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March 9, 2013

SOLAR TV, which occupies the slot of Channel 9 on the VHF band, is now gung-ho about competition and wants its presence felt in the ratings game.

Just how serious is Solar TV?

According to its marketing manager, Monica Llamas, the fledgling network will produce local programs soon.

“We have several in the works. We are planning talk and magazine shows and other informative programs,” Llamas told Inquirer Entertainment.

On top of the list is a local version of the US game show “Minute to Win It.”

Solar TV currently airs the game show which is on NBC in the US and is hosted by top chef Guy Fieri.

Llamas believes that “Minute” will instantly appeal to Filipinos.

As the title implies, contestants will have 60 seconds to win in parlor games that feature ordinary household items like plastic cups, eggs, feathers, balloons, apples, etc.

“I think Filipinos will be able to relate to it effortlessly,” Llamas noted. “Precisely because the props are household items, contestants can easily practice at home. Even if you resist getting involved, you get so engrossed and excited and end up cheering for the contestants.”

(To further popularize the concept, “Minute” has gone on a road tour, visiting schools and MRT stations.)

In the US, the grand prize of US$1 million had already been won, Llamas reported.

Will the local version offer P1 million as grand prize as well?

“We’ll work on that,” she quipped.

Was “Minute to Win It” the game show format offered by Solar TV to Willie Revillame?

Revillame earlier told Inquirer Entertainment that he had preliminary talks with Solar TV head Wilson Tieng.

“That’s just a rumor. Willie is now with TV5,” Llamas said.

Although content with its place in the industry, Solar TV is bullish about competition.

“We’re happy where we’re at. We are steadily growing. Our original goal was to establish our brand and our presence. In terms of ratings, we are slowly getting there. Now, the public associates our channel with PBA [the local basketball league].”

Solar TV has a strong sports component, she said. Apart from PBA, it also airs NBA games and boxing matches.

“Ours is a broad market: male and female, from ages 18 to 40,” she said. “Our thrust is fun and entertainment.”

That’s pretty much apparent in “Minute” which is part of the “Monday Game Night” package, along with “America’s Got Talent” and “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew.”

Added Llamas: “We also offer to the general public the chance to watch imported shows that are only seen on cable. Solar is on free TV.”

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