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ABS-CBN going Digital: By the Numbers

When ABS-CBN was served a Cease-and-Desist Order by the NTC, all free to air TV and radio broadcasts were terminated by the network. Unsurprisingly, ABS-CBN turned to all their existing digital platforms to continue serving their loyal viewers. We even predicted this would happen back in February.

The very first Facebook and YouTube live streams of TV Patrol breached some record-breaking numbers with the FB live stream reaching over 190,000 concurrent viewers at its peak.

On May 7, TV Patrol garnered a whopping 8.78 Million views on Facebook and 1.1 Million on YouTube. That’s close to 10 million views all put together.

While the numbers do not include TFC, cable, website, app and the ABS-CBN TV Box, this enormous shift to online broadcast of ABS-CBN is a good indication that the network’s nationwide reach is undeniable and maybe sustainable moving forward. Many digital strategists and content creators hailed this as a triumph of going digital.

Of course, from a business perspective, the advertising revenues from TV and radio broadcasts are way better than an online broadcast but that’s another discussion altogether.

The more interesting question for now is, was the momentum sustainable? The initial broadcast took close to 10 million views on FB and YouTube so we expect the numbers to slowly grow as the days passed.

Here’s what we observed.


The initial broadcast was a huge success, attracting close to 10% of the total population of the country (for simplicity, we assume 1 view is 1 person).

However, on the second day of the live stream, the numbers dropped by about half at just 5.6 Million views. This could indicate that the first-day live stream mostly attracted curious viewers who do not necessarily watch TV Patrol regularly.

The 3rd day of the live stream was more telling with only just a little more than 2 Million total views, 80% below the numbers of the first day. The succeeding 6 more days also showed similar numbers, mostly hovering 2 Million in total for each stream.

One can deduce that more or less, these 2 million views would be the network’s loyal online viewers. That sudden drop from 10 million views to an average 2 million views in the last few days of the live stream could indicate the true strength of the network’s digital assets.

Likewise, we also benchmarked the concurrent viewers of TV Patrol against GMA 7’s 24 Oras to see if there’s a significant bump.

From a high of 190k concurrent viewers, TV Patrol now has an average viewer of about 55k per stream. Compared to 24 Oras which has about 44k concurrent viewers, the numbers aren’t that far behind considering that GMA 7 viewers still have their TV sets as the primary screen to watch the network.

ABS-CBN will certainly go back (whether it’s a provisional franchise, a TRO or a 25-year renewal) to free-to-air TV and radio sooner or later but this all-digital broadcast of the network certainly gave a good glimpse of the power of platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. The numbers might not be as stellar as your typical TV or radio, but the potential is there and was clearly demonstrated.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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6 Responses

  1. Ronaldo L Gonzales says:

    That goes to show they are not closed per se. Quite the opposite of those pea brained ranters they will go hungry. ABS has so many tricks up in their sleeve, they exploit every Filipino, who just don’t give a single cahoot of what is really going as long as they have their daily dose of hypnoticsm coming from this station!

  2. Felipe Palacio says:

    The drop in online viewers maybe coz tv patrol already showed up on tv plus, i stopped watching online too coz available na nga cia sa mahiwagang blackbox!

  3. bern says:

    Hey, you might have missed that the TV Patrol is also still over the air on their tvplus channel 5, most of the viewers opt to tune in to that channel than stream online, free of charge.

  4. G says:

    I think the decrease of viewers might be because they only started broadcasting TV Patrol on TeleRadyo via the ABS-CBN TVplus on May 8. Probably, most viewers opted to watch the program on TV since it’s free and doesn’t cost data allocation.

  5. Walter dunas says:

    Curious kc ang tao after maisara ano ang pagbabago its just a # viewership pero reality check ndi na sustain kc na isip ni juan ganun pa rin nmn dapat baguhin nila ang format ang pag deliver just like angel locsin said ung mislead headlines ausin nila.

  6. Melody says:

    As for me, I viewed TV patrol online during the 1st broadcast after the ceast and desist order. I didnt know it was aired via tv plus. NOW, i watch tvpatrol via tv plus cinemo daily thereafter.

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