GMA Network Inc. said net income fell by 19 percent in the first quarter of the year due to absence of political ads and the COVID-19 outbreak in the tail-end of March.
The Gozon-led broadcasting firm said net income amounted to P583.4 million in the January to March period, down from P721.8 million in the same period last year.
GMA consolidated advertising revenues amounted to P3.52 billion, down by 7 percent from P3.79 billion last year.
Of the total, advertising revenues amounted to P3.25 billion and subscription and other revenues amounted to P277.5 million.
“It must be noted though that last year also benefited from the influx of political advocacies and advertisements in light of 2019 mid-term elections.Hence, it was the impact of the latter which contributed the drag to the company’s top line this period more than the effect of the novel coronavirus 2019 disease towards the tail end of this first quarter,” GMA said.
The company’s online advertising sales grew by 39 percent, particularly from GMA News Online and GMA Entertainment Online as well as the network’s YouTube channels.
GMA’s consolidated operating expenses reached P2.69 billon, down by 4 percent from last year’s P2.81 billion. Production costs and talent fees amounted to P1.22 billion, a 17 percent decline compared to last year.
Last Friday, GMA finally launched its own affordable digital television device called “GMA Affordabox” for only P888.
The device features a multimedia player and a personal video recorder, including nationwide emergency warning broadcast system (EWBS).
It also comes with a built-in multimedia player that makes it an all-around digital file access device allowing users to play compatible video files, view photos, and even listen to music using a USB drive.
The device is available in areas where GMA’s digital signal such as Metro Manila, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, and Davao del Norte.