Philippines In View
18 May 2021

Philippines in View was held on 18 May where we addressed key questions and discussed topics including:

  • The Future of Television
  • The Future of Streaming
  • Life Outside of Metro Manila
  • Demanding Content – What do Filipinos Want?
  • Addressing Piracy Issues in the Philippines
  • Social Change as a Media Industry Driver


All sessions are now available on demand for AVIA members. Kindly log in to view.

Philippines In View 2021 Report

In conjunction with the Philippines in View event, AVIA is producing a Philippines in View Report 2021. This report will be a deep dive into the state of the TV industry in the Philippines, including Free-To-Air, Pay TV and Online Curated Content providers. Looking at audience distribution, programming models and the competitive landscape, the report will give up-to-date data on the ongoing evolution of business models in the Philippines. 

The Executive Summary is now available for all AVIA members at the Download Centre. Kindly log in for access. The full report will be made available once it is ready in June. For non-members who are interested in purchasing the report, please contact


18 May 2021

Philippines in View

While television still dominates the media landscape in the Philippines, streaming VOD services are also on the rise but will they co-exist with cable television or will they usurp it. Does TV remain aloof or is the future of FTA in streaming and the future of cable in broadband?  And in that streaming world, is there a balance between the roles of local and international players, or is one side set to dominate? 

What are the challenges and opportunities faced by these local TV and streaming services? How are they embracing disruption and innovation and ultimately, which business models will work best in a country where consumers are still adapting to paying for online video streaming services? 


Welcome Address

Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA


Opening Address: Policy and Regulation for the 21st Century in the Philippines


Arnold “Ali” I. Atienza, Undersecretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology for Government Digital Broadcast Television and the Digitalization of the Entertainment Industry Sector, Emerging Technologies, Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs Sector

With John Medeiros, Chief Policy Officer, AVIA


State of the TV and Video Industry in the Philippines


While television still dominates the media landscape in the Philippines, streaming VOD services are also on the rise but will they co-exist with cable television or will they usurp it? Does TV remain aloof or is the future of free-to-air in streaming and the future of cable in broadband? And in that streaming world, is there a balance between the roles of local and international players, or is one side set to dominate? This presentation evaluates the market drivers, catalysts and challenges of the industry and what is happening year on year.

Leo Jaymar G. Uy, Head of Research, BusinessWorld



The Future of Television


The year 2020 was poised to be another banner year for the TV industry but how will the pandemic and the shutdown of Philippine’s largest analog broadcaster shape the TV industry? We explore what the challenges and opportunities are in today’s TV market environment. How are organisations planning for continued growth and capturing new subscribers? Is there a need for aggregation and if so, what’s next?



Robert P. Galang, President and CEO, Cignal TV and TV5

Lizelle G. Maralag, Chief Marketing Officer, GMA Network, President and COO, GMA Marketing and Productions

Alexander Muller, MD APAC, TV5MONDE

With Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA


The Future of Streaming

In this session, we look at how the story is unfolding for the international players covering a market like the Philippines. What challenges are being faced and is there sufficient understanding of the priorities around content, localisation and business models? We’ll also hear the perspectives from the domestic players on the pros and cons of being local. What is the optimal path to monetisation and can streaming platforms reach the size of the audience that TV can muster?

Sherwin dela Cruz, Country Manager, iQIYI

Dondon Monteverde, Managing Business Partner, UPSTREAM

Arianne Kader-Cu, Country Head, Viu Philippines

Vincent Del Rosario, President & CEO, Vivamax

With Celeste Campbell-Pitt, Chief Policy Officer – designate, AVIA


Keynote Conversation: Content, Aggregation, Piracy

How is the role of telcos evolving in 2021? Are they aggregators of other people’s services and content or are they becoming content platforms in their own right, or both? We will explore the challenges that are being faced and their priorities around content, piracy issues and monetisation.

Ernest Cu, President & CEO, Globe

With Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA


Life Outside of Metro Manila


Cable TV started making inroads in the Philippines over 20 years ago, however, the geography of the archipelago country posed significant challenges to its adoption. With over 7,600 islands, it was almost impossible to reach out to audiences in rural and remote areas. We explore how these organisations are reaching wider audiences outside of Metro Manila, what the challenges and opportunities are and how much of a gap is there left to be filled.

Timothy Bautista, VP & COO, Cable Boss Joel Dabao, President, Philippine Cable Telecommunications Association (PCTA)

John Huddle, Director, Market Development, Asia, SES

With John Medeiros, Chief Policy Officer, AVIA


In Conversation: The Migration of TV to Internet Delivered Services
In this session, we explore the role of Converge ICT in this migration, what sets it apart in this competitive environment, and how it is working with cable operators to future proof their services.

Dennis Anthony Uy, Founder & CEO, Converge ICT Solutions

With Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA


Keynote Conversation: Consumers and Content in the Mobile Economy

Telecom operators in the Philippines have taken active roles in the country’s emerging digital economy to innovate and create value for customers in Philippines’s competitive TMT ecosystem. In this session, we will take an in-depth look at how PLDT is reinventing their businesses for growth. What is their approach to video offering today and over the next 2 years, and where is the competition coming from? Is telco video bundling a benefit or a distraction? How are they positioning themselves to differentiate their video services/offering in the Philippines market?

Manuel V Pangilinan, Chairman, President and CEO, PLDT

With Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA


OTT TV – A Path to the Future


Greg Armshaw – Head of Media Asia will draw on case studies from the hundreds of OTT and TV media streaming platforms that Brightcove powers across Asia and globally. He will review recent trends of OTT TV and map a path for future growth with strategies for successful audience and revenue growth in the Philippines.

Greg Armshaw, Head of Media Asia, Brightcove



In Conversation: Emerging Pandemic Digital Behaviors

The drastic changes in the environment and the pandemic have accelerated the digital habituation of the consumers and emphasized the need for a sustainable digital lifestyle. In this session, we will explore how new consumer behaviours have emerged – addressing the contactless revolution to home entertainment that revolves around video streaming and games – and how Globe is helping to define the new reality for Filipinos.


Nikko Acosta, SVP, Content Business and Product Management, Globe

With Shad Hashmi, Principal Consultant


What will TV and OTT Advertising Look Like in the Philippines?
The TV advertising industry will have to adapt to the recent changes in audience behaviour and channel landscape and look at possible alternative digital platforms. However, there are also challenges in this space as it is currently dominated by Facebook and Google. We look at what lies ahead for Philippines TV and OTT advertising. How receptive are Filipinos to advertising on OTT? What are their preferences, and how can broadcasters/content owners open up their inventory to maximise ad revenue?

Marilyn See, SVP and Head for Digital Publishing and Digital Advertising, GMA New Media

With Giang Nguyen, Senior Manager, Inventory Partnerships, SEA, The Trade Desk



Addressing Piracy Issues in the Philippines


In the Philippines, OTT services are capitalizing on the huge potential that mobile connectivity represents for video consumption. Despite this progress, piracy is still widespread and heavily restrains the development of the video market. We explore what some of the piracy enforcement measures are that have been implemented, what measures are currently being considered by government, and whether additional changes can be made to reduce piracy and migrate Filipino consumers to legal services.


Yolanda C. Crisanto, SVP and Chief Sustainability Officer, Globe

Atty. Ann N. Edillon, Head, IPOPHL Enforcement Office (IEO)

Pascal Metral, VP Legal Affairs, NAGRA

With Neil Gane, General Manager, AVIA Coalition Against Piracy (CAP)


Demanding Content – What Do Filipinos Want?

As business models change, major questions arise around content strategies: Is there growing pressure to produce only mega-hits? What is the definition of niche or local content and do the changes present opportunity or risk for these genres? How do changing consumer habits affect content strategies and in particular, how do you cater your offering to speak to younger audiences?


Ruel S. Bayani, Head International Production & Co-Production, ABS-CBN

Quark Henares, Head, Globe Studios

Lilybeth G. Rasonable, SVP, Entertainment Group, GMA Network

Georgette Tengco, Country Head, WeTV Philippines

With Rohit Tharani, Senior Director, D2C Revenue & Strategy SEA, Discovery, Inc.


Social Change as a Media Industry Driver

The pandemic year saw an amazing increase in production and consumption of LGBTQ-friendly content in the Philippines. Series and films in the “Boys Love” genre exploded onto the global scene, attracting millions of eyeballs not only in Asia but around the world. Such expansive viewership is a novel thing for Filipino creators, who have now joined Thai, Taiwanese, and Japanese producers as leaders in this niche market. A couple of decades ago this would have been unimaginable – actors who took LGBTQ roles in Philippine cinema were worried they would be excluded from more conventional films. What has happened to normalize these stories and what does it mean for the media industry? What is the role of regulation in permitting/obstructing such development? Is this a flash in the pandemic pan or a lasting change? And are there other niches that are waiting to be explored?

Kriz Gazmen, Head, Black Sheep

Kren Yap, Head of Creative Development, Globe Studios

Perci Intalan, Co-founder and President, The IdeaFirst Company

With John Medeiros, Chief Policy Officer, AVIA


Closing Remarks and End of Conference

Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA

Speaker Spotlight

Ernest Cu
President & CEO
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    How has the past year been for Globe amidst all the changes the industry has seen in the Philippines?

    Like many other companies anywhere in the world, Globe went through challenges last year, far bigger than what we’ve ever seen before. The things we know about our customers suddenly shifted and we were left with the opportunity to help our customers and the Filipinos take a stronger hold of their lives amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic.

    First, we had to make sure our network is ready to cater to the needs of our customers. Suddenly, Filipino homes became a place not just for entertainment and rest, but for learning, working, and business. We made our network strong and resilient to provide reliable access to Filipinos who have turned to digital as an extension of their lifeline.

    Second, we re-engineered our products and services to provide what’s relevant to our customers at this time. We added more value to our mobile and home plans by including free e-consultation subscriptions via KonsultaMD and HealthNow, free COVID-19 and dengue insurance via GInsure of GCash, and focused on enriching the e-learning journey of our customers. This, among many other initiatives centered solely on our customers, has become our priority in order to provide as much help as we can to the Filipinos.

    On the topic of helping the Filipinos, we also activated all of our channels to raise over P1.3 billion (USD 27 million) in different forms of assistance to frontliners, customers, and families in need all over the Philippines. Immediately after the community quarantines were imposed, we waived call and browsing charges to COVID-19 related hotlines and websites, initiated employee and customer donation platforms to organizations helping the fight against the pandemic, and provided support to frontliners, hospitals, local government units, and national government agencies.

    It’s an understatement to say that the past year has been challenging, but with our customers at the heart of everything we do, we pulled all our strengths to provide them with whatever we can to attempt to ease their burdens at a very difficult time.

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    How important today is Globe’s bundling proposition?  Is aggregation of services growing more important for you or less?

    Globe has always been at the forefront of providing value to our customers with our plans so they can access the things that matter to them. We pioneered content bundling when we introduced plans that came with NBA League Pass, Netflix and Spotify many years ago, and we continue to do so with our partnerships with Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and Viu, among others.

    Our content partnerships are an important part of our fight against piracy through our #PlayItRight campaign, as we push for legitimate sources of content to encourage our customers to veer away from pirated sites and platforms. We’ve seen as much as 53% decline of internet traffic to illegal sites using the Globe network since we started content bundling in Globe.

    On top of content and device bundling, we also introduced the new GPlan for our mobile customers that provides them the flexibility whether to get a device of their choice, or actual e-wallet credits through our fintech arm, GCash. This is on top of the previously mentioned insurance and e-consultation subscriptions. These credits can be used by our customers for whatever they need, whether it be smart home essentials, gaming consoles, or even pay for their groceries and online shopping.

    Our bundling strategy continues to be as important as ever because this is our way to enable the digital lives of our customers. We will continue to provide them with offers that will prove to be relevant for the times we are in.

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    Tell us about the 5G roll out for Globe.  What are the plans and the demand?  And is this likely to have an impact on the video services you offer?   

    Being the first in Southeast Asia to launch 5G, we continue to equip the country with 5G where it matters. We want our customers to unlock the many possibilities and potential that 5G technology brings, not just on video services, but more on life-enabling technology that only 5G can deliver.

    We’re currently experiencing as much as 24x increase in 5G traffic, driven by availability in more locations, and accessibility of 5G devices. We see this trend continuing or even increasing further as more people demand for superior speeds and almost real-time latency.

    What’s good to note is that the Philippines has led globally in improvements on Video Experience via 5G according to Opensignal, with a 40% marked experience improvement, besting Thailand at 29%, and Hong Kong at 14%. The Philippines also ranks second in 5G Download Speed Improvement, overtaking countries like Australia and Hong Kong.

    Apart from a total of 1,383 sites nationwide, we have also made our 5G service available abroad for our customers in Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kuwait, just within the first quarter of 2021. More destinations across Asia, North America, and Europe are coming up in order to extend 5G connectivity for Filipino workers and travelers.

    This could only bring us to new heights of content and intelligent home offerings, as more and more Filipinos embrace the power of 5G.

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    What are you currently watching and on which platform?

    I used to enjoy watching Breaking Bad many years ago, and recently just finished its spinoff, “Better Call Saul”, which I streamed via Netflix. I enjoy watching video content on larger screens which makes my Amazon Fire TV quite handy. Right now, I’m on the lookout for the next series to binge on.

Robert P. Galang
President and CEO
Cignal TV and TV5
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    You manage the three major parts of the video industry in your portfolio, Free-To-Air, Pay TV and Streaming.  Clearly you have seen a big increase on the Free-To-Air side of the business with TV5, but as you look forward over the next 5 years, how do you assess the weight and importance of each of these?

    Since we evolved from being a purely subscription business and ventured into content creation, we started viewing ourselves as a content company with DTH, Free-To-Air, and OTT as our distribution platforms.

    Since the Philippine population consists mostly of low-income households, we believe Free-To-Air TV will still be the dominant source of entertainment content. With more and more homes now upgrading from analog to DTT, free TV will be further strengthened with the ability to offer more channels at digital broadcast quality.

    We recognize OTT as an important growth area as access to Fiber and 4G/5G Mobile Broadband increases, which is why we also have our own streaming platform called Cignal Play. Cignal Play offers not only VOD content but also linear TV programming and catch-up episodes of our Free-To-Air programs.

    As a content company, we must walk in step with our viewers and be mindful of the changes in how they consume content. As Cignal continues to build its Pay TV subscription business, we see great growth opportunities in creating and airing content on Free-To-Air through TV5.

    Ultimately, our goal is to continue nurturing our content relationships with our audiences on multiple platforms, maximizing synergies between our Pay TV and Free-To-Air businesses.

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    When it comes to the world of content, is exclusivity – of talent, titles or brands – as important as it used to be?

    Pay TV is premised on offering premium content not found on Free-to-Air, hence, exclusivity of content is key in driving high-value subscriber acquisition and retention. This advantage for Pay TV should be strengthened as we see the Free-To-Air market moving to DTT. Since DTT will enable households to receive more channels, content differentiation and exclusivity will play a critical role in maintaining value for Pay TV.

     For Free-To-Air TV, the quality of content, talents, and the ability to build viewer affinity to the network are all important. The network needs a strong and unique brand to bring in audiences and great content to make them stay.

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    In different parts of your business, you depend heavily on both advertising and subscription revenue.  What are the challenges of growing each?

    Our Pay TV business relies mainly on subscription revenues. Despite the economic difficulties brought about by the pandemic, we continue to aggressively grow our subscriber base. To increase market penetration, we needed to expand to the lower income segments, necessitating the introduction of our 2nd Pay TV brand Satlite. With Satlite, we can offer a DTH service at lower price points, but creatively differentiating it to avoid cannibalizing our higher-value Cignal subscriber base.

     We recognize the risk of cord-cutting among our high-end subscribers as OTT becomes an alternative. This is the reason why we started bundling OTT services aside from our own Cignal Play to complement — and not replace — their Pay TV subscriptions. For most Philippine households, Pay TV remains a superior proposition with unique live content such as sports and news, with an ideal mix of general entertainment, educational, and informative content.

     For our Free-To-Air business, our ability to generate ad revenues hinge on the quality of our content and the reach of our broadcast network. In the past months, we have established collaborative partnerships with some of the best content producers in the country. At the same time, we are rapidly expanding our DTT network to be at par with competition. We have seen significant improvements in our ratings, audience share, and revenues compared to last year, and we expect more growth in the coming months.