GMA dramas grow Southeast Asia

GMA dramas continue to make waves across Southeast Asia through GMA Worldwide Inc. (GWI). A number of series are being aired in Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam through successful partnerships with broadcasters and content aggregators across the region.

In Malaysia, the acclaimed GMA drama Legally Blind is gaining popularity through free TV channel TV3 Malaysia. Starring Janine Gutierrez, the series is about a blind lawyer seeking justice after she became a victim of rape. It premiered on July 1 and took over the timeslot of another popular GMA drama, A Woman Scorned. It is also being aired on Vietnam Television’s cable division Saigon Tourist Cable Television Company Limited (SCTV) on SCTV17, as part of their line-up of dramas for August.

Another GMA series in Vietnam is the revenge drama Beautiful Strangers currently aired by Vietnam Cable TV’s Giải Trí TV. The top-rating series stars two of the Philippines’ most bankable dramatic actresses, Heart Evangelista and Lovi Poe as two women at odds with each other who later realize that their true enemy is yet to be revealed.

In Brunei, GWI brings romantic comedy series Poor Señorita, broadcast by the country’s oldest free-to-air terrestrial television channel, Radio Televisyen Brunei’s (RTB) Aneka. The series tells the story of a rich heiress who decides to give up her wealth after being mistakenly diagnosed with cancer.
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Finally, in Thailand, GMA’s adaptation of the hit Korean drama My Love From The Star recently premiered through the cooperation between JKN Global Media and digital terrestrial television channel GMM 25. The Philippine version of the series stars Jennylyn Mercado as a movie star who falls in love with her neighbor, played by Gil Cuerva, who turns out to be an alien from another planet.

On a second note, GMA Network confirmed the appointment of Dennis Augusto “Dingdong” L. Caharian as President and COO of GMA New Media, Inc. (NMI), a wholly-owned subsidiary that serves as its digital media and technology arm, and future-proofing agent. He is a pioneer member of NMI and previously served as its SVP and GM since 2009. With more than 20 years of experience in information technology, information management, and new media, he played a key role in GMA Network’s transformation from a broadcast giant into a dominant multi-platform content provider.
NMI has launched category-breaking projects in web, mobile, digital television and other new and emerging platforms since it began in mid-2000. Caharian has led initiatives that are aimed to broaden GMA's online footprint worldwide through OTT and programmatic collaborations. NMI enabled GMA to establish a partnership with YouTube that not only supports the Network’s anti-piracy efforts, but also boosted GMA’s YouTube views and subscribers. These initiatives propelled GMA’s subscriber base to grow by 625% in less than two years and surpassed the 10-million subscriber mark in May 2019. As a result, the GMA Entertainment channel recently received the YouTube Diamond Creator Award, joining an elite group of content creators in Southeast Asia that have also achieved such a feat.
Through NMI, GMA built strategic alliances with industry forerunners to prepare for the launch of a game-changing digital strategy that will raise the TV viewing experience in the Philippines to a whole new level.  NMI is set to launch GMA Now, the Network’s mobile DTT service that will revolutionize content consumption habits by combining digital TV viewing and the fun elements of mobile interactivity.  

Supporting Caharian is SVP and CTO Raymund C. Sarmiento, who has been in the Information Technology industry for 30 years. He has spent a decade in a Japanese company as one of its pioneers working with NEC Japan for projects that involved LSI/VLSI Microchip development and embedded systems development. Sarmiento was CTO for EDSAMAIL Philippines and has been the CTO of GMA NMI for 17 years. He designed the backend modules for the PLDT PLAYTYM program launched on GMA, the first landline phone-based interactive live TV game done in partnership with the Network and PLDT.