Give it to ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation for its temerity to still count itself in the battle for the telecommunications supremacy despite denial of another twenty five years of congressional franchise after the House of Representatives—for their own self-serving and puppetry reasons—deprived the free-to-air platforms like Channel 2, the Very High Frequency (VHF) and DZMM, the Amplified Modulation (AM) from the public when free speech and freedom of expression are still the norms of a democracy.
It isn’t easy to give up the tug-of-war on the principle of life and death. The Kapamilya Network would want and eventually choose life instead of demise when it still has to adhere to the principle of democratic ramifications side-by-side with fair competition on air given the state of capitalist survival in the national economic tapestry where money makes wonder.
Instead of bowing out from the scene where it lies in the vortex not only of intense pressure from a political storm but bliss since its birth some sixty five years ago and survival as well, it isn’t hopelessness that cuddled it.
Simply, if there’s a will, there’s a way to never say die.
When a persistent cue from a bully was uttered it was the end of the line for the network, many of its minions would say “what is social media for?”
Initially, most of the shows and specifically, news show like “TV Patrol” was shifted to the cyber (Facebook, YouTube and other socmed platforms) and teleseryes were aired on a mode called Kapamilya Network—a compendium of all possible new media outlets like cable TV—in the form of a Community Antenna Television (CATV) and teleradyo, a cable system substitute to DZMM and ANC.
Of course, social media are the current toasts of the millennial persons and even the so-called “milleniors” and they make headway but still, the marketing pitch is geared on the free TV. Millions might still be watching live streams on post-modern gadgets and still make money but not as huge as the earnings of VHF whose frequency is high and enormous it can penetrate the remotest far-flung barangays in the whole country sans cyberspace.
Filipinos and other interested ethnicities in the diaspora might dig your TFC or IWant TV, the foremost cornucopia of moolah is your native and traditional tube—nothing has replaced it in the cash registry.
ABS-CBN executives haven’t rested on their laurels, after all.
So they talked to prospective foster broadcast parents like Zoe TV of Bro. Eddie Villanueva who welcomed some of ABS-CBN’s canned weekly shows like “Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK),” “I Can See your Voice,” “Ang Probinsiyano” among others. Zoe TV Channel 11 might not enjoy the fullest airwaves but it’s good enough a venue for wider audience reach and grasp. And it proved to be a successful official move if not a trial balloon. Coco Martin’s action caper has ranked in the Top 10 slot in the latest surveys. Channel 11 has transformed into A2Z channel with a corresponding glittering gold ID.
The latest ABS-CBN conquest of foster home is TV5 when it premiered its “ASAP Natin ‘To” some two Sundays ago with a Zoe simulcast. It was a return of a giant musical for free. Imagine bringing anew a powerhouse of a cast like Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Regine Velasquez and a host of other pro performers viewers have been expecting to see onscreen for months or at least a year. The Sunday noontime show is still glittery, impactful and magnificent.
It takes guts for Zoe and TV5 to co-prod or blocked time shows that could incriminate their corporate if not moral stand on state affairs but they are unwavering in their adoption of the beleaguered station, a company they keep if not compete.
ABS-CBN is still a major network to contend with, whether one likes it or not because it’s already part of the Filipino psyche already. The dichotomy between ABS-CBN and GMA Network not only in the ratings game but also in the free trade rivalry hasn’t diffused instead it has become more glaring because of the former’s bold and daring occupation of other spaces. Even if GMA Network has now grabbed the audience shares from the stiff race it posed against ABS-CBN before the shutdown, the latter has still its loyal following. The dialectics created by ABS-CBN and GMA Network in the post-EDSA and post-authoritarian rule has become the rallying point of divisiveness in many aspects of the Filipino life, sensibilities and sensitivities.
It must be TV5 and Zoe but not GMA Network because the network wars continue as long as the commercial mindset of the major players of the communication arts is to play on the masses’ simple notion of life.