At the start of this year, for the first time since Martial Law, ABS-CBN was unseated as the country’s television king. Based on data from AGB Nielsen, GMA now has more viewers nationwide. Up until the end of last year, GMA’s lead was isolated only to the viewer-rich Metro Manila area.
“Now that we have the nationwide lead, advertisers no longer have any argument against us,” he says. He notes that in the past, advertisers have always cited ABS-CBN’s lead in nationwide ratings when negotiating with GMA for ad minute rates.
He says aside from investing heavily in its content and network, GMA’s success over the last decade can also be traced to ABS-CBN.
“ABS-CBN never really considered us a threat,” Yalong says, noting that for a time, their rival was complacent with its position at the top of the industry. “But if that’s the way your executives view your competitors, maybe there’s something wrong with your company,” he says of his former employer.
He says this was one mistake that GMA is doing everything it can to avoid, especially with the entry of TV5. “We’re looking carefully at each of their moves. All rivals are threats to our existence,” he says.
He says the company is not only watching its back for its competitors, but also looking towards the future to ensure the growth of GMA—a traditional television network competing in an ever-changing market.
“We’re looking at other investments like online publishing, promotions and partnerships with foreign groups,” Yalong says. All of its ventures, of course, will be supported by GMA’s reach of news and entertainment content.
And at the end of the day, he says the goal for all this is simple: for everyone in the country to see the light and switch networks too.
BY: Paolo G. Montecillo