GMA Network investing P3B in digital broadcasting

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GMA Network is investing P3 billion in infrastructure as it shifts toward Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcast (DTTB) from analog to meet the technical requirements of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

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“Siguro mga P2 billion to P3 billion, one year ‘yan, ‘yung hard ha, (Perhaps P2 billion to P3 billion, in one year, in) infrastructure, including transmission among others,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Felipe L. Gozon told reporters.

GMA Network led in an independent study measuring digital TV presence in the country, affirming the robust coverage of the Network’s digital TV signal.

The study, which was conducted by local Smartphone and tablet manufacturer Starmobile, revealed that GMA 1SEG and GMA News TV were available in 10 out of the 14 test locations in Metro Manila.

Market research firm IDC (International Data Corp.) was commissioned by Starmobile to do the study.

Other channels surveyed were ABS-CBN, ABS-CBN Sports, TV5, and AKSYON TV, among others.

To meet the NTC directive, GMA has started to adapt the Japanese DTV standard or ISDB-T.

Earlier, three other television networks said that they were upgrading to Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcast (DTTB) to meet the NTC requirements.

In 2014, the NTC issued the implementing rules to all broadcast companies in the country to adopt the Japanese standard’s Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting—Terrestrial (ISDB-T) technology, the most advanced international standard on DTTB, for the rollout of digital TV service.

Based on results of the 2014 TV Establishment Survey of Nielsen Philippines on household reception, GMA was received by 99 percent of all TV households in Total Urban Philippines, according to GMA Network.

The Network commissioned a new 2KW TV relay station in Daet, Camarines Norte and re-located its transmitting station in Iligan City to enable the re-broadcast of Northern Mindanao programs from Cagayan de Oro.

GMA is set to commission a new 5KW TV relay station in Butuan City this month.

Last week, GMA reported a net income of P408 million for the first quarter of 2015, posting a 25 percent increase versus the same period last year.

“Our performance in the first quarter is a good indication that 2015 will be a much better year for our company. We are hoping to sustain this momentum throughout the year,” Gozon said.

Revenues for the first three months improved by 5 percent to P3.006 billion, with higher airtime sales from Channel 7, GMA News TV and radio accounting for the increase.

Operating expenses went up by 3 percent to P2.432 billion due to higher production costs as the Network continued to strengthen its programming content.

GMA Channel 7 registered a 6-percent growth in its top line, driving the increase in total airtime sales which grew 7 percent to P2.711 billion.

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