BIZ BUZZ: Things looking up for ABS-CBN

BIZ BUZZ: Things looking up for ABS-CBN

/ 02:24 AM March 14, 2024

It seems the Lopez family’s ABS-CBN Corp. is bent on keeping its pledge that 2024 will be its best year yet since its franchise loss in 2020.

Early indications for the first few months saw strong organic growth across its platforms, with the company’s movies division being an especially bright spot, Biz Buzz learned. This is no surprise for ABS-CBN, whose core has always been storytelling and content creation.

The move by former President Duterte’s allies to strip the company of its broadcast television franchise was a painful blow to the viewing public, the thousands of employees who lost their jobs, and company shareholders.


READ: ABS-CBN ‘bouncing back’ by focusing on content creation, artist development, says Dyogi


But by staying true to its core of creating quality content, the media giant is slowly bouncing back.

As for numbers, this might be felt in a more meaningful way as ABS-CBN aims to reach a cash positive position this year, informed sources told us. This is a strong indicator of financial health and business sustainability.

Recent challenges have arisen such as telco giant PLDT Inc.’s aborted takeover of SkyCable—a business we’re told is highly valued by Carlo Katigbak, the low-key ABS-CBN CEO who prefers doing the hard work from behind the scenes.

READ: ABS-CBN, PLDT cancel Sky Cable deal

It was an unexpected turn of events but we’re told SkyCable has attracted the interest of a strategic party, although we understand discussions are still exploratory.

More importantly, sources said the SkyCable deal was not the determining factor in ABS-CBN’s positive outlook for the year.


Speaking of their outlook, we’re told to expect more partnerships in terms of providing content. Who might these be? Let’s just say all TV players are welcome.

Watch this space for more details or as we like to say, abangan! —Miguel R. Camus

Swift tickets sold quickly in PH

If you feel like half the country was in Singapore for Taylor Swift’s concert, it may be because Filipino Swifties bought most of the tickets sold by travel platform Klook.

Michelle Ho, general manager of Klook Philippines and Thailand, said that at least 10 percent of the over 60,000 seats via the app were bought by Filipinos. The neighboring countries accounted for less.

“We are number one,” she said. After all, the 14-time Grammy winner is not making a stop in the Philippines.

She shared that “Eras Tour” was just a start. More is in store, Ho hinted, encouraging Klook users to watch out for the next big act.

Ho said there has been a growing trend for travelers going to other countries to watch their favorite artists perform in concerts. —Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

United expanding PH routes

By July 31, United Airlines will also land on Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) as it is set to operate Tokyo-Cebu flights, linking passengers to tourist destinations such as Bohol, Siargao, Boracay and Siquijor.

READ: United Airlines bullish on PH market

“The growing demand for flights from various global destinations underscores the need for strategic partnerships like this one to effectively meet travelers’ needs. Our mission is to showcase the unparalleled beauty of the Philippines to the world,” MCIA CEO Anthanasios Titonis said.

Last year, United made its inaugural nonstop flight between Manila and San Francisco. It is the only US airline offering direct transpacific flights to the Philippines.

The airline also services routes from the Philippines to Palau and Guam. —Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

Bo’s Coffee expands after sales jolt

Bo’s Coffee, the country’s biggest homegrown chain of cafes, is brewing up expansion plans and a potential brand refresh after a surprise sales surge last year.

Bo’s has thrived for nearly three decades since it was founded by entrepreneur and CEO Steve Benitez in the mid 1990s.

This is evidence of its enduring presence in the nation’s coffee culture. More importantly, it proves that a business model that shines the light on Filipino coffee farmers and produce can flourish despite the presence of popular foreign chains.

Bo’s today is backed by several investors, the largest of which is private equity firm Navegar.

Biz Buzz learned the group is kicking into high gear with plans to open around 40 Bo’s locations this year and 20 outlets for its newest brand, Daily By Bo’s Coffee, a takeout coffee concept that mainly caters to younger customers. This will push Bo’s close to the 200-store milestone by the end of the year.

We understand a number of these stores will also open outside Metro Manila, which is why the company is quietly building up its logistics network to support expansion.

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This aggressive push was partly fuelled by a sudden surge in sales in the past year. We’re told many branches recorded sales spikes of 30-50 percent, indicating resilient demand despite soaring inflation. —Miguel R. Camus 


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