Manila – Listed GMA Network posted double-digit increase of 16.3% in TV advertising minutes in March 2009 compared to the same month last year, based upon data from Nielsen Company Philippines, in a report filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the same data, GMA say that rival ABS-CBN dropped 16.6% in TV advertising March 2009 compared to March 2008. And quoted by GMA’s own news channels, GMANews.TV, GMA Network Inc’s chairman, president, and chief executive officer Felipe L. Gozon Jr. said the company is not far off from hitting double-digit growth in profits and revenues this year despite difficult economic conditions. Besides citing the broadcast company’s improved ratings, its TV channels’ gross sales have already reached more than P1 billion in May, Gozon said during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on 20 May. At the same time, the listed company is bent on beating rival network ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. in the national ratings game as it races to upgrade its broadcast signals. Gozon said the network intends to “erase” its rival’s lead nationwide, which he estimated at just one percent. A major advertising money-spinner for the networks will be the presidential elections in 2010, with revenues likely to exceed the P500 million generated from political ads in 2007 since there are more presidential candidates for 2010 elections.