ABS-CBN to gain from better broadband as it ramps up digital push: KBP officials

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2020 09:26 PM | Updated as of Sep 23 2020 09:34 PM

ABS-CBN's Entertainment Channel on YouTube has over 29.6 million subscribers as of Sept. 23, 2020. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Efforts to improve internet speed and availability in the Philippines will benefit ABS-CBN as more people will be able to access its digital entertainment and news offerings, two officials from a broadcast industry group said on Wednesday. 

Jun Nicdao, president of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), said that ABS-CBN’s digital push will greatly benefit from the entry of new telco players as well as the upgrades that the current telcos are doing to their services. 

Faster connections and a wider access to broadband will allow the media company to deliver its content to a bigger audience through its digital platforms, Nicdao said during a webinar organized by the Asian Institute of Management Alumni Association on the current state of the Philippine Broadcast Industry. 

“ABS-CBN continues to produce really good quality content,” Nicdao said. The company’s challenge was delivering its content to its audience following the loss of its free TV channels.

“Content is king,” said KBP Corporate Secretary Lito Yabut. 
“If they continue providing their programs, they’ll still be very much around." 

The two KBP officials noted that when ABS-CBN was forced off the airwaves, many of its loyal viewers chose to stop watching TV altogether or follow its programs on cable TV and its digital platforms. 

Nicdao said that ABS-CBN had been transitioning to digital distribution for its content even before its franchise woes, and that the loss of its broadcast channels will only speed up its move to digital. 

ABS-CBN Entertainment currently has 29.6 million subscribers on YouTube, which is over 10 million more than its closest competitor. ABS-CBN News meanwhile has 10.3 million YouTube subscribers or 3 million more than its closest competitor.

“ABS-CBN will accelerate their digital transformation more than anyone else,” Nicdao said. 

Despite its digital push, ABS-CBN can also still go back to broadcasting and apply for a new franchise with a “friendlier Congress,” he said. 

The company however may need to secure new radio frequencies, as its existing frequencies may get assigned to other media firms by then, Nicdao added. 

Nicdao mourned the decision by the House Legislative Franchises committee last July to deny ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application. 

“My impression was ABS-CBN was substantially able to defend itself,” he said. 

“ABS-CBN was able to substantiate why their franchise should be renewed,” Yabut added. 

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