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ABS-CBN advances in digital TV race

/ 01:12 AM December 06, 2016

ABS-CBN Corp. said it sold over two million ABS-CBN TVplus units, its digital television product.

The company said the sales figure was as of end-November this year.

The figure marks ABS-CBN’s growing lead in the digital television space, which it entered in early 2015. Its main rival, GMA Network Inc., has yet to launch its digital television product.

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“ABS-CBN TVplus continues to improve the Filipino’s viewing experience though digital quality broadcast and a transformative entertainment experience by offering more choices of channels,” ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak said in a statement.

Helping sales was a price cut in September, when the company decided to lower the retail price of an ABS-CBN TVplus unit to P1,499 apiece, down about 25 percent.

According to the company, digital TV allows “crystal clear picture and sound and additional premium channels with no monthly fees.”

ABS-CBN TVplus also introduced a pay-per-view feature called the Kapamilya Box Office (KBO). The company sells prepaid pay-per-view on ABS-CBN TVplus by allowing consumers to pay using their mobile phone credits on their ABS-CBNmobile SIM.

The company has expanded TVplus coverage to Metro Cebu, Davao City, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Cagayan De Oro, on top of Benguet, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Rizal and Tarlac.

The Philippines in 2013 chose the Japanese standard, or Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB) platform, over its European counterpart, saying it was cheaper and allowed for a built-in warning system to inform people about natural calamities.

ABS-CBN recently reported a consolidated revenue of P31.1 billion for the first nine months of 2016.

It said net income stood at P2.85 billion, 50 percent higher compared to the same period last year. The large gains came amid heavy political advertising in the run up to the May 9, 2016 elections.

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Breaking down revenues, ABS-CBN said ad sales in the nine-month period jumped 20 percent to P18.32 billion compared to the same period in 2015. The figure was propped up by a 3.6-percent ad rate increase.

Another leg of ABS-CBN’s core business was consumer sales. Revenues here rose 3.1 percent to P12.85 billion, mainly on an increase in its SkyCable broadband revenues and operations of its Kidzania entertainment center in Bonifacio Global City.

ABS-CBN said capital spending at end-September hit P6.5 billion. —Miguel R. Camus

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Broadcasting, Business, digital TV, Philippine news updates
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