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GMA Network (Global Media Arts or simply GMA) is a major national commercial broadcast television and radio network in the Philippines. GMA Network is the flagship property of publicly traded GMA Network Inc. Its first broadcast on television was on October 29, 1961, GMA Network (formerly known as RBS TV Channel 7, GMA Radio-Television Arts then GMA Rainbow Satellite Network) is commonly signified to as the "Kapuso Network" in reference to the outline of the company’s logo. It has also been called the “Christian Network” which refers to the apparent programming during the tenure of the new management, which took over in 1974. It is headquartered in the GMA Network Center in Quezon City and its transmitter, Tower of Power is located at Tandang Sora Avenue, Barangay Culiat also in Quezon City.
|Type||Broadcast commercial television network|
|Branding||The Kapuso Network (Kapuso is a Tagalog term for "a member of the heart")|
March 1, 1950 |
by Robert "Uncle Bob" Stewart
|Slogan||Buong Puso Para sa Kapuso (English: Wholehearted for the One in Heart)|
|TV stations||List of GMA Network stations|
|35.95% (Nielsen Urban National TAM January-August 2016)|
|Headquarters||GMA Network Center, EDSA corner Timog Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines|
|Owner||GMA Network Inc.|
Felipe L. Gozon (chairman and CEO)|
Gilberto R. Duavit Jr (president and COO)
Felipe S. Yalong (executive vice-president and CFO)
Marivin Arayata (vice president for entertainment TV)
Nessa Valdellon (first vice president for news and public affairs)
March 1, 1950 (radio)|
October 29, 1961 (television)
RBS TV (1961–1974)|
GMA Radio-Television Arts (1974–1992)
GMA Rainbow Satellite Network (1992–1995)
|GMA News TV|
GMA Pinoy TV|
GMA Life TV
GMA News TV International
The original meaning of the GMA acronym was Greater Manila Area, referring to the initial coverage area of the station. As the network expanded it changed into Global Media Arts. Today, its flagship television station is DZBB-TV (GMA 7 Manila). The network has 3 originating stations and 49 relay stations nationwide. Its programming is also available outside the Philippines through GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News TV International.
1950s and 1960sEdit
The origin of GMA Network can be traced back to Loreto F. de Hemedes Inc. through DZBB, which started airing its radio broadcast on March 1, 1950, and officially launched as a local radio station in Manila on June 14, 1950 and owned by Robert La Rue “Uncle Bob” Stewart, an American war correspondent. Venturing into television in the 1960s, Stewart started its television station through RBS TV Channel 7 in the DZBB-TV station on October 29, 1961, the Philippines' third terrestrial television station. Originally, RBS's programming is composed of foreign programs from the United States and it later produced local programs to cater Filipino audiences. It produced shows like Uncle Bob’s Lucky Seven Club, a child-oriented show aired every Saturdays; Dance Time with Chito; Lovingly Yours, Helen; GMA Supershow (formerly Germside and then Germspesyal) and various news programs like News at Seven. And in 1963, RBS launched its first provincial television station in Cebu, DYSS Channel 7 (now GMA Cebu). In the same year, from Loreto F. de Hemedes Inc, the firm was formally renamed to Republic Broadcasting System, Inc. (RBS).
On September 21, 1972, then President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law by the virtue of Proclamation 1081. Marcos, ruling by decree, curtailed press freedom and other civil liberties; closed down the Congress and media establishments including RBS. Military personnel occupied GMA Network compound and placed it under military control to prevent alleged communist propaganda. Media outlets including RBS that was critical to the Marcos administration were ordered to be closed. But in late-December 1972, RBS was allowed by the government to return on the air this time by its blocktime agreement with the National Media Production Center (NMPC), however with limited three-month permits. But due to limited licenses, difficulty in financial obligations, and disallowing foreign citizens and entities from owning and operating media companies in the Philippines, Stewart and the American Broadcasting Company, who owned a quarter of the company, was forced to cede majority control to a triumvirate composed of Gilberto Duavit Sr., a Malacañang official; Menardo Jimenez, an accountant; and Felipe Gozon, an attorney of the Stewarts in 1974 and the station changed its name to GMA Radio-Television Arts (GMA stood for Greater Manila Area, the station's initial coverage area), though Republic Broadcasting System, Inc. remained as its corporate name until 1996. His wife Loring was the president when the takeover happened. The relaunched GMA, aside from sporting a light blue square logo with the network name in white, also (until 1980) had a circle 7 logo in use, in its final years the blue circle 7 logo used was similar to those used by the ABC in some United States cities.
After that, Rod Reyes, the then-general manager of RBS recruited old-timers from ABS-CBN, including from the news department and entertainment programs. Through the acquisition, the station was able to broadcast in color with a PhP8 million credit line thru buying telecine machines and acquired foreign programs. Ratings were up from #5 to #3 that time.
When Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., a senator who strongly opposed the Marcos administration, was assassinated on August 21, 1983, it was only a small item on television news. The iron grip that the Marcos administration had on television began to slip, as GMA broadcast the funeral, the only local station to do so. In 1984, Imee Marcos, daughter of Ferdinand Marcos, attempted to take over GMA. However, the takeover was prevented by GMA executives. Stewart left the Philippines for good as he was utterly disappointed with the Marcos move. GMA was also instrumental during the years preceding the People Power Revolution. The network was the first to air a television interview with Corazon Aquino in 1984, and when she later announced that she would run for the presidency if she receives one million signatures. In February 1986, the network was also the first to report that Fidel Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile broke away from the Marcos administration.
When democracy in the Philippines was restored in the People Power Revolution in 1986, television stations began to air, some with their original owners. The political instability of the country also added to the station's burden, when soldiers stormed into the studios for two days in a part of coup attempt to topple then president, Corazon Aquino. In 1987, it became the first VHF television network in the country to provide a new dimension to viewers by broadcasting the network's programs in full stereo (dubbed as GMA StereoVision), it opened its high-end live studio, the Broadway Centrum, boosting its local programming, and inaugurated its 777-foot Tower of Power located along Tandang Sora, Quezon City, the tallest man-made structure in the country on November 7, 1988.
On March 20, 1992, Congress passed Republic Act No. 7252, otherwise known as “An Act Granting the Republic Broadcasting System, Inc. A Franchise to Construct, Install, Operate and Maintain Radio and Television Broadcasting Stations in the Philippines,” granting GMA a legislative franchise for the operation of radio and television broadcasting stations, in particular, “to construct, install, operate and maintain for commercial purposes and in the public interest, radio and television broadcasting stations in the Philippines with the corresponding auxiliary, special broadcast and other program and distribution services and relay stations, and to install radio communications facilities for private use in its broadcast services” for a term of 25 years.
Under Jimenez, Gozon and Executive Vice President Antonio C. Barreiro, international reach became GMA's target in the 1990s, which began when the Rainbow Satellite launched on April 26, 1992. Through its relay stations, GMA programs were seen across the archipelago and Southeast Asia. GMA programming started airing in 60 American cities and parts of South America through the International Channel Network. GMA was the official broadcaster of the 1995 World Youth Day, which was the last visit of Pope John Paul II to the country. During the same year, two popular TV shows, Eat Bulaga! and Okey Ka Fairy Ko! began broadcasting on GMA after TAPE Inc. refused ABS-CBN's proposal to buy the airing rights of the two shows. At the same time, GMA launched a UHF channel subsidiary, Citynet 27, several new shows (among them was Bubble Gang one of the longest-running shows on TV today), and the news program, Saksi with Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco and Karen Davila. It also has the Asian adaptation of The 700 Club series as The 700 Club Asia which Philippines is the only originating country in Asia.
In 1995, GMA founded its film production company, Cinemax Studios (later renamed to GMA Films in 1998) with the film Run Barbi Run. Its film José Rizal released in 1998, which was at that time the most expensive movie production ever in the country (costing over 80 million pesos to produce), became a huge success with many accolades and award nominations.
On May 16, 1996, GMA formally changed its corporate name to GMA Network Incorporated, with GMA now standing for Global Media Arts. GoBingo, initially aired in 1996, is an interactive game show hosted by Arnell Ignacio, with Maricar de Mesa as the first GobiGirl. In 1998, GMA pioneered on Filipino language late night news broadcast with the news program GMA Network News as the first Filipino-language late-night television newscast after it was debuted six years ago as an English language late-night newscast, as English newscasts were started since the introduction of television in the country in 1953. As the newscast fasten to higher than its English newscasts, all networks start to follow including ABS-CBN in 1999, IBC 13 in 1998, RPN 9 in 2000, NBN 4 in 2001 and ABC 5 in 2004.
GMA was the first Philippine broadcaster to receive a Peabody Award for Investigative Reporting in 1999. Later, Citynet 27 became EMC, the first locally programmed music video channel, later becoming a part of the Channel [V] franchise called Channel [V] Philippines. Channel [V] Philippines, however, ceased operations due to a conflict of interest between the owners of GMA and PLDT (which bought a stake in GMA), who operate MTV Philippines through their subsidiary, the Nation Broadcasting Corporation. GMA was also the Philippine broadcaster for 2000 Today, the most-successful international television special that commemorated the dawn of the new Millennium. At the turn of the millennium, GMA was the only local network to go on 24-hour, non-stop broadcasting (However, in 2001, the network reduced back to regular broadcast hours for its regular transmitter maintenance due to NTC's rules and regulations for affiliated free-to-air TV stations). At the beginning of the year, Menardo Jimenez announced his retirement as president and CEO (he would later assumed office as a member of the board of directors of San Miguel Corporation in 2002) and on December 31, 2000, Felipe Gozon assumed the position with his concurrent capacity as chairman. Duavit's son Gilberto Duavit Jr. assumed the post of chief operating officer.
On October 27, 2002, during an episode of the network's noon time show SOP, GMA officially revealed a new logo and image campaign. The new logo features a rainbow colored heart-shaped logo, the Kapuso, represented by a new slogan "Kapuso ng Pamilyang Pilipino, Anumang Kulay ng Buhay" ("One in Heart With the Filipino family, In Whatever Colors of Life"), and a Century Gothic Bold font for the letters. The "Kapuso" theme song is sung by Regine Velasquez.
In 2003, Saksi won the New York Television Festival Gold Medal for best newscast, the first Philippine newscast to do so. This, and the Peabody Award in 1999, earned the network a House of Representatives commendation later that year. On September 1 of the same year, GMA Network withdrew its membership from the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), after incidents involving host Rosanna Roces, alleged commercial overloading and interfering when news anchor Mike Enriquez aired his complaints over his radio program, Saksi sa Dobol B, against Lopez-owned cable firm SkyCable's distortion of GMA's signal on its system, and a lost videotape containing evidence that the cable firm had violated the rule on soliciting ads for cable TV. GMA was an official TV network of the 4th World Meeting of Families held in Manila, Philippines.
In 2004, GMA launched line up of new programs and primetime shows such as Te Amo, Maging Sino Ka Man, Hanggang Kailan, Forever In My Heart, Marinara, as well as, Bahay Mo Ba 'To, Naks!, Lovely Day, StarStruck Kids, Ikaw Sa Puso Ko, Leya, Ang Pinakamagandang Babae Sa Ilalim Ng Lupa, 30 Days, Wag Kukurap, Pinoy Pop Superstar, SOP Gigsters, Joyride, 3R, Out, Bitoy's Funniest Videos and the network's new early evening newscast 24 Oras.
In 2005, the company’s subsidiary, Citynet Network Marketing and Productions, Inc., signed a co-production and blocktime agreement with ZOE Broadcasting Network, allowing the GMA Network with another platform to showcase its programming and talents. On November 11, 2005, ZOE's flagship station, DZOE-TV Channel 11, went on the air as Quality TeleVision (later known as Q and was reformatted to become GMA News TV), and broadcast shows that primarily targeted women audiences. Q's news programs shared the same resources of GMA News and Public Affairs, while some programs are produced by Citynet Network Marketing and Productions, Inc. Also in 2005, GMA won the Asian Television Awards' Best Terrestrial Television Station, besting MBC of Korea and MediaCorp Channel 5 of Singapore. The network planned to go public, but due to political instability and downward trend of broadcast advertising, it was delayed.
In 2006, Debate with Mare at Pare, a late-night public affairs program, won the bronze medal in the New York Television Festival. The network was also praised on its coverage of the Wowowee (a program of ABS-CBN) stampede by local publications. In an exclusive interview, a reprehensive Mike Enriquez interviewed embattled Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for the first time since the lifting of the State of National Emergency, which the network allowed other stations to air without prior consent. At the end of the interview, the president praised the network for its news coverage, hinting that other media outfits to do the same. In April, the founder of the network, Robert "Uncle Bob" Stewart died in the United States. During the Everest climbing season the same year, GMA supported climber Romi Garduce, the third Filipino to reach the summit of Mt. Everest in only three days. The network is one of the first local companies to produce an IMAX film, with the opening of the San Miguel-Coca-Cola IMAX Theater in SM's Mall of Asia.
In 2007, the network announced that it will offer its stocks to the public. After being cancelled numerous times and despite the Marcoses claim to the shares held by the Duavit family, their IPO was finally held on July 30 offering PhP 8.50 per share. The Network started to produce television franchises from other countries when they produced Celebrity Duets: Philippine Edition with FremantleMedia, one of the largest producers of television franchises in the world based in United Kingdom. They later produced MariMar, Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan, Kakasa Ka Ba Sa Grade 5? and Whammy! Push Your Luck from various countries. On September 16, 2007, it was announced that the Idol franchise, which was previously used by the Associated Broadcasting Company (to produce Philippine Idol) would be transferred to GMA under the new name Pinoy Idol.
In 2008, GMA produced a diverse set of shows for its prime time block by airing Carlo J. Caparas' Joaquin Bordado, Mars Ravelo's Dyesebel, Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita, Gagambino, Codename: Asero, Lalola, Ako si Kim Sam Soon, Survivor Philippines, Family Feud, Saan Darating Ang Umaga? and Luna Mystika. GMA became the new home of the Idol franchise, with Pinoy Idol premiering that summer along with its companion show, Pinoy Idol Extra.
In the first half of 2009, GMA Network lined up new shows for its prime time like Carlo J. Caparas' Ang Babaeng Hinugot Sa Aking Tadyang, Carlo J. Caparas' Totoy Bato, All About Eve, Zorro, Adik Sa'Yo, All My Life, Sana Ngayong Pasko. The prime time news program 24 Oras won two awards in the New York Television Festival, a Gold Medal for Best Continuing Coverage and a Silver Medal for Best News Program.
The network likewise lined up new prime time shows for the second half of 2009 like Rosalinda, new version of Darna, second season of Survivor Philippines, Stairway to Heaven, Full House, new season of StarStruck.
In 2010, for the first and second quarters, GMA Network released new soaps and shows like The Last Prince, Panday Kids, First Time, Laff En Roll, Diva, Zooperstars, Claudine, Wipeout, Pepito Manaloto, Wachamakulit, Sunnyville, Comedy Bar, Love Bug, Langit Sa Piling Mo, Pilyang Kerubin, Endless Love, Danz Showdown, as well as Diz Iz It! which replaced the longest morning talk show SiS along Party Pilipinas which replaced SOP.
In 2011, GMA Network offered an afternoon line-up which continued the success of Koreana, Trudis Liit, Basahang Ginto and Bantatay. It includes Nita Negrita, Magic Palayok, Alakdana, Sisid and My Lover, My Wife. In the primetime line-up, GMA released I Heart You, Pare!, Dwarfina, Machete, Captain Barbell, Munting Heredera, the first historical drama of the Philippines entitled Amaya and they offered the first TV remake drama series Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin.
In 2012, the network offered all original line-up of television series for the first quarter, in both primetime and afternoon block such as Legacy, Biritera and My Beloved in GMA Telebabad and Alice Bungisngis and her Wonder Walis, Broken Vow, The Good Daughter and Hiram na Puso in GMA Afternoon Prime.
On February 1, 2012, GMA Network announced it has signed a three-year deal with Fox International Channels which allows locally produced GMA's shows and feature films to be aired on FOX cable channels. The said deal covers a minimum of 350 hours worth of programs and 25 feature films. Among the programs delivered to FOX for airing in its Philippine feed are: Encantadia, Darna, Dyesebel, Super Twins, Stairway to Heaven, Kaya Kong Abutin Ang Langit, Trudis Liit and Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita, and news and public affairs shows like Wish Ko Lang, Pinoy Meets World and Pinoy Abroad. While the films covered by the deal are: My Best Friend's Girlfriend, When I Met U, Yaya and Angelina: The Spoiled Brat Movie, Temptation Island and José Rizal.
On February 22, 2012, GMA Films' President Annette Gozon-Abrogar and director Yam Laranas announced that the thriller movie The Road was commercially released and shown in over 50 theaters across North America and Canada on May 11, 2012, a first for a local Filipino motion picture.
On February 28, 2012, the network announced the retirement of senior vice president for the Entertainment Group, Wilma Galvante. The announcement came about after Galvante officially retired from the network, ending her 19 years of service as entertainment head. GMA Network appointed Lilybeth Rasonable as Officer in-charge of the Entertainment Group. Rasonable has been with the network since 1998 and has served as program manager, assistant vice president, and vice president for drama for the Entertainment Group. Her latest position prior to the appointment has seen her supervising the group's afternoon and primetime teledramas.
In April 2012, GMA Network's president and COO Gilberto Duavit, Jr. announced that the network hit consolidated revenues at 13.083 billion pesos in 2011. That's despite the absence of 2.054 billion pesos worth of revenues from political ads generated in 2010 and the global impact of financial crisis in Europe and slow economic recovery in the U.S. in 2011.
On October 4, 2012, the network announced the termination of negotiations with MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. (an affiliate of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company) owned by businessman and TV5 chairman Manny V. Pangilinan. Since the beginning of the year, Mr. Pangilinan had been vocal with his interest to acquire GMA Network, saying that he "talked to them, ...since 2002, and then maybe five years ago." Following the return of the negotiations of GMA Network to the PLDT Group, Manny V. Pangilinan confirming last March 4, 2014, that the offer to buy 34% stake at GMA Network was expired in February of the same year.
On May 5, 2014, GMA Network chairman and CEO, attorney Felipe L. Gozon confirmed the networked has entered negotiations with San Miguel Corporation president and COO Ramon S. Ang. A month after, on June 24, 2014, GMA Network's major stockholders announced it will sell 30% of their equity shares of the network to Ang in his personal capacity. San Miguel Corporation is not involved in Ang's acquisition of the shares. In June 2015, GMA in a disclosure to the securities commission said that talks with Ramon Ang has bogged down.
In April 2015, GMA Network implemented a series of budget cuts towards its regional TV stations, by terminating at least 200 regional employees, downgrading its originating TV stations in Bacolod, Naga, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos and Ilocos to 'satellite-selling' or relay TV stations, and cancelling morning shows in Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Dagupan, reportedly in order for them to "streamline their operations for increased ratings and revenue." In November that same year, the network also downgraded its originating station in Iloilo City into 'relay-selling' or satellite TV station and cancelling Ratsada 24 Oras following the retrenchment of 20 employees from the news department as part of the strategic streamlining undertaken by GMA Network.
On March 9, 2018, GMA Network launched its new slogan "Buong Puso Para Sa Kapuso" (English: Wholehearted for the One in Heart) with a new station ID. However, the network's current station ID in short version during the top/bottom of the hour before start the programs as well as during commercial breaks/reminders it also aired on its sister channel, GMA News TV.
Digital terrestrial transitionEdit
In February 2013, GMA Network admitted that it was conducting field tests of Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T), the Japanese standard in digital television, but remained unconvinced saying European standard, second-generation Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial (DVB-T2), is superior to ISDB-T. However, in October 2013, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a draft memorandum circular adopting the Japanese standard as the sole standard in the delivery of digital terrestrial TV (DTT) services in the Philippines. In May 2015, GMA Network announced that it will be spending at least Php 2 to 3 billion for the rollout of its digital TV service and said the company plans to produce dongles, instead of set-top boxes for the rollout. In May 2015, GMA topped the digital TV test commissioned by mobile phone brand Starmobile and conducted by American market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) with GMA's presence in 10 out of 14 locations in Metro Manila. 
Beginning September 2013, some of the programs of the network have been produced in high definition format in preparation for the ongoing digital shift in the country while keeping digital on-screen graphics in 4:3 safe zone for their TV broadcast since the network is still broadcasting in 480i. The videos uploaded on their YouTube channel and third-party OTT services on the other hand are presented in 1080p format.
In December 2016, it was announced that the network will spend an initial amount of 416 million pesos for the commencement of the Digital Terrestrial Television transition project of GMA, which included the purchase of three high-powered transmitters capable for providing wider and clearer signal to digital television boxes, antennas and other connectivity requirements, and a fully mirrored head-end system, which is a master facility for grouping and digitally encoding programs. According to GMA Network Chairman and CEO, Felipe Gozon, the network will conclude the test phase, and it is expected to begin the rollout of the DTTV project starting in Metro Manila.
In preparation for the shift to digital, GMA New Media is currently working on a DTV Set-top box (originally reported to be a DTV dongle) in order to compete with ABS-CBN's own TV Plus box. A prototype was shown at the IMMAP DigiCon congress in 2016, and is shown to be running a version of Android, double-acting as a streaming device capable of running apps and games. No news yet to when a production version will be available. 
GMA Network is jointly owned by its three major shareholders; the Gozon, Duavit and Jimenez families. Its corporate shareholding is owned by GMA Holdings Inc. (25.17%), Group Management & Development Inc. (23.47%), FLG Management & Development Corp. (20.01%) percent, M.A. Jimenez Enterprises (13.49%) percent, and Television International Corp. (9.94%).
Shareholder GMA Holdings, Inc. is jointly owned by Felipe L. Gozon, Gilberto Duavit, Jr. and Joel Marcelo Jimenez.
Branding of the GMA NetworkEdit
On October 29, 1961, Loreto F. de Hemedes Inc. launches its first television station in the Philippines, known back then as RBS TV Channel 7. GMA Network began branding its identity by eliminating call signs to its network identification.
- RBS TV Channel 7 (1961-1974)—From the success of its amplitude modulation band radio DZBB, Robert La Rue "Uncle Bob" Stewart launches its first television and the Philippines third terrestrial channel, RBS TV Channel 7.→
- GMA Radio-Television Arts (1974-1992)—To ascertain its presence in its coverage area, the Greater Manila Area, RBS changed its name to GMA Radio-Television Arts after the takeover by the new management.
- GMA Rainbow Satellite Network (Rainbow Network, 1992-1995)—When the network launched its satellite to widen its coverage area, GMA again rebranded its network identity on April 30, 1992.
- GMA Network (Rainbow Network, 1995-2002)-In preparation for the 45th year of responsible broadcasting, GMA Rainbow Satellite changed to GMA Network.
- GMA Network (Kapuso Network, 2002-Present)—On October 27, 2002, GMA Network unveiled its new identity and catchphrase. In an effort to localize and transform its image into a more intrinsic Filipino network, GMA Network engaged in a rebranding course.
GMA Network has used a number of logos throughout its history especially when Gozon, Jimenez, and Duavit acquired the station in the 1975. From the late 1970s to the early 1990s, the network used the Circle 7 logo, which is also expended by several networks around the world. In the 1980s, to refine its presence in Philippine broadcast industry, GMA Network used the slogan Where You Belong, and lasted for two decades before invigorating to another catchphrase. In 1992, GMA Network redefines itself as the Rainbow Network, succeeding the ensigns of the rainbow. Throughout the 1990s, the network developed the logo before having it replaced by its current logo in 2002 and as the Kapuso Network. After a huge marketing campaign, and improved television ratings, the new insignia (the rainbow-colored stylized heart-shape logo known as Kapuso) is now one of the most recognizable in the Philippines.
Kapuso ng Bawat Pilipino (One in Heart with Every Filipino) is the former characteristic catchphrase of GMA Network. The slogan was initially used in conjunction with the rebranding of GMA Network as the “Kapuso Network” on October 27, 2002. But another slogan of the network Kapuso, Anumang Kulay ng Buhay (One in Heart, in Every Colors of Life) is still used in other purposes and this is the official theme song title for the network. GMA Network’s news and public affairs department meanwhile uses the slogan Serbisyong Totoo (True Service). It is one of the longest running slogans used for news broadcast promotion. GMA Network found itself on the other end of a battle concerning the slogan, when ABS-CBN News Channel uses similar catchphrase, and immediately discontinued in order to avoid legal predicament from GMA Network. In 2006, its news department also used an accompanying slogan, Just News, for its promotional campaign together with its news media partners, INQ7.Net.
GMA Network television programming comprises news, public affairs, sports, fictional, variety shows, dramas, musicals, soap operas, children’s and talk shows, reality programs, cartoons and anime and movie blocks. Most of its programs are broadcast live and taped in its GMA Network Centers and Studios located in Metropolitan Manila. GMA Network currently programs 20.5 hours of programming per day. It provides 34.5 hours of prime time programming per week to its owned and affiliated stations: on Weekdays, 4:25-10:00 p.m. on Mondays to Thursdays, 10:00-12:35 a.m. on Fridays, 10:00-12:30 a.m. on Saturdays, 4:30-12:55 a.m. on Sundays. Programming is also provided from 4:00-1:25 a.m. on Weekdays in the form of Unang Hirit; the two-and-half hour and three-hour Monday to Saturday noontime variety show Eat Bulaga!, early afternoon drama (Afternoon Prime block), early and late-evening news program, 24 Oras and Saksi, respectively; primetime programing through its Telebabad block; late night current affairs shows produced by its news and public affairs department.
Programming competition started in 2004 when production of numerous GMA Network shows was up against its rival network, ABS-CBN. Reality show, Extra Challenge started to lead the ratings and with launch of "telefantasya" Mulawin. On September 23, 2004, GMA Network gained leadership in Mega Manila against its closest competitor. In 2005, GMA Network began producing Mars Ravelo's Darna, a classic Filipino comic book character which became a hit, with an overnight rating of 47.7 percent, the highest rating for a pilot episode and the first "telefantasya" to reach 52.1 percent ratings; followed by Encantadia at 47.2 percent and other prime-time "telefantasyas", Mulawin (2004) and Sugo (2005) contributed to GMA Network lead in Mega Manila. In 2006, GMA Network maintained its prime time supremacy by reformatting its reality-based program Extra Challenge and another "telefantasya" Encantadia (which was succeeded by Etheria and Encantadia: Pag-ibig Hanggang Wakas), and the localized subtitled versions of Korean television series Stairway to Heaven, Full House, Jewel in the Palace and My Lovely Sam Soon.
In 2007, GMA Network started producing the local version of a Mexican television series MariMar. For its pilot episode, it got 52.6 percent overnight rating, making it the only soap opera to achieve the highest ratings in GMA Network’s history. In a 2006 survey conducted by Pulse Asia, seven out of 10 Metro Manila-based viewers find GMA Network a more credible network than its competitor. GMA Network managed to lead in Mega Manila and Southern Luzon demographic, which has the highest concentration of television ownership and 79 percent of advertisement placement.
The National Urban Television Audience Measurement was officially launched on October 16, 2006 to determine the television ratings and audience share of local TV programs from urban areas in the Philippines. This changes the broadcast industry landscape and the manner in which the advertisers allocate their TV investments to achieve cost efficiency and maximization. In August 2007 audience rating data shows GMA Network maintained its lead in Mega Manila, which resulted to a 23 percent growth in its consolidated net income to PhP1.13 billion in the first half of the year from PhP915 million in the same period last year. GMA Network income grew by 23 percent year-on-year to PhP1.126 billion in the first six months of the year. Mega Manila accounts 49 percent of total TV households. The Mega Manila and Luzon markets combined accounts 76 percent of the total TV households. It earned PhP2.3 billion in 2007. In 2011, GMA Network maintained the lead in the national television ratings mentioning figures from Nielsen TV Audience Measurement for January 1 to February 13, 2011. It had 33.2 percent audience shared based on overnight data, higher than ABS-CBN's 31.8 percent and TV5’s 14.9 percent. It also leads in Urban Luzon, which makes up 77 percent of total television households in the Philippines. GMA Network posted 9.8 point lead with 36.5 points compared with closest competitor, ABS-CBN's 26.7 points and imposing a 19.6 point lead from TV5's 16.9. GMA Network also sustained to beat ABS-CBN in Mega Manila, which accounts 58 percent of television household. It got 37.7 percent share over ABS-CBN 25.2 percent and TV5's 17.7 percent, 20 points higher.
Copyright infringement with ABS-CBNEdit
On July 22, 2004, during the arrival of Angelo de la Cruz at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (a truck driver who was held hostage and threatened with beheading in Iraq abducted by armed rebels west of Baghdad while trucking fuel from Saudi Arabia), live news coverage was aired on GMA Network and other local television stations in the Philippines. GMA Network used audio-video coverage through the facilities of Reuters, which GMA Network subscribed to. During the said broadcast, a live feed from Reuters was simultaneously aired with its own live broadcast. During the first five-second of live feed, GMA Network did notice that the live feed from Reuters was also airing at another local station, its main competitor ABS-CBN. The live video was restricted only to ABS-CBN and Reuters did not inform GMA Network that the video coverage was only intended for ABS-CBN. The local Court of Appeals junked the case filed by ABS-CBN Corporation against GMA Network Inc. for what was claimed to be illegal copying of its live video footage. In a ruling, the local fourth division of the appellate court set aside the resolution of the local Justice department, which approved the filing of violation of Republic Act 8293 (or the Intellectual Property Code) against GMA Network. It ruled out that the act of GMA Network in airing the live video coverage was focused by good faith since there was no meaning to instigate damage to ABS-CBN Corporation. The local court also said GMA Network acted in good faith when it decided to instantaneously stop using the live video feed from Reuters upon learning ABS-CBN was also covering the said news event and its following exertion to authenticate the ABS-CBN Corporation restriction arrangement with the news service, Reuters. The local court also stressed that apart from lack of intent of GMA Network to affect the video from ABS-CBN, the action also cannot be reflected intrusion of Sections 212.4 and 185.1 of Republic Act 8293 since it was just a short excerpt compared with the totality of the matter.
On December 20, 2007, Judge Charito Gonzales of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 80 released a temporary restraining order on TV ratings surveys based on a civil case filed by then ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation (now ABS-CBN Corporation) versus AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation accused competitor GMA Network Inc. of funding bribing operations in Bacolod City, to discredit the former. The local court in the Philippines further ordered ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation to file comment on the plea of AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines for the alleged gathering and dissemination of television ratings data, within five days or until December 22, 2007. On December 21, 2007, a local AM radio station in the Philippines, owned by ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, DZMM field reporter Junrie Hidalgo reported a news story entitled AGB Nielsen, umamin sa dayaan: GMA Network, tahasang itinurong nasa likod ng dayaan (AGB Nielsen admits to cheating: GMA Network aggressively accused of being behind the cheating) during the radio program of Showbiz Mismo, hosted by Cristy Fermin and Jobert Sucaldito. The news story is based on an interview of AGB Nielsen general manager Maya Reforma regarding the purported cheating. In response, GMA Network Inc. aired a television plug reproving the purported unfair journalism and disagreed the accusations of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation. GMA Network Inc. later filed a PhP15-million civil libel suit against ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation on January 3, 2008. The respondents included Hidalgo, Fermin, Sucaldito, the station and news manager of DZMM, writers and executive producers of television programs Bandila, Entertainment Live and The Buzz after the same story was aired locally. On January 7, 2008, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court junked ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation's suit against AGB Nielsen, saying the case was “prematurely filed" before the local court. Judge Gonzales' basis is the principle of mutuality of contracts, citing Article 1308 and 1196, New Civil Code of the Philippines. Also, Judge Samuel Gaerlan, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 92 issued court summons against ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation and 15 of its personnel on the January 3, 2008. On January 17, 2008, Judge Gaerlan recused himself from the case, considering that he has a cousin working in the legal department of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation. The case was later reraffled on January 28, 2008, and the case was eventually assigned to Judge Henri Inting of Branch 95 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court. On February 14, 2008, Judge Inting issued a temporary restraining order barring local television station, ABS-CBN from airing defamatory statements against GMA Network Inc.
Lawsuit against TV5Edit
In December 2008, GMA Network Inc., Citynet Television, and ZOE Broadcasting Network filed a lawsuit against the management of TV5, alleging MPB Primedia Inc. (a subsidiary of Media Prima Berhad, a Malaysian company, which entered a block time agreement with Associated Broadcasting Company to sell the airtime of TV5) of violating Article XVI, Section 3, of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. GMA Network Inc. argues restriction of foreign entities to operate and own a Filipino company especially on broadcast media. GMA Network Inc. disputes MPB Primedia Inc. that it was established to skirt the anti-dummy laws and enter into an unlawful block time deal.
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