Advice to advertisers: Don't neglect 31M rural viewers

by Vladmir Bunoan,

Posted at Jul 03 2012 10:19 PM | Updated as of Jul 04 2012 07:21 AM

ABS-CBN shows even more popular among rural viewers

MANILA, Philippines -- ABS-CBN's primetime block, led by the phenomenal hit "Walang Hanggan," may be enjoying high ratings in urban areas but new research data showed that it is even more popular among the country's rural TV viewers.

The June 2012 TV ratings from Kantar Media, which was presented to reporters on Tuesday, showed that "Walang Hanggan" was the top primetime show nationwide with 12 million viewers.

But according to Gabriel Buluran, Kantar Media general manager, a higher percentage of rural households tuned in to the Coco Martin-starrer compared to those in urban areas, where it had a rating of 22.68%.

"In rural Philippines, 'Walang Hanggan' umaabot siya hanggang 28%. In terms of percentage, mas mataas ang nagiging viewers in rural reas. Medyo malaki 'yung nadadagdag niya. That also tells you the importance of rural data," Buluran said.

The same pattern was also seen for the No. 2 and No. 3 primetime shows, which are also from ABS-CBN.

"Princess and I" had a rating of 28.18% in rural areas versus 20.17% in urban, while "TV Patrol" had a rating of 21.24% in rural areas compared to 16% in urban areas.

"What we see is during primetime, ABS gets more viewers in rural. They have a higher percentage of viewers in rural. GMA follows the general trend in total TV of higher viewing in urban, lower viewing in rural," Buluran added.

According to Kantar data, in June, ABS-CBN had an average of 12 million individuals or 17% on primetime versus 5.7 million individuals or 8% for GMA.


The data is part of Kantar Media's newly launched National Rural Ratings Data, which, Buluran said, provides "true national television audience measurement data."

"With the introduction of rural, with 65% of them having TV sets, you see another 6.3 million homes that you could potentially reach through TV," he said.

"Before hindi (ito) nire-report. It's as if they didn't exist," he added.

According to Kantar data, there is an even split between urban and rural households in the Philippines. But in places like North and South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, rural homes outnumber urban homes.

Although TV penetration is higher in urban areas with 90% compared to 65% in rural areas, "it's still quite high," Buluran said.

The 6.3 million TV households in rural Philippines translate to around 31 million TV viewers compared to 41 million in urban areas.

"In all, we are reporting now the viewing of more or less 72 million. That's pretty high given the population ng Pilipinas is about 90 million," Buluran said.


According to Buluran, there are some pronounced differences between rural and urban TV viewers.

For one, urbanites spend five hours a day watching TV. "In rural areas it's closer to four hours. Mas kaunti ang time na spend nila sa TV," he said.

Moreover, those in rural areas also sleep earlier.

"Mas maaga mag-drop ng viewing (in rural). Probably 9 o clock, lights out na, tapos na ang viewing," he said, adding that "this is something advertisers and networks would have to address."

Interestingly, Buluran said they also noticed more viewers in rural areas in the morning for some programs, specifically cartoons.

He said this is because kids in rural areas don't attend pre-school.

"In rural area, you only go to school when you're strong enough to walk one to two kilometers. That compensates naman sa maagang tulog nila," Buluran said.

Even in terms of programs, there are also significant differences. For instance, "Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition 4" made the Top 10 most-viewed shows in June in rural areas but failed to crack the list in urban areas.

In daytime, ABS-CBN's live coverage of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder had more rural viewers than in urban areas.

ABS-CBN's "It's Showtime" also had more rural fans, who also tuned in to "Kapamilya Blockbusters."