TV RATINGS - Break Time
What's up, duck?
By Conrado Banal III
IT'S a real-life soap opera, featuring the word war between the
country's top television
networks, GMA Network Inc. and ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., something
to do with "cheating"
by ABS-CBN in the ratings.
Adding drama to what is turning out to be an ugly fight, is another
letter sent by GMA
Network to ad agencies, refuting the claims of ABS-CBN regarding its
surprise upsurge in the
number of its viewers in the cable homes.
Now, the reality in advertising is that the industry has changed. It
is not as lucrative as
it used to be. The budget for media ads, for instance, is being
slashed continually because
clients are going more and more for "below- the-line" promotions.
In other words, the network war over ratings is precisely a fight for
control of the biggest
slice of what may be left of the advertising pie in the future.
Earlier, GMA Network sent letters to various ad agencies, saying it
had lost confidence in
the AGB-Nielsen survey of television home viewers.
ABS-CBN basically narrowed the big lead of GMA Network in non-cable
ratings, due to a big
jump in its cable ratings.
To answer GMA Network's out-and-out accusation, ABS-CBN wrote the ad
agencies that its good
performance in the AGB-Nielsen survey had something to do with a
ABS-CBN said its low-band frequency (Channel 2), which was the lowest
band among the free TV
stations, caused broadcast "noise," which is less of a problem in
cable. This should explain
why it had a higher rating in cable than in non-cable.
But then, GMA Network claimed it had hired technical experts who said
that what ABS-CBN was
saying was, basically, "baloney."
In cable, for instance, ABS-CBN moved from Channel 6 to Channel 8 in
2003. So how come, if
the claim of ABS-CBN about technical problems was true, its cable
ratings even went down
from 13.3 percent in 2001 to 11.3 percent two years later in 2005?
As for ABS-CBN's claim that its higher cable ratings resulted from
GMA-7 wondered why the ABS-CBN ratings claim took place only in cable,
while its non-cable
ratings continued to decline.
Next in the series, surely, will be the answer of ABS-CBN. I'm just
not sure if the guys in
the advertising industry have had enough of this soap