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DEJA VU: Is the Kapatid Network Repeating Its Mistakes from 2010?

TV5’s recent revamp in programming seems problematic as it mimics the network’s failed aggressive campaign in 2010, which costed the company billion-peso-worth losses.

TV5 seems to be hot on the heels of sealing its place as GMA Network’s biggest rival, after media giant ABS-CBN was shut down from the free tv competition.

Since August, the Kapatid Network has been among the busiest among local tv networks, in terms of content production, boldly defeating the challenges presented by industry-imposed restrictions. With a number of partnerships and blocktime deals with other production units, TV5 has been busy amplifying its game, offering more new shows than any other tv station did in the past six months.

Since August, the Kapatid Network has intensified its campaign to take the biggest share of departing audiences from ABS-CBN whose awfully reduced reach allowed other local tv stations to absorb a chunk of ABS-CBN’s more than 30% viewership share—albeit observations of audience’s shift to online and other digital platforms, after ABS-CBS’s shutdown.

Among TV5’s first offerings are non-scripted shows, born out of blocktime deals with CignalTV and APT Entertainment. Gameshows, ‘Fill In the Bank’ and ‘Bawal Na Game Show’, lifestyle and talk shows, ‘Chika BESH!’, Fit For Life, and Usapang Real Life, and talent show, Bangon Talentadong Pinoy were first to charge in the network’s aggressive foray into the new normal competition.

As the network welcomes into their fold some of the biggest and most prized talents of ABS-CBN, a new formidable blocktime deal with another production arm, seems very fitting to realize TV5’s vision, of presenting GMA Network a real contender.

The network’s partnership with Brightlight Productions (BLP) sent shockwaves across social media pages, as new programs featuring ABS-CBN’s homegrown stars, make their debuts on TV5.

The deal with BLP is undoubtedly one of TV5’ biggest efforts—if not the biggest—to pave its way to occupying ABS-CBN’s previous place in free tv competition, premiering new shows meant to serve as the network’s answer to the flagship programs of GMA Network and of ABS-CBN—whose return to free TV has recently been made possible by a similar blocktime agreement with Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc.

Sunday Noontime Live (SNL), which features some of ABS-CBN’s ASAP Natin To’s homegrown stars, including Piolo Pascual and Maja Salvador, goes head-to-head with ASAP Natin To and GMA Network’s All-Out-Sundays. Likewise, weekday noontime show and Billy Crawford-led, Lunch Out Loud (LOL) directly contends with ABS-CBN’s It’s Showtime and GMA Network’s Eat Bulaga. Also through the BLP deal, that gag show ‘SundayKada!’ and weekly drama series I Got You, are able to air on TV5’s Saturday afternoon line-up. On Sundays, the Ian Veneracion sitcom, Oh My Dad!, and lifestyle magazine program, Rated Korina, add an extra boost to TV5’s campaign to dominate weekends.

Also, TV5 reaffirms its partnership with Viva Entertainment with Masked Singer Pilipinas, the Philippine version of the international hit talent show from Korea, King of Mask Singer, with former Kapamilya host Billy Crawford.

This week (November 23-27), 6 new shows—including one that stars Kokoy de Santos and Maris Racal, and one starring Ryza Cenon—ramp up the Kapatid Network’s bid to shake up weeknights primetime programming, featuring shows of different genres in a weekly format, Christmas-themed mini-series, Paano ang Pasko showcase a powerful ensemble of young and veteran stars, in a family drama done in a ‘Tanging Yaman’ fashion.

Undoubtedly, these developments in TV5’s programming is a bit of fresh air, following those long six months when local television wasn’t producing fresh content. TV5’s revamping practically its entire programming should be generally received favorably by audiences, but why does this abruptly dramatic change paint a worryingly problematic picture?

Keen observers may be the first ones to note that TV5’s most recent efforts to overhaul its entire line-up, practically mimics its last failed attempt in 2010, when ownership was transferred to Manny V. Pangilinan-owned MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. The said acquisition prompted the then ABC-5 to undergo a complete reformat, aggressively asserting its campaign to present itself to both ABS-CBN and GMA Network, their newest formidable competition.

However, as aggressive as the new management was, lack of creativity in terms of counterprogramming completely disabled the network to break out and finally take a considerable share of the market. Not only the ratings worsen, TV5 incurred some of its worst losses in its six-decade history, a failure mostly attributed to failure in strategic planning and counter programming.

And now, looking closely at TV5’s recent move to absorb some of ABS-CBN’s lost audience, it is easy to see how these recent developments are just repeating TV5’s past mistakes, as most of the new programs it launched are either versions of what the two other networks—GMA Network and ABS-CBN (Kapamilya Channel and A2Z)—have been serving, or similarly-themed formats that local viewers may have already gotten tired of following.



And as online and digital platforms continue to take traditional television audiences away, TV5’s aggressive steps to mimic the other two media giants’ programming doesn’t strike, at all, a pretty sight, and actually just reminds keenly-observing audiences of the tv network’s past mistakes.

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