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Politicians still prefer television
[November 28, 2012]

Politicians still prefer television

Nov 29, 2012 (The Manila Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Akey official of GMA Network Inc. said on Wednesday that television is still the number one medium for traditional campaigning even if social media like Facebook and Twitter have risen in popularity.

"No. 1 pa rin ang TV [television is still no. 1], still you cannot beat TV, the most ubiquitous," said lawyer Felipe Gozn, president and chief executive of GMA.

He said that even with the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, candidates seeking public office still prefer the traditional way of campaigning during election season.

Reports have it that there are about 18.12 million Facebook users in the country, representing 61.02 percent of the country's online population and 18.14 percent of total population.

Also according to Facebakers research, most new Facebook users in the country are between the ages of 18 and 24. Currently, this demographic category accounts for the majority or 44 percent of all Filipino Facebook users.

SocialBakers said that the Philippines has kept its no. 5 rank among the largest Facebook users in the world.

Meanwhile, Twitter gained worldwide popularity with over 500 million active users this year.

Since its launch, Twitter has become one of the top 10 most visited websites on the Internet, and has been described as "the SMS [short messaging service] of the Internet." Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets".

A study released by Universal McCann entitled "Power To The People--Wave3" declared the Philippines as "the social networking capital of the world," with 83 percent of Filipinos surveyed to be members of a social networking site.

GMA misses target But Gozon also said that GMA may not be able to hit its target income of P2.8 billion in the first nine months of the year, mainly because the company paid its cash dividend and signing bonuses.

The company reported that it has lowered its nine-month income target from P2.8 billion to P2.3 billion.

Gozon said that capital expenditure for the year 2013 is almost the same, which is about P970 million.

"We are spending it now in preparation for next year," he said.

Gozon added said that the company would spend P100 million for its election equipment so it can undertake a more comprehensive coverage of the mid-term election in 2013.

GMA recently reported a net income of P573 million during the third quarter of this year, a 9-percent improvement over the P525 million recorded during the same period last year.

The network recently said that consolidated gross revenues for the third quarter reached P3.82 billion, up by 13 percent from P3.84 billion year-on-year. The company said that the increase in third quarter earnings was driven mainly by the substantial growth in airtime revenues, which exceeded last year's figure by 14 percent or P443 million from P3.537 billion.

This brings GMA's revenues for the first nine months of the year to P10.612 billion, an increase of 5 percent or equivalent to at least P500 million year-on-year. For the third quarter, GMA's airtime revenues grew 5 percent to P9.739 billion against last year's P9.253 billion.

Channel 7 posted a 5-percent increase in airtime sales, while GMA News TV grew its advertising revenues by 24 percent.

Gozon said that GMA management is pleased with the company's third quarter financial performance, and forecasts sustained revenue growth as political ads are expected to come on stream in the last quarter of the year.

"Given the third quarter figures, we are optimistic that the fourth quarter will bring even better financial results as we expect political ads to further boost our earnings for the year," Gozon said.

___ (c)2012 The Manila Times (Manila, Philippines) Visit The Manila Times (Manila, Philippines) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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