GMA to spend P586M on facilities upgrade

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GMA Network Inc. will be spending about P586 million or 40 percent of the company’s total capital expenditure (capex) on the upgrade of its production facilities and signals in rural areas, aiming to be fully high-definition-capable.

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GMA’s capex stands at P1.065 billion this year, with a carryover from last year’s capex of almost P400 million, for a total of P1.465 billion.

“Well, if we include the carryover from last year’s capex, more or less 40 percent of the total will be spent,” said Gilberto Duavit Jr. president and chief operating officer of the network.

“We have capex that is carried over from last year, which is not yet implemented, so the carryover component here is essentially the difference that you see. If I’m not mistaken it’s more . . . [about]P400 million,” Duavit said.

“This year’s capital expenditure will be allocated primarily to further upgrades of production. We will be fully high-definition-capable. Furthermore, there will be upgrades on the back-end especially on content distribution,” he added.

The company said that the upgrades will be nationwide, from as far north as Abra, Cagayan province and as far south as Cagayan de Oro and Pagadian City.

For April, GMA said that based on data from Nielsen TV Audience Measurement from April 20 to 30, it outperformed rivals ABS-CBN and TV5 in urban Luzon, achieving a 37-percent share in total day ratings, ahead of ABS-CBN’s 32.2 percent by 4.8 points, and ahead of TV5’s 10.5 percent by 26.5 points.

Urban Luzon makes up 77 percent of the total urban households with television in the country.

The company said that relative to the previous month, GMA’s total day margin over ABS-CBN and TV5 grew from 4 to 4.8 points, and from 24.7 to 26.5 points, respectively.

More ‘Kapuso’ shows figured in the list of top programs (including specials) in urban Luzon, totalling 19 out of 30.

GMA and TV5 subscribe to Nielsen TV Audience Measurement while ABS-CBN is the lone local major TV network that reportedly subscribes to Kantar Media, formerly known as TNS.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) Chairman Manuel Pangilinan (MVP) said on Tuesday his group had no plans of renewing its offer to buy a stake in GMA Network Inc., backing off further after GMA confirmed it was in talks with businessman Ramon Ang for a possible investment deal.

In March this year, negotiations over PLDT’s possible acquisition of a stake in GMA Network at a price of P1 billion collapsed again, after an earlier round failed. Pangilinan then hinted he was getting tired of the chase.

PLDT had been eyeing a minority stake of 34 percent in GMA.

In October 2012, talks for PLDT to buy a stake in GMA reportedly bogged down over price issues, although GMA chairman and chief executive officer Felipe Gozon , who owns, along with the Duavit and Jimenez families, a combined 79 percent of GMA, denied that the differences over pricing were the reason for the failure of the negotiations.

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