ABS-CBN open to teaming up with more media platforms

MANILA  -ABS-CBN Corp., which has been working on regaining its footing after the renewal of its free TV franchise was rejected about three years ago, is ready to collaborate with more media platforms to air its content as it seeks to reach more viewers.

During the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting Thursday, Carlo Katigbak, president and CEO of the Lopez-led company, said they were hoping to boost “viewership to far larger base.”

“We’re willing to work with any partner who is willing to bring our programs to their audiences, whether those partners are free TV, pay TV [or] online streaming,” he said.

“The new ABS-CBN is learning to partner with many different platforms to reach our previous audience and to expand to a new set of viewers,” he added.

He said ABS-CBN could no longer be associated with channel 2—its home for the longest time until its free TV franchise renewal was rejected in 2020. The Villar Group has since secured the frequency as the country’s richest businessman made his foray into media business.

“Today, you can enjoy watching our shows and movies in several broadcasters, multiple streaming platforms and various online sites,” Katigbak said.

ABS-CBN, operating without a free TV franchise for years now, has been making its digital pivot to stay afloat.

It launched online streaming channel “Kapamilya Online Live” and multi-screen interactive channel Pinoy Interactive Entertainment along with Kroma Entertainment and Globe Telecom’s 917Ventures as it maximizes digital platforms.

Recently, it partnered with Indian over-the-top platform MX Player—which has presence in the United States, Canada, Australia, South America and parts of Asia—to carry five ABS-CBN TV series.

It currently also has blocktime leasing deal with TV networks TV5 and A2Z to air its content.

ABS-CBN trimmed its losses to P1.21 billion in the first quarter from P1.4 billion in the previous year despite lower topline figures following a slight drop in advertising revenues sans election-related ad placements, thanks to decrease in production costs and other expenses.

“We are confident in the upward trend of our numbers and expect 2023 to be even better than last year. It is still an uphill climb to profitability but the light at the end of the tunnel has become sharper and bright,” Katigbak said.

On Tuesday, the Lopez-led media company announced its joint venture (JV) with Prime Media Holdings Inc., a company owned by House Speaker Martin Romualdez who previously voted against ABS-CBN’s TV franchise renewal.

This, as its news program TeleRadyo is set to cease operations by June 30 due to financial problems.

The JV company, which can provide job opportunities to employees to be laid off following the closure, is set to develop, produce and finance content, programs and shows for distribution to local and international broadcast networks, channels and platforms.

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