GMA Network partners with Zoe Broadcasting Channel 11
() - April 28, 2005 - 12:00am
GMA Network is planning to position Channel 11 of Zoe Broadcasting Network as the direct rival of ABS-CBN’s Studio 23 and ABC-5, company officials disclosed.

GMA has partnered with Zoe Broadcasting Network, which owns and operates Channel 11, so that the latter will be an additional outlet for GMA-produced programs. Zoe entered into a co-production and blocktime agreement with Citynet Marketing and Productions, a subsidiary of GMA Network.

Under the agreement, Citynet shall provide TV programs and shows for Channel 11 while Zoe shall provide the airtime. The agreement involves Channel 11’s daily airtime.

"We are still reviewing what kinds of shows will be aired over Channel 11 so that it will not unduly compete with GMA-7," company officials revealed.

Earlier reports revealed that PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan was in talks with Zoe president Bro. Eddie Villanueva for the acquisition of the broadcasting station. However, sources disclosed that Zoe was not selling.

Pangilinan earlier made an offer to acquire ABC-5 but at that time, the latter was not interested in selling. PLDT later in signed an agreement with GMA Network to acquire a majority stake in the latter but the agreement was set aside.

In another development, GMA Network has signed a carriage agreement for the cable distribution of GMA Pinoy TV in the United States with Comcast, America’s leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services.

GMA Pinoy TV is the network’s international channel that will deliver 24/7 programming for overseas Filipinos.

According to GMA International officer in charge Joseph Francia, their objective is to be able to launch GMA Pinoy TV in the US and in key markets in Asia within the first half of the year. Beyond this, he said there’s the important Middle East market, and then Europe.

Francia said that once they produce enough content for Channel 11, GMA will be launching its second international channel.

"Hopefully, we can sign a few more carriage agreements in Asia to build momentum for our much-awaited launch in the US very soon. There are many challenges, including having to compete with ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel which has been in the international pay TV business for over 10 years, the different market conditions in the various territories where we want to take Pinoy TV, and securing the best deals for the channel among pay TV operators," he added.

With 21.5 million cable customers and seven million high-speed Internet customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management, and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming. It expects to make GMA Pinoy TV available as a subscription channel and to offer content on its video-on-demand service in selected markets.

"Through Comcast, the biggest cable provider in the US, we will be able to serve a large number of Fil-Ams with the best news and public affairs and entertainment programs which are number one in Mega Manila ratings today. We look forward to a fruitful and long-term relationship with Comcast," according to GMA chairman, president and CEO Felipe Gozon.

GMA Pinoy TV is now available to Filipinos in Japan through Access TV and in Guam through Guam Cable Vision.

CHANNEL CITYNET MARKETING AND PRODUCTIONS COMCAST EDDIE VILLANUEVA FELIPE GOZON FILIPINO CHANNEL GMA GUAM CABLE VISION PINOY ZOE ZOE BROADCASTING NETWORK
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