Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Boobtube Battle Boo Boos

the Philippines is not only divided on whether you are rich or poor, pro life or pro death penalty, ChaCha lovers or haters, liberals and conservatives but whether you are kapuso or kapamilya. Yes, you heard it right! Our country is also divided on their television preferences. The question “Kapuso ka ba o kapamilya?” has already become a staple query with your friends or even acquaintances (this question has become an effective tool for starting up a conversation). But incase you have live in television solitude and is totally clueless with the aforementioned monikers let’s make it clear that kapuso means a GMA 7 viewer while a kapamilya is an ABS CBN 2 viewer. These tags are the networks ploy to promote loyalty among the audience. However, the competition between ABS CBN 2 and GMA 7 has become more intense than ever. The last five years a couch potato witnessed the clashing of these television giants as they battle for ratings supremacy. But is the competition still healthy? And does this rivalry equate quality programming? Lets’ enumerate the effects of this network war

Pagkatapos ng…

Today’s TV schedule there is no more definite time schedule especially the primetime slot. The networks schedule their programs as one package deal for ABS CBN Primetime Bida and Telebabad for GMA 7. And when you see plugs the ads will say “Gulong ng Palad pagkatapos ng PBB Teen Edition” and “Majika pagkatapos ng Extra Challenge (EC)” and what is the schedule of PBB and EC? “Pagkatapos ng (*insert news program here*)”. The reason for this absurd scheduling? The networks hope that a viewer will stay in tuned not just for one but a series of show Walang Lipatan. But this type of scheduling there lays the problem; the essence of time is diminished among the viewers. Hey how can we know the real time if the schedule is that, tantyahan?

You are nothing but a second rate trying hard copycat!

The two networks rip each other off, that’s a fact, but they deny it adamantly. They are both guilty of copying each other’s ideas. ABS CBN produced their own “Starstruck” in the form of “Star Circle Quest”, GMA tried to produce a children’s gag show ala Goin Bulilit in the form of Bubble Gang Jr. But whenever a network launches a show with similar concept of the other network, the latter will result to parinigan (more of about this later) and will boast as being the original. But they forgot one thing being the first or original does not mean being the best. But blatant copying of another show’s concept but poorly executed there’s the viewers off. Sometimes they just produce “a similar show” for the sake of giving a “pantapat” to the other, and not to entertain the audience.

The network war even reached the highest mountain in the world. The Everest Expedition has also become an issue among the networks; “Sino ang nauna sa pag cover at nang gaya?” is what is implied with the networks’ plugs. The expedition instead of being a moment for triumph has become another venue for the bantering and showing off; the networks’ intention of covering the historical event is clearly seen and it’s not good. It is as if they cover the said event just to compete with each other and not to inform the Filipino people. Because of the networks’ coverage, the event is now inserted in the society’s consciousness, but the attention of the viewers is whether which channel will beat the other in the coverage and the actual expedition took the backseat.


“Si (*insert name here*) kapuso/kapamilya na!” this is usually the headline of showbiz talk shows (and showbiz segments of news programs as well) when a ward from the rival network transfers to their own respective station. This transferee will now be given plenty of exposure of his/her new network sometimes even more compared to the networks homegrown talents. An artist seems to be more viable if s/he “migrates” to the other network. When someone transfers, the showbiz writers always make it to the point to make a big deal out of it. The network grooms the transferee with a reason to slap the rival’s face, which may say “Hey, in your care this talent’s career is dead but when s/he transferred to us it bloomed, we are better in handling talents than you!” The setback, the network sometimes give an unworthy attention to the transferee whose only “appeal” is that s/he came from the other network and neglects their own talents. And what happened to these neglected talents? When they are fed up they will seek opportunities with the rival network and the cycle begins…


The “parinigan” between ABS CBN and GMA has become so normal with their plugs. The network’s rivalry has become similar to a fraternity feud. A viewer sometimes wonders if ever the people of these networks see each other will they engage in a catfight? The tabloid makes the competition even more. Writers who are taking the side of one network write more (destructive) articles criticizing the other network’s shows and stars. Showbiz talk shows are also guilty with that they sometimes devote a segment bashing the other network. The (unfunny) sitcoms also commit that especially when a “transferee” is a guest, the series regulars will often threw lines that tackles why s/he left the other station. The plugs especially ratings related are so filled with pun intended statements. The mudslinging between the TV stations has become a tool to gain sympathy among the viewers to take their side and loathe the rival.

These “parinigan” has gravely affected the audience. Internet forums such as PinoyExchange house the “kapamilya vs. kapuso” bickering. Reading how the forum members defend their favorite channel and scrutinize the rival you will see how influential the network has been. The viewers has been so attached with the stations that they seem to get hurt too when bad statements are being thrown to their beloved network. Its quite queer to see that networks created a cult following and it manifested how influential the medium (television) has been.


It is said that a competition brings out the best among the one involve it. They try to top what their opponent had done by giving the best efforts. In the case of the Kapuso vs. Kapamilya, their rivalry instead of improving the quality of programming has resulted to making their competition a form of entertainment. Yes, the network war spices up the otherwise bland local TV scene but is that what the stations could only offer? The television is a powerful medium and must be used in the proper way and not just a vehicle to boost egos.


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Anonymous said...

Philippine television is going from bad to worst. How long would it take for local TV stations to come up with decent shows. All we are getting are corny fantasy series and asianovelas.

Even worst, only Channel 7 and 2 is on the limelight. Too bad for ABC 5, they have much decent shows but is not as popular. Also, their transmitter is much weaker compare to the two network giant.

Even the primetime news are only up for the ratings, they turned more into sensationalism. Documentaries are shown late at midnight while Angel Locsin is on primetime!

If only we can come up with stations like Germany's DW-TV and USA's Tech TV.

ABS-CBN CH2 - I got the impression that their news is parallel with tabloid news.

NBC 4 CH4 - The only reason that the people is watching this channel is because of the Lottery draws.

ABC 5 CH5 - Good shows, poor production. It seems that Joey de Leon, and Maverick & Ariel are their only Stars.

GMA 7 CH7 - I hate when Mike Enriquez, Arnold Clavio, and Mel Tianco appears in commercial Ads.

RPN 9 CH9- Good primtime shows but tend s to replay them when season 1 ends.

QTV 11 CH11 - The new anime "authority" they are churning more animes than her mother station. Afternoon animes run seven days a week on this station. Hate the Asianovelas on this station.

SBN 21? CH21 - AMEN! Praise the lord! Hellelujah!

Studio 23 CH23 - In this station, the UAAP is synonymous with college basketball.

Net 25 CH25 - They have decent shows but are overshadowed with INC's assault on Eliseo Soriano's ADD. Also, their Fil-Am hosts are annoying.

UnTV 37 CH37 - "BIBLIA ANG SASAGOT, ITANONG MO KAY SORIANO!" Gees, this station runs 24/7, makes me wonder how they finance the operations cost.

MTV Phil. CH41 - This station is getting better and better. Recently, creativeminds, a producer which reently worked with ABC 5 begun churning shows like MTV's Homecoming.

forg/jecoup said...

its really sad that docus like I witness et al are taking the backseat....

beware to get attatched with a RPN 9 acquired show,mabubuwisit ka lang that it will take ages for a new season

Unknown said...

naman... bakit ba pinagtitiyagaan ang tv ang dami naman pwedeng gawin? kaya ako piling-pili lang pinapanood ko.

then again, i have cable channels to choose from. hehehe...

but then, cable tv is no different. it's the same trash. only in different languages.

forg, kung isuggest natin na ipasara yung LTVM sa pex, papayag kaya sina ada? :D

Anonymous said...

Good thing its summer, I can stay awake late to watch these docus.

RPN 9 sucks! For example, the animated series invader Zim was shown in CH9, only the 1st season was broadcasted and it was replayed four times. Same for the Star-Trek: Enterprise which really annoyed me.

Wish we had a cable TV but our place is to remote. Sattelite TV is expensive and have fewer channels than cable TV.

forg/jecoup said...

kuya jP: watching tv is my number one hobby hehe

herman: i know the feeling, my favorite sitcom scrubs,one season lang pinalabasa and spongebob din...

beyond_borders said...

... worst na talaga nd Philippine television...

These TV stations go for ASIANOVELAS (let's admit it, you are also a fan of it! me too) fantaserye? when they start it they always had a another one to replace when one ended.

We cannot stop this NETWORK WAR. All I can see that these 2 major stations are only up for rating! The other channels had a great show but poor in production.

Kahit panonood ng TV ang hobby ko (ikaw din, minsan ayaw ko na ring manood. May iba namang paglilibangan!