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ABS-CBN in 2022: Ambitious Projects, Online Domination, and Free TV Expansion await the Embattled Media Giant

The former biggest TV network in the country, ABS-CBN, may have to spend a couple more years before it can regain its former fiscal glory. Signs of an inevitable recovery have already been showing almost two years since it met its tragic May 2020 free TV shutdown. 

Rising from its slump and post-shutdown–ABS-CBN’s future gets bullish with a promise of profitability in 2022 as it surges forth to an era of digital domination and a possible expansion in free television.

The former biggest TV network in the country, ABS-CBN, may have to spend a couple more years before it can regain its former fiscal glory. Signs of an inevitable recovery have already been showing almost two years since it met its tragic May 2020 free TV shutdown. 

It’s worth noting that this return may take place sans a valid broadcast franchise, although the presence of one may expedite its bid for a glorious rebound.

TV Patrol’s free TV return.

ABS-CBN’s effort to further expand in free television in 2022, manifested on the very first day of the year, when the country’s longest-running newscast, TV Patrol, returned to free television for the first time, in nearly two years. 

Now airing via A2Z Channel 11, the Kapamilya flagship newscast greeted the year with a new opening billboard that sports new graphics and a logo.

The new OBB seems to represent the onward surge of the company towards digital domination. TV Patrol, itself, went fully digital in the wake of its free TV departure in 2020, by going online via YouTube and facebook. 

With its return, TV Patrol is all geared up to enter its 35th year on air in March, with new segments and anchors. In December, last year, the program welcomed former PAGASA meteorologist, Ariel Rojas, as its new weatherman, to fill the void left by Kim Atienza. Rojas’s arrival came weeks after the program introduced new segments hosted by seasoned broadcasters, Winnie Cordero and Boyet Sison. 

On its first day on A2Z, TV Patrol welcomed ANC anchor, Migs Bustos, as tech and gadgets segment anchor, thus completing the program’s segment line-up for its free TV return.

Further free TV expansion.

Both A2Z and TV5 have pulled off expansion efforts since the beginning of their collaboration with ABS-CBN last year. 

A2Z has partnered with the Tacloban-based regional TV station, DYPR-TV in September 2020, which made the Kapamilya programs aired by the network accessible to Western Visayas homes. TV5, on the other hand, initiated the digital TV broadcast of nearly all its regional TV stations nationwide, making the ABS-CBN programs aired by the network, available again to former Kapamilya bailiwicks, including Cebu, Davao, and Baguio.

It remains to be seen whether ABS-CBN will make yet another block-time agreement with another broadcaster, although there are stronger signs that the Network’s deal with either TV5 or A2Z may further expand in the future.

Continued online domination.

With the entire local television scene continually adapting to the increasingly changing, viewing dynamics of Filipino consumers–ABS-CBN’s bid to strengthen its presence in the digital realm. Thus, it’s expected to bring about revolutionary changes to the Network. In 2021, alone, ABS-CBN established landmark partnerships with several global streaming services and production houses, including WeTV, iQiYi, and GMMTV. 

These collaboration deals are poised to continue in 2022, with subsequent follow-up shows, directed towards capturing the ever-growing online market.

ABS-CBN’s over-the-top platform, iWantTFC, has announced its roster of new shows in 2022, including the new seasons of its highly-successful web series, He’s Into Her and Click, Like, Share, and upcoming new series, Bola-Bola, and Tara, G!

On YouTube, ABS-CBN keeps its place as the most-followed and most-viewed channel in the country. It is screaming proof of the network’s strengthening presence in the digital realm.

Ambitious banner shows in 2022.

ABS-CBN will debut a string of ambitious shows this year. Among these shows is ABS-CBN’s highly-anticipated TV adaptation of the Mars Ravelo-authored superheroine, Darna. The new series sees an up-and-coming star, Jane de Leon, don the iconic red suit, thirteen years after Marian Rivera took on the role. Also in 2022, the much-awaited return to primetime television of the phenomenal love team, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla a.k.a. KathNiel, via the romantic comedy–2 Good 2 Be True.

The year will also see the debut of the Philippine adaptations of two of the biggest global drama hits in recent history. On January 24, The Broken Marriage Vow finally premieres after months of preparation and production. The series is the Filipino adaptation of the British drama Dr. Foster, whose Korean adaptation, The World of the Married, made waves in 2019. The adaptation stars prime drama actress Jodi Sta. Maria, in the lead role. Flower of Evil, the Filipino TV adaptation of the South Korean hit TV series of the same name, is also expected to debut sometime this year. The series stars Piolo Pascual and new ABS-CBN talent, Lovi Poe.

Return to profitability.

Judging its continuously decreasing quarterly losses, ABS-CBN seems to be on track to finally become profitable again after two years of staying in the red zone. 

Back then, the company’s annual revenues plunged in 2020 and 2021, with net income sinking deep into the negatives for the past two years. The decreasing trend in its quarterly losses suggested that the company may finally bounce back in 2022. This assumption, of course, is also fueled by the fact that political advertisements are poised to generate multi-million revenues for the still franchise-less network.

With the election coming up–the question whether or not ABS-CBN will get its franchise back under the new administration also comes to a boil?

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