Bringing Kapuso warmth to Pinoys worldwide

JP Mitog - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - GMA Network’s top-rating shows go global as GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV air the broadcast giant’s top-rating shows that captured the hearts of millions of Filipino homes in the country.

From classics to adaptations to originals brought to life by some of the industry’s geniuses, these well-loved Kapuso shows are among the top picks of Filipinos abroad who subscribe to GMA Pinoy TV, the network’s flagship international channel, and second Kapuso international channel GMA Life TV.

“It’s really hard to be away from home, to be on your own in a place where you only have yourself to lean on. It’s not like what we usually see on TV and movies. Thank goodness there’s GMA Pinoy TV. Watching Filipino shows keeps me sane in this urban jungle,” says medical professional Judith, a single Filipina based in New York who also includes 24 Oras, Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho and Eat, Bulaga! among her favorite GMA Pinoy TV shows.

“And of course there’s Dingdong Dantes as the Pinoy Sergio who completely stole my heart in Marimar. I’m watching out for their next project, as well as other offerings from GMA Pinoy TV,” says Judith.

Judith is just one of the Filipinos in the US and other parts of the globe who subscribe to, fell in love with, and make the flagship international channel of GMA Network part of their daily lives.

Launched in 2005, GMA Pinoy TV is continuously making waves in the international scene. It is available in all US states and territories including Hawaii, Guam and Saipan, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the British Indian Ocean Territory of Diego Garcia, Middle East, North Africa and Europe. It was recently introduced by the MTS Allstream, Inc. in Canada.

GMA Life TV, in turn, was launched in 2008 and features a different brand of programming that ably complements that of GMA Pinoy TV. It is available in the US, Canada, Japan, Guam, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

Subscribers are currently at 250,000 for GMA Pinoy TV and some 120,000 for GMA Life TV, as of the First Quarter of 2010. This is quite an impressive increase since GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV were just launched in five years and three years ago, respectively. This number will soon increase as both channels will be available in more areas in the coming quarters of 2010.

Both channels are now carried by Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Systems in California, in all Comcast systems in Northern California, by Entouch systems in Texas, and by Brighthouse systems in Florida.

The successful launch rollout was recently capped off with a concert-cum-fashion show at the jam-packed Santa Clara Convention in Santa Clara, California.

Dubbed Celebrate Life, the grand event that had everybody going home with fond memories featured Kyla and Jay-R, Dennis Trillo, Mark Herras, Wilma Doesnt, Nonito Donaire Jr. and Steven Silva.

Aside from that, GMA Pinoy TV joined the Sinulog celebrations in New Zealand. The crowd of 7,000 had a chance to meet and greet German “Kuya Germs” Moreno.

In Australia, Rhian Ramos had Filipinos screaming when she joined the largest gathering of Filipinos in Blacktown, while Allan K. made everybody go gaga at the Premium Philippine Fiesta, the biggest and grandest annual gathering of Filipinos in Tokyo.

Still in the spirit of being every Filipino’s Kapuso, GMA Pinoy TV also sponsored several projects, and contributed to the success of Filipinos who brought the flag abroad.

GMA Pinoy TV provided extensive media coverage as the RP Gilas team played against different teams in the Middle East, and produced a TV special that chronicled the team’s triumph in the games. It was once more a partner in the Australian and US legs of the national team’s series of trainings abroad.

The flagship international channel also supported Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton’s bid to win the WBA junior featherweight belt.

It raffled off a free round-trip ticket to a lucky subscriber in the Middle East, and also turned over a TV set at the customer lounge of the Philippine Embassy in Singapore. On the other hand, some Access TV call center agents spent time with Sheena Halili and Rainier Castillo, and some won a trip for two to Bohol, Boracay, Palawan and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Lucky Pinoys in Qatar and Guam, meanwhile, underwent free call center training, and had the opportunity of meeting Rainier and Sheena.

Of late, GMA Pinoy TV launched Pinoy Inbox, a community billboard for subscribers to post their announcements, plug events, place pre and post-event details, send information, invitations, for free.

Outside of the network’s two international channels, GMA programs are also seen in various parts of the world via GMA Worldwide, Inc., a subsidiary that focuses on foreign program acquisitions and international distribution of GMA-produced shows.

It handles worldwide distribution of various GMA TV series, dubbed in foreign languages, which are now being aired in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hawaii, Canada, US, Singapore, Vietnam, Korea, New Zealand, Middle East, Brunei, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, as well as in the in-flight movie choices of Saudia Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Emirates and Gulf Air.

GMA Worldwide has also inked a deal with an Internet Protocol TV company that carries over 1,500 hours of archived GMA programs available to worldwide subscribers, and is in the final stages of contract execution with Nigeria and China, and under negotiations with Ghana, Namibia, Gambia and Zambia.

Such events and projects only show that GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV go beyond simply providing news and entertainment. They truly echo GMA Network’s battle cry of being a Kapuso in word and deed by giving warmth to Filipinos all over the world.

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