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Alternative advertisement platform

By ordering the closure of the TV and radio operations of ABS-CBN Corp. last week, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) may have unwittingly fostered the growth of digital news broadcasts and advertising in the country.

Two days after the network ceased operations, it was back on the air with its longstanding “TV Patrol” newscast using the digital platform.


The evening news was seen on the company’s official website and Facebook and YouTube pages.

According to reports, the newscast had more than 7.5 million Facebook views, with concurrent viewers (or the number of viewers watching at the same time) of around 218,000.


On YouTube, the livestream had over 73,000 peak concurrent viewers. And on Twitter, it was among the list of trending topics in the Philippines.

In a deft move, TV Patrol came out earlier than its counterpart in rival GMA Network and, in the process, preempted the dissemination of the news to the public.

Although the viewership figures appear to be impressive, they pale in comparison to the network’s nationwide reach prior to its forced shutdown.

Obviously, the online broadcasts are available only to people who have access to good (repeat, good) internet or Wi-Fi facilities that, by and large, can be found only in Metro Manila and select urban areas in the provinces.Only time will tell when, if at all, ABS-CBN would be able to get back on the air either by way of a court order to the NTC to restore its license or Congress renews its franchise.

While awaiting what will happen next, advertising companies and promotions entities are expected to monitor closely the public’s interest in ABS-CBN’s online broadcasts.

Is the netizens’ interest in online news broadcasts sustainable? Meaning, it is not a flash in the pan.

Is the surge in social media viewership merely an expression of the public’s opposition to the closure that may wane after other issues overshadow the controversy, or would it remain even after ABS-CBN gets its franchise?


The answers to these questions can be found in the monitoring facilities of Google, Facebook and other internet search engines.

Unlike other media platforms, social media viewership can be scrupulously counted, filtered, broken down into categories and evaluated for commercial purposes.

Poll surveys on TV and radio audience are susceptible to manipulation through the selection of respondents and survey areas.

The viewership of billboard or public transport advertisements cannot be satisfactorily determined because it is

impossible to determine how many people looked at them with interest.

Those concerns do not apply to online audience monitoring. Since the monitoring facilities are located abroad and manned by people who have no commercial links to the Philippines, there is a very high degree of accuracy in the data they generate.This information is vital to advertisers. Through those figures, they can determine if their promotional materials are being viewed by their intended audience, at what times and for how long—something that cannot be said of other forms of public advertising.

After analyzing the figures, they can decide whether or not to continue advertising in a particular website or make adjustments in the timing, positioning and presentation of their advertisements.

If events later show that online viewership of newscasts has gained wide acceptance, or considered a reliable means of keeping abreast with significant events in the Philippines or elsewhere in the world, advertisers would be encouraged to rethink their placements on TV or radio news broadcasts in favor of internet- or Wi-Fi-based platforms.

True, the reach of digital platforms may not be as extensive as that of TV and radio. But if the advertisements are meant for people who have the financial means to subscribe to those platforms and acquire the gadgets that have access to them, the advertisement objective can be considered as good as accomplished. INQ

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