ABS-CBN taps new platforms for movies

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star
ABS-CBN taps new platforms for movies
ABS-CBN said its film unit would begin releasing its newly produced movies on various platforms such as digital, cable and satellite TV.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — ABS-CBN is pushing through with the production of local movies, but will be tapping on new platforms for their release as most cinemas remain closed due to the pandemic.

ABS-CBN said its film unit would begin releasing its newly produced movies on various platforms such as digital, cable and satellite TV.

This will be made possible in partnership with streaming platform iWantTFC, digital site KTX.ph, cable company Sky Cable, and satellite provider Cignal.

“All these platforms have been here before, but the breakthrough of this is that we can time all these platforms to release the very same movie simultaneously – an original, first-run, never-before-seen Filipino movie at that,” ABS-CBN Films business development, creative, and new media head Enrico Santos said.

“SKYcable pay-per-view and Cignal pay-per-view are tried and tested venues. iWantTFC now offers international same-day viewing. The newest platform, KTX.ph, provides viewing with chat and added events,” he said.

ABS-CBN said that its film subsidiary, which includes Star Cinema, Cinema One Originals, and Black Sheep under its umbrella, would be producing more movies that are skipping theatrical release.

A number of movies are already slated to be released simultaneously in multi-platforms, it said.

“Even if the pandemic has been challenging, it has pushed us to think out of the box. And with the theaters still closed, we thought of ways to reach our audience in different ways,” ABS-CBN Films managing director Olivia Lamasan said.

Lamasan said that for P150 per film, audiences will get 48-hour access to new movies in their chosen platform.

“Viewers now have strong and powerful choices on where to consume content,” she said.

Lamasan, however, said ABS-CBN Films remains hopeful for the reopening of cinemas soon.

“It’s just that for now, we are in this circumstance and we also need to find ways to connect and still be of service to our audience. But we are praying and are in full support for the reopening of cinemas,” she said.

ABS-CBN has been expanding its digital presence after the company was denied a new franchise in July.

With the denial of its bid to secure a broadcast franchise, ABS-CBN was forced to close some of its ventures and reduce investments in non-core activities.

The company is now syndicating its content through various streaming services and operate other businesses that do not require a legislative franchise, such as international licensing and distribution, digital, and cable TV.

ABS-CBN has also been exploring initiatives to distribute its content across additional platforms.

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