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Tired of being 3rd best, TV5 taps ESPN in telly wars

/ 05:20 AM October 13, 2017

TV5 Network Inc., the television broadcast arm of telco giant PLDT Inc., is undergoing another transition—this time positioning itself as the leading sports and news media group in the country.

A major step in this direction is the announcement on Thursday of a four-year partnership with multimedia sports entertainment company ESPN Inc., which is part of The Walt Disney Co.

TV5 president Vincent “Chot” Reyes told reporters the partnership would clearly define its place in the TV industry, where it competes with larger rivals ABS-CBN Corp. and GMA Network Inc.

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The move would also help reverse years of losses since the PLDT Group acquired control of TV5 in 2009.

“Admittedly, we were all over the place because we tried a lot of things, we tried to produce our own programs,” Reyes said, referring to the company’s original strategy to go head to head against its rivals.

“Some worked, some didn’t. But all were not profitable,” he said.

He said the dual focus on news and sports would put TV5 in a position where it can be No. 1.

“What I learned is being the No. 3 network in the country does not make business sense,” Reyes said.

The partnership with ESPN will lead to the rebranding of TV5’s Sports 5 to ESPN 5.

It will air TV5’s sports coverage on top of over 2,500 hours of programming per year from ESPN’s sports rights, original and studio programs. A Philippine edition of the iconic SportsCenter will also be shown daily on TV5.

“The primetime evening is going to sports, the mornings are going to be international sports,” Reyes said.

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Reyes said they also hoped to expand spending on sports advertising through the ESPN deal.

He said advertisers in the country allot about 3 to 4 percent on the sports segment, lower than the regional average of 8 percent.

He said TV5 would keep some of its profitable entertainment programs—its Filipino-dubbed television shows.

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TAGS: ESPN Inc., PLDT Inc., television broadcast, The Walt Disney Co., TV5 Network Inc.
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