TV5 and Cignal held a virtual mediacon Thursday on the eve of the arrival of new programming amid the network’s renewed focus on entertainment.
Robert P. Galang, President and CEO of Cignal TV and TV5, explained that the combined forces of the two companies would help “create a more significant presence” for the network through “original, high quality programs.”
Both TV5 and Cignal TV are sister companies under MediaQuest Holdings. But Galang pointed out that they are two distinct companies with their own respective strengths. They have a “shared vision” to “uplift, inform and entertain” Filipino audiences.
The partnership will allow both to seamlessly work together, allow for more collaboration and will allow both to capitalize on their respective strengths.
Galang added that they would be making “significant investments on entertainment and creating more content that we can run and utilize across multiple platforms” including free-to-air, pay TV (via Cignal) and OTT streaming services.
Perci Intalan, TV5’s Head of Programming, echoed Galang’s expression of TV5’s vision during the unprecedented challenges of today. Intalan says TV5 aims to offer uplifting programming and provide hope and a morale boost to Filipinos.
Relaunching in the Time of COVID
Galang noted that plans for TV5’s return to entertainment programming and the TV5-Cignal partnership began last year, long before the expiration of ABS-CBN’s franchise shook the local industry.
But because of the recent developments, it allowed TV5 to be more “aggressive” in planning for a return to new entertainment programming.
Ma. Cristina Tolentino, VP/Head of Marketing for Media 5 Marketing Corporation, also addressed the aborted rebranding of the network to One TV.
While lining up the entertainment network with the “One” brand was a logical step, Tolentino says they acknowledge TV5 is an “established player.” And with so many changes happening the world today, “familiarity with a trusted brand would bring comfort and stability to the Filipinos.”
Tolentino added that while community quarantines across the country present a challenge to the network, they will utilize the resources of TV5 and Cignal to raise awareness of the new offerings. That include TV, radio, Cignal properties/retail hubs and an emphasis on a digital reach.
“First Wave” of New Programming
TV5’s “first wave” of new programs will begin on Saturday, August 15 with the premieres of the APT-produced game shows Fill In The Bank and Bawal na Game Show as well as a relaunch of TV5’s original talent show in the form of Bangon Talentadong Pinoy and the magazine talk show Usapang Real Life with Luchi Cruz-Valdes.
The Pokwang/Jose Manalo-hosted Fill In The Bank and Paolo Ballesteros/Wally Bayola-hosted Bawal na Game Show will each air three times a week.
Jessy Mendiola’s fitness program Fit For Life premieres Sunday, August 16. While joining Raffy Tulfo’s popular Idol in Action on weekdays is morning talk show Chika Besh! hosted by Pokwang, Pauleen Luna and Ria Atayde.
Intalan says there are a lot of shows in the pipeline with plans stretching from the immediate future all the way to 2022.
Part of that planning are the discussions with different independent producers, studios and companies. Intalan points to TV5’s current model being similar to American television networks and studios working with each other without hurdles.
TV5 will be “equal opportunity,” Intalan says. And that includes the informal discussions they have had with ABS-CBN.
Intalan cautions, however, that they are speaking to producers who pitch shows that may or may not have attached stars rather than speaking directly to the stars themselves. “We’ve been down that road before,” Intalan says. But they are especially “sensitive to the current situation” and will not necessarily pursue specific stars like they had done in the past.
Galang stressed that they are “open to everybody” and open to co-productions, line productions and blocktimers as well as in-house TV5 productions. Though Galang points out even independent productions such as the APT-produced shows use TV5’s facilities.
In response to a question about reviving talent searches like Artista Academy to find new homegrown TV5 artists, Intalan says they are not specifically looking to do that. Though they are open to such a program being pitched to them.
Echoing Galang’s “open to everybody” invitation, Intalan says they will look towards artists who aren’t necessarily new, but haven’t gotten opportunities or don’t have current projects. And that includes artists from both ABS-CBN and GMA Network.
Isabel Santillan, Head of Cignal TV Entertainment Business, added that they are talking to a lot of content producers for various different types of programs such as game shows and narratives. Producers pitch directly to Cignal before going through Intalan who will make programming decisions for TV5.
In response to another question, Sienna Olaso, FPV/Head – Channel Management and Programming for Cignal TV, said shows developed for Cignal networks like BuKo Channel (co-owned with APT Entertainment) would also be available to air on TV5. That includes shows in development starring Maine Mendoza.
Finding the Balance
Galang emphasizes utilizing the strengths of the shared portfolio of TV5 and Cignal. The Cignal library will help provide entertainment content, while TV5 maintains their strength in news and sports.
To align with the free-to-air market, Galang says, they understand TV5 needing to be positioned as an entertainment channel. While the majority of its content will be just that, they will still include featured sports broadcasts on TV5 such as the current new NBA deal and the eventual return of the PBA. Galang hopes to build up One Sports as the “premiere destination for all the major sporting events” on free-to-air television with One Sports+ and PBA Rush providing even more content on pay TV.
Intalan notes that TV5 is uniquely positioned to experiment pushing the envelope in terms of scheduling and content. Moving forward, they will use what they’ve learned from their previous experiments to judge what audiences responded to and what things came across as just too different and jarring for Filipinos.
Moving forward, Intalan says the vision for TV5 is to “celebrate the lives of Filipinos” by being the “network of the new normal.”