With a highly concentrated TV and Radio market, an assumed low concentration in the print market and a high concentration in the Internet Service Provider market, media audience concentration puts a high risk on media pluralism in the Philippines.
WHY IS THAT?
The TV market is highly concentrated, as the major four owners ABS-CBN Corporation, GMA Network Inc., TV5 Network and Nine Media Corporation represent an audience share of 88.77%. The result is even more striking as even the two biggest companies – ABS-CBN Corporation and GMA Network forming a duopoly, firmly grasping an audience share of 80.72%. In relation: the fourth biggest player is a midget (Nine Media Corporation), reaching only 0.45% of the audience. ABS-CBN belongs to one of richest and longest-established clans - the Lopez Family. GMA Network is held by the triumvirate of influential businessmen Gilberto Duavit Sr and Jr, Menardo and Jose Marcelo Jimenez, Felipe Gozon and Nine Media Corporation is run by Antonio Cabangon-Chua. TV5 Network belongs to MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. which is the holding company of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund’s mass media conglomerate. It is owned by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan (who also heads various other businesses in the Philippines) but can ultimately be traced back to Indonesian Anthoni Salim’s First Pacific group of companies.
AM stations as that is where you go for news. FM stations on the other hand mostly play music. FM stations on the other hand mostly play music. Listeners that turn towards AM stations are those who seek news on-air and shape their opinion supposedly accordingly. For Top 4 radio media companies that run popular AM stations and thus are active on the radio news market radio market, also ABS-CBN Corporation (DZMM 630, 24.9%) and GMA Network Inc. (DZBB 594, 22.3%)stand out as the top players. Interestingly, also the Philippine Broadcasting Service-Bureau of Broadcast Services (PBS-BBS), run by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), reaches 22.3% of the audience through DZRB 738. Together with the 4th biggest company, Manila Broadcasting Company (DZRH 666), they reach 84.3% of the audience – which equals a high concentration in the news radio market. Besides the government, the Lopezes (ABS-CBN), the Duavit/Jimenez/Gozon connection, also the Elizalde Family (Manila Broadcasting Company) has a stand in radio market.
Note: Out of all of the time (100%) that radio is listened to, it is FM radio to 89% of that time, and only to 12% AM stations. This illustrates that Filipinos turn on the radio rather for music than for news.
The TOP 4 print companies all play in the same league, mingling around 5% audience share each. Even though the ratings could not be added up as the are based on non-additive 'incidents of readership' (Read full explanation in section 'Indicators'), media concentration appears low as the ownership is distributed among several players that all have the same market position. Press turns out to be a popular family business: the Macasaet Family holds Monica Publishing Corporation, the Yap Family owns Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, Inquirer Holdings belongs to the Rufino-Prieto Family. The Sison Family, who owns Sison's Publishing Corporation that releases the most read tabloid Bulgar, remains mysterious - little information could be found on them.
For the online news market, data was only available in unique visitors but not as audience share. This inhibited to compute an audience concentration for the online news market. The most popular websites, however, all belong to companies that also publish other media outlets, which strengthen their cross-media presence. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) market as the backbone of the online infrastructure, however, is concentrated with more or less two major players - PLDT/Smart and Globe Telecom - setting the conditions and prices.