ABS-CBN launches its first digital series

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ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs is experimenting with a purely digital series, Lakwatsero, which follows television host Robi Domingo as he travels the lesser-known tourist spots in the Philippines.

“The star of the show isn’t me but the places we went to and the causes we want to push. It’s not just a travel show [because] we get to realize that we need to become advocates to protect and conserve [the environment],” said Mr. Domingo during a press conference on Jan. 26 at the network’s headquarters in Quezon City.

Lakwatsero — the Filipino colloquial term meaning someone who likes to be out and about — will see Mr. Domingo tour areas such as Basey and Calbiga in Samar, Malapascua and Bantayan islands in Cebu, Bacolod, and Iloilo in the Visayas, and Mt. Apo in Davao del Sur, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, and Iligan City in Mindanao.

The show is set to premiere on Jan. 29, 6 p.m. It can be viewed on ABS-CBN’s News Web site (under the Life section), and on the network’s Youtube and Facebook pages.

It will air every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Mr. Domingo previously hosted the same show in 2014 on ABS-CBN’s English-language news channel, ANC. Back then he toured spots outside the country like Hokkaido in Japan.

Unlike ANC’s show, the digital Lakwatsero series will focus first on Philippine sites before moving on outside the country.

DIGITAL BATTLEGROUND
With the introduction of its first exclusive digital content series, ABS-CBN has joined GMA Network on the digital battlefield.

Earlier this month, GMA Network launched its ONE (Online Exclusive) series with three shows — Adulting, #Goals, and Fact or Fake — with the episodes uploaded weekly on its Youtube channel.

“We’ve been doing digital content for a few years already but this is the first time [we’re doing something] purely digital. And we are exploring more millennial content to reach the widest audience,” Francis Toral, head of ABS-CBN Docu Central, told BusinessWorld shortly after the press conference.

“I think it’s the right time since we’re engaged in the broadcast business but we have been challenged to come up with purely digital offerings,” she added.

Ms. Toral explained that since their digital channels (social media and news Web sites) enjoy millions of views every day, the network wanted to tap the audience “that’s veering away from TV already.”

But ABS-CBN is not letting go of TV just yet as Lakwatsero, aside from having accompanying written articles on its Web site, will also be re-edited and shown on television, although no date has been revealed yet on when it will air.

More digital content is on its way, said Ms. Toral, focusing on “content millennials want and need,” but she assured that they will also be offering content about politics and economy.

Lakwatsero will be shown on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starting Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. on the Life Section of ABS-CBN News.com, the official ABS-CBN News Facebook page, and the official YouTube channel. — Zsarlene B. Chua





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