PLDT, GMA team up for digital television

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PLDT, Inc. and wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. are working with GMA Network, Inc.’s New Media, Inc. (NMI) to assist the television network in its digital transformation.

In a statement, the listed telecommunications giant said it signed on Wednesday a technology, content, and distribution agreement with GMA that relates to the latter’s plans for digital television.


PLDT-Smart Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel V. Pangilinan said the partnership with GMA Network helps its goal of transforming “from being a legacy telco into the premier and most trusted digital enabler in the country.”

“[T]his partnership will enable us to power GMA’s digital pivot and help deliver to our millions of fixed and wireless subscribers GMA 7’s unique and compelling content, as well as exciting new digital experiences to more Filipino families,” he said in the statement.

GMA Network Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Felipe L. Gozon said the agreement is a step towards the media company’s goal of “welcoming disruption and embracing digital with open arms.”

“By riding the wave of disruption with PLDT and Smart as partners, we will not only upgrade the quality of content we are producing but we are also setting the stage for a new age of digital television,” he was quoted as saying.

For years, PLDT and GMA Network have been engaged in on-and-off negotiations for the telco to acquire a controlling stake in the media company. In 2017, both Messrs. Pangilinan and Gozon said they were open to revive the talks, but no progress was made.

PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. currently holds all television and print media interests of Mr. Pangilinan. This includes TV5 Network, Inc., Cignal TV, Inc., the Philippine Star Group, and BusinessWorld.

Hastings Holdings, a unit of MediaQuest, has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Denise A. Valdez