Lopez group: We will ensure ABS-CBN will regain lead | Inquirer Business
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Lopez group: We will ensure ABS-CBN will regain lead

/ 05:20 AM August 06, 2021

It may take sometime for ABS-CBN Corp. to return to profitability without a free television franchise, but the Lopez group vowed to nurse the business back to industry leadership using alternative broadcasting platforms.

While the process may be “slow and challenging,” Lopez Holdings president Salvador Tirona assured stockholders that results of ABS-CBN’s digital pivot have been “most encouraging.”

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“Given that ABS-CBN will take a little more time to return to profitability, it is incumbent on Lopez Holdings to conserve its financial resources and ensure that investee ABS-CBN recovers industry leadership under this new business model,” Tirona said.

Apart from its YouTube channel, Facebook page and other streaming platforms that have generated a strong follower base, Tirona said ABS-CBN was also working to ensure the availability of its content for its international sales and distribution, which, prior to the pandemic had brought in just under P1 billion pesos in sales.

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Aside from its online platforms, ABS-CBN is now airing some entertainment programs on A2Z Channel 11, through a blocktime agreement with Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc., as well as on TV5. Last July, two of its homegrown cable TV channels, Cinema One and MYX, began airing on Cignal.

“ABS-CBN will continue to rely on its strength in content creation,” Tirona said.

ABS-CBN incurred a net loss of P13.34 billion in 2020, 404-percent larger than the net loss of P2.64 billion incurred in the previous year.

The company provided for impairments and one-time expenses totaling P5.24 billion, including expenses for the separation of employees and write-offs of preproduction costs, among others, following the denial of its broadcast franchise in July 2020. Revenues also declined by 49 percent to P21.420 billion.

ABS-CBN also brought back full programming through its Kapamilya Channel, currently available on SKY Cable, Cablelink, GSat and other member-cable operators of the Philippine Cable Television Association. It also launched Kapamilya Online Live to provide livestreaming of its shows on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube and Facebook pages, available exclusively in the Philippines.

By March 2021, ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube channel became the most subscribed and most viewed in Southeast Asia with 32.7 million subscribers and 43 billion views.

—DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA
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TAGS: ABS-CBN Corp., free television franchise, Lopez Holdings
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