Wide-ranging partnerships define the new ABS-CBN

Here’s proof that ABS-CBN has been seriously taking itself in its new avowed role as a content supplier to the entertainment industry as well as online media: Since May of last year, the Lopez enterprise has been a major partner of Pinoy Interactive Entertainment, a company that has begun to make its mark on the entertainment scene with its acronym PIE.

Billed as the country’s first multiscreen, real-time interactive channel, PIE is a collaborative project of ABS-CBN, BEAM, 917 Ventures and KROMA Entertainment, which boasts of being “tradigital,” meaning engaged in creating traditional and digital outputs.

BEAM, KROMA and 917 Ventures are all under Globe Telecom. ABS-CBN’s involvement with PIE is overseen by the towering (as in basketball player-tall) Jamie Lopez, the company’s head of digital business. Ian Monsod, once known as a theater actor and music man, heads BEAM. He is the son of the famous and influential couple Christian Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, and renowned economist Winnie Monsod.

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY KROMA ENTERTAINMENT | Kroma Entertainment CEO Ian Monsod (second from left) and Kroma head of Broadcasting Jil Go with ABS-CBN chief of staff Connie Lopez and PIE Channel head Alex Asuncion.

The PIE company was launched last year to media people and to v/bloggers only through a Zoom conference. To mark its first anniversary this year, the company held a face-to-face conference with the media and v/bloggers at Pandan Asian Restaurant in QC, just some blocks away from the ABS-CBN studios.

Interaction with the company’s shows is mainly through digital devices. On its second year, the interactive channel promises a platform where people can increase their chances of winning while having fun by simply clicking on their mobile phones or engaging via the website.

Or as its tagline puts it: “Pindot PIEnalo ka dahil kada pindot, PIEnalo ka more!”

ABS-CBN stars

Stars from ABS-CBN topbill many of PIE’s shows. For instance, Sinong Manok Mo? is headlined by momshie and pop-culture icon Jolina Magdangal, joined by It’s ShowtimeAte Girl” Jackie Gonzaga and comedian Eric Nicolas.

JOLINA Magdangal and Eric Nicolas.

Sino’ng Manok Mo? airs Saturday and Sunday nights, 7 to 8 p.m. A co-host in the show is Paris-born and -raised Ralph Malibunas, a contestant on ABS-CBN’s Pinoy Big Brother, where he revealed that he didn’t mind working as a caregiver and park attendant for some years.

The seemingly suddenly famous Jennica Garcia of the ABS-CBN series Dirty Linen cannot be happier that Pie Channel recently also gave her a chance to co-host Ur Da Boss with Melai Cantiveros (Magdangal’s co-host in the morning show Magandang Buhay).

MELAI Cantiveros and Jennica Garcia.

Garcia said she felt un-ready to be a host as she had not done that kind of job before. Her smart solution: “Iniisip ko na lang na (I just think that) for this show, I’m going to be the Gen Z version of Jean Garcia.”

Jean Garcia is her mom, whose showbiz fame began as one of the hosts of the well-loved 80’s and 90’s musical variety youth show on GMA 7, German Moreno’s That’s Entertainment. Even Jennica’s father, then-actor Jigo Garcia, was a That’s Entertainment mainstay.

Ur Da Boss airs Monday to Friday, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Dramatic actress Charlie Dizon seems to be not getting major follow-up exposures after she made waves as an obsessed fan in the film The Paulo Avelino Story. So let’s all hope her being made a mainstay in the PIE show Mga Kwento ng Dilim can lead to a series on ABS-CBN, PIE or elsewhere.

Angeline Quinto, meanwhile, hosts The Chosen One (TCO): Kakatacute an interactive piliserye with comedian Chad Kinis. The show’s weekly elimination show is hosted by actor Jameson Blake and reality show alum Karina Bautista.

KARINA Bautista and Jameson Blake.

The channel also has a teen narrative offering, Para Sa All, headlined by Mutya Orquia this month.

Another teen show, Pak na Pak! is hosted by Vivoree, Aljon Mendoza, Anji Salvacion, Jeremy G., Igi Boy Flores, Sheena Belarmino and Gello Marquez.

Then there’s the daily show Matching-Matching Mini Game, which uses customized PIE cards inspired by the classic Filipino card game ungguy-ungguyan.

For late sleepers, PIE offers the adult show SPG: Saktong Pang Gabi, a naughty evening talk show topbilled by comedian Negi and supported by MNL48’s Rans Rifol and actor-model Argel Saycon.

RANS Rifol and comedian Negi.

Expanding content reach

ABS-CBN Corp. has declared that it is keen on forging more partnerships to expand content reach in a bid to secure its financial future.

“We’re willing to work with any partner, whether in free, pay TV or online streaming,” said Carlo Katigbak, president and CEO of ABS-CBN Corp, during the company’s annual stakeholder meeting.

Hence, it’s taken on partnerships here and abroad, such as with Amazon Prime Video to syndicate a TV series, and a distribution deal with India’s MX Player. It also has partnerships with Netflix, Hong Kong-based Viu and Youtube.

“We decided to shed off all assets not relevant to storytelling… The new ABS-CBN is learning to partner with other platforms,” Katigbak added.

ABS-CBN’s partnerships on the domestic front include a milestone deal with its media rival, GMA Network, Inc. The two signed a deal to produce a teleserye, and the Kapuso network can now use ABS-CBN’s iWantTFC streaming platform to widen its international reach.

ABS-CBN has also inked content partnerships with the Pangilinan-owned TV5, PIE Channel, AMBS and the A2Z channel founded by Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

The company managed to trim its net losses in 2022, now at P2.63 billion after posting a P5.67-billion loss in the preceding year.

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