CEBU, Philippines - There is no denying it. ABS-CBN is still the number one network in the country, not based on surveys but on how popular its talents have become. While GMA-7 had a news item on 24 Oras last Tuesday about its winning streak in the ratings game nationwide in the second quarter of this year according to a survey by AGB Nielsen, I still have doubts about it.
Let’s go back to my first line. Come to think of it, in the recently released issue of YES! Magazine’s Top 20 Celebrity endorsers, there were about 24 who made it to the list and 17 of them are from the Kapamilya network. In the Top 4 are ABS-CBN jewels or goldmines: Kris Aquino, John Lloyd Cruz, Sharon Cuneta and Piolo Pascual. If you only pick the Top 10, eight of them are ABS-CBN stars. Marian Rivera, GMA-7’s primetime queen is only at number 6, while Zoren Legaspi (who is now with TV5) and Carmina Villaroel (a GMA-7 contract star) with their children occupy the 5th spot. Kim Chiu is 7th, Robin Padilla is 8th, Sarah Geronimo is 9th and Judy Ann Santos is 10th.
It’s a very telling ranking and line-up. For these kapamilya stars to be there on top means they have stronger star power and are more popular of course than those from the rival network. A very enterprising advertiser knows where to invest his money to publicize his product or services. The ranking is based on the take home pay of these celebrities. Intensity of fame counts. So ABS-CBN is more famous, despite claims by GMA-7 that they are now number one nationwide. Sit in front of your TV for just five minutes, then count the commercial load and take note of the endorsers. Chances are, in 10 advertisements, 7 have Kapamilya stars as endorsers.
YES! also released its annual 100 Most Beautiful Stars where you see more Kapamilya stars, again, dominating the list. Moreover, it’s the first time in the five-year history of this annual issue that a male celebrity landed in the cover. None other than John Lloyd Cruz. So do you still want a ratings survey, when you have all these signs with documents and analysis to prove it? But I strongly believe that GMA-7 is almost there, that anytime now, it will beat ABS-CBN in its national dominion. Gone are the days where ABS-CBN was miles and miles ahead of GMA-7 nationwide. That was many years ago. A little more push and GMA-7 will finally get it. Why so? The daytime slot is already GMA-7’s turf. You have Eat Bulaga and the bunch of sinenovelas really winning the ratings game. GMA-7 has a very strong line-up in the afternoon block. ABS-CBN has primetime supremacy yes, but back then they contolled the daytime race too. Now it has truly spinned out of control after Willie Revillame left ABS-CBN.
And let’s face it. GMA-7’s news department is very credible and multi-awarded. Can ABS-CBN claim its news personalities - Ted Failon and Noli de Castro - are truly credible? Are they, who were once part of the system they were trying to guard, now free of biases? They were once in the government, how do you expect them to be impartial and objective? Common! Then there is Korina Sanchez. How believable can she get in exposing shenanigans in government when her husband is very much part of it? Clearly, GMA-7’s control over the daytime race and their credible news organization can be deadly weapons to rob ABS-CBN of its primetime supremacy, its last frontier for total domination.
On top of that, GMA-7 owns the most alert, highly-efficient and well-organized Corporate Communications department among TV stations in the country. I’m so certain majority of the E-Group (Cebu Entertainment Group) will agree with me. GMA-7’s CorCom is always there, just a text away, since 2004. Everything you need—publicity photos, clarifications, reactions, contact numbers of key network officers and interviews—will be given to you right away. Can ABS-CBN claim that same kind of efficiency and relationship with regional press particularly Cebu? The answer is a big 101 percent NO. I for one do not even know who to contact in Manila when I need something that will not benefit me, but ABS-CBN, publicity-wise. I do not even know who composes ABS-CBN-Manila Corcom in the first place. That is, since I became part of the Cebu press in 2004. Why? Because nobody from its CorCom went out to establish a professional working relationship with the Cebu media ever since. That’s what I don’t like about ABS-CBN Manila. It seems that people there treat the Regional Press like second class citizens. Oh well, I really don’t care. After all, it’s the station that can benefit from it, not us. If they care, good. If they don’t, no big deal.
Meanwhile, TV5’s Corcom has yet to learn the ropes as its people have a tendency to just remember us when they need us. After an event in Cebu, no more communication, no consistency. But I’ll give them a chance because they are still new. But this I say: If ABS-CBN’s Corcom will not do something before the year ends, TV5 will overtake them as far as establishing relationship with the local press is concerned.
Although I appreciate GMA-7’s CorCom, I’m not a fan of its Artist Center because it seems that it is treating bisdak talents as just “one of those” unlike how Star Magic and ABS-CBN are giving good breaks to Kim Chiu, Matteo Guidecilli, Enrique Gil and Star Power runner-up Aki Solon, among others. That’s not the case with GMA-7. Look what has become of Boholana Rich Asuncion. She was the one who showed the greatest acting potential among Starstruck 3 finalists, but did she ever get a role that would let her shine and highlight such potential after all these years? How about our very own Diva Mantalaba? Biases aside, she was better than Ultimate winner Sarah Lahbati’s acting and dancing, but she is just “one of those” in the danceserye Time of My Life. How will they hone their great potential, if they don’t have the right acting vehicle? Disappointing, really! And it’s oh so bigtime!
source; phil. star