Battle of the Airwaves: TV5, RPN, and GMA Network


In the ever-evolving landscape of Philippine broadcasting, a fierce battle is unfolding among three major players: TV5, Radio Philippines Network (RPN), and GMA Network. This clash not only shapes the television industry but also has significant implications for the radio sector. 

The Partnership: TV5 and RPN Join Forces 

On February 5, 2024, Manny V. Pangilinan’s Mediquest Holdings Incorporated/TV5 and the Cabangon-Chua family’s Nine Media Corporation formalized a groundbreaking “content distribution, sales, and marketing services agreement” for their new channel, RPTV. This strategic alliance combines the broadcasting backbones of these companies, aiming to bolster the content of Mediaquest/TV5 and challenge the dominance of GMA Network Incorporated (GMA)

What’s at Stake? 

  1. Content Competition: TV5, affectionately known as “Kapatid,” has long been associated with its Kapamilya content. Now, with RPN as its new partner, it gains additional firepower. This formidable duo faces off against GMA, the “Kapuso” network, which has held sway since the exit of ABS-CBN Corporation from broadcasting in 2020. 
  1. News and Entertainment: RPTV allows TV5 to pivot toward becoming “an entertainment network, a pure entertainment network.” While retaining a bit of news programming, TV5 has revamped its flagship evening news show, Frontline Pilipinas, with seasoned anchors like former GMA News reporter Jiggy Manicad. The competition intensifies as Frontline Pilipinas vies with GMA’s 24 Oras and ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol
  1. Comedy Showdown: With comedian Joey de Leon on board, TV5 now airs the comedy game show Celebrity Samurai as a pre-program to Frontline Pilipinas, directly challenging GMA-7’s Family Feud before 24 Oras
  1. Radio Influence: TV5 benefits from RPN’s analog and digital terrestrial television (DTT) backbone. As RPN expands its DTT transmitters, TV5 leverages this infrastructure to enhance its reach. RPN, privatized in recent years, remains co-owned by Nine Media, Far East Managers Incorporated, and other private stockholders, with the Philippine government holding a minority stake. 

Implications for the Radio Industry 

  1. Audience Shift: As TV5 strengthens its position, it may divert viewership from traditional radio to television. RPN’s DTT expansion could also impact radio listenership patterns. 
  1. Advertising Revenues: The advertising landscape may shift, with RPTV offering new opportunities for advertisers. However, the revenue-sharing dynamics between TV5 and Nine Media remain undisclosed. 
  1. Competition Intensifies: GMA, a dominant force in both television and radio, faces renewed competition. Its flagship AM radio station, Super Radyo DZBB 594, continues to battle rivals like DZRH. 

In this high-stakes contest, the lines blur between TV and radio. As Kapatid, Kapuso, and Kasama vie for supremacy, the radio industry braces for impact. The airwaves have never been more charged, and listeners eagerly await the next chapter in this broadcasting saga. 


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