On February 22, GMA Network’s other free-to-air channel rebrands to GTV, a new Kapuso platform that will carry news, entertainment, and sports programs. The shift is reminiscent of the now-defunct and similarly-formatted QTV, from which GMA News TV evolved.
With GTV, the Kapuso media giant is poised to secure the top two free-to-air channels in the country, in terms of ratings and viewership. It can be noted that even before this rebranding, GMA News TV has been steadily growing in viewership share, with the recent launch of big programs like the historical-fantasy drama, The Lost Recipe, and the fantasy rom-com anthology, My Fantastik Pag-ibig, which have been posting impressive TV ratings.
This strategic move may be seen as a way to challenge the improving viewership shares of other free-to-air channels–TV5 and A2Z Channel 11, which, alongside GMA-7, arguably benefited from the departure of the former biggest TV network, ABS-CBN.
GTV’s arrival may be GMA Network’s answer for its expansion. GMA News TV’s rebirth will also allow the Network to create new venues for its expanding pool of talents and manpower to find work.
Now, as GMA News TV seems poised to attract more viewers—and is reportedly enjoying as the second most-watched channel in the country—is there enough reason for either TV5 or A2Z Channel 11 to panic?
While Kapamilya-produced programs still rate higher (and are challenging Kapuso shows) than their TV5 and GMA News TV counterparts, these programs are airing on different platforms and channels. A2Z Channel 11 and TV5 ultimately fall as either third or fourth most-watched free-to-air TV channels in the country, while the two Kapuso channels lord in viewership shares.
GTV will keep most of its GMA News TV programs, but an exciting line-up of new and big-budgeted shows to spice up the new channel’s programming. While this may not be a ‘major’ concern for ABS-CBN, which is arguably now more focused on exploring digital platforms as potent means to generate income, the situation seems different with TV5.
Again, TV5 is [again] confronted with a ‘major’ hurdle, which may crush its bid to expand its declining viewership. ABS-CBN, too, may finally lose its bailiwicks where it used to dominate before its pre-shutdown days. It is interesting to note that this move, aside from giving GMA Network a tighter grip on free-TV-viewers, will also amplify the Network’s money-making capacity. With GMA-7 alone, where most of its ad spending shifted to, following ABS-CBN’s shutdown, revenues are pouring in unprecedentedly. GTV [is expected] to accommodate other advertisers, which the main channel can’t welcome, thereby allowing the now number one TV Network in the country to maximize its revenue generation.
That would mean fewer ad spots for both A2Z Channel 11 and TV5, whose ad rates are already far lower than GMA Network. Nevertheless, while GTV’s upward trend in ratings as expected–remember that QTV similarly enjoyed such success during its early years.
GMA Network, then, should carry out strategic efforts to prevent that from happening again. But as both TV5 and ABS-CBN (through their remaining platforms)–are expected to meet the competition with more confidence, it remains to be seen whether or not GMA Network will succeed with GTV.