GMA Network allocates 1 billion pesos to develop digital television business

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Elijah Felice Rosales – The Filipino Star

September 5, 2022 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines — Broadcasting leader GMA Network Inc. has allocated 1 billion pesos for the expansion of its digital television business with the aim of reaching the entire household population nationwide.

GMA said its main channel GMA-7, combined with secondary platforms Good TV (GTV), I Heart Movies, Heart of Asia, Hallypop and DepEd TV, reached 97.1% of TV households across the country in august.

Data from Nielsen Philippines showed GMA’s free reach surpassed 18.4 million TV households, keeping the company ahead of network wars in the absence of traditional rival ABS-CBN Corp. on free television.

By segment, GMA-7’s net reach reached 96.6%, or 18.3 million TV households, while GTV’s grew to 78.9%, or 15 million. Estimates put the total number of TV households in the Philippines at nearly 19 million in August.

On the other hand, GMA’s net reach topped 94.3%, or 76.6 million, of total viewers in the country, missing an audience of around five million. To fill this void, the channel is planning new investments, particularly on digital television, to expand its presence to all viewers.

GMA said it was set to invest at least 1 billion pesos to unveil digital stations that would expand its television coverage.

With this investment, GMA hopes to reach the entire TV household population in the Philippines with its expected to expand digital signal.

GMA has spent nearly 860 million pesos upgrading its existing digital terrestrial television stations out of the 1.8 billion pesos capital it has set aside for potential expansions.

GMA said it would step up investment to increase its reach and improve its signal, promising that new stations will be set up and existing ones upgraded. Currently, the company operates 93 television stations comprised of analog and digital facilities and located in strategic locations nationwide.

GMA maintained its dominance on the free platform at the start of the year, capping the first half with a net income of 4 billion pesos. Revenue rose 13% to 11.94 billion pesos thanks to the surge in campaign materials during the election campaign.

GMA has been enjoying its status as the leader in free-to-air TV broadcasting since its main competitor ABS-CBN was denied legislative voting rights by Congress in 2020.

Similarly, GMA is expected to retain its control over free-to-air television with the joint venture between ABS-CBN and TV5 Network Inc. scrapped under political pressure from regulators and some quarters of Congress.

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