Pinoy teleserials have gained worldwide acclaim amid the coronavirus epidemic

ABS-CBN Corporation’s shows, such as New Beginnings and Asintado, are being shown in 41 African countries, while La Vida Lena and Mirabilia are being aired in Myanmar. – Company Handout

By Michelle Ann P. Soliman, Reporter

Le Marie Grace Balderrama, 26, saw 6 Promise of a broken marriageAdaptation of ABS-CBN Entertainment’s BBC Original Series Dr. FosterFrom his home in Canada to YouTube.

“I was curious,” the Filipino interior design technician said in a Facebook Messenger chat. “I saw the Korean version and I wanted to compare the plots.”

Mrs. Balderama also watches Filipino talent shows with her parents Voice Philippines And Call of Duty on iWantTFC and YouTube.

The rise of the streaming platform in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic has given Filipino TV shows the opportunity to watch worldwide viewers.

According to online market research firm Statista, 77% of Filipino Internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 used a video streaming subscription service in 2020. Netflix is ​​the leading platform in the Philippines with 35% market share

Major entertainment companies in the Philippines have been exporting TV shows since before the epidemic.

ABS-CBN’s romance drama New morningKnown worldwide as New start, Kenya, Ghana and Madagascar. Its action-drama series Asintado Broadcast with a French dab in French-speaking regions of Africa, including Ivory Coast Lena Life Burmese headlines are being promoted in Myanmar Maya Galissar.

Four GMA Network Drama- Stepmother, Twins, rivals, Legally blind And Onanay – was set for premiere in Africa and had an agreement with SynProNize, a Dubai-based content distribution and production company, the listed company said in September.

Last year, the Spanish-dubbed version of GMA Little mother (Tania’s innocence), For love or money (For love or for money) And A place in your heart (Stepmother) Also debuted in Ecuador.

ABS-CBN, which imported the hit Mexican drama series Beautiful roses Brought to the Philippines in the 1990s, later forming its own international sales team From the mind Malaysia in 2002 and Pangako Sa’io to Kenya In 2003.

“For the first five years, we’ve focused on selling six of our top-rated titles,” ABS-CBN sales chief Larni U said in an e-mail. Rival GMA Network started its syndication business in 2007 through its global division.

“We started by exporting some of GMA’s top-rated dramas to an Indonesian broadcaster,” Roxanne J. Barcelona, ​​vice president and consultant for the GMA Network’s worldwide division, said in an e-mail. The plays have been dubbed in Bahasa. After Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore followed suit.

Acquiring foreign content for GMA allows them to build a network of international clients and help the company grow its syndication business, he said.

Includes the first GMA drama syndicated in Southeast Asia over the past 15 years Marimar, Disable, Encantadia And Mulawin.

“When we started with Signal Entertainment, international distribution was always on the radar,” said Isabel Arnez-Santilan Zoom, vice-president of Signal Entertainment, in an interview. “We knew that everything we would make for TV or theater would have to travel outside the Philippines.”

Anyone who buys Filipino content always considers story and production quality, Miss Barcelona said. “Buyers consider a program’s target audience and past ratings. These are just some of the goal setting shareware that you can use.

Culture and experience matches are also important factors that affect the marketability of TV shows, he added.

“We consider a number of cultural factors when choosing the title we sell in each region,” said Miss You. “Understanding the audience is important – how they relate to the universal theme of character, actor presence, language, and family love is some of the foundations of our decision.”

ABS-CBN has sold over 50,000 hours of TV content in more than 50 countries.

The shutdown of the network accelerated its digital transformation after Congress rejected its franchise extension in 2020, forcing the company to relocate to the online world, where it has become the country’s leading local content producer for both news and entertainment.

The company posted P3.8-billion net losses in the nine months to September 2021, down from P7.3-billion net losses a year earlier, according to a release from the Philippine Stock Exchange.

“ABS-CBN has further enhanced its international reach by integrating its proprietary digital application into iWantTFC and geoblocking entertainment and news content across the globe,” it says. It has distributed more than 180 titles across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, as well as various over-the-top platforms, generating over P292 million.

In contrast, the GMA network’s net attributable revenue rose 53% to P5.98 billion in the same period a year earlier, and advertising revenue rose 35% to P15.5 billion, according to the stock exchange filing. Net income from international activities dropped to P509.6 million from P649.1 million a year ago.

“Until the theme becomes universal, such as love and family values, and even other networks create content that is truly marketable outside the country,” said Jeffrey Remizio Zoom, vice president of Signal TV.

For filmmaker, TV and music producer and writer Christopher Cahillig, a project must first and foremost be commercially viable.

“I know it’s not ideal for other people because they will always say, ‘I want a story that’s artistic,'” he said. “If you bring a big foundation that the material is commercially viable, it will do good business.”

“We’re starting to pitch the idea of ​​the story on a streaming platform,” Mr Cahillig said in Filipino language. “If they don’t like the material, we don’t make it. We don’t bet on anything that won’t hit. “

Measurement of success
The cost of producing a TV series ranges from P15 million to P25 million, which includes the cost of shooting and hiring well-known actors. A 30-50% mark-up is normal expectation, he added.

A TV series is considered successful if it has a large audience and good social media response and engagement.

“Rating is still a major factor in determining the success of a program,” said Mrs. Barcelona. “Unfortunately, not all clients subscribe to rating providers and TV ratings are not readily available in all regions. That’s why we communicate regularly and get feedback from our clients. “

The social media response to the social media pages of GMA and its clients is also a good indicator of being considered a show hit, he said. “The success of a play also increases the number of foreign social media followers for our artists.”

“The best indicator is a client’s decision to buy more drama from GMA,” said Mrs Barcelona. “A program can be so successful that a client decides to acquire its format rights for a remake in their country,” he said, noting that they have sold several of their play formats in Vietnam, Cambodia and Latin America.

Another measure of success is advertising revenue if the TV series is offered on an ad-based video-on-demand service, which is free for consumers, says Pia Laurel, ABS-CBN’s head of international distribution. “If the platform is a demand-driven subscription video, its benchmark is whether the title can drive new subscriptions or renewals.”

For “over-the-top” – where the material is distributed directly to viewers on the Internet – and for other streaming platforms, the number of views and minutes spent on a show is a good measure of success, says Mr. Remigio.

“GMA has taken a ‘global’ approach to creating content for both local and global markets,” said Mrs. Barcelona. This is in addition to keeping pace with the technical aspects of TV production and trying to keep up with international standards, he added.

The network’s syndication business also paves the way for co-production and partnerships with major international players.

“As a content company, our dream and primary focus is to create and create more original stories that will resonate and reach every audience around the world,” said Mrs. Laurel.

Signal’s plan has always been to create a library of content not only for TV but also for over-the-top and theatrical releases, Mrs. Santilan said. “When we do this, we are aware of other platforms where we can distribute them.”

Whatever the narrative, human experience should bridge the cultural divide.

“We think about human experience and how it’s called.” Mr. Cahillig said. “Since people now have access to a lot of content, I think being a Filipino individually would really help you.”

Want to see the stories of Mrs. Balderrama, Filipino-Canadian, more Morena actors, strange things and people like her who have succeeded elsewhere.

“I see stories of immigrant Filipinos dealing with a lot of realistic problems, but I want to see them develop more stories in their chosen new land.”

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