The failure to dominate TV ratings in Metro and Mega Manila for the past 5 years (starting from 2003 to the present) is one of the biggest challenge to ABS-CBN when its main terrestrial local TV channel, Channel 2, may have a constraint in its TV signal. There were several factors about that matter: (1) the TV signal is getting weak or distorted due to absence of, improper positioning of, or damaged or substandard TV antenna; (2) some middle or lower class homes using a second-hand TV set that is Japan-based or Korean-based rather than legitimate U.S-based genuine TV set may not able to access Channel 2 due to different radio frequency spectrum (that is, a Japan TV set-based Channel 2 with FM radio-based signal of 94-100 MHz rather than a standard 54-60 MHz); (3) there were concerns of TV signal obstructions such as high rise buildings or static charges from lightning, vehicles, or electrical unit, resulting to “ghosts”, noise, or spark in picture; (4) most ABS-CBN shows were not so popular in terms of viewing taste; and (5) some people were not able to participate to watch TV. And because of the advantages of clear picture, strong signal, and good reception of GMA Channel 7 as well as its popular shows, the viewing public in Mega Manila may rather watch the said local TV channel rather than Channel 2.
Although there is no alternative to improve the concept of airing their local TV shows to attention to the viewing public so that most advertisers would give a better deal to the network, why don’t ABS-CBN to air a UHF version of its main TV channel instead of Channel 2 in Mega Manila? If this would be possibly introduce very soon, that’s what I wish for, so that most TV viewers can access ABS-CBN local TV shows with clear picture and good reception because of the advantages of UHF TV band.
The UHF version of ABS-CBN main local TV channel was introduced in 2006. Previously, it offers three stations in Pangasinan, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Puerto Princesa and it was later expanded in early 2008. The concept was not new, but it was based on a traditional technique called translator station where a UHF TV station in remote areas outside designated VHF TV coverage receives a TV signal from local TV station by means of satellite and then “translate” with the same video quality as the original. In Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija, ABS-CBN is on Channel 32; in Bulacan, it is on Channel 34 (but not yet enough transmitting power to its southern part near Metro Manila boundary, mainly because it only stands at northern part of Bulacan in San Miguel); in Pampanga and San Pablo town of Laguna, there are on Channel 46; in Puerto Princesa, Daet, and Kalibo, there are on Channel 23; in Laoag, it is on Channel 30; in Lipa, it is on Channel 38; in Baler, it is on Channel 22; in Lucena and Koronadal, there are on Channel 24; in Roxas, it is on Channel 21; and in Dipolog, it is on Channel 42. (Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ABS-CBN_channels_and_stations) These channels can be accessible to TV sets that have built-in UHF tuner and may require only high quality secondary, fringe, or far fringe outdoor antenna or built-in booster indoor antenna.
And since Bulacan and Pampanga—and later expanded in San Pablo, Laguna and Lipa, Batangas—are part of Mega Manila provincial areas, ABS-CBN UHF TV channel version may have gained projectedly at 20% of audience share compared to the current 20%-25% of audience share on ABS-CBN Channel 2 in Metro Manila and the rest of Mega Manila. Overall, ABS-CBN Channel 2 and ABS-CBN UHF TV may be projected at more than 40%, versus GMA-7 with the current 35%-40%. If that’s true, then the result is worth valid, but if not, both ABS-CBN Channel 2 and ABS-CBN UHF TV in Mega Manila would only be the same as the official Mega Manila TV ratings result at the current 20%-28% due to lack of awareness to tune-in and due to weak signal in its UHF version .
To finish up this problem, there is my suggested solution: Firstly, I wish that ABS-CBN should introduce a new UHF channel of its main local TV channel in Mega Manila, such as for example “Channel 50” with the same power output rate that of Channel 2, i.e., 60 KW-60 KW horizontal & vertical polarization. Secondly, before they would air a new UHF TV channel, they should construct first, if possible, a new TV tower as well as installing TV transmitting antenna the same as that of Channel 2 transmitter for relocation. (I only wish that, for example, they would construct this near ABS-CBN FM & AM radio transmitter in Marikina.) This is mainly because its original Quezon City transmitter would be blocked by the construction of GA Skysuite tower building a few hundred meters near its vicinity, for its height would be the same as that of ABS-CBN TV tower. Thirdly, if possible, ABS-CBN should reconceptualize of airing future TV shows so that the viewing public would be delighted so much that is free of ridicule and stupidity. Fourthly, ABS-CBN should strengthen their current airing of UHF TV signal at about 1,000 watts of power in Bulacan and Lipa, Batangas so that they would easily access in fringe areas. And finally, the network should have legitimate promotional activities to the public to tune-in—if, although this possible proposal is ongoing done by the management of the network, completed for airing—a new TV channel.
ABS-CBN’s sister local TV channel, Studio 23, may also relocate designated TV transmission coverage right after the planned construction of TV transmitter and before or during its UHF main local TV broadcast.
However, this matter—just as mentioned on my suggested posting on this blog—would be too late for next year or the next few years to come if ABS-CBN could not take an action to resolve their current analog TV broadcast in Metro and Mega Manila against the mighty Channel 7 broadcast. This is mainly because they would focus only on the introduction of “free-viewing” terrestrial digital HDTV broadcast (in 1080p video resolution) by 2015, whether ATSC, DVB EuSC, or ISDB standards.