Sep 20, 2007

ABC 5 unhappy about ‘Idol’ move to GMA-7

“We wanted ‘Philippine Idol’ on our own terms, or not at all. We were only willing to buy ‘Idol’ and not any other [Fremantle] programs or formats packaged with it. [Fremantle] has apparently found what they think is a better deal.”
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ABC 5, through senior vice president for Corporate Affairs Terra Daffon, on Tuesday issued this statement about the looming transfer of “Philippine Idol” to GMA 7.

Geraldine Bravo, director of Marketing and Sales for FremantleMedia (“Idol” franchise holder), told Inquirer Entertainment that GMA 7 “[has] licensed other [Fremantle] shows like ‘Celebrity Duets,’ ‘Whammy’ and ‘Family Feud.’”

Daffon retorted: “GMA 7 was in a position to make a better offer. It’s a giant. We’re just Jack trying to climb the beanstalk.”

She recounted that ABC 5 had been “the first to produce local versions of foreign formats”—including Fremantle game shows “Family Feud” and “Price is Right” and King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” in 2001.

Daffon added: “The Philippines has become a lucrative market for format franchising since Pearson/Fremantle targeted Asia for its expansive drive in the 1990s and early 2000.”

ABC 5 must be doing something right, she said, “because GMA 7, which until recently said no to franchises, turned around and went after ‘Idol.’”

Daffon pointed out that, in a 2006 interview with the Inquirer, Wilma Galvante, GMA 7 senior vice president for entertainment TV, claimed that the network didn’t need “to buy [a foreign franchise and] to get other people’s ideas.”

Must-have show

Sought for comment, Galvante said: “I’m not going back on my word. What I meant then was copying foreign franchises 100 percent, without making adjustments to entertain local viewers.”

Daffon asserted: “ABC 5 will always have the distinction of … having mounted a highly successful, world-class RP ‘Idol’ which was roundly praised even by Fremantle. For covetous local TV, it became the must-have show.”

Daffon expressed sadness over the rumor that GMA 7 would consider its second season as the first RP “Idol.”

“Too bad for [season one champ] Mau, who has huge talent.”

New battlefront

Daffon observed: “There’s a new battlefront for the two giants: Franchises. ABS-CBN has Endemol and GMA has Fremantle.”

A Kapuso insider earlier said that ABS-CBN is positioning its Endemol talent search “Pinoy Dream Academy” to go on a head-on collision with GMA 7’s RP “Idol” in February 2008.
Bayani San Diego Jr.

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