Vivamax, MTRCB partner to promote ‘responsible viewing’

Nathalie M. Tomada - The Philippine Star
Vivamax, MTRCB partner to promote âresponsible viewingâ
Filipino streaming platform Vivamax, led by Viva Communications, Inc. president and COO Vincent del Rosario, signs a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with MTRCB under chair Lala Sotto-Antonio to promote responsible viewership.
Photo courtesy of MTRCB

Vivamax clarified public perception about the streaming service having more “adult content” in its new partnership with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) for responsible viewership.

Viva Communications, Inc. president and COO Vincent del Rosario recently shared more details of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) they signed last Jan. 27 with the government agency under chair Lala Sotto-Antonio.

“Ni-request ang Viva na magpunta sa kanilang office and have a dialogue. They wanted to know more about the platform and what are our built-in controls, all under their advocacy campaign, Responsableng Panonood (Responsible Viewership),” Vincent told the press, including The STAR, in an interview on Monday.

“So, when we went there, we shared our plans both for Vivamax and Viva Prime. We clarified the perception that Vivamax has much risque content,” he said.

Viva Prime is the newly-launched streaming service housed within the Vivamax app that carries specially curated content for general audiences.

While Vivamax saw the resurgence of risque content and the introduction of a new breed of sexy stars, Vincent stressed that such content only accounted for 10 percent of Vivamax offerings.

“We showed them (MTRCB) the content count of Vivamax. We showed them that out of 800 titles on the platform, I think no more than 80 are considered for adult viewing. Yung medyo risque, walang 10 percent,” he said.

The Vivamax boss assured the MTRCB that it’s just a perception that the service mainly caters to adult audiences.

“We explained that maybe the reason ganun ang perception na Vivamax caters to adults only, is that siempre ‘pag nag-promote ang ating mga risque artists, with the likes of AJ Raval and Angeli Khang, medyo yun ang napag-u-usapan, napi-pick-up ng press, ng social media, ‘di lang natin ma-expect na pag-usapan ang isang movie from the past, of (Viva artists) Sarah Geronimo, Sharon Cuneta,” he added.

He maintained, “It’s all really perception but perhaps it’s why Viva Boss Vic (del Rosario) decided why don’t we put up a new platform, a new streaming platform, Viva Prime, kung saan i-ku-curate natin maigi ang for the general audience.”

Vincent said that the MOA was “basically saying that we are committed to the campaign of responsible viewing and that there are proper safeguards in the platform that make sure access to sensitive content will be limited to adults.”

According to the Viva executive, part of the dialogue was also consumer education, as well as the commitment by one of the leading entertainment companies to produce films for theatrical release.

“(It’s a) very nice relationship. Of course, being very active sa releasing ng movie sa sinehan that’s one of the things we talked about. Even if the business of cinemas has not gotten back to pre-pandemic levels, Viva is committed to releasing films,” Vincent said.

“In fact, in the past six months, we have released more than one a month. So, the commitment is there regardless of the ‘normalcy’ in cinemas.”

Meanwhile, when asked how the MTRCB partnership would affect the risque content on the platform, Viva Communications SVP for Content Creation and Development Val del Rosario said, “We will still self-regulate.” She pointed out that they have an internal classification system similar to what global streaming platforms have.

Earlier, the MTRCB announced the signing of the MOA under which both parties agreed to jointly carry out programs and activities that would help in the protection of the viewing public.

In a media statement, the MTRCB said that Viva has committed to “practicing responsible self-regulation by ensuring sufficient age-rating advisory on its video-on-demand (VOD) content, as well as continuing its parental control feature for subscribers within its web applications.”

MTRCB also said that it was committed to collaborate with Viva, Inc. to “help calibrate the latter’s rating classification for its films, advertising, and marketing materials.”

The MTRCB is the national agency mandated to supervise and regulate the public exhibition of films, TV shows and publicity materials, although it has previously sought expansion of its jurisdiction to include content on streaming services.

“The partnership that is forged through this MOA is rooted in our shared concern for the Filipino viewing public. As it has done in the past, the Board allows the industry to thrive through the practice of responsible self-regulation while ensuring that each Filipino household shall have access to a safe and comfortable viewing experience,” MTRCB chair Lala said in a statement during the MOA signing.

“My sincere thanks to Vivamax, Inc. president Vincent del Rosario and his team for making history as the first Filipino-owned and operated VOD to partner with MTRCB to promote Responsableng Panonood,” she said.


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