earnings reports

With COVID-19 and franchise woes, ABS-CBN loses P3.9 billion in H1 2020

Camille Elemia
This is a steep decline from its net income of almost P1.5 billion from January to June last year

ABS-CBN Corporation suffered a massive net loss of P3.93 billion in the 1st half of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the denial of its legislative franchise.

This was a steep decline from its net income of P1.498 billion from January to June last year.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the media giant said its consolidated revenues from advertising and consumer sales dropped 36% to P7.5 billion.

The company saw a sharp decline in its advertising revenues in the 2nd quarter, following the National Telecommunications Commission’s cease and desist order on its broadcast and digital TV operations in May and June, respectively. (READ: Few viewers, ad options: How ABS-CBN shutdown alters PH media landscape)

“These events, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic that the country is facing, drove down both the advertising and consumer revenues of the company,” ABS-CBN said.

The company earlier announced the closure of KidZania and Studio Experience by the end of August.

In 2019, the network suffered losses amounting to P2.6 billion, as revenues fell almost 7% to P42 billion.

In its annual report, ABS-CBN reported higher advertising revenues, but higher production costs last year dragged down its finances.

Digital boost

The company was somehow able to offset a portion of its lost revenue through its digital platforms.

Total revenues generated from its digital platforms amounted to P685 million, still lower by 8% than in the same period last year.

ABS-CBN said its iWant service, an on-demand streaming platform, registered over 1 million users and over 1.6 million daily views.

“This provided the company an avenue to alleviate the shortfalls driven by the COVID-19 pandemic during the 1st quarter of 2020,” it said.

On June 14, ABS-CBN launched the Kapamilya Channel, a pay TV channel that carries some of the network’s high-rated shows.

In August, following the rejection of its franchise renewal, ABS-CBN launched Kapamilya Online Live, an online entertainment channel streamed for free on YouTube and Facebook. (READ: With no franchise, ABS-CBN cuts jobs)

The company earlier said it will focus on its other businesses that do not require a legislative franchise, such as international licensing and distribution, digital and cable businesses, and content syndication, to mitigate impact. – Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com