MTRCB revenues dip 40 pct after ABS-CBN shutdown, COVID-19 pandemic

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 02 2020 02:16 PM

An elderly couple shares their memories about watching ABS-CBN over the years moments before the network giant signed off on May 5, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA— The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) on Friday said its earnings this year dipped by about 40 percent after the shutdown of ABS-CBN's broadcast business, and due to limited operations of the entertainment industry during the global pandemic.

In 2019, ABS-CBN and its subsidiaries remitted P22.74 million in review fees, MTRCB Executive Director Ann Marie Nemenzo said during the agency's budget hearing in the Senate.

The amount - which does not include fees paid by ABS-CBN Films' Star Cinema - is nearly 20 percent of the MTRCB's P136 million earnings in 2019.

"Also because of the pandemic now, mas konti pa 'yung [review fees na galing] sa mga movies," MTRCB chair Rachel Arenas said.

(Also because of the pandemic, we are getting less review fees from movies.)

"'Yung mga networks, mas konti ang pinapa-review nila so mas bababa po 'yung aming income this year," she said.

(Other networks are also submitting less shows for review so we are expecting a lower income this year.)

Under the MTRCB's schedule of fees and charges effective since 2014, a P500 review fee is charged for every show airing up to 30 mins. Reviews for an hour-long show is priced at P1,100, while a review for a 2-hour show is worth P1,600.

Separate fees are charged for the review of full-length films, trailers, and sample plugs for every television program.

This year, MTRCB only got P7.4 million from ABS-CBN since the broadcast giant was forced shut after a House panel voted against the renewal of its 25-year franchise.

The review board is looking at the possible resumption of cinema operations in provinces later this year to augment its income losses, Arenas said.

"Inaasahan po namin sa last quarter magpi-pick up 'yung magpapa-review sa amin at magpi-pick up na ang industriya," she said.

(We are expecting that industry and the number of items for review will pick up by the last quarter.)

"Hopefully by December magbubukas na ang cinemas sa provinces. Siguro it (income) would pick up by the end of the year," she said.

(Hopefully, by December, cinemas in provinces will reopen. Maybe our income will pick up by the end of the year.)