• GMA Network in talks with telco giants

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    GMA Network on Tuesday said that it is in talks with two giant telecommunication companies in the country to further expand its platform and capacities as part of its ongoing modernization.

    “So the answer directly—yes—we’re open to partnership agreements toward further content distribution and modernization,” said Gilberto Duavit, president and chief operating officer of GMA.

    Duavit added that, “In fact, earlier, there was an allusion in emergence of available, not only technology, but also in capacities that will allow the modernization or further allow the modernization content, not only limited to music content but also moving image content.”

    The network said that it has been talking with Globe Telecom and Smart Communications for possible content partnership.

    But lawyer Felipe Gozon, chairman and chief executive officer of GMA, said that, “We’re not putting up a telco, its not a partnership.”

    Sustained revenues
    Meanwhile, the company reported a net income of P1.1 billion in the first half of the year, which is 12 percent from the P1 billion the company posted in the same period last year.

    “The first six months of the year were marked by sustained revenue growth across our major platforms,” Gozon said.

    “We expect to ride on this momentum as we continue to fortify our programming, and strengthen our presence both locally and abroad,” he added.

    The Gozon-led broadcasting company said that strong advertising revenues propelled GMA’s revenues and profits to double-digit growth in the first six months of 2013. The company reported gross revenues of P6.73 billion, or 14 percent higher than the P5.92-billion earned in the same period in 2012.

    Boosted by sales during the election period, the company’s airtime revenues grew by 15 percent, which drove the increase of the topline.

    But GMA’s operating expenses posted a 13-percent increase to P5 billion, mainly on higher production costs, which was compounded by nonrecurring expenses from mounting the network’s most comprehensive election coverage to date. General and administrative expenses also contributed to the increase, due to the rise in personnel expenditure.

    The network ended the first half with an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda of P2.29 billion, reflecting a 19-percent improvement from a year ago.

    GMA’s flagship Channel 7 grew its advertising revenues by 14 percent, while revenues from the network’s Regional TV operations climbed by a remarkable 60 percent.

    Radio hiked its earnings by 30 percent, while revenues of leading local news channel GMA News TV rose by 16 percent.

    Meanwhile, GMA International, the business unit that manages the distribution and operations of the network’s overseas channels, inched up its revenues from licensing and advertising by less than 1 percent in peso terms. Nonetheless, this segment recorded a 4-percent growth in dollar terms compared to last year.

    In April, GMA International fortified its presence in the Middle East and North Africa, or MENA Region, following its shift to a new carrier, My-HD, a pay-TV platform based in Dubai and through various cable distribution outlets in the region.

    During the second quarter, GMA continued to lead in the viewer rich areas of Urban Luzon and Mega, according to the industry’s leading ratings service provider Nielsen TV Audience Measurement.

    Regaining its momentum in July, GMA was tied in the number one spot with ABS-CBN in nationwide ratings with both networks posting a 34.4-percent total day audience share based on official data.

    The network also sustained its leadership in Urban Luzon and Mega Manila, outrating rival networks by significant margins.

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