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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 14, 2010

Myx remains as no. 1 Music Channel at 10

“Your Choice. Your Music.” goes the slogan that MYX upholds. Be it through text message, e-mail or even via social networking response, there is no doubt that MYX, the No. 1 music channel in the Philippines, has empowered Filipino music lovers to express what music they want to enjoy on TV.

But unknown to many, MYX, 10 years ago, like any other armless neophyte had its most difficult challenge on what path in the TV industry it must take.

MYX Channel Head Andre Allan Alvarez shared what really took place before the music channel has got its consistent post as the No. 1 music channel in the country. He also detailed how MYX’s unique ideas have captivated everyone’s hearts.

Birth of MYX

For how many years, UHF channel Studio 23 used to give MTV, the international media giant, some of its programming hours in the early morning, afternoon and late evening. But MTV Asia wanted a 24-hour channel which Studio 23 could not grant, since the UHF channel’s popular US programs (Dawson's Creek, Charmed, The Nanny, etc.) were very popular with viewers and advertisers. To fulfil its long-time goal, MTV Asia partnered with Nation Broadcasting Corporation to launch MTV Philippines as a 24/7 music channel on UHF channel 41.

“The first impulse [for Studio 23] was to look for another partner—another foreign music channel—to fill in those [programming hours MTV left]. But after we have assessed everything, we realized that before we can have our new partner, we have to pay fees for royalties and licensing their names, etc. We were debating on why we need to pay for a name which is not known here in the Philippines. So FMG [ABS-CBN former president Freddie M. Garcia] said, kung gagastos din na man na lang tayo, we might as well invest on something that’s ours. The idea of producing our own music block for the network came out during that period,” Alvarez narrated.

In 2000, MYX, an alternative music block on Studio 23 with the tag “More Choices. More Music.” came into being. It offered music videos which were seldom or not even played in music giants like MTV.

“Let’s not go after the same pie. Humiwalay na lang tayo. Kung kayo diyan sa pop mainstream, kami dito sa alternative. We know that going up against MTV is crazy, so why even bother? Hindi ka mananalo. This was the height of Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, etc. We wouldn’t have the same access that they have,” Alvarez explained why MYX didn’t right gear up to compete with existing music channels then.

“Many liked the original incarnation of MYX. But obviously, it didn’t capture the market MTV was dominating back then. Our slogan ‘More Choices. More Music.’ meant that MYX offered a wide range of music videos than what we usually see in the other channels,” Alvarez continued.

MYX reborn

Amazingly, during that period, there was another music channel named Vid-OK which was also handled by Alvarez. It was a “schizo” experience for him to manage both mainstream and alternative music programming. He never thought that his mind-deteriorating accounts will be soon one and later on become No. 1.

“On that historic date, February 14, 2002, we were called to the boardroom with the executives of this network [ABS-CBN]. I was kind of scared. Why are we all here? What’s gonna happen? Are we getting fired? FMG, Mr. Gabby Lopez, Ms. Charo Santos-Concio and Studio 23 executives were there. Pretty much, it was put on the table, why do have two music channels —VID-OK and MYX? On that day, it was declared that the two will be merged,” Alvarez revealed.

MYX, then became a full-pledged 24 hour music channel on cable. It’s now on a mainstream format ala VID-OK but carried the name "MYX". Alvarez had no choice but to assemble a new team for the projected new music station.

“Siyempre, on the first year of the reprogrammed MYX, yung fans ng lumang MYX, galit na galit sila bakit daw pinalitan yung format. Bakit naging mainstream? We had a new batch of VJs who can now talk in Taglish, if they feel like it. And for the first time, sa MYX channel, may lyrics na 'yung mga music videos, which was carried from the signature style of VID-OK,” Alvarez said.

Lyrics put MYX at No. 1 spot

Just a few months after its relaunching in June 2002, MYX became No. 1. With its VJs Heart Evangelista, Ala Paredes, Franco Mabanta, Michi Valeriano, MYX was flooded with fan mails expressing support for the newest hit.

“We couldn’t believe that it happened so fast. Una, totoo ba ito? This is something we’ve never experienced in the past. But it just became a reality to us when we saw all the other variety shows. Lahat sila may lyrics na din,” Alvarez shared.

“That [lyrics on music videos and performances] is part our legacy which changed Philippine TV programming. They have us to blame for actually having it there. Kasi hindi naman ginagawa yun before,” he added.

MYX MO! 2010

Alongside MYX’s success, major events are held to bring the music channel closer to the hearts of Pinoy music lovers. There is the prestigous MYX Music Awards giving honor to people’s most favorite music. Also, there is the MYX VJ Search for the newest hot jocks on TV. Summer MYX Fest and MYX Slam Jam travel across the nation. And finally, there is the phenomenal MYX Mo!, which features all of the country’s most-talked about music artists — be it rock, pop, RnB ballad etc.

This year, MYX is proud to present MYX Mo! 2010 with the tag “I ♥ MYX” on November 18, 2010 at SM Mall Of Asia Concert Grounds.

“MYX Mo! is our way of thanking our viewers for supporting us and for making MYX the no. 1 music channel in the Philippines. Yung aming slogan na "Your Choice. Your Music." pinaninindigan talaga namin 'yun. We really do our best to make our viewers feel empowered,” said Alvarez. In this year's celebration, various artists from different genres including well-known OPM artists and bands like Chicosci, Kjwan, Sponge Cola, Callalily, Imago, Rivermaya and a lot more. Pop rock princess Yeng Constantino, singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, Noel Cabangon, Kitchie Nadal and Barbie Almalbis, plus acoustic singers Nyoy Volante and Jimmy Bondoc will also be there to join the celebration of Pinoy music.

I ♥ MYX campaign

Ten years have passed. Some music channels have shutdown their operations, but MYX still remains No. 1. To express its “big love” to its viewers, it launched its I ♥ MYX campaign.

If you want to be part of this musical event, just purchase I ♥ MYX shirts worth P399.75 and 299.75, and party in the gold and silver section of the much-awaited MYX Mo! 2010 concert, respectively. For those who would like to avail of the bronze tickets, just grab a copy of the MYX Magazine "I ♥ MYX" issue (MYX VJs on the cover), exclusively available in all 7-Eleven outlets.

“Each year MYX has its own evolution and growth. I think as time passes things keep on getting better and better. Pretty much in our 10 years, we’ve had our biggest challenges but we had our biggest successes, as well,” Alvarez said when asked to describe the 10 years of MYX.

Join MYX as it gives more exciting events in celebration of a decade-long dominance in the Philippine music scene.

For more information, log on to www.myxph.com.