Today, Vice Ganda launches his online program. While it has been said that he has his own network, it is not of the free TV type. In fact, it is due to the loss of the ABS CBN franchise that Vice Ganda is venturing out on his own. While detractors point to this move as turning his back on his mother company that brought him fame and fortune, Vice has countered that his action would preserve the jobs of writers, cameramen, production staff and many others.
Left unspoken are the implications and repercussions of an independent business venture away from the Kapamilya universe. On one hand, the creative aspect would be more relaxed since the shows will not fall under the supervision of the government regulatory agency, MTRCB. Secondly, there is news that stars of rival GMA7 may be invited to grace his shows since, technically, ABS CBN and not Vice Ganda is the Kapuso competitor.
Vice Ganda, Coco Martin, Angel Locsin, Sarah Geronimo, Anne Curtis and Kim Chiu are the top money making stars and celebrities in the Kapamilya entertainment scene with musical shows, telenovelas and movies raking in the money and dominating tv ratings and blockbuster movie receipts. Second liners are Nadine Lustre, Maja Salvador, Kathryn Bernando, Daniel Padilla, Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil. Noli De Castro and Ted Failon are the most prominent names in the news and public affairs department.
With ABS CBN shedding programs and letting go of people, there will be a mad rush to jump ship to GMA7 and TV5. A transfer to a competing station would probably mean a pay cut but it will be employment nonetheless. The bold and the daring may try to go it alone or with a few confederates in the opportunities opened up by the internet (Facebook live streaming, You Tube and webcasts). The stars who can generate the greatest number of viewers would be in the best position to succeed on their own, outside of the free tv field of competition. Vice Ganda is on top of the ABS CBN pyramid and he will triumph.
On the ABS CBN side of the equation, loss of advertising revenues, bank loans and declining value of their shares of stock plus the payment of separation fees, retirement benefits and expenses incurred in maintaining money losing programs and departments are detrimental to their financial health. While they may succeed in creating a lean and mean organization, in the short term their problem would be how to break even on a daily or monthly basis. In business, significant liquidity can be achieved by getting the existing stockholders to put in more money or through outside investors. Be that as it may, Kapamilya is in crisis. Traditionally, ABS CBN would have relied on their pool of stars to bail them out but in this case, time is not on the side of Kapamilya because in the individual fight for survival, the celebrities may transfer to GMA 7 and TV5 or strike gold on their own. The fact that there is still no existing Philippine model of a phenomenally successful entertainment empire in the internet only means that it is too difficult to do or not too many people have tried it. Vice Ganda is the pioneer and his huge popularity will bring him to the promised land. Once he has charted the path on the mechanics of putting up an online network, others will follow. If and when ABS CBN can dig itself out of its black hole, many of its top celebrities may not be with them anymore so those that have no choice but to stick it out with Kapamilya will become their new superstars.