ABS-CBN versus GMA Network: Who’s winning the numbers game in 2019?

  • Figures don’t lie on who rules Philippine TV
  • From ratings to social media and ad rates, who rules Philippine TV?
  • From trash talking in social media posts and fora to casual debates, fandoms will always claim their station’s number one status

Just like other countries, the Philippines has its own colorful network rivalry. Even its loyal viewers have their own say about their favorite network and their favorite shows. No one wants to be defeated and no wants to be at the bottom rung of the ratings game. The networks would always say that they have the highest rating based on a specific survey made with a specific demographic and scope.

There is no doubt, and viewers are all aware, that the TV networks’ earnings depend on its ratings and scope of coverage. The better the signal is, the bigger scope will the network give its audience. In return, the bigger revenue goes to the ‘best’ network.

From trash talking in social media posts and discussion fora to casual debates, fandoms will always claim their station’s number one status. ABS-CBN, as a whole, seldom seizes the opportunity to advertise their TV ranking status.

Although their shows are the ones gaining number one spots over their rivals, ABS-CBN, for the longest time, has veered away from publicizing their network ranking.

This is contrary to GMA Network that continues to promote their number one status in their info plugs.

But how do we really measure who is number one and/or who is ahead of the other?

TV Ratings

Philippine TV network wars are often decided upon by the ratings. Not only because it is the most visible and physical proof of supremacy but because a network’s life depends on the ratings of its shows.

READ: Rival networks ABS-CBN and GMA Network both claim lead on ratings in 2018

But in the Philippines, TV ratings are a bit complicated because the two rival networks are using two different TV survey methods and agencies as metrics.

ABS-CBN subscribes to Kantar Media which is using National TV ratings survey compared to GMA Network that utilizes AGB Nielsen’s NUTAM People ratings.

Kantar Media’s national TV ratings include both urban and rural areas that account for more than 2610 panel homes, representing 100% of the total viewing population of the country.

Currently, ABS-CBN leads in the Kantar Media ratings with 45% as against GMA Network’s 32% based on the 2018 overall rating report. While ABS-CBN claimed the number one position with the Kantar Media rating, GMA Network has also claimed the number one status based on the AGB Nielsen NUTAM survey. For their 2018 overall TV ratings, GMA Network won over ABS-CBN with 40.8% to the latter’s 37.5%. AGB Nielsen’s panels are available in urban areas only and is using the People meter.

Here’s the breakdown of TV ratings from January to December:

Social Media

Aside from TV ratings, TV network rivalry is also measured by their social media influence.

Since majority of the population is hooked on social media, most especially the millennial audience, TV networks are working hard to tap this broadcasting medium.

And based on the previous ‘By The Numbers’ article regarding TV network’s digital warfare, ABS-CBN is leading over GMA network in terms of social media reach. Actual figures on the social media platform don’t lie as to the real number of followers, on each platform, that the networks have.

ABS-CBN leads almost all social media platforms, except Instagram which is lorded over by GMA Network.

On the most recent updates on their Instagram accounts, GMA Network is leading with 1,103,698 followers while ABS-CBN Network has 998,668 followers. On the other hand, GMA NEWS has a slightly lower following of 947,953 followers as against ABS-CBN News with 1,058,058 followers.

READ: Does the mainstream media really putting an insult to the reputation of the medical professionals in the country?

In YouTube, ABS-CBN is leading with 15,488,998 subscribers and over 20,847,206,536 views, compared to GMA Network with 8,215,997 subscribers and 9,153,866,546 views.

Even with the news channels, ABS-CBN News is above GMA News with 5,381,374 subscribers and 3,845,136,897 views, while GMA News has a total 3,082,019 subscribers with 3,192,363,800 views.

On Facebook, ABS-CBN has 17,944,450 likes and ABS-CBN News garnered 15,940,613 likes to be in the lead over its competitor, GMA, with 17,301,299 likes and GMA News with 12,766,520 likes.

On twitter, it seems that netizens trusted ABS-CBN News more, with 6M followers, compared to GMA News with 5.3 million followers. On the other hand, GMA Network has 1M followers while ABS-CBN has a slightly lower following of 916.1K followers.

Ad rates and commercials

But apart from TV ratings and social media reach, another aspect that we can take into consideration, in knowing the leading TV network in the country, is the ad rates and commercial loads.

Based on the Senate hearing involving the anomalous advertising contract between the Department of Tourism and PTV4’s block-timer Bitag Media Unlimited, it was revealed how much the ad rates in ABS-CBN and GMA network costs.

According to the Senate investigation, ABS-CBN’s ad rates for a 30-second ad costs 900 thousand pesos (P900,000) for a non-primetime placement and 1.4 million pesos for a primetime spot.

GMA network, on the other hand, pegs their 30-second ad at 299 thousand pesos (P299,000) for non-primetime placements and 500 thousand (500,000) for primetime spots.

If we will calculate revenue generation based on the volume of commercial airing, no doubt, ABS-CBN is leading since, even if they charge higher than GMA Network does, they still get the most number of commercial loads.

Therefore, all these numbers can be tied up as to which network is the real number one in terms of ratings because brands will put their money on the most watched programs.

Given the fact that ABS-CBN’s ad rates cost higher, yet still gets most of the commercial loads, it’s safe to conclude that ABS-CBN is really winning the ratings’ game because as pointed out, brands will put their ads on the network or show(s) that is a ratings winner.

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ABS-CBN4582 abs-cbn ad rates2 ABS-CBN GMA Network15 Advertising Rates1 AGB Nielsen466 GMA Network2434 GMA Network Ad Rates2 Kantar Media2144 NUTAM366 TV Ratings1656