There is a common notion that in the television and broadcasting industry, high rating means profit, meaning, networks have to please the market in order to establish their credibility as a brand, hoping that eventually companies will choose to advertise through them. But how exactly do they please the market? There is one concrete answer to that: give them what they want. However, as people, we are subjected to whims and difference in our preference, so it’s really hard for the networks to know what exactly sells and what doesn’t.  Eventually, these networks have developed a system, varying minimally but are still essentially the same.  It can be easily describe as, “If it works, then let’s do it again.”

Aside from market research, which is not exactly a simple task or a probable sustainable strategy, there are only a few ways of determining what exactly the market wants. So, networks stick to what they know is effective. One strategy is when they bank, even sometimes solely relying, on specific personalities to carry the ratings of program for them, the network grows dependent on the celebrity rather than the quality of the show. As some people say it, it’s all about packaging. However, sometimes this strategy bites back; networks would have to pay for some costs when their talents go against them, even if it means putting it in legal hands.

 Last July 15, a GMA actress filed a case against an executive of GMA-7 for alleged perjury, saying that the libel case against her was fallacious. In short, GMA’s strategy of honing, packaging and showcasing talents backfired. They are now facing a legal case from an internal conflict that should have been resolved even before it came public. This is not the first time that this type of disagreement came to surface newspapers and even to courts. We can recall how the 486 Million peso case of Willie Revillame against ABS-CBN for breach of contract, was such a big issue. Eventually, Revillame won but he had to find another network where he can make use of his popularity for profit. This case definitely took a toll on ABS-CBN and their financial statements.

Networks invest a lot in their talents, showed in how they are able to package it in such a way that the public will build a fan base. They have even built their own talent centers to easily facilitate workshops and trainings for artists; some networks even create shows specifically for their talents. However, as recent issues have surfaced, there is no assurance to the effectiveness of this. When a network relies too much on one strategy in increasing their ratings, sometimes, it poses problems to them. As how some people put it, they create their own enemies. So how can they avoid these internal antagonists? In the level of the artist-network relations, professionalism should still be observed, despite the nature of the industry; contracts, boundaries, due process and hierarchy should be respected when making transactions. Networks could also try to delineate from their original approach and develop quality shows as their main strategy to improve ratings.

The television industry is a ratings game; networks see celebrities as their main strategy in winning this competition. However, what drives ratings is public entertainment. Whichever that may mean to networks is of no concern to the public, as long as good quality entertainment is what they receive. Maybe networks should evaluate their approaches on how to provide this and they might be able to reduce legal costs and eliminate any possibilities of creating their own enemies.

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Delos Santos, Reynaldo
Mertalla, Nathalie Joy

Moraña, Sarmielyn
Zornosa, Maria Nauriz Rizel

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