METRO MANILA, APRIL 3, 2006 (STAR) By Zinnia Dela Peña – Broadcasting firm GMA Network Inc. continues to edge out its main rival in the ratings game with total day ratings of 18.4 percent as of February compared with ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.’s 14.3 percent, according to industry ratings provider AGBNMR Phils.
Data from AGBNMR show that as of February this year, 17 out of the top 30 TV programs were from GMA-7 with the network’s primetime programs occupying the top spots.
GMA’s regional news programs in Iloilo, Cebu, and Davao as well as its national primetime news program 24 Oras also led the ratings in these areas.
Last year, GMA maintained its lead in Mega Manila TV ratings in all day parts, including the highly contested primetime block.
GMA began overtaking ABS-CBN in total day ratings since late December of 2003, but it began to decisively lead in ratings across all time blocks in 2004, including the most coveted early primetime block.
2005 proved to be another banner year for GMA with its net profit hitting the year-end target of P2 billion, an increase of 34 percent from the previous year’s P1.5 billion. Gross revenues rose 24 percent to P9.7 billion from P7.8 billion.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to P3.6 billion last year, 27 percent higher than the year ago level.
Operating expenses grew 25 percent to P5.2 billion, largely due to higher production cost as it fielded three big-budget “telefantasyas” including “Darna,” “Encantadia” and “Sugo,” as opposed to only one in 2004.
The promotions for QTV, the launching of GMA Pinoy TV, and the regional awareness campaigns of the network also contributed to the increase in operating expenses.
Since its launch in November 2005, QTV Channel 11 has maintained its hold on the number three spot in ratings.
Apart from this, GMA upgraded its transmitter and other technical facilities in Cebu and Davao, and installed its new transmitter in Bacolod. More improvements are also expected to be implemented in other key cities in the country.
GMA also announced that Pinoy TV, its international channel, already had 80,000 subscribers as of March. GMA programs can now be seen in the US, Japan, Guam, and Malaysia last year and the Middle East and Cerritos, California.
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