TV5 cuts losses by half, may let go of more employees amid quest for profit
PLDT’s broadcasting unit TV5 Network Inc. expects to halve its operating loss this year thanks to lower production and operating expenses.
“We are still in the red. But the loss from last year has already been cut by half ,” said TV5 president Vincent Reyes.
Reyes said the network has managed to pare down its losses due to cost-cutting measures implemented by management, which include scaling down manpower and reducing electricity use.
For next year, Reyes sees TV5 recording a significant decrease in net losses by 66 percent. By 2019, the MVP Group-owned network is forecast to break even.
TV5 management laid off around 200 employees last December. It also ceased its partnership with Viva Communications, which handles the network’s entertainment programs. The move was part of efforts to overhaul its programming strategy.
When asked if the company plans to cut more employees, Reyes said, “ there’s nothing off the table, but anything is possible.”
At present, TV5 has 700 employees from 1,400 three years ago.
Last week, TV5 entered a long-term agreement with ESPM to reposition itself into sports and news network.
Under the partnership, TV5’s “Sports 5” will be rebranded as “ESPN5,” encompassing all sports coverage on TV5. In addition, ESPN will license to TV5 more than 2,500 hours additional programming per yer form its portfolio of sports rights, original programming and studio programs.
ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
MediaQuest Holdings Inc. bought TV5 in 2009 from the Cojuangco family for P4 billion, and acquired MPB Primedia of Malaysia, a TV5 major block-timer, for $16 million.
MediaQuest’s investments in TV5 was in line with its strategy of developing media, content and production resources to complement its other media assets and platforms such as Cignal, a direct-to-home satellite service launched in 2010.
Media Quest is owned by the Beneficial Trust Fund of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which has interests in Nation Broadcasting Corp., Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business World and Unitel Group.