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Entertainment

Stars, shows to expect on ALLTV before full launch early 2023

Nathalie M. Tomada - The Philippine Star
Stars, shows to expect on ALLTV before full launch early 2023
Former Senate President Manny Villar (rightmost) and his son Manuel Paolo Villar (second from right) welcome Toni Gonzaga and her husband-director Paul Soriano (center) to their new home network, Advanced Media Broadcasting System’s ALLTV. Joining the celebrity couple at the contract signing are Toni’s parents Bonoy and Pinty Gonzaga.

MANILA, Philippines — ALLTV, the flagship channel of the Manny Villar-backed Advanced Media Broadcasting System (AMBS), Inc., has been on the receiving end of feelers from stars and TV personalities since its soft launch on Sept. 13, said a top executive for the company.

AMBS president Maribeth Tolentino recently told The STAR in a one-on-one interview that contrary to rumors, they were not actively wooing or seeking out certain personalities from rival networks to join ALLTV.

“Sino po nag-re-recruit? Wala pa naman,” Tolentino said.

“In terms of recruitment, we’re recruiting employees para bumuo ng aming (to form our) organization,” she added.

“Perhaps, we will also recruit (stars and TV personalities) eventually. Yung mga sinasabi nila, baka naman gusto nila magpa-recruit na kaya nagparamdam na sila?”

Most of the celebrities who appeared during the soft launch, led by veteran TV host Willie Revillame, are the entertainment talents so far of the network.

However, she noted that a lot has already expressed interest in becoming part of ALLTV, especially after the soft launch.

“So, that’s our challenge now because mas dumami sila na gusto mag-join dahil nag-(soft) launch na kami,” said Tolentino who called it a “happy problem.”

AMBS president Maribeth Tolentino: More stars and TV personalities have expressed interest to join ALLTV.

“(Yes) we received a lot of feelers, even employees, new graduates, artistas, all of them, isa-isahin namin kung sino yung tutugma sa aming station na ALLTV,” she added.

Meanwhile, Tolentino said it was a huge relief on their part to be able to partially launch the channel last Sept. 13.

“Parang nakahinga kami ng maluwag. It’s our first time to launch a network, that’s why we were all nervous. But we managed to show the public na ayan na ang ALLTV,” she said.

According to Tolentino, the birth pains were expected of a channel that started from scratch. She said they also welcomed feedback to improve, particularly the technical aspects.

Asked how they intend to position ALLTV in the media landscape, as well as what their vision and direction are for the channel, Tolentino said they want to “make people happy” with their programing and aim to present a network that “reaches most Filipinos” because they have the “widest frequency.” She said these were the marching orders of business tycoon and former Senator Manny Villar.

In a separate group interview, Tolentino shared the complex and challenging process before they were able to air after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) granted the broadcast frequencies previously assigned to ABS-CBN Corp. to AMBS early this year. To recall, Congress denied the franchise renewal application of ABS-CBN in May 2020.

Tolentino indicated they only started to work on ALLTV after the elections in July. She said they had to acquire and invest in facilities as well as equipment, which takes about eight months to a year before they arrive from abroad. They also had to secure permits from various agencies, including the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and NTC.

While she didn’t provide specifics, she admitted that certain industry controversies led to stricter policies from the NTC. “May mga bagong guidelines na ibinigay sa amin na kailangan nating sundin. Because sila ang nag-go-govern sa ating industriya. More on that. Hindi naman siya yung napakahirap pero nakasabay lang kami sa controversy… So, hindi ka ganun kabilis na pagkakuha mo ng franchise or frequency, i-on agad,” Tolentino said.

Mariel Rodriguez (center) is with AMBS president Maribeth Tolentino (second from right) at the contract signing. Also present are AMBS general counsel TJ Mendoza, Mariel’s manager and TV host Boy Abunda, and AMBS CFO Maryknoll Zamora.

They’re targeting February 2023 for the grand launch of the channel. Asked if ALLTV will be more geared towards entertainment than news and public affairs content offerings, Tolentino said, “Let’s just say in all aspects… entertainment or news, we want them to feel happy. Hindi siya yung ‘pag nakapanood ka parang ang feeling mo ang bigat-bigat ng pakiramdam. So we’re studying it thoroughly now… hopefully, mabalanse natin.”

Since they wanted to broadcast as soon as possible, ALLTV has ventured into collaborations. They currently have a content license partnership with CNN Philippines for the airing of its news program News Night, from Mondays to Fridays at 6 p.m. They are also working with ABS-CBN by buying their past content like teleseryes. They are also acquiring Korean dramas, for now.

Willie Revillame, who was there from the start of AMBS, also serves as a consultant and not only as a talent. Tolentino said of the industry veteran, “How to go about this venture, he’s the first to advise us. So, di ba lahat ng negosyo, may consultant? So, saan ba siya magko-consult para sa negosyong ito? Sa programa, sa artista. Yun ang role sa amin ni Willie.”

Besides Willie’s Wowowin show now airing at 7 to 8:30 p.m., what to also expect from ALLTV is Toni Gonzaga’s show titled Toni, to be line-produced by her husband, the film director and producer Paul Soriano.

“Yung ToniTalks muna yung nag-i-air ngayon kasi yung Toni na show niya, shinu-shoot palang niya,” Tolentino said, referring to the former ABS-CBN host’s popular YouTube talk series.

A former Kapamilya, broadcast journalist Anthony Taberna, will also do a current affairs program set for an October debut on ALLTV.

Another newly-signed artist is Mariel Padilla who will do a morning show come October. “Magugulat kayo kung sino kasama niya,” Tolentino said.

She also confirmed ongoing discussions with broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez. They’re also eyeing a show that features showbiz children. Possibly Juliana Gomez, Atasha Muhlach and Lorin Gutierrez in one show?

“Target din natin yung mga anak ng artista. So kinakausap din natin yung mga magulang nila. Once na kinausap sila, sasabihin nila yung ang anak ko pwede na rin. Siguro kung may show na kami para sa kanila, that’s the time na kakausapin namin sila,” said Tolentino.

She further told The STAR, it’s not been hard for them to find artists to work with.

“Yung willingness nila nag mag-join sa amin, parang hindi kami na hirapan hanapin yung gusto naming talent… It goes both ways, we want them, and they also want us. That’s what we’re looking for. Gusto namin sila, gusto nila kami para mas maganda yung working relationship,” she said.

Randy Santiago, Toni Gonzaga, Ruffa Gutierrez, Willie Revillame, Mariel Rodriguez, Ciara Sotto and Anthony Taberna lend star power to ALLTV’s soft launch.
Photos courtesy of AMBS’ ALLTV

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