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TVJ, Legit Dabarkads Welcomed To TV5

TVJ, Legit Dabarkads Welcomed To TV5
MediaQuest Holdings Inc. and TV5 officially welcomed TVJ and the ‘legit Dabarkads’ to the network with a media day at the TV5 Media Center on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. Photo shows (from left) Cignal TV CFO John Andal, MediaQuest president and CEO Jane Basas, MediaQuest chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, showbiz trio Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon with legit Dabarkads Jeni Ferre, Allan K and Maine Mendoza.

Two “Eat Bulaga” shows might have a “showdown” on July 1 as the original hosts of the longest-running noontime show – Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon, also known as TVJ – are deadset on using the title for their new program on TV5.

Under an “investment agreement deal” with MediaQuest, TV5 is the new home of TVJ as well as other hosts of “Eat Bulaga” after they severed ties with producer Television and Production Exponents (TAPE) Inc. and left GMA 7 after 28 years last May 31.

At the height of serious discussions with MediaQuest preceding the partnership announcement last June 8, TVJ decided to set up their own production company, TVJ Productions Inc.

TVJ and TAPE have been feuding over the ownership of the Eat Bulaga trademark since parting ways.

Basta ako (For me), ‘Eat Bulaga,’” Vic told a press conference on Tuesday when asked for the title of their upcoming show. 

“We definitely are working on the legal side on ‘Eat Bulaga.’ Joey invented it. History and the law back us up,” Tito said. 

Ganun ka-simple ang usapan 'yun (That’s how simple the matter is). It may take some time, but we will be able to use ‘Eat Bulaga,’ I’m sure of that,” the former Senate president added.

Asked by The Philippine STAR about the extent of MediaQuest’s involvement in the trademark issue, Jane Basas said TVJ Productions has actually hired law firm Divina Law, which is working with TVJ to figure out their legal decisions.

“We will rely on TVJ when it comes to all the creative decisions and most of all, the production decisions, and that includes choosing the title, ‘Eat Bulaga’ or something else,” Basas said.

“We all know why they want it to be ‘Eat Bulaga’ because they believe – and we agree – that they own ‘Eat Bulaga’ as an IP (intellectual property). But whatever it is, to me, TVJ brand is more important because they are the ones followed by people,” she added.

Meanwhile, TV5 chairman Manny V. Pangilinan assured TVJ of their full support and media assets during the official welcome of the Kapatid network for the trio through a media day.

The network practically rolled out the red carpet, with officials coming in full force.

Pangilinan said they look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with TVJ. TV5 will be TVJ’s fourth official home after 44 years on air.

“The format under which we made arrangements with them … is such that they are not talents anymore, but they are part-owners. But that’s a very important point for our group (First Pacific): we want the talents to work for us and with us as part owners of the business,” Pangilinan said. 

“We cannot fire them because they’re not just talents, but they’re co-owners of the business that they’re producing. So they’re (a) big part of the creative process, and they should be owners, and they should be acknowledged and treated as such,” he added.

Pangilinan also maintained that TV5 “does not want to get involved with the polemics of what has happened before.”

“That’s not our job. But we felt obligated that if they’re looking for a home, for such an iconic entertainment phenomenon, it deserves a home. And it’s our obligation to provide them a home because that’s what the Filipinos love. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

“We basically bought equity. We invested money, so we own part of the company. It’s actually 51-49 percent ownership in our favor,” Basas told The STAR as she provided more details regarding the investment agreement.

“So that means it enables them to produce their shows because that needs money, production expenses, so the fund that will come in, we will equally divide. The reason why the relationship is deep is that they’re not just about talents, they’re not blocktime. The success of their show is going to be our success,” she added.

With the entry of TVJ’s new show, “It’s Showtime,” which previously aired on TV5’s noontime slot, announced that it was moving to GMA Network’s GTV channel also on Tuesday.

In a statement, ABS-CBN said “It’s Showtime” was offered a 4:50 p.m. time slot, but that they “respectfully declined” as they “value the meaningful relationship we have built and nurtured with our audience in the noontime slot.”

“We have had to make a tough choice between ‘It’s Showtime’ and this particular production (TVJ). It was just a business decision that we arrived at. And the format is different because it was a blocktime arrangement with them, and with an expiry date of June 30,” Pangilinan said as he addressed the matter on Tuesday.  

“So, nagkataon lang (it just happened). It was a matter of serendipity that this thing blew up, and the thing with our arrangements with ABS. And hindi kami nagkulang sa pagtulong sa ABS naman (We did our part in helping ABS). We are proud of what we have done for them,” he added.

Pangilinan also emphasized that they would continue to have partnerships with ABS-CBN in terms of content. – With Jose Rafael Ballecer