Though it has been challenging, ABS-CBN is trying to return to its former glory ever since its second shutdown in 1972.
The Duterte Government closed the largest broadcasting network in the Philippines in May of 2020, with violations up to this point still unproven. It had no choice but to accept its fate and continue operating without a franchise through other means.
This also meant that it lost its spot as the most-watched network in the Philippines. However, with her brilliant mind, former ABS-CBN President and now Chief Content Officer Charo Santos-Concio continues to innovate her network despite the blows the station has received.
Let us take a look at how ABS-CBN plans on reclaiming its former top spot.
Expanding its digitalization.
The pandemic, along with the Network’s shutdown, has made many consumers turn off their television. This seems favorable with ABS-CBN’s current situation as it has no ability to go on-air.
What it did, as digital consumption spikes, ABS-CBN strengthened its campaign to turn the ongoing consumer migration, to their advantage. It seemed that their plan work as subscriptions across its social media channels skyrocketed.
Becoming the pioneer.
Due to its aggressive efforts to have streaming platforms become its major content delivery platforms, yielding positive results for the now-franchise-less ABS-CBN, other broadcasting networks followed it. ABS-CBN has recently tied up with international video-streaming services, WeTV and iFlix, for their scripted entertainment content.
VIP users of platforms that are partnered with ABS-CBN have the advantage of seeing upcoming episodes of some Kapamilya series, including the long-running FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, and ensemble drama Huwag Kang Mangamba.
GMA Network followed by partnering with iQiyi, one of the leading global entertainment streaming services.
Breaking the stigma. Increasing its reach.
ABS-CBN broke the belief that TV networks do not have to work together. The Kapamilya Network made a block-time agreement first with A2Z to air some of its shows, including its entire Primetime Bida lineup.
It was then followed by a partnership with TV5, increasing its reach which, was only available via the digital platforms that they already had. This time, with the partnership between A2Z and the Kapatid Network, ABS-CBN is slowly regaining its audience from free TV.
Continuing to make changes.
ABS-CBN continues to wow Filipinos with the way it is conquering the digital world. Recently, the network launched its news application to allow its users to have news stories be read to them.
Being franchise-less doesn’t stop ABS-CBN from producing quality content
The Network continues to provide Filipinos the entertainment that they need during this pandemic. This includes the longest-running Kapamilya series, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano (FPJAP), along with new teleseryes such as the now-released Huwag Kang Mangamba, and Init sa Magdamag.
The much-anticipated fantaserye Darna starring Jane de Leon, will be starting its production in September, given that she already departed from FPJAP.
Even without a franchise, ABS-CBN continued to create movies that are of quality. Months after its shut down, it released films straight to streaming such as Love Lockdown (starred Angelica Panganiban, Jake Cuenca, and JM De Guzman) that premiered on May 15, while Malaya (with Lovie Poe and Zanjoe Marudo as lead stars) was made available on May 28, respectively.
It does not end there as Star Cinema, the Network’s main film production company, produced and released U-Turn, a horror movie that starred Kim Chiu. In November, another mainstream movie was released – Boyette: Not A Girl Yet, led by Zaijian Jaranilla.
Four Sisters Before the Wedding premiered on December 11, 2020, the prequel to the 2013 hit movie, Four Sisters and A Wedding.
ABS-CBN also did not provide an entry for the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival as it had Fan Girl, which garnered many awards during the event, and Mang Kepweng: Ang Lihim ng Bandanang Itim, the sequel from the 2017 movie, Mang Kepweng Returns.
Just at the start of 2021, it released the Maymay Entrata-Edward Barber film, Princess Dayareese. The network also continues to provide BL (Boy’s Love) movies and series to cater to the genre’s growing popularity.
Going global. Adding more potential stars.
Despite losing its ability to return on free TV just yet, the Network has unveiled its plan to go global. On June 19, it marked a historic event for ABS-CBN as it revealed that it aims to expand its content production to champion Filipino talents.
Laurenti M. Dyogi, Star Magic and ABS-CBN entertainment production head said, “We dream to grow bigger and go global. To see our artists perform alongside the best artists in the world is what we will strive to achieve. Star Magic will also start creating content that will entertain, inform, and educate our audience locally and globally.”
During Black Pen Day, ABS-CBN signed over 40 new and existing artists, the biggest contract signing event in the history of Philippine entertainment.
Not only did it sign a mass of artists, but ABS-CBN also partnered with 7K Sounds to help local musicians penetrate the global market.
ABS-CBN has continued to show some of the reasons why it is the country’s former top network. Soon, it will return to free TV on its own frequency, and its audience will definitely have a much better, much stronger Kapamilya Network because of its never-ending development.