Network giants ABS-CBN Corp. and GMA Network Inc. have both reported strong earnings for the first half of 2019 as political placements boosted their advertising revenues.
The two networks are still grappling to claim the no. 1 spot in the Philippine TV, in terms of show ratings, commercial loads, and digital terrestrial devices sales.
Who raked in more cash during the first half of 2019?
ABS-CBN and GMA Network kicked off the first half of 2019 with a tight race.
From January to June, ABS-CBN earned a total of P1.47 billion, recording an increase of 98% from the P741 million a year ago. Meanwhile, GMA Network produced a 10% increase in its net income to P1.34 billion from P1.2 billion.
The Kapamilya network has been the top earner for several years except in 2018 where GMA earned P2.27 billion while ABS-CBN only had P1.91 billion.
In the first quarter of 2019, ABS-CBN Corp. had an income of P20.8 billion whereas GMA Network only had P7.9 billion. Advertisers also poured more money into ABS-CBN which amounted to P11.3 billion while GMA Network Inc. received P7.3 billion.
According to a Senate investigation last year, ABS-CBN’s ad rate for a 30-second ad costs PHP 900,000 pesos for non-primetime and PHP 1.4 million for primetime.
GMA Network, on the other hand, charged their 30-second ad at PHP 299,000 for non-primetime and PHP 500,000 for primetime.
Based on this data, GMA earned 90% of its revenue from ad sales. While ABS-CBN also earned the majority of its income from ad sales, it also has income from Kidzania indoor family entertainment center and from studio tours.
The two networks also boosted their revenues during the 2019 Philippine elections from numerous political advertisements.
ABS-CBN is also taking the lead through its digital platforms such as iWant. In the first half of the year, the network said it could attract an average of 1.5 million active monthly customers on the iWant streaming app.
ABS-CBN has also seen its TVPlus boxes increase in sales, selling over 1.21 million units in the country in just six months. GMA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Felipe Gozon had announced in 2018 that they would roll out a similar and cheaper device but it is still unavailable.
As of June 30, the complete assets of ABS-CBN were at P90.38 billion, while the complete assets of GMA Network were at P16.26 billion. As of Friday, August 16, the stock price of ABS-CBN was at P18.34, with a deceptive 1-year return of -23.2 percent. This poor performance is attributed by analysts to jitters over the franchise renewal of the network.
At last close, GMA’s inventory price stood at P5.35, with a 1-year return of 5.9%.
Due to its greater dividends, some shareholders preferred GMA Network over ABS-CBN. The network provided this year to offer shareholders P0.45 per share, about a tenth of the present share price.
Based on the previous By The Numbers article regarding TV network’s digital warfare, ABS-CBN was proclaimed to be the top rating network in 2018 according to the data of its ratings provider Kantar Media. Kantar’s national TV ratings include Urban and Rural areas which account for more than 2610 panel homes representing 100% of total viewing population of the country.
ABS-CBN leads in Kantar ratings 44% vs the 33% of GMA Network based on the July 2018 overall rating report.
Meanwhile, GMA Network also claimed the number one status based on AGB Nielsen NUTAM survey. AGB Nielsen’s panels are available in Urban areas only and uses People meter.
Besides this, the Kapamilya network measured higher social media influence with all social media platforms except Instagram which was held by GMA Network.
In terms of ad rates and commercial loads, ABS-CBN also ranked as the number one based on its higher costs compared to the rival network.