t help GMA at all. Their other talents are now in limbo once AlDub is now in spotlight. And to make matters worse, AlDub is already overexposed at the expense of GMA’s own talents, thanks to GMA News. GMA News is the only one doing an episode summary as a news item on TV kind of thing, according to Ralph Domingo’s From The Tube WordPress blog. Its rivals ABS-CBN News, News5, and CNN Philippines doesn’t do that.

GMA News was once the most trusted news source in the Philippines. With AlDub being in the news item almost everyday on GMA News, I think that AlDub is already overexposed.

AlDub Hype Gone Worse

My View About The Kalyeserye

I actually missed the first month of the phenomenon that shook the country by storm: Kalyeserye, a split-screen romance between Alden Richards and Yaya Dub (portrayed by Maine Mendoza). Back then, I was glued with Showtime, with Funny One as the cream of the crop. I started watching this accidental romance at about August 17, the same time Showtime launched its controversial segment “Twerking Girls.”

After watching back and forth, I started to stick with Eat Bulaga. After a few days I stay tuned to Kalyeserye almost everyday.

Staying strong for almost two months now, Kalyeserye is now giving Eat Bulaga a huge boost on its ratings, making Showtime panicked with emergency meetings almost everyday.

With the upcoming showdown between Alden and Yaya Dub looming this Saturday on “Bulaga Pa More Dabarkads Pa More” Wildcard, I’m pretty sure that more and more televiewers will watch the showdown unfold between Alden and Yaya Dub. Who will be the winners and losers? Find out this Saturday at Eat Bulaga, 11:30am on GMA.

My View About The Kalyeserye