A top official from GMA Network said airing ABS-CBN's It's Showtime on its GTV platform is "really a business decision"—following speculations that the move is meant to compete with Eat Bulaga! hosts Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey De Leon's (TVJ) new show on TV5.
“With regard to It’s Showtime on GTV, it is really a business decision for us,” GMA Senior Vice President Annette Gozon-Valdes told The Philippine STAR in an exclusive interview.
Gozon-Valdes noted that ABS-CBN reached out to GMA first, and it helped that they already have an ongoing collaboration. It can be remembered that the longtime rival networks—in a historic first—teamed up for the teleserye Unbreak My Heart, which is also on the Hong Kong-based streaming platform Viu.
Gozon-Valdes, however, acknowledged that it's an "unimaginable" scenario if it were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The negotiations took only a little over two weeks," she said. "The first concern was whether the noontime slot was available on GTV.”
There's also a "possibility" that artists from GMA's talent center Sparkle will appear on It's Showtime according to the Kapuso executive.
As to how long the noontime show will air on GTV, Gozon-Valdes said there's a contract "that is renewable by mutual agreement."
It's Showtime is the second noontime show that the Kapuso network has after Eat Bulaga!, which Gozon-Valdes considers a win-win situation.
“We think that the more good shows there are on noontime," she said, "the better it is for the Filipino viewers."
It's Showtime has been airing on TV5 at noon for a year already. Its contract with the network expires on June 30.
Last June 20, it announced that starting July 1, It's Showtime will air on GTV at noon—even as TVJ's soon-to-be-named show will air on TV5.
During the same day, TVJ and other "legit" Dabarkads formally entered into an "investment agreement" with MediaQuest Holdings Inc., the company that owns and operates TV5.
It's Showtime was reportedly offered a 4:30 p.m. slot on TV5 in favor of TVJ, but "respectfully declined" the offer as it wanted to keep its usual timeslot.
Last May 31, TVJ announced that they're parting ways with TAPE Inc., their producer at GMA, amid several issues including a would-be rebranding of Eat Bulaga! in hopes of attracting sponsors.
After TVJ's announcement, Eat Bulaga! staff members, including hosts, writers, sales, production, and cameramen, tendered their resignation.
TVJ and TAPE are in a trademark battle right now over the Eat Bulaga! brand. To date, the GMA show is hosted by Paolo Contis, Buboy Villar, Betong Sumaya, Alexa Miro, Cassy Legaspi, and Mavy Legaspi.