World Brief

MANILA — Leading broadcast group GMA, which wrested top position from longtime leader ABS-CBN two years ago, has strengthened its hold on viewers by launching femme-skewed channel QTV-11.

GMA, which runs top-rated channel GMA-7, acquired the rights to Christian station Zoe TV 11 and changed its name and emphasis. QTV-11 is positioned as a free TV version of cable’s the Lifestyle Network, which is watched by middle- and upper-class women in the Philippines.

The channel has put up good numbers since its November bow, according to Philippines ratings body AGB, becoming the third most watched channel between 8 a.m. and midnight, pushing ABC-5 to No. 4.

QTV-11′s perf is due to a deft knowledge of current demographics.

According to Michelle Kristula Green, prexy of Leo Burnett Asia Pacific at the recent Philippine Advertising Congress, women are now the largest and most influential consumer group, controlling more than 80% of household buying decisions.

Because of the huge femme market, primetime now stretches from 6-11 p.m. rather than its old 7-9 p.m.

Competing networks serve its largely female viewers soaps, fantasy series, reality shows with adventure and/or voyeuristic features and sitcoms.

GMA is savvy in putting up QTV-11. Apart from getting more advertising revenue from another channel on the same frequency, it did not have to set up new facilities for QTV, just a new transmitter.

With the P2 billion ($37.5 million) net income GMA expects this year, it plans to set up two state-of-the-art studios that can accommodate auds of 1,000 to 1,500.

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