Home PEx Local Entertainment Showbiz - General
COMMUNITY NOTICE: If you are having trouble in your account access, please do send us a message at [email protected] for assistance.

Where did ABC go wrong?

budiluvsbakbudiluvsbak PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
I just thought I'd copy-paste this article to see how ABC's #1 rah-rah boy (you know who you are ;) ) would react to it, given that it casts his beloved network in bad light.

Where did ABC go wrong?
STARBYTES By Butch Francisco
The Philippine Star 01/25/2007

From the time it reopened in 1992 (after it was shut down by martial law 20 years earlier), ABC 5 generally lacked advertising support and fared unimpressively in the ratings game – a disastrous combination for any television station.

In lieu of commercials, the network endlessly aired during station breaks in-house plugs promoting its programs. While that was a good reminder for the viewers to catch its other shows, it turned off most audiences because these were already getting repetitious – even annoying at some point.

I for one tried to watch Channel 5 shows because the network aired some really good ones in the 15 years it had been operating. But it had very long station breaks that aired over and over again the same plugs done by its merchandising department – and so I’d switch channels. A lot of times I don’t come back – especially when a show airing in another network turns out to be more interesting.

ABC 5 would have had a captive audience perhaps: viewers impatient to go over endless advertisements selling various consumer products. But it blew its chance.

Another reason why it failed to develop a loyal following among viewers was its decision to be the carrying network of the PBA. With the PBA games wreaking havoc on the station’s regular programming, how do you expect viewers to stick to Channel 5 shows? Too bad for ABC 5, the popularity of PBA has long waned and it is causing irreparable damage to the network.

This already happened to the old BBC-2 in 1982 – when it began airing the PBA games. Prior to that, BBC-2 was No. 5 in the ratings game (there were only five networks then) – even behind the government station MBS-4.

When BBC-2 entered into a deal with PBA and aired its games from the Araneta Coliseum, the station moved a rung higher and became No. 4 – a disappointing performance considering the fact that PBA was at the peak of its popularity then. Even if basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines, you have to remember that not everyone in this country is a basketball fan. It is still the wives (and children) who have control over the remote.

When PBA eventually moved out of BBC-2, the network was back to being No. 5 in the ratings sheets. Soon after, it became the backwater in the TV landscape – practically unsalvageable. The only time viewers started watching Channel 2 again was when the Lopez family returned to the business of television after EDSA I and revived ABS-CBN.

PBA may be an earner for ABC 5 at the moment, but station management should watch out for the repercussions once the games are moved to another station. Maybe PBA should just stay and Channel 5 can be transformed into an-all sports network and start airing other sports events. But then, what else is profitable aside from basketball. Boxing? I doubt if Manny Pacquiao would allow himself to get punched day in and day out just to keep this network going.

But really, going all sports is an option for ABC 5. The market may not be all that big, but it would be profitable.

Actually, the best way for ABC 5 to develop its audience is to start having its stable of talents – teen stars to lure the young crowd because that is the biggest.

When Charo Santos was hired by ABS-CBN to take care of production in 1988, I think one of her first steps was to ask the late Lino Brocka to develop young talents for the network. That attempt may not have been very successful because no one in that batch really made a name, except maybe for Amy Godinez, who tried doing the newscast for a while. But ABS-CBN always had young people there: Mark Anthony Fernandez, Jomari Yllana, Eric Fructuoso and Abby Viduya (before she became Priscilla Almeda) prior to the series of Star Circle searches that produced the likes of Victor Neri, Mylene Dizon and the late Rico Yan.

Even GMA 7 had a long list of young stars before launching the StarStruck series and apparently it worked for the network.

Sadly, ABC 5 did not have this kind of vision. At the moment, teen viewers only have newscaster John Susi to flip over. Even Ariel and Maverick aren’t heartbreakers either.

What Channel 5 built instead was a fine reportorial news team – which was a good thing because local television needs a lot of that. In the now-defunct Sentro, the field reporters delivered comprehensive news stories and on top of that, the newscast had credible anchors: Ali Sotto and, yes, John Susi, who has a clear speaking voice perfect for the news. Why ABC 5 canceled that, I have no idea. Supposedly, it wasn’t rating. But how did they expect it to develop a loyal following when its viewers had to engage in a guessing game with regard to its time slot during PBA season? You just didn’t know when the news was coming in when there were games. But we’re done with that. Network officials may just have to accept the fact that the PBA was their undoing.

Running a TV station is a complicated business. You need to know what the viewers want – actually what the masses want (the very same people who choose our elected officials, sigh) – but at the same time trying to maintain quality. The key element here is balance. In the last 15 years, that was what Channel 5 oh so utterly lacked.



  • starczamorastarczamora Sissie DaToic PEx Moderator
    O siya, halatang ako iyan (kasi kung ABS's rah-rah boy yan, malamang yun yung nanalo sa isang game show, pasuweldo yun sa kanya; at least ako laway lang ang puhunan)

    Ilang beses ko nang sinasabing may mali ang ABC (like sa Philippine Idol thread), malamang hindi mo nabasa...

    Totoo, it's a wrong decision on ABC to get PBA (My Dad agrees with this, but obviously not Tony's "groupies"). Nasisira ang schedule ng halos lahat ng shows. Just imagine noong PBA sa Sabado pagkatapos Philippine Idol, kapag nag-overtime ang PBA wala na...mawawalan na ng patience ang viewers ng PI (na iba naman mula sa iilang fans ng PBA).

    What should ABC do? Strenghten its news team (and I don't know why kung bakit ito ang unang tinira instead of eliminating PBA, maling bulong na naman siguro). Your news program is supposed to be your foundation, not a sports event. Kasi siguradong lahat ng tao manonood ng balita, then lagyan mo ng mga susunod na programs para panoorin rin nila.

    But then again, this is no different from ABS' retrenchment of its own employees (na nagstrike nga sa harap ng studio) and with GMA's stricter work procedures (which is the main reason why I opted not to work in GMA). It's business, you incur some losses and you do something about it.

    Ayan, happy na?
  • LOL @ starc, :rotflmao:
  • budiluvsbakbudiluvsbak PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    i knew you couldn't resist getting in a shot against the rival networks.
  • May punto rin si starc... *okay*

    Hindi dapat padalos-dalos ang pagde-desisyon si G. Cojuangco dahil nakasalalay na rin sa mga binitiwang salita ang magiging kapalaran ng ABC-5... :)
  • budiluvsbakbudiluvsbak PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    TonyBoy’s SOS
    Victor C. Agustin/February 9, 2007

    AFTER bleeding a reported average of P40 million a month, even the fabulously wealthy Antonio “TonyBoy” Cojuangco Jr. is feeling the pain of running a television station.

    Cojuangco has been forced to seek the financial intermediation of his friend, Philweb chair and former Marcos trade secretary Roberto Ongpin, to find deeper pockets for his struggling ABC-5, this we have confirmed.

    Now, if the grapevine is to be further believed, Ongpin had advised Cojuangco about the difficulty of packaging a multi-billion loan without Cojuangco agreeing to relinquish partial or even full equity control of the TV network.

    The Cojuangco camp has reportedly not returned to the negotiating table after the initial round of discussions with the Philweb counterparts, although another account claims that TonyBoy is still awaiting some numbers-crunching to be done by Philweb before resuming the discussions.

    What is lending an air of mystery and even of intrigue about the negotiations is Cojuangco’s going through Ongpin, given that PLDT is a 27-percent shareholder of Philweb, not to mention the checkered history between Cojuangco and PLDT chair Manuel V. Pangilinan within TonyBoy’s former telecom playground.

    Few details could be pried out of the negotiations as the key Philweb officers, like president Dennis Valdes and vice chair Eric Recto, quake at the mere presence of Ongpin, despite of his being their uncle.

    The ABC 5 end of the negotiations, on the other hand, are said to be led by Cojuangco adviser Mario Locsin and Roberto Barreiro, who unexpectedly left for the United States after meeting with the Philweb counterparts.

    Valdes was also in San Francisco last week, but swears by his mother-in-law’s name that he did not even know that Barreiro was somewhere in the Bay Area at the same time as he was.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file