8 Lessons We Can Learn from the AllTV Debacle
Feb 6, 2023   •   Kel Fabie
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Feb 6, 2023   •   Kel Fabie
Citing poor ratings and a lack of advertisers, AllTV has decided to temporarily cease tapings for three of its flagship shows: M.O.M with Ruffa Gutierrez, Mariel Rodriguez, and Ciara Sotto; Wowowin with Willie Revillame; and Toni with Toni Gonzaga. We’re not gonna say we told you so, but we told you so that we weren’t gonna say that we told you so.
At this point, doing a victory lap and gloating at what happened to AllTV is just in poor form. As surprising as it is to admit, Kuya Wil was correct about one thing: there’s no point in kicking someone when they’re already down, even if they’re the last person to realize that they are.
That being said, there are still things that all of us can learn from this whole episode, regardless of political persuasion. Things like:
Spurred on by a supermajority of 31 million voters, AllTV started with high hopes by hiring key people who seemed to be the apple of the eyes of the adoring masses who elected BBM back in May.
The problem: a lot of these 31 million voters still watch ABS CBN and GMA, and do so regardless of who they voted for, because for the most part, people don’t let their politics determine their source of entertainment. At least, not in this country. Maybe it can get you a license to operate, but it won’t guarantee you a ratings bonanza.
What little we saw online of AllTV’s shows were pretty cutting-edge — in the ‘80s. Unfortunately, in this day and age, there’s a baseline of expectations when it comes to production values, and what AllTV had on offer fell way below that.
Remember: we’re currently laughing at how horribly Darna jumped the shark and actively nitpicking Voltes V’s visuals despite it being the best CGI we’ve ever seen on local TV thus far. Anything less than that will definitely catch our eye for all the wrong reasons, even if it’s just for their noontime variety show.
“But ABS-CBN and GMA do!” Of course they do. So with all things being the same, who do you think they’d default to? Of course, they’d rather go with the same ol’ that they’re more familiar with.
For you to stand out and make your mark on local TV today, you have to take a lot of risks. Even TV5 knew that with the alternative programming they came up with since their ABC 5 days all the way to their relaunch. You have to set yourself apart, or get lost in the shuffle, as AllTV unfortunately has.
When bereft of the production values that highlighted their strengths and glossed over their flaws, some of the performers AllTV has managed to acquire simply don’t have what it takes to carry a vehicle on their own. Here’s a hint: if Anne Curtis can sing better than you, then you have no business performing on stage.
Here’s another hint: if you dance less in sync than these girls do, GIVE IT UP.
While nobody expected Kuya Wil to be one of these people, let’s be honest: he hasn’t changed his schtick since 2005, while even Eat Bulaga has evolved a bunch from that time to this day. Even if you accuse Eat Bulaga of stagnating, at worst, they’ve been treading water since AlDub in 2016 — a full 11 years younger than Kuya Wil’s gimmick. And if something that reliable is no longer a ratings guarantee, what more untested talents who no longer have the benefit of high production values to mask how green they still are?
AllTV did not have particularly original programming. But that did not have to be a bad thing. Considering the money behind the network, they could have taken the effort to create quality programming and swiped their storylines wholesale from sources other than regular Philippine television. Whether those sources were the indie scene or K-Dramas or western TV or even Netflix, they could have come up with something refreshing much in the same way we are now raving about Dirty Linen and Maria Clara at Ibarra.
If even the most complacent can try, then AllTV should have gone AllOut. Unfortunately, AllTV was instead AllOut – of ideas.
AllTV is essentially the Channel 2 in 2023, as it’s been years now since ABS-CBN last held the license to broadcast on that frequency. Despite that, ABS-CBN’s following didn’t exactly just go to AllTV, any more than the broadcast tower, Bahay Ni Kuya, and all those other facilities go to AllTV, for that matter.
Competition between networks is more cutthroat than ever. To stand out, you need a lot more than just getting a few big names to do absolutely nothing new, and you also need a feeder league of programming where you can build new stars over time. Considering all the resources AllTV should have had at its disposal, it seems ludicrous that they underinvested in the entire endeavor while expecting amazing results.
Did you know that AllTV’s new radio station had a killer lineup? Of course you didn’t. That’s because AllTV was more concerned about letting you know about their biggest acquisitions, while smaller (but just as important) news like that slipped you by. If you’re going to just give the bare minimum, maybe you should have called yourself SomeTV instead?
At the end of the day, who exactly was Kuya Wil appealing to when he asked people to set aside politics? He was not addressing the 31 million at all, which leads you to ask — why not? Why concern yourself with the so-called minority when the supermajority is supposed to be on your side?
But more than that, how can you expect politics to not play a role in all of this, when it was precisely politics that led to ABS-CBN losing its license to broadcast in the first place? Why is it suddenly so convenient to set politics aside when you’re the one who needs all the help you can get?
So yes, while politics did not determine the station’s success, it sure as heck determined its failure thus far. If it has any hope of getting itself out of this quagmire, it has to come by making programming that’s so good, it’s undeniable. Until then, Filipinos will find less and less reasons to ever revisit Channel 2 again.
What’s your take on the AllTV brouhaha? Sound off in the comments!
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