The STAR learned that PLDT parent, Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co., is eyeing a TV network in Vietnam.
Also as part of plans to have a regional presence in the broadcasting field, PLDT chairman and First Pacific chief executive Manuel V. Pangilinan revealed that he is in talks with Anthoni Salim, chairman ang controlling shareholder of First Pacific, to acquire Salim’s Indonesia-based TV station.
“We are still in talks,” he said.
Pangilinan said in an interview that going regional will give the group a broader platform for its content.
“You also have to consider that last year, advertising revenues in the Philippines totalled only P35 billion, which many entities had to divide among themselves. The market is too small,” he pointed out
Going regional, he emphasized, will allow the PLDT Group to justify its investments in media, especially television.
There are reports that Pangilinan has offered between P40 to P45 billion to acquire 100 percent of rival broad casting firm GMA Network.
Pangilinan said yesterday that there are no ongoing talks between their group and the controlling shareholder of GMA, namely the Jimenez, Duavit and Gozon families, although he would neither deny nor confirm that his group has indeed made an offer.
Pangilinan’s group, through PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary Mediaquest, owns broadcasting company TV5.
GMA’s 2011 profit fell nearly 40 percent year-on-year largely due to cuts in ad spending by big clients and the absence of political advertisements. The network said revenue also fell 8.5 percent to P13.083 billion.
“Notwithstanding the absence of P2.054 billion worth of revenue from political advertisements generated in 2010, and the global impact of the financial crisis in Europe and slow economic recovery in the US last year, the company delivered a fairly competitive business performance,” it said.
Profits dropped 39 percent to P1.715 billion from P2.8 billion in 2010. Despite the drop in earnings, GMA said it had recorded the biggest market share in advertising revenue among the country’s top media firms.
GMA said its flagship Channel 7 network raised its ad loading minutes by 2.1 percent even with an increase in advertising rates that took effect in February.
Rival ABS-CBN Corp., meanwhile, appeared to be the hardest hit by the ad spend cutback among local broadcasting companies with a 7.1-percent drop in ad loading minutes during the comparable period, GMA Network said, citing its own monitoring.
GMA Channel 7, the company’s top performing unit, posted an eight percent revenue growth from regular advertising compared to 2010.