Be Careful With Losing Your Audience

Photo from www.tfc.tv.

Photo from tfc.tv.

One month from now, Be Careful With My Heart will celebrate its second anniversary on air. Now the longest-running regular weekday drama series on Philippine television in over a decade, Be Careful prides itself as the show that rescued ABS-CBN from its dwindling daytime viewership.

Be Careful’s phenomenon led to concerts, show replays, merchandise, record album and almost a full-length feature film of its own. Elders say all good things come to an end, but ABS-CBN does not see it that way.

The network has no plan yet on when they are going to end the top-rating drama series. Why would they do so anyway, when, on the ground level, the show seems to show no mercy towards the talk show of Ryzza Mae Dizon on GMA7? But the feedback on the show has undeniably changed throught the entire run of the show. Some say the teleserye deserves to stay, while many believe that it has no more story tell.

What do the numbers say? Do mixed opinions towards the show reflect its viewership on paper?

Daytime Programming Before the Debut of Be Careful With My Heart

Before Be Careful aired in July 2012, ABS-CBN had already lost the lead in the Kantar Media national ratings daytime race. Noontime veteran Eat Bulaga and even Chef Boy Logro: Kusina Master  were consistently crushing the newly reformatted It’s Showtime. Also, the afternoon programs of GMA7 since early 2012— The Good Daughter, Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin and Broken Vow among others—were beating counterpart shows from ABS-CBN more often than usual. To make matters worse, the children’s programming in the morning block had become a solid territory of GMA7.

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Some of GMA7’s daytime programs for the first half of 2012.

The Kapamilya network was aware of this. In fact, their press release articles claiming their being the most-watched in the country neglected the daytime angle and focused on their huge lead in the primetime block, directly describing it  as “the most important part of the day when most Filipinos watch TV” .

People say that when you’re down, there’s no way to go but up. But ABS-CBN didn’t expect that their experiment on morning television will also be their daytime redemption. The Kapamilya network pitted the undervalued Jodi Sta. Maria and rising star Richard a.k.a ‘Papa Chen’ Yap against the unstoppable Chef Boy Logro of the GMA7 morning block. It was one of those experiments that might work, or might not. Fortunately, for ABS-CBN, it was their story of salvation.

Be Careful With My Heart in the Ratings Game: The Success

Be Careful’s pilot gained an impressive 15.2% rating against the 8.8% of Chef Boy Logro: Kusina Master. In its second week, the light-drama series has completely dominated the daytime race and started to register 20% ratings, a feat that even previous daytime frontrunner Eat Bulaga rarely achieved. Be Careful’s ratings were way higher than its predecessor, the transition show Kapamilya Blockbuster, which would normally garner only 9-11% viewership on the same timeslot.

In August 2012, its second month, the show’s monthly average viewership hit the 20-percent mark, a record that Be Careful would maintain for fourteen consecutive months. The show’s success led to GMA7’s constant scrambling in the pre-noontime block. Some shows the Kapuso network pitted against the Be Careful were cooking show Chef Boy Logro, original drama series Cielo De Angelina, the movie show Kapuso Movie Festival, and reruns of GMA7’s hit primetime programs Baker King and One True Love. These shows, however, didn’t stand a chance even in AGB Nielsen Mega Manila.

For information on how the data was researched, view the notes on page 3.

Monthly average ratings of Be Careful With My Heart from July 2012 to July 2013. Data from Kantar Media Research Philippines. Click photo for better resolution.

Not just that, the teleserye’s success was reflected in Mega Manila. Based on the data provided by AGB Nielsen Philippines, an audience measurement firm that ABS-CBN stopped subscribing to in 2007, Be Careful posted an average rating of 14.1% in its pilot week, way higher than its predecessor Kapamilya Blockbusters which earned an average of 8.4% in its final week. Its average in the pilot month bested the monthly average of all four counterpart programs from the rival network.

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Monthly average rating of Be Careful With My Heart and rival programs in July 2012. Data from AGB Nielsen Philippines. Click photo for better resolution.

One of the shows groomed to rival Be Careful’s success was Cielo de Angelina of GMA7. Cielo De Angelina was not an imported program; neither a local adaptation nor a remake. It was an original drama series just like Be Careful, and it was topbilled by Bea Binene and Jhake Vargas, two of GMA7’s more popular teen stars. However, the said series was no match to Be Careful’s solid viewership.

Click photo for better resolution.

Click photo for better resolution.

Be Careful’s huge following can be attested by its Saturday reruns, a gold-selling soundrack album, a magazine based on the fictitious wedding of the show, almost a full-length feature film of its own, and recognitions for the show and its actors from award-giving bodies including the prestigious New York Festivals. The show gave many newbie actors of the show the breakthrough roles of their showbiz careers, and it made Maya and Sir Chief household names in Philippine TV.

Back then, no one seemed to have anything negative to say about the drama series. It was a breath of fresh air in Philippine television drama series programming. Be Careful didn’t resort to cliches; in fact, the show claimed to be a teleserye without a kontrabida. But with a show that has achieved the impossible in just a span of two years, can anything go wrong against its favor?

Why is it losing viewers?

(This is page 1 of 2. Click here or below for page 2.)

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6 responses to “Be Careful With Losing Your Audience

  1. Remember ABS-CBN’s Stockholders meeting last year? Network President Charo Santos-Concio was asked till when Be Careful would air, and she answered in jest–“Forever?”

    Be Careful is a tough act to follow, and it can get comfortable in its slot. Some are calling it the “John en Marsha” of this generation. It’s storyline, admittedly is not like the primetime teleserye format of pasabog upon pasabog, twist upon twist, until the storybook kasal ending. However, Be Careful is no sitcom or weekly show. Some weekly series in the states have lasted for as long as 10 years. Is that possible for Be Careful?

    Then again, in TV, it can be better to take a bow while on top rather than wait for decline to pull the plug. It seems, though, there are no plans.

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    • I think ‘yung strength ng program dati ay ‘yung nagiging rason din kung bakit bumababa ‘yung viewership ngayon. Dati kasi, we praise the show for being fresh—walang kontrabida, walang complicated na storyline na nagkapalitang mga sanggol at mga pamilyang may history of hatred with each other. Pero ngayon, the average viewer will complain for the same thing—nothing to look forward to dahil sobrang basic na lang ng storyline. I’ve read another blog post about Be Careful’s ‘dragging’ storyline and the blogger gives a good point that there’s really a problem in the show when the ones who used to commend it are now the ones who want it to end. Nakakalungkot lang. I remember two years ago, noong binibisita ko ang entertainment websites, ang mga feedback ng tao tungkol sa Be Careful ay puro positive. Pero ngayon, bumisita ka ulit kahit sa pep.ph and almost everyone hates the show and they seem to forget that this is the drama series that they all once loved.

      Natatandaan ko po ‘yung “forever” response by Charo Santos. Ang sarap pa niyang pakinggan dati kasi noong time na sinabi niya ‘yun, di pa yata nagkakatuluyan sina Sir Chief at Maya and I felt that the show had a lot more to offer. Haha. What I’m sure is that the show will still be on air in 2015, and as long as it keeps on beating its counterpart program in Kantar, the network won’t end the show. Sa AGB Mega Manila, I predict na bago siguro magtapos ang taon, makakahabol na ang The Ryzza Mae Show sa ratings game. O di kaya, isang stronger program than The Ryzza Mae Show ang makakapagpabalik ng lead ng GMA7 sa ganoong timeslot. :))

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    • Haha Sir. Thank you po! I don’t know how to use Photoshop yet so I just looked up for some random online infographics software. As for the line graphs, ginawa ko talaga kasi mas gusto kong maliwanagan sa trend mismo. Cinompute ko talaga kasi pili lang naman ang nilalabas na data ng Kantar at AGB. I wonder kung pwede akong makapili ng thesis ko sa fourth year na may kinalaman sa ratings or viewership. I think it will be fun. Hahahaha. :))

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      • Wow meron na pala ng online gfx! Sa pagkakaalam ko ang thrust ng BC dept ngayon ay academic rather than production thesis, so I’m sure may puwang para sa pag-aaral na iyan. It will be fun, esp if you’re really interested.

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  2. I like the review and the insights! 🙂 Not a fan of the show though. Never watched daytime TV. What I want to see in our TV shows is more in-depth programming. But I guess this is not one for the masses.

    Like

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