GMA Network, Inc. widened its global reach in the first half with the launching of its international channels namely GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, and GMA News TV International through key channel carriers in the regions of North America and the Middle East.
In February, GMA News TV International – the international counterpart of the country's number one news channel, GMA News TV – was launched in the Middle East via Etisalat. Etisalat is the first channel carrier to offer GMA News TV International in the region.
GMA Pinoy TV – the flagship international channel of GMA Network – also further strengthened its presence in North America in March via Shaw Cable systems G.P., reaching Filipino households in select areas of Greater Vancouver including Newton, Fleetwood, Richmond, Cloverdale, and North Shore. Shaw is one of the largest cable television providers in Canada.
GMA News TV International was also launched in Canada in the same month via MTS Allstream, the leading full-service communications provider in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Meanwhile, Northern Canada's communications and entertainment leader Northwestel made it possible for GMA Pinoy TV to be seen in the communities of Whitehorse, Yukon, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (NWT), Fort Nelson, and British Columbia (BC).
With these launches, GMA Pinoy TV subscribers now total 306,000, or over two million viewers worldwide.
GMA Life TV - the second international channel of GMA Network known for its lifestyle programs - is also now seen via Bell TV. The channel was included in Bell TV's lineup just last June 21, and is expected to increase its worldwide viewership of one million as new subscribers are added to its current roster reaching up to 118,000.
According to GMA International Vice President and Head of Operations Joseph T. Francia, the launches are part of the Network's continuous efforts to bring more and more Filipinos abroad closer to home.
"We at GMA International are driven by our desire to bring the best in entertainment and news programs from the Philippines to more of our kababayans all over the globe. By extending to them the Kapuso brand of international television programming, we are certain that they will definitely feel closer to home, and are grateful to our channel carriers for partnering with us in this endeavor," he said.
Francia added that "Filipinos abroad can definitely expect a wider coverage from the Network by the second half of this year as GMA International targets to reach more Pinoy subscribers, specifically those in the U.S. and the Asia Pacific."
By September, GMA International aims to make GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News TV International available in Malaysia via ABN, and GMA Life TV and GMA News TV International in Canada via Telus.(James A. Loyola)