TV5 launches new ESPN5 venture

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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.

REFERENCE: http://sports.tv5.com.ph/sports5/article/tv5-and-espn-collaborate-to-launch-espn-5#ixzz4vG2bVEdT

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.

OTHER YABANG STATIONS

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

Four FM Networks Manileños Want to Hear

As government-owned 104.3 Business Radio relaunches as FM2 since February 2, the FM landscape in the Metro has become more and more competitive. As for the FM brands like Brigada, Oomph, Mom’s and Wild, having a full-powered FM frequency in Metro Manila is very far from being possible, thanks to the tough competition on Manila airwaves.

Manileños even want Bombo Radyo or even 8TriMedia to set up an AM station due to available AM frequencies. So, here are the reasons why I think Brigada, Oomph, Mom’s and Wild deserve a full-powered FM frequency in Metro Manila.

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Brigada News FM is close to achieving a full-powered FM frequency, thanks to their Makati studios and their well-known personalities like Weng Dela Peña, but they’re forced to use their frequency from Batangas to broadcast its programs to listeners in parts of Metro Manila. (Source: www.brigada.ph)

The first network is Brigada News FM. They’re so close, but yet so far. Why? They’re broadcasting on 104.7 out of Batangas, transmits from Mt. Banoy from Batangas and its signal in the Metro is somewhat weak, despite its 25,000-watt transmitter power, Makati studios and prominent personalities. They’re the supposed alternative from the already-established Radyo5 92.3 News FM despite the obvious problems from PBA to reluctance to air important news stories in favor of regular programming to vacant slots filled with Easy Rock-esque music, but the signal is hampering those hopes. Brigada airs your typical news/talk format, commonly heard on AM, in the mornings and on late afternoon, and airs music programming similar to masa stations on the rest of the broadcast day, plus programs from the company-owned Brigada Healthline like Lunch Date and Drivemax Nationwide (sponsored by Guard-C and Drivemax), as well as Brigada News program (sponsored by the company’s flagship product Powercells Herbal Capsule). Brigada might be successful in areas like Metro Cebu, Zamboanga, Koronadal or its home base in General Santos, but as far as Metro Manila is concerned, it might not happen anytime soon unless one of the low-rated FM stations might consider selling their station to Brigada Mass Media Corporation. If that happens, Brigada might give Radyo5 a run for its money.

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Oomph! Radio might have its highs and lows on its stations in Cebu, Davao and Zamboanga, but with its unique CHR/OPM (mostly dominated by Viva artists) format, Viva Live might pour in money to invest on its future station in Metro Manila. (Source: Viva Live)

The second network that I think deserve a full-powered Metro Manila FM frequency is Viva Live’s Oomph! Radio. After acquiring Ultimate Entertainment’s franchise, Viva Live invested on Ultimate’s three FM stations and gave them a fresh start as Oomph! Radio. The three stations briefly struggled last year as they dropped Oomph! branding and began to brand as UR (in Cebu and Davao) or UE (in Zamboanga) and added classic hits, but their station in Davao struggled the most, in part due to the dominance of Wild 92.3 WT on the CHR/OPM format, and the departure of the jocks (from now-defunct 105.9 Mix FM) who made Oomph! Radio possible. The Oomph! branding returned last July and are now gaining back lost momentum. As far as having Oomph! in Metro Manila, the station might give 97.9 Home Radio a run for its money, but with the CHR market getting more and more competitive and with the impending launch of government-owned FM1 on 87.5, Viva should be cautious on investing a Metro Manila FM station.

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Mom’s Radio might be a good alternative to already-established but ratings-hungry 96.3 Easy Rock (thanks to the playlist being almost similar to 90.7 Love Radio), as long as Solar Entertainment Corporation (now owning SBN) makes the right moves on putting its own Metro Manila FM station in the future. (Source: Solar Entertainment Corporation/SBN)

The third network is Solar-owned Mom’s Radio. The relaunched and re-energized Mom’s Radio, now partnered with Estima, have recaptured the hearts of mommies in Cebu, Davao and Bacolod, just like the first incarnation of Mom’s Radio a decade ago, with better and newer programming. Just recently, Mom’s Radio flagship morning program “Breakfast With Moms” is also aired on Solar-owned home hopping channel Shop TV, aside from its stations in Cebu, Bacolod and Davao, and was dubbed as “the first radio program to air on national television”, but radio and TV critics were quick to dispute that claim. As far as getting a Metro Manila FM station, introducing Mom’s Radio to Manileños via Shop TV is a good start, but as far as Solar is concerned, they might wait for a right time to purchase a low-rated Metro Manila FM station soon.

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UMBN-owned Wild FM is already successful in Mindanao as the younger alternative to the already-established masa stations, thanks to its CHR format and the unique disco mix they popularized. (DISCLAIMER: The logo used is from UMBN’s flagship FM station Wild 92.3 WT in Davao City) (SOURCE: UMBN)

The fourth network Manileños want to hear is the already-popular Wild FM, owned by Davao-based University of Mindanao Broadcasting Network (UMBN). After finding success in Davao City just years after the EDSA People Power Revolution thanks to its CHR format and the popular dance re-mixes, Wild FM expanded to places like General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, Iligan, Zamboanga (now known as Mango Radio), Valencia, Bukidnon, Cebu (now known as Retro Cebu) and Bacolod (now in Iloilo), and proved to be popular in those markets. As far as Manila airwaves is concerned, Wild FM might be successful among Mindanaoans and Ilonggos, as well as Cebuanos living in Metro Manila, but as far as Manila’s already-competitive CHR market is concerned, it might easily outrank its already-established competition in the CHR format thanks to its hybrid CHR/Dance/OPM format, as long as UMBN has enough money to invest a Metro Manila FM station.

 

These FM networks might have a bright future ahead, but as far as Manila airwaves is concerned, they’re already overcrowded and the FM networks mentioned above might have a hard time penetrating the hearts of Metro Manila listeners anytime soon. Libre ngang mangarap, pero hanggang blueprint lang ang post na ito.

Four FM Networks Manileños Want to Hear

My Thoughts on the Anti-Duterte ad paid by Trillanes

NOTE: This post is the personal opinion of the creator of this blog and is no way affiliated to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte or Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

This is where our P20 million went.

The whole nation alarmed this morning when the news of an anti-Duterte ad is about to air tomorrow, May 6. The information revealed that ABS-CBN will air the ad anyway for P20 million and other networks rejected that ad.

Fast forward to the first commercial break of TV Patrol, we see the anti-Duterte ad paid by the Vice Presidential Candidate Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV before our very eyes. He used innocent children on the said ad. It started with a young kid saying “ito ba ang gusto n’yo?” followed by edited clips of past speeches from the Presidential Front-runner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte regarding his fight against criminality, swearing Pope Francis, praising the New People’s Army (NPA), kissing women, his remarks on the 1989 hostage crisis on the gang rape of the Australian missionary, and his promise of a bloody presidency, followed by a kid saying “ito po ba ang gusto ninyong maging halimbawa para sa amin?“, and the Mayor showing his dirty finger (censored for obvious reasons). The ad was paid by Sen. Antonio Trillanes and it comes just four days before the 2016 Presidential Elections here in the Philippines. The aforementioned ad is also aired on GMA 7.

My thoughts about this ad is the use of kids on a political ad. Are they forced to do this or are they paid by Trillanes for that ad alone? That ad alone is a clear violation of the Fair Elections Act since it essentially attacked Duterte since Trillanes’ so-called exposé on Duterte’s so-called hidden wealth. I think Trillanes is so desperate to avoid a Duterte presidency and avoid launching a coup against Duterte if he wins the Presidency. The desperation comes after Duterte stole the momentum away from Grace Poe in the past few weeks thanks to his strong support among the masses, as well as the middle class and the elite. Our votes are not worth P20 million, Sen. Trillanes, so please stop this attempt to lure voters away from Duterte and focus on the real problems of the Philippines, like poverty, corruption, criminality, jobs, healthcare, the sea dispute with China, and others. Please spare these young kids!

My one last plea is to vote wisely and think hard on who do you think will lead the country to a better future in the next six years.

My Thoughts on the Anti-Duterte ad paid by Trillanes

New Season of Pokémon Premieres on Cartoon Network Philippines; Fate of Pokémon on GMA Still Uncertain

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Pokémon XY: Kalos Quest, the eighteenth season of the long-running anime, will finally premiere in the Philippines starting Monday. (Photo: Bulbapedia)

Pokémon fans in the Philippines, rejoice! The eighteenth season, dubbed as ‘Pokémon XY: Kalos Quest’ will continue the adventures of Ash Ketchum and his trusted friend Pikachu, as well as his travelling companions Lumiose Gym Leader Clemont and his little sister Bonnie, as well as Serena, who once met Ash on a summer camp in Pallet Town when they were younger, and face new challenges across Kalos Region, which is inspired by France. In this season, Ash will challenge more gyms, including Clemont’s, and Serena will pursue her dream to become a Pokémon Performer and the next Kalos Queen.

As for the fate of the Pokémon franchise on GMA Network, the said network concluded the run of ‘Pokémon Black and White’ earlier this month and GMA has not released any plans to air seasons 15, 16 and 18. The said anime is now occupied by the fast-popular anime series ‘Yo-Kai Watch’.

Catch new episodes of ‘Pokémon XY: Kalos Quest’ starting Monday, 6:45pm on Cartoon Network Philippines. Cartoon Network Philippines is available on most cable providers nationwide.

New Season of Pokémon Premieres on Cartoon Network Philippines; Fate of Pokémon on GMA Still Uncertain

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

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‘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

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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

What to expect this 2016

2016 is Election Season here in the Philippines and expect that one of our neighboring blog Timow’s Turf will devote its focus on educating the voting population regarding the elections for the first half of the year, while this blog, along with From The Tube, will post news and insights from the entertainment scene.

If you followed this blog, this blog will continue to post news about what’s happening in Philippine Television and Radio, as well as some local media news.

As for TV networks, expect more money for the Big Three networks as campaign period is about to start for national and local elections. Regarding the Election coverage, pabonggahan ng news graphics ang magiging labanan sa mga Big Three Networks, just like the 2010 Elections where ABS-CBN introduced its ‘virtual presence’ and GMA settled with so-called ‘hologram’ and its use was widely criticized.

As for radio stations, it’s a test for Barangay LS 97.1 to keep their winning streak on the ratings game this year. It’s definitely a make or break year for Barangay LS this year. As for the new 95.5 Retro Davao, it’s a test on whether the success of 103.5 Retro Cebu in Metro Cebu translate to success in Metro Davao. As for 104.7 Brigada News FM National, it’s still a test for them this year as they will still endure signal problems within Metro Manila. Just like most radio observers suggested, the most obvious solution for Brigada Mass Media Corporation is to buy a struggling full-powered FM station in Metro Manila, but the problem that they face is lack of FM space in Metro Manila. As for Mom’s Radio, it’s a test for them this year whether the return the airwaves of Mom’s Radio in Bacolod, Cebu and Davao is worth a success.

Back to the elections, as we decide the next set of leaders which will decide our future in the next six years, I would like to remind all of you to please vote wisely.

2016 surely is an interesting year and this blog, along with Timow’s Turf and From The Tube, will be there to guide you on what’s happening throughout the world of elections, television and radio. From JRDV’s World, I wish you a blessed year ahead.

What to expect this 2016

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.

BALLS SIGNS OFF

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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.

NEW LOGO, NEW LINEUP, SAME FOCUS

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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’S BIG EXPANSION

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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.

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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.

UFC FOUND ITS NEW HOME

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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