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Charo Santos reveals secret behind success of ABS-CBN programs



MANILA, Philippines - What is ABS-CBN’s secret formula behind its successful TV programs, which have received a record-high ratings that boost the network’s overall audience share?

ABS-CBN's big boss Charo Santos-Concio
ABS-CBN's big boss Charo Santos-Concio
ABS-CBN president and CEO Charo Santos-Concio attributes it to ABS-CBN’s content that affirms its viewers by paying tribute to Filipinos’ admirable qualities and values.

“It’s never about us anymore. It’s about the inspiring nature of the Filipino,” said Santos-Concio during her keynote speech at the “Fifty Shades of Marketing” conference held at Sofitel Plaza Manila recently.

Top-rating programs “Be Careful With My Heart” and “Forevermore,” she said, were loved by viewers because they highlighted Filipino values and mirrored the true stories of Filipinos.

Santos-Concio said that one of things Filipinos treasure the most is the integrity of the family, which inspires them to persevere through hard times and cope with adversities. This was, besides ‘kilig,’ what made the now defunct morning show “Be Careful With My Heart” hugely successful.

“To the Filipino, family is everything. They have the strength to rise in the morning because there’s a family they have to work hard for. They can take all physical and emotional punishment because there’s a family to heal their wounds. All successes and failures are always appreciated in the context of family,” she elaborated.

Santos-Concio also said “Forevermore,” a primetime top-rating series, highlighted the value of community in the fictional La Presa. “’Forevermore’ acknowledged the goodness of the Filipino as seen through ‘pakikipagkapwa-tao’ in a community,” she said.

Affirming the Filipino identity also makes ABS-CBN’s content “a source of inspiration and strength to recharge” one’s fighting spirit.

This is why Filipino viewers identify with the main characters in Kapamilya programs and Star Cinema films who endure painful experiences and fight back when they are mistreated, Santos-Concio said.

Almost half of the Philippine TV households tuned in to ABS-CBN last June, when it hit an average national audience share of 47%, a strong 15-point lead over GMA’s 32%, according to data from Kantar Media.

The most watched programs in the country are also produced by ABS-CBN, with “The Voice Kids,” “Pangako Sa ‘Yo,” “Pasion de Amor,” and “Nathaniel” reaching their all-time high ratings this July.

Aside from TV viewership, ABS-CBN programs also gained audiences among online and smartphone users in June as proven by the 74.6-million page views garnered by the video-on-demand and livestreaming service iWanTV for the month of June. Leading the most watched Kapamilya shows online are “Pangako Sa’yo” (4.2 million views), “Bridges of Love” (1.5 million views), “Pasion de Amor” (1.5 million views), “Oh My G” (1.2 million views), and “Gandang Gabi Vice” (866,777 views).

The Philippine Marketing Association organized the “Fifty Shades of Marketing,” headed by overall chairman, ABS-CBN chief digital officer Donald Lim.