Corporate News

ABS-CBN expects mobile unit to break even

Posted on March 23, 2017

ABS-CBN Corp. is hoping its mobile business will break even this year, as it pursues more content offerings.

The Lopez-led media and entertainment giant was able to trim its losses for ABS-CBN Mobile last year, ABS-CBN Chief Financial Officer Aldrin M. Cerrado told reporters on Monday.

“We were able to bring down the losses by about a hundred million since it was close to P700 million before, now its about P600 million and we hope to at least cash break even for 2017,” Mr. Cerrado said.

ABS-CBN mobile reported a subscriber base of 904,000 as of end 2016, an 83% increase from the 493,000 recorded in 2015. It saw over 7,500 activations last year.

“There’s a lot of things we’re doing now for ABS-CBN mobile... in the last three months, trajectory in activation was up. We’re now telling people that if you want to access more content and not just basic telephone, it’s really ABS-CBN Mobile,” the network executive added.

ABS-CBN recorded a P3.5-billion net income in 2016, up 39% from the P2.5 billion seen in 2015 as election-related advertising drove revenues higher.

Digital and interactive media’s operating revenues -- which includes its ABS-CBN mobile business -- went up 10% to P781 million.

“In the past, we were really competing with Smart and Globe for basic telephone service. If we will compete with them in [providing] unlimited text, unlimited call services, we will lose because we don’t have the infrastructure. They can always price it lower than us because they own the infrastructure, so now we’ll capitalize on our resource which is really content,” Mr. Cerrado further said.

ABS-CBN mobile, a mobile virtual network operator, was launched in 2013 following the media giant’s deal with Globe Telecoms, Inc., which provides the wireless network infrastructure while ABS-CBN pays a fee for its use.

ABS-CBN shares were unchanged at P46.30 apiece yesterday. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin