‘Agua Bendita’ Sweeps the Country by Storm, Drowns Competition in TV Ratings in March

When it comes to entertainment, most Filipinos watch "Agua Bendita." When it comes to TV election news coverage, most Filipinos find ABS-CBN as the most credible.

“Agua Bendita,” the heartwarming story of twins Agua and Bendita facing life’s challenges and teaches viewers the value of unconditional love, topped the national TV ratings and drowned competition in March 2010 with an average rating of 39.4 percent, according to global media specialist TNS (Taylor Nelson Sofres).

The show’s strong performance pushed ABS-CBN’s national audience share to hit 45 percent, higher by 11.9 points than GMA Network’s 33.1 percent in March 2010. Year-on-year, ABS-CBN’s audience share grew by 2.1 points from 42.9 percent in March 2009, while GMA’s audience share dwindled by 2.7 points from 35.8 percent in March 2009.

Industry analysts also noted that ABS-CBN has gained ground in Mega Manila with its audience increasing to 36.9 percent in March 2010, up by 3.9 points from 33 percent in March 2009, while GMA Network’s hold in Mega Manila has weakened with audience share tumbling to 37.8 percent in March 2010, down by 4.9 points from 42.7 percent in March 2009.

As posted in the TNS website, seven out of the top ten most watched weekday programs in March were ABS-CBN programs. “Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo” came in second with 34.6 percent, “Habang May Buhay” in fourth (28.3%), “Tanging Yaman” in seventh (23.8), “Rubi” in ninth (22.3%), and Wowowee in tenth (22.1%).

“TV Patrol World” ranked third and topped all news programs nationwide with an average rating of 32.5 percent. Its leadership is affirmed by a Pulse Asia survey conducted between 21-25 February 2010 showing 63 percent of Filipinos believing that ABS-CBN is the most credible TV network in covering the election campaign. GMA was far second with 55 percent.

ABS-CBN also dominated the weekend top ten regular programs. “Pilipinas Got Talent” placed first (36.5%), followed by “Rated K” (33%), “Agimat: Tonyong Bayawak” (29.5%), “Goin Bulilit” (29.4%), “Maalaala Mo Kaya” (27.4%), “TV Patrol Linggo” (24.9%) and “TV Patrol Sabado” (23.7%).

The network’s Sunday variety show “ASAP XV” was no match for GMA 7’s newly launched “Party Pilipinas,” which lost by four points. ASAP XV rated 18.5 percent vs Party Pilipinas’ 14.5 percent last March 28 when GMA’s new show was launched.

ABS-CBN’s AM radio station DZMM is not only leading in radio in terms of audience share according to 2010 Nielsen Mega Manila RAM, but its cable TV channel DZMM TeleRadyo is the number one cable news and information channel in February 2010. DZMM scored a 22 percent audience share. DZMM TeleRadyo climbed to 24th spot among all cable TV channels, beating other news channels such as CNN, BBC, Channel News Asia, Bloomberg, and CNBC.

TNS is a leading market research group in the world with a proven track record in audience research measurement systems in 32 countries. It started releasing its national television audience measurement (NUTAM) data on February 2009 with panels, composed of 1,370 representative households, covering urban Philippines and reporting on seven sectors namely NCR, Suburbs, North Luzon, Central Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

ABS-CBN shifted to TNS after filing a case vs. AGB Nielsen Media Research for failing to comply with its request to investigate alleged cheating and data tampering in TV ratings. The case is still pending in court.

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