Filipinos viewers get more sophisticated | Inquirer Business

Filipinos viewers get more sophisticated

The Filipino viewer is getting more sophisticated when it comes to their viewing habits. Primarily, they want a variety of shows while putting a premium on content and are getting used to enjoying channels in high definition (HD).

“They are expecting good channels all the time,” says Annie P. Naval, chief operating officer and managing director of Cignal TV Inc. With this, Cignal partnered with Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia to make Disney XD available for the first time in the Philippines. Disney XD will broadcast high-definition movies, animation and anime, and comedy to over 700,000 homes in the country.

Disney XD offers a creative programming mix which includes the breadth of Marvel Comics, Pixar and Lucas films.


“When you go HD, there’s no going back. It actually keeps our viewers up late at night. Because they can’t seem to get enough of the brilliance of colors and clarity,” says Guido R. Zaballero, vice president and head of marketing for Cignal TV Inc.


He also details the challenges that beset the cable industry. He says that the biggest challenge is the cost of operating. But the solution lies in the balancing act of managing the cost without compromising the needs and wants of the viewers. “It’s managing the cost and selling it at the right price,” he adds.

The partnership with Walt Disney Southeast Asia to launch Disney XD was first discussed in 2012. Zaballero quips that putting things together between them “took longer than giving birth.” Now, they made Disney XD—an additional channel aside from Disney Channel and Disney Junior which are staples in the channel lineup—available to postpaid subscribers on channel 107. However, it will stream live to prepaid subscribers for free for one month.

Natasha Malhorta, general manager for branded media content for Disney Southeast Asia, commends their partnership with Cignal and Accion—cable distributor     for Disney XD—as an exciting partnership which shares the same values of enriching the viewing habits of kids aged 6 to 14 years old.

Although they target mostly boys, Disney XD promises shows that are “girl-inclusive” and aims to promote their comprehensive portfolio to showcase Disney’s highest standard of quality entertainment.

On a recent study conducted by Disney, most kids nowadays are more picky when it comes to the shows they watch. Malhotra shares their findings:

Humor is the ticket


Kids admire athletes’ good qualities like teamwork and sportsmanship.

Games must be epic. It must be fun or they’ll run.

Content is key. Shows must help kids discover more of themselves and learn with confidence.

This year, Cignal will roll out five more new channels within the third quarter. Asked how they think they fair when it comes to competition with other cable providers, “We have a healthy competition. More choices is always better for the consumers. We just aim to provide quality channels to their lineup,” Zaballero says. “One can have over 500 channels but not all will be relevant to the consumer. We will pursue to give them quality channels all throughout,” Naval adds.

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Cignal TV has been doubling its subscriber base year-on-year since 2010.

TAGS: cable TV, Cignal TV Inc., Entertainment, Television

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