ABS-CBN banking on its digital, international businesses

Published July 29, 2021, 4:49 PM

by James A. Loyola

With the loss of its broadcast franchise, ABS-CBN Corporation is optimistic that better times will come on the back of revenues from its digital platforms, export of canned content, and partnerships with other networks.

“The economy will improve, our audiences will return, and the bets we’ve made on our digital and international businesses will pay off,” said ABS-CBN President Carlo L. Katigbak.

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He noted that, ABS-CBN has already made some progress on its digital initiatives.

“Today, we are already licensing our content to global digital platforms like Netflix and iFlix. We’ve exported our TV programs to many countries all over the world, notably in Asia, Europe, and Africa,” Katigbak said.

He added that, “We have co-produced a series that aired over US TV networks… We have been recording music that has been released and promoted globally. We have two groups, BGYO and BINI, that are being groomed and positioned as global acts.” Prior to the pandemic, ABS-CBN’s international revenues, excluding TFC subscriptions, were about $20 million a year.

ABS-CBN President Carlo Katigbak

“It has gone down recently because of the loss of our global theatrical business, but we believe that the global market is a huge growth opportunity for ABS-CBN,” said Katigbak.

He said ABS-CBN’s with video on demand service iWantTFC now has 4 million monthly active viewers.

“We are among the top Youtube channels in the world with 16 billion views, ABSCBN.com reached 2.5 million daily users keeping it as one of the country’s largest websites, and our movies and TV series are now available globally on Netflix, iFlix and PopTV,” Katigbank noted.

He said “Recent developments have forced us to refocus ourselves on what we do best. We tell stories that matter to people. We will continue with this focus on storytelling and content creation, but also commit to the other things that have worked for us. We commit to our partnerships like those with A2Z and TV5 that help us distribute our content to as many people as possible.”

Katigbak said “We will also continue with our efforts to develop our digital businesses and international businesses. We are particularly excited about bringing Filipino creative and performing talent to the world stage.” Meanwhile, Katigbak said that ABS-CBN will not be left behind in the coverage of next year’s national elections.

“Despite our limited resources, we will continue to cover the elections in as comprehensive manner as possible. We have set aside resources for this both our own and from those who have agreed to partner with us,” he said.

The firm will be engaging former employees from its regional networks to help with the coverage while also tapping its Bayan Patrollers to provide reports from the citizenry.

“All of this is part of the public service we have committed ourselves to. We will provide a continuous and up-to-date national coverage of the elections in a manner that is complete, balanced and fair,” Katigbak said.

He also pointed out that, “we are publishing on the ABS-CBN website an updated set of policies governing the network, our talents, and our employees in relation to this national election. We have taken extra measures to demonstrate that the network will remain impartial throughout this political process.”

 
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