Stripped of its franchise, the once leading TV network now takes an entirely different direction and assumes an entirely different role: content creator.
ABS-CBN continues to move forward, ahead of a highly possible return to profitability this year, as projected by its CEO, Carlo Katigbak. Once plummeting to its lowest point and most severe financial crisis, in the wake of losing its legislative franchise in 2020, the once industry leader has been moving by leaps and bounds, posting dramatic improvements in its finances. Though it remains in the red zone, the continuous decline in its quarterly losses seems to indicate that things are improving.
There are several reasons why such a return to glory looks possible now for the Kapamilya Network. However, the most notable change remains its shift to premier content provision.
Since its first block-time deal with A2Z in October 2020, the company has forged several collaborative deals with big distribution companies. It has partnered with co-producers, both at a never-before-seen pace. Through such a move, ABS-CBN trimmed its billion pesos gross every quarter. It is now poised to become a profitable business this year.
partnership with its former rival TV network, GMA Network, last year, by leasing movies produced by its film production arm, Star Cinema. Now, blockbusters that once aired solely on ABS-CBN and its sister channels, can now be seen on GMA Network and other Kapuso channels.
This year, such an agreement was further expanded, with the airing of ‘Unbreak My Heart’, the first Kapamilya-produced series aired by GMA Network. The project is reportedly only the first in a streak of upcoming Kapamilya shows to air on various Kapuso channels. Starred by GMA Network and ABS-CBN prime actors, including Richard Yap, and Jodi Sta. Maria. The series will officially premiere in the third quarter of this year, starring Jodi Sta. Maria and Joshua Garcia.
ABS-CBN has also forged an alliance with a major streaming platform, Viu. ABS-CBN had advanced episodes of its chart-topping dramas, ‘Flower of Evil’ and ‘The Broken Marriage Vow’, available on the service, ahead of their television airings. A solid proof of the success of this collaboration is the streak of new shows by ABS-CBN, which is slated to stream on the platform. Of course, the impressive accolades of ‘The Broken Marriage Vow’, both from local and international award-giving bodies, also serve as proof of the series’ resounding success.
Also strengthening ABS-CBN’s strategic shift to content production is TV5, which has been more welcoming to more Kapamilya shows recently. Now, the network airs ABS-CBN shows from late morning to late primetime. The recent visit made by Kapatid top executives to some Kapamilya programs suggests that the partnership between TV5 and ABS-CBN still has room for expansion.
Aside from its landmark partnerships with free-to-air TV networks, ABS-CBN has been aggressive in creating collaboration deals with other producers and media entities. ABS-CBN began its historic ABS-CBN’s talent management arm, Star Magic, recently partnered with MAVX Productions, for a series of films featuring Star Magic stars. The network is also reportedly collaborating with a major film studio, Regal Entertainment, on unnamed projects. The network has existing partnerships with streaming platforms Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video, where much of its content is made available.
ABS-CBN has found a way to recover. There is no telling when it will happen, but at least it’s getting clearer and clearer now. There’s no other way but up for the once number-one TV network. Now, it can still be a number, but not as a TV network, but as a formidable content provider.