When UNTV broke out of the mainstream, it never claimed nor promise anything big. It didn’t have popular stars or celebrities. It didn’t boast of entertainment shows with big stars with fat paychecks running to like millions per appearance. That’s what big means, coupled with the readiness and willingness to invest in producing or buying foreign licenses of shows or telenovelas that will star powerhouse casts of today’s hottest local stars and hosts.
Being big and entertainment-focused requires a lot of effort to attract advertisers. Another challenge is competition, which is now offered by foreign shows that are highly accessible and available via the Internet. Those with broadband can simply download their favorite shows and movies in an instant.
Thus, to play is to gamble in the network game. If you cannot attract big celebrities or unable to provide really entertaining show, the door to horrific death will be opened wide for you. Since it’s an enormous, high-budget game, it then becomes inevitable to slay other bigness in this highly-lucrative show business industry. One cannot stay dormant as newbies in the game can quickly take the place of the weak players. It’s a cycle that’s unnerving and chilling if you know what’s happening beyond your television sets. And that’s where the danger emerge: the public becomes immune and begin to unquestionably accept what they’re offered with, even if it’s cheap entertainment.
For UNTV, yes, it did achieved a very different kind of bigness. The Public Service Channel has grown bigger over the years in inspiring change and building better communities.
Now celebrating its ninth anniversary, UNTV remains and bent on staying the same humble station: true to its mission and purpose. It even never oozes any expression of doubt of what it has started and continuously enjoy doing. Unorthodox, alternative and intelligent. Just few words to describe what this channel has so fervently campaigned for – delivering public service – and today, it’s now reaping the fruits for itself and its constituencies’ favor. Its reward is obviously neither monetary nor financial, but more obligations, responsibilities like it’s obliged to perform in the first place. But it never complained doing any of these. Instead, it even strives to go even more committed. Moreover, it never strays from its purpose from day one up to now.
With Daniel Razon, CEO and Chairman of BMPI, at its helm, the station looks at offering public service and revolutionizing journalism that is anchored on public service. Yes, that appears as its paramount mission and Razon cannot be quickly judged nor faulted for his ideals and calibre as a true visionary. With his over two-decade exposure and experience in broadcast journalism and public service, his heart and eyes were trained to see and expound the vast potential that a media establishment can achieve: fame, glory and richness. But he took the other path, the road less travelled — that is, to capitalize the strengths and opportunities that a media player can offer: elevate broadcasting and journalism practice in a country marred by corruption, poverty and hypocrisies in society. And not surprisingly, he did succeed with UNTV.
Then and now, UNTV has introduced programs and public service works that were never before seen, witnessed or experienced by the public. Filipino viewers witnessed a shift in their daily viewing experience for the first time after UNTV arrived. Indigents also finally found a true friend, comrade. Who ever thought that a television channel can be in an all-out-mission to deliver medical and dental health missions everyday, in far and wide places? Who braved about marrying journalism and rescue missions to save lives? Who went all crazy about spending to create a free transient housing for the homeless vagabonds or a home for abandoned babies?
All these and more became central to UNTV. Is it crazy or madness? For profit companies will obviously think so. Is it an adjunct to its corporate social responsibilities? No, impossible. Public relations are often public stunts masked as philanthropy. But UNTV did all these and still doing it today without any big support from big advertisers or sponsors. Hence, it’s a genuine and sincere compassion of a television network that is like no other today. It’s most consistent partners include Bro. Eli Soriano of Ang Dating Daan and other government agencies like the Department of Health and Department of Education.
Gradually the channel become its own vision. An intelligent alternative to be exact. Genuine and straight-from-the-heart broadcasting and public service. Does it worry about the competition, of one day becoming big? Of also one day taking the easy route to fame and profitable success? My answer is a sure NO!
But UNTV is always more than happy to be imitated for what it is doing. In fact it happily encourages and inspires to be followed for what it offers to do for the public. Maybe it is the key, it is the goal after all. To plant the seeds of goodwill so that goodness will be shared, will become a movement. Doing good deed that start everyday.
Congratulations to UNTV for reaching 9.