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TV5 narrows losses; profitability elusive

TV5 narrows losses; profitability elusive

The television broadcast arm of the PLDT Group narrowed losses last year. However, its earlier stated goal to reach profitability by 2019 remains a tough prospect, its top official said.

Vincent Reyes, CEO of TV5, told reporters on Thursday that the company had managed to lower losses by 30 percent in 2018.

This came about as it cut costs and shifted away from the expensive production of entertainment shows, choosing instead to focus on sports and news.

Reyes said this shift from entertainment, coupled with the industry-wide decline in TV advertising, caused ad revenues to contract last year.

He said 2019 had a better outlook in terms of revenues and profit due to the upcoming election period. But he turned cautious when asked whether this was enough to allow TV5 to post a profit in 2019.

“I put the target in front of our team but I think it would be very, very difficult,” said Reyes, who did no share specific figures on earnings.

He said TV5 would be ready to take advantage of future opportunities, including increasing the contribution of online ads to at least 10 percent of the pie.

Part of the TV5 Group’s ongoing transition unfolded on Thursday, as it announced the rebranding of sports channel AksyonTV to 5Plus.

The formal change will begin on Jan. 13 this year with 5Plus serving as an avenue for viewers to see “nonmainstream” sports programs such as extreme sports and e-games.

The initiative will help the group attract a new and younger audience, Reyes said.

“We are No. 1 in sports. That is the one thing where we can claim to be No. 1,” he said.