YouTube killed the Video Star

Tomorrow, when we wake up, there'll be no more MTV Philippines.

Call me shallow. Or even OA. But this is the first time that I'm affected by the demise of a TV channel. I've been monitoring it the whole day, and there is indeed a scrolling text below that today is the last broadcast day for the music channel. What makes it worse is that there are no explanations why. And worse than worse, there are no announcements YET on the channel's future plans.

I am proud to say that I am part of the MTV generation, at least of its second wave in the nineties when it expanded its reach by founding several regional offices, including one in Southeast Asia. Back in the days, when you want a music video, you wait for it to be played on MTV Non Stop Hits. That's why MTV viewing should be a personal devotion. Or if you're more creative, you can craft a unique letter request and snail mail it to Singapore, and wait for it to be read on MTV Most Wanted.

I'm one of the Filipino fankids who screamed with delight when MTV Asia started doing localized programming. My first taste of it was MTV's Paraboss (I think there was FlipSide before that but we didn't have cable yet during that time) and I'd become wide eyed watching videos of Francis M., Viktoria, & Regine Velasquez get played alongside Asian and International videos.

The MTV Video Music Awards ceremonies were my annual pilgrimage to the music world. Nobody at school understood why it was a big deal for me that Eraserheads won the Southeast Asia Viewer's Choice Awards, but at least MTV got me. My heart pumped like crazy when I saw the E-head on the MTV VMA stage (Later in life, I discovered it was pre-taped Haha). There will soon be a series of nominees from the Philippines that I will be crazily supporting, and celebrating for if they win (or arguing for, against our southeast asian neighbors on MTV's Graffiti Wall if they lose).

Year in, year out, I'd patiently jot down MTV's top 100 music videos during the yearend countdown, never mind that they cut the program into batches of ten videos, to be watched every week. And then I'd always rally for anyone with Filipino ancestry who are cool enough to stand in front of the MTV green screens of the Robinson Road headquarters.

And then they launched MTV Philippines. You know what I did? I wrote a paper on it. A comprehensive historical account and an analysis whether the local channel will work or not. And submitted it to my college prof. And solely on my passion for my chosen topic, I got a fairly high mark.

A new millennium came and so did a new MTV on our screens. From cable, MTV Philippines did free TV full-time. In the province, I do not know how and why, but the cable provider airs different MTVs from the Asian region. That way, I saw that our MTV Philippines was doing well enough as far as programming, talents, local videos and creative contents are concerned. And so we were all ok, and then a few VJ hunts and MTV Pilipinas Awards later, we learned that MTV is being transitioned into a new management - a change that wasn't really noticeable to the casual viewers.

MTV as we know it today did its job and did its part. It never gave in to the pressure of the karaoke lyrics pressed against it by its equally formidable counterpart MYX. It gave us a taste of reality TV programming that its parent network is now thriving with, and yet it still stayed true to the music video programming, never mind that there's YouTube for videos on demand. It gave us several unforgettable concerts and events, whose association alone with the name MTV made each one something to look forward to. It has remained to be one symbol for youth empowerment, the way its predecessors did, and at the same time, in the way it knows how.

So long MTV Philippines. We don't know what we will see on the screen tomorrow. If it's MTV Southeast Asia, well and good. We can start becoming united in music with our ASEAN neighbors again and have good clean fights (like Celebrity Deathmatch) with other ASEAN fans during MTV Asia Awards Seasons. If it's a blank screen, well, we'll just think that we went back to the moon, while we await the channel's next resurrection, in whatever form possible.


Anonymous said...

we love mtv.

berg said...

i dont have tv anymore. so what has happened? blank ba or MTV southeast asia? i worshipped MTV back in the 90's. when the tv was on in my room back then you could almost always guess that it was tuned in to MTV. Adik! haha.
this is quite sad. kahit sa US tinanggal na nila yung "music television" text from the MTV logo. its the end of an era!

Elvin said...

Haha. Worshipped. That was the word. MTV is gone from Sky Cable. it has been replaced with Solar's Winter Olympics coverage :(

chichai said...

Hmm... How about MTV Thailand or Indonesia. It seems their programming is still up. It does not seem fair.

Elvin said...

No MTV in our Sky Cable as of the moment. But there's MYX and Channel V.