TV or not TV


That “small screen” as it used to be called is no longer small. The standard size now is 40-plus inches diagonally across, and in some homes a 100-inch set is all part of the furniture.

Besides its size as an appliance, TV has grown in such importance that it is now the primary source of news, taking away quite a chunk of the advertising revenue from other media.

Most of all, as the international Filipino and urban planner Jun Palafox notes, there’s now a TV in every family member’s room, where before the family “bonded” as one in front of one set in the living room.

While people in the TV industry bite their nails over a prophecy that “TV will die with its audience,” the local scene continues to shift and change, particularly after that hit maker of stars and big movies, ABS-CBN, lost its franchise to broadcast on free TV. When it happened during the pandemic under President Duterte, it was only natural that the screen scene would turn into a monopoly dominated by GMA – no challengers in sight.

More recently, with the 44-year-old comedy trio of Tito-Vic-Joey resigning from the leading noontime show, Eat Bulaga on GMA7, the picture turned even more fuzzy.

THIS JUST IN: TVJ of Eat Bulaga are moving over to TV5 by the first week of July – confirmed by Tito Sotto in an interview on Net25’s ASPN yesterday. That leaves Paolo Contis on GMA to carry on as main host, entertainer, and man of the hour for three (!) hours of the other Eat Bulaga. Will there be two versions of EB?

Meanwhile, just when things are getting hot, the government station has appointed a new station manager. TV5’s 5:30 p.m. newscast, Frontline, used to enjoy a head start, until for some incomprehensible reason it was forced to slide down to start at 6:30, pitting themselves against everybody else – the old standbys, ABS and GMA, and 30 minutes later than Net25 and PTV. The people at ABS’ cable news channel Teleradyo are counting the days before they sign off permanently on June 30. The smaller channels are courting wider audiences with K-dramas.  Eagle Broadcasting is positioning Net25 as the “family channel.”