MANILA, Philippines - After the failed talks to seal a deal with GMA Network, the second biggest media network in the country, the group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan will be pouring more funds into the third biggest, TV5.
This was confirmed by Napoleon Nazareno, the president of TV5 affiliate and Pangilinan-led Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), to reporters in a Makati City .
“Yes, we are increasing our investment,” Nazareno said, referring to ABC Development Corp, the operator of TV5.
Nazareno declined to reveal how much PLDT will infusing into TV5, a unit of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc, owned and controlled by the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund.
Apart from TV5, PLDT will also be focusing on strengthening another of its media assets, leading provider of direct-to-home television services Cignal TV.
“We will focus on the build strategy rather than the purchase option. Since the purchase did not work, we will focus on the build strategy which is TV5 and Cignal,” Nazareno said.
The build option, he explained, involves installing new platforms and technology that will suit consumers’ preference.
The phone giant’s wholly-owned subsidiary, ePLDT, had announced a P6-billion investment in the form of Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) in MediaQuest to sustain the growth momentum of TV5 and Cignal TV.
TV5 is expected to break even by 2014 and its market share is also set to hit 30% by 2015 from the current level of 15%.
PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan earlier noted that the financial investment in media is important because this is necessary for the group’s growth and transformation.
“Many other telecommunication companies worldwide have made similar investments in media assets,” he said.
PLDT going multimedia
PLDT's move into multimedia services seeks to take advantage of its extensive and robust fixed and mobile platforms to deliver digital media content, such as photos and video through various devices including PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.
The Pangilinan group announced in October that its almost year-long negotiations for the supposed cash purchase of GMA Network, Inc. failed.
GMA chairman Felipe Gozon, for his part, said last Thursday that if ever talks will be revived, his company will not be the initiating party.
“If it will be revived, it will come from them. It will be their initiative, not ours,” he said, adding that he has been consistent in saying that major shareholders are not selling the company but is willing to sell if there is an attractive offer.
Meanwhile, TV5 recently launched a digital lifestyle portal Kristn.com, which offers the latest trends and hottest happenings in fashion, beauty, food, travel, movies, music and events.
"We are actually a new kind of team within TV5. The network branches out to digital because we are affiliated with PLDT, Smart and Sun. The younger audience and actually a lot of people are veering away from just watching TV," Sheila Paul, TV5 vice president for new media, said, adding that the market is huge.
"It's really a huge market for us. By the end of this year, we will have 40 million Internet users. You can see a lot of people seeking to get information online, mostly under the age of 35 and from the A-B and broad C markets.” - Rappler.com