Company InfoABS–CBN Corporation is a Philippine-based media and entertainment company. It is primarily involved in content creation and production for television, online and over-the-top platforms, cable, satellite, cinema, events and online radio for domestic and international markets. Read more
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Pia B. LaurelHead, ISD & Partnerships
Laarni YuSales Head, Europe, MENA, Africa, Airlines
Wincess LeeSales Head, Asia, LatAm & OTT
ABS-CBN Corporation Takes an International Approach
Driven by new platforms and additional territories opening up to Asian content, ABS-CBN Corporation is seeing interesting deals and partnerships come to fruition in early 2023. Some of which may not have been thought possible just two years ago, according to Pia Laurel, head for international sales and distribution, who points to a dubbed offering for the Turkish market and a third drama adaptation deal in Turkey.
“We’ve also gone full force in our plans to produce for the international market, not just the Philippines,” Laurel says. “Our inaugural project is the crime thriller Cattleya Killer, which we launched at MIPCOM. We’re soon going to be able to share where it will land. We’re all very excited about its world premiere and are very proud of this feat. This encourages us to produce more titles with a global audience in mind while continuing our commitment to provide well-loved entertainment in our home country that travels—especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”
The company’s distribution strategy stems from its mission to serve Filipinos wherever they may be. “We’re building on that purpose further by showcasing Filipino talent to the world,” says Laurel. “We want our stories to be seen by as many people as possible from all nations, as we believe that the universal themes in our stories—such as the triumph of the human spirit—help touch and inspire lives beyond our borders.”
In particular, ABS-CBN Corporation is known as a reliable source of romance and family dramas. In the last two to three years, it has been introducing more thriller and mystery dramas in its slate to diversify. “Locally, we cater to mass viewers who, judging by the social media engagement our 2023 lineup has been getting, are now so much more open to darker storylines of deceit and revenge amidst family conflicts and romantic entanglements,” Laurel says.
The company has also been ramping up its licensing to and co-productions with global OTT players. The Filipino adaptation of Drama Republic’s Doctor Foster (The Broken Marriage Vow), licensed to Viu, scored the best actress win at the 2022 Asian Academy Creative Awards. Also, the Filipino adaptation of the thriller drama Flower of Evil from Korea, created by Jeong-hui Ryu and produced by Studio Dragon and CJ ENM, was co-produced with Viu. “The Viu original adaptation remained a top-rating show for months,” says Laurel. “We have more exciting content in the pipeline from similar partnerships and alliances that aim to cater to both local and international audiences.”
ABS-CBN Corporation offers content for all audience profiles, with additional highlights in fantasy series and action dramas. Regarding shorter drama requirements, the company has a miniseries slate of around six to 20 episodes spanning genres from romance and BL (boys’ love) to thriller, crime and horror that can address such content needs.
Highlights of the current catalog include the light romance 2 Good 2 Be True, with a story that proves that true love could still exist in a world full of lies and deceit; the family drama A Family Affair, which involves an inheritance, intrigue and dark secrets; and the thriller Dirty Linen, featuring a revenge plot that targets an entire family.
SHOWCASE: ABS-CBN Corporation Touts Filipino Stories with Global Appeal
Bringing content from the Philippines out to the global market, ABS-CBN Corporation arrives at MIPCOM with the momentum of healthy gains at the company to power its international sales.
“We continuously build meaningful partnerships with global OTT platforms, including Netflix, Viu, Amazon and YouTube, among others, to bring our content to as many audiences as possible,” says Pia B. Laurel, head of international sales and distribution.
“Apart from content distribution, ABS-CBN has teamed up with various production outfits worldwide to showcase genuine Filipino stories to a global audience, with upcoming projects such as Cattleya Killer, Concepción and Sellblock, to name a few,” Laurel continues.
In its first five years, ABS-CBN Corporation licensed its bevy of Filipino content to ten countries. Today, its shows are seen in over 60 countries, and the company has also sold over 60,000 hours of programming.
“When we distribute content, whether our films or TV programs, we take into consideration the demands of our global audiences,” Laurel says. “For instance, we see an upward trend in viewing family dramas infused with investigative plots, such as our 2017 prime-time series The Good Son, which also had its Turkish adaptation earlier this year.” ABS-CBN Corporation is also releasing a remake of a classic Filipino thriller with Cattleya Killer.
“Another example is the Asian market, where audiences are drawn to feel-good stories that are light to watch,” adds Laurel. “Our viewers prefer to watch warmhearted stories that allow them to escape reality through entertainment, especially during these unprecedented times.”
In the light romance 2 Good 2 Be True, a mechanic and a nurse are brought together by lies and deceit as they enter the world of a real estate magnate secretly battling an incurable disease. Marry Me, Marry You charts the story of two people who work together, falling in love and healing their personal scars.
Also featuring a touch of romance, the fantasy series Love in 40 Days follows an insurance agent who meets her untimely death but is given a chance to settle unfinished business on Earth for 40 days. There’s a mix of fantasy and adventure in Darna, about a young woman who needs to protect a magical artifact and find the courage to be a superhero ready to face evil forces.
Family dramas feature prominently on the ABS-CBN Corporation slate. In this genre, Flower of Evil sees a top detective and her team reopen the unsolved case of a mysterious serial killing that now involves someone very dear to her. In A Family Affair, a beautiful woman gets involved in the lives of the richest family in her town and unravels deep-buried secrets from their past. Further family dramas on offer include The Law of Revenge, La Vida Lena, When Love Burns and Viral Scandal.
“We try to expand our catalog as much as possible, covering different genres to cater to the varying interests of our audiences,” Laurel says. “Also, we are about to distribute Filipino lifestyle content and exclusive content with our regional pay-TV partners.”
She adds that the company’s mission is to “always find ways to serve Filipino audiences wherever they are. As a content company, there are endless possibilities for us to tell our stories, not just through standard platforms. Through the different partnerships we’ve built locally and internationally, the goal is to continue delivering the best stories and showcasing world-class productions that our viewers love throughout the years.”
SHOWCASE: ABS-CBN Corporation Touts Partner Potential
With a collaborative approach, ABS-CBN Corporation has forged strategic local and international partnerships that have allowed the company to create high-quality content and make its stories available to a broader and more diverse audience base. And it has been able to fulfill demand from buyers within Asia and around the world.
“In Asia, we see the demand for more Asian program blocks, which shows that content from Asian neighbors is embraced by local viewers,” says Pia Laurel, sales head for new media and international co-production at ABS-CBN Corporation. “Asia and some territories in Eastern Europe are looking for scripted formats to adapt. VOD platforms are looking for ‘hyper local’ content and are putting special focus on original content. Because of our continued production of relevant and meaningful stories that resonate well with our audiences, we are able to provide quality content to our partners.”
From its current slate, highlights include Marry Me, Marry You, in which a strong-willed woman named Camille and a cynical businessman named Andrei get off to a rocky start working together but soon find love in each other’s arms. This seemingly helps to mend the scars of a loss they both experienced in their childhoods: Camille lost her mother to cancer, and Andrei was abandoned by his. But as they get to know each other’s families, one major factor will soon stand out: Camille had three godmothers who stood in for her mother and raised her—and one of them might just be connected to Andrei.
The fresh ABS-CBN Corporation slate also includes When Love Burns, which features a man who tries to save his marriage that has been strained by his impotence and his wife Rita’s busy schedule as a congresswoman. He goes on a search for a sperm donor and ends up choosing a doctor named Tupe, who, of all people, was Rita’s first love. “Navigating familial and political landscapes is hard enough, but when relationships are hanging by a thread, things are thrown into a whole new level of complicated,” says Laurel.
In Viral Scandal, a simple, middle-class family is rocked when their eldest daughter is caught in a viral sex video. Kakay Sicat, an overseas Filipino worker, has been working away from her husband, Dan, and their children, Rica, Bea and Nico. Her sacrifice is worth it because her children are doing well, especially the eldest, Rica, who is about to finish her apprenticeship at an architectural firm and take the board exams. Unfortunately, the sex video that goes viral has Rica in it. Kakay hurriedly comes home to the Philippines, and the family starts to face the censure and judgment of the people around them because of the video—even though Rica claims that it was not consensual and that she was raped. Kakay’s own past of being a mistress to the married town mayor resurfaces.
And these stories are perfectly primed to travel the globe and connect with viewers in any market, says Laurel. “As a content company, our primary focus is to create and produce more original stories that will resonate and reach every audience worldwide.”
ABS–CBN Corporation is a Philippine-based media and entertainment company. It is primarily involved in content creation and production for television, online and over-the-top platforms, cable, satellite, cinema, events and online radio for domestic and international markets.
To see the full company contact list with phone and email please Click here