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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Manny Villar’s AMBS renames upcoming TV channel as AllTV

Manila, Philippines – Advanced Media Broadcasting System (AMBS), the broadcast media company owned by Filipino billionaire businessman and former politician Manny Villar, has renamed its upcoming television channel AMBS 2 to AllTV. 

The rebranding also echoes the naming of other business endeavours by the Villar Group, including AllDay Supermarket and AllHome furniture store.

The new AllTV channel is set to officially launch this September 22, airing on the former frequency of ABS-CBN’s free TV channel. Willie Revillame, a game show host formerly affiliated with GMA, transfers to AMBS alongside his flagship game show Wowowin.

Furthermore, former ABS-CBN talents Toni Gonzaga and husband Paul Soriano also signed contracts with AMBS, according to reports from PEP and The Manila Times.

AMBS was granted by the national government a 25-year legislative franchise extension in 2019. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) then granted AMBS the former ABS-CBN broadcasting frequencies in January this year.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s KBP taps Kantar for radio audience measurement

Manila, Philippines – Data and insights company Kantar has been commissioned by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP or the Association of Philippine Broadcasters) to conduct radio surveys that will serve as currency for its radio audience measurement this year.

KBP is a long running non-government and non-profit organization of the broadcast media in the Philippines which has been around since the 70’s. It aims to represent the interests of the broadcast media in promoting free and responsible broadcasting and provides standards to its local media partners, including regulations in news, public affairs and commentaries, political broadcasts, children’s shows, as well as religious programming, and including advertising to its members.

Through the commission, KBP aims to establish a common ground among industry stakeholders not just for research and analytics, but also in negotiating and developing partnerships that reflect “the power of radio as a powerful advertising medium.”

The radio survey will roll out across 19 key cities nationwide, including Mega Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, among others.

“Kantar is honored to have been selected as the audience measurement partner of the KBP for the radio industry. Since 2013 when Kantar was first awarded an industry contract, we have exerted every effort to ensure the high standards and accuracy of our work,” said Jay Bautista, managing director for the media division at Kantar Philippines.

He added, “This partnership with the KBP will improve the understanding of radio audiences and how listening habits have evolved since the pandemic began.”

Meanwhile, KBP President Herman Basbano and Chairman Ruperto Nicdao, Jr. said in a joint statement that their partnership with Kantar leverages the importance of radio to keep up with audience demands and stay relevant, as it needs a reliable source of information about its audiences in order to serve them better, especially in these challenging times. 
Kantar has recently launched media measuring tools to measure media channels and how audiences engage with them, including a cookie-less measurement tool by Kantar Australia aimed at connected TVs (CTVs) and podcasts.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

ABS-CBN’s news channel cancels partnership with Chinatown News TV after netizen backlash

Manila, Philippines – ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), the news channel arm of PH media conglomerate ABS-CBN, has announced that it is canceling its partnership with Chinatown News TV, a Filipino-owned media news channel broadcast in Chinese and made by the Filipino-Chinese community in the country. This was shortly after the parties announced the tie-up.

The cancellation comes after the network received backlash from the online community, pointing to the irony of establishing a Chinese broadcast in the news channel despite growing tensions between the Philippines and China regarding vessels of the latter that are currently lingering and taking space in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

ABS-CBN has recently covered the West Philippine Sea issue with one of its journalists, Chiara Zambrano, visiting the highly-contested area along with the ABS-CBN team before being chased down by the Chinese Coast Guard.

Ging Reyes, news chief at ABS-CBN, initially defended the partnership, stating that ABS-CBN had editorial control over their content, providing national news stories and ensuring accuracy of the translation from Mandarin to English subtitles.

“ABS-CBN News has vigorously covered these issues, in our pursuit of truth and public enlightenment. But we resist discrimination against any race. or ethnicity. The airing on ANC of Chinatown News should not be equated with the intrusions in the West PH Sea. Chinatown News is produced by fellow Filipinos who belong to the Filipino-Chinese community. They are part of Philippine society,” Reyes said in her Twitter thread.

Despite the defense, many netizens have opposed the partnership.

The Philippine arm of online democratic solidarity movement Milk Tea Alliance stated that Chinatown News TV is also responsible for the controversial music video ‘Iisang Dagat’ (‘One Sea’) co-produced with the Chinese Embassy to the Philippines, as well as spreading media lies about the persecution of Uyghur Muslim minorities in Mainland China.

TV writer and producer Erwin Aurella tweeted that a ‘Chinese propaganda’ video disguised as a ‘Chinese news program’ doesn’t speak to ABS-CBN’s motto of ‘In The Service of the Filipino People’.

In line with the partnership, netizens took to Twitter and mocked the station using the hashtag #ABSCBNTutaNgChina, alluding to the network being a ‘puppy’ of Chinese propaganda.

Controversially, Chinatown News TV also aimed to promote the ‘One Belt, One Road’, a global infrastructure development strategy by the Chinese Communist Party, the sole governing party of the People’s Republic of China.

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Technology Featured APAC

Media intel Isentia adopts Google’s speech-to-text tech

Singapore – Isentia, an APAC-based media intelligence and insights company, has adopted the speech-to-text technology of tech giant Google in order to provide real-time services to its business clients.

Through the integration, Isentia enables communications and media relations teams and organizations, relying on its range of AI-powered media intelligence products and capability, to manage reputations and opportunities in real-time. 

The technology feature automates the conversion of broadcasters’ speech to text. It matches words in text transcripts to the video player’s content, even during the prime time television news bulletins and current affairs shows, where the demand peaks ten times.

The broadcast results can be analyzed using the following features as well:

  • A boundary detection service that uses AI to identify when one news story ends, and the next begins, isolating relevant media items and giving clients immediate access to news segments relevant to them 
  • An ad filtering service that uses AI to identify and remove advertisements from automated broadcast monitoring 
  • A music filtering service that uses AI to remove the music that plays before or after many broadcast news items 

“Our monitoring goes far beyond cataloging mentions of brands or executive team members, to the supply of information about what people are saying about a business, industry, or interests in near real-time. That is extremely important because the value many of our clients gain is the ability to understand a trend or an event and respond quickly,” said Paul Russell, chief technology officer at Isentia.

With Google Cloud, Isentia deployed this new TV and radio broadcast solution within three months and planned to expand it to other languages, such as Chinese dialects, Malay, and Tagalog. 

“Isentia is delighted to be able to showcase world-class AI-driven improvements to our client deliveries courtesy of Google API’s and applications. The technology that sits behind the Isentia offer contains to lead the way in the industry,” said James Merritt, chief executive for Asia at Isentia.

He added, “The transition to Google Workplace was perfectly timed and saw a seamless transition. This helped Isentia to quickly and effectively adapt to the ways of working required to thrive during the pandemic and opened up new opportunities for productivity and collaboration.”

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Former ABC head returns to lead inaugural Factual & Culture team

Australia – National radio and TV broadcasting company Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has appointed content executive and creative Jennifer Collins as inaugural Head of Factual & Culture within its Entertainment & Specialist (E&S) division. She will lead the development and production of innovative content across genres such as arts, religion, science, and education, and also health, history, and social affairs.

Collins returns to ABC from her most recent role as director of content at production network Fremantle Australia. She joined ABC in 1990, and held three different leadership roles in the company until 2013.

As ABC head of development for arts, entertainment, and comedy, from 2008-2009, she started initiatives with funding bodies and screen agencies to foster new talent and creative teams. Later on, she was tasked the responsibility of ABC head of factual, from 2009-2012, and then assumed the role of ABC’s head of entertainment from 2012-2013, where she oversaw the development, commissioning, and production of programming such as Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, The Checkout, Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, Dirty Laundry Live and the Digital Emmy award-winning series #7 Days later

The new ABC Factual & Culture team was announced in June as part of the company’s five-year plan, bringing together E&S Factual content makers into a single team across television, radio, and digital, including radio network Radio National, podcast creation hub Audio Studios, and flagship programs such as Compass, Catalyst as well as the ABC’s acclaimed arts documentaries.

Michael Carrington, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist, welcomed Jennifer’s return to the national public broadcaster. “Jen is well known and respected by ABC people and partners alike and her unique skills across multiple platforms will help drive our transition towards digital content and services,” he said.

“Australians love and trust the ABC’s Factual content, from our feature-length arts programs to long-form audio documentaries. In a world of bombast and bluster, the values of creativity, clarity, and intellectual rigor are more important than ever. Jen’s experience and expertise will ensure the ABC remains the trusted home of big ideas and beautiful stories across multiple genres and platforms,” he added.

Jennifer said she was looking forward to delivering the ABC’s distinctive and engaging content across Factual & Culture. “I’ve always been deeply committed to public broadcasting and value the ABC’s unique contribution to Australia’s cultural life,” she said.

“I’m delighted to be back at the ABC to lead the Factual and Culture team, where I’ll be working with Australia’s best creative talent to deliver a rich and diverse slate of programming,” she added.