THANKS to streaming services, catching a primetime show nowadays no longer requires waiting for the airtime slot or rushing home after a long day to catch a favorite program. Now there is a service that goes one step further — this month ABS-CBN Entertainment’s “Primetime Bida” series will be available to stream even before their local broadcast through a partnership with WeTV and iflix.
Since the network went off the air last year with the non-renewal of its broadcasting franchise, the partnership is one way for the network to make its primetime programs “available in as many digital platforms as possible,” said ABS-CBN CEO Carlo Katigbak in a video shown at the press launch announcing the partnership, which was held on Mar. 17 via Zoom.
“We continue to believe that ABS-CBN has the talent, the heart, and expertise to tell stories that can move the world,” Mr. Katigbak said.
The long-running show FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, as well as two new dramas — Huwag Kang Mangamba and Init Sa Magdamag — will be the first primetime titles to be shown on the streaming platforms WeTV and iflix .
Now in its sixth year, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano is one of the longest-running ABS CBN dramas. New episodes of the show will stream first on WeTV and iflix VIP 50 hours before they air on local television.
Episodes of Huwag Kang Mangamba will stream on WeTV and iflix VIP 46 hours before airing on local television.
Huwag Kang Mangamba — starring Andrea Brillantes, Seth Fedelin, Francine Diaz and Kyle Echarri — is set in the fictional town of Hermoso where two girls who die in separate incidents are miraculously brought back to life. Also in the cast are Sylvia Sanchez, Eula Valdes, Diether Ocampo, and Enchong Dee.
The third new series, Init Sa Magdamag, follows a love triangle starring Gerald Anderson, JM De Guzman, and Yam Concepcion. The show will premiere on WeTV and iflix VIP on Apr. 17, 46 hours before it starts broadcasting on local television.
The primetime dramas will also be available for free on WeTV and iflix two to three hours after they are broadcast on the Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, and TV5.
The partnership of broadcast and online streaming is a way to adjust to the evolving viewing behavior of audiences.
“One of our main goals for this year has been to give our users the power of choice when it comes to their entertainment, especially now that we are spending more time at home. Bringing excellent local content and compelling stories to you first is a big step in that direction, and we are excited to have ABS-CBN as our partner in this endeavor,” WeTV and iflix Country Manager for the Philippines Georgette Tengco said in a statement.
“We do not cannibalize each other’s businesses. In fact, digital complements broadcast services.” Ms. Tengco said at the press launch. “We saw that when we run their content like movies and series, the viewership base expands exponentially and reaches a different demographic and different target audiences.”
WeTV and iflix will soon introduce new functions on their streaming apps.
“We have recently introduced flying comments on the WeTV app, and very soon iflix will have the same feature. It allows viewers to post while watching the show,” Ms. Tengco said of the app’s new features which are meant to make the viewer feel like they are “watching with a community.”
New functions such as swiping left on the app to control brightness and swiping right to control volume are some of the upgrades underway.
“We want to make sure that the Filipino audience gets the content they want to watch, when they want to watch at their convenience,” Ms. Tengco said.
To stream the ABS-CBN Primetime Bida shows, download the WeTV app from the App store and Google Play. A monthly subscription is P99, quarterly is P269, and annually is P999. The iflix app is also available on the App store and Google Play. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman