ABS-CBN, Globe forge 'groundbreaking' partnership

by Liza Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 28 2013 09:17 AM | Updated as of May 29 2013 01:54 AM

ABS-CBN Chairman Gabby Lopez (2nd left) and Globe Telecom President Ernest Cu (2nd right) share a light moment during the announcement of the partnership. Also present were ABS-CBN Head of Convergence Carlo Katigbak (left) and Globe adviser Peter Bithos. Photo by Fernando Sepe Jr. for ABS-CBNnews.com

ABS-CBN pioneers media convergence

MANILA (3rd UPDATE) -- Leaders in the country’s media and telecommunications industries have joined forces through a convergence of businesses.

ABS-CBN Corp., through unit ABS-CBN Convergence Inc., and Globe Telecom Inc. on Tuesday formally sealed a "network sharing agreement" that would pave the way for the multimedia giant to deliver content and traditional mobile services such as voice, SMS and data through the Ayala-led telco's infrastructure.

"This groundbreaking partnership, which converges two separate  industries, enables ABS-CBN - the country's largest media and entertainment conglomerate - to deliver ABS-CBN content and offer traditional telecoms services on mobile devices," Rolando P. Valdueza, ABS-CBN's group chief finance officer, said in a disclosure.

"Through the network-sharing agreement, Globe will provide capacity and coverage on its existing cellular mobile telephony network to ABS-CBN Convergence on a nationwide basis. The parties may also share assets such as servers, towers, and switches," he continued.

The pioneering partnership ushers in the media convergence era, especially as the two firms capitalize on its strong synergies.

The strategic partnership syncs with ABS-CBN’s multiplatform system where it is in TV, cable, radio, online, digital terrestrial TV and IPTV. Globe, in the meantime, will make available new market offerings and create good value propositions for consumers.

ABS-CBN Convergence president and managing director Carlo Katigbak said the media giant's pioneering move aims to create a new experience for Filipinos by expanding their access to ABS-CBN content on mobile devices.

“We have come to realize that the mobile internet is going to become one of the most important platforms for delivering content to our audiences.  We believe that in the same way television revolutionized the mass market’s ability to receive information and entertainment, the wireless internet will be the next most important medium for our audience. Very soon, our Kapamilyas will enjoy special shows, receive our news, and interact with our stars from anywhere and anytime they want, through their tablets and cellphones,” Katigbak said. 

Katigbak said ABS-CBN will invest between P2 billion to P3 billion over the next three-years.

ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III said, "It's a natural evolution for us, it's what we think our consumers want and we tested it out with iWantTV and its very clear this is where the future is going. In April, we did 30 million page views  half of that was done on mobile devices so we know that this is what people want."

"You know, manunuod  ka ng 'Be Careful (with my heart)' nasa opisina ka, so you watch it when you come home," Lopez added. 

For his part, Globe Telecom CEO Ernest Cu said the partnership will create a new market for mobile users.

"We are happy that Globe is once again at the forefront of a pioneering effort.  We entered this partnership to provide Filipinos with more reasons to enjoy their mobile phones.  The exclusive content that ABS CBN will provide ushers in a new form of entertainment for mobile users in the Philippines. We are now seeing the gains of our network modernization and IT transformation initiatives, having new capabilities to enter into these businesses to showcase our strength and leadership," Cu said. 

The partnership will see ABS-CBN capitalize on its strength in creating and delivering content, while riding on the Globe Telecom backbone. This enables both firms to reach new markets and have a wider audience base.

In December last year, Globe Telecom acquired some $130-million worth of Bayan Telecommunications Inc.'s debt, and in April this year, the Ayala telco said it is finalizing an amended rehabilitation plan for the Lopez-led firm, which has been in recovery since 2003 and is expected to remain so until 2023.

ABS-CBNnews.com is the news website of ABS-CBN Corp.