TV5 braces up for more losses

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11:15 PM December 27th, 2012

By: Paolo G. Montecillo, December 27th, 2012 11:15 PM

Pangilinan-led Associated Broadcasting Corp. (ABC), operator of television network TV5, will continue to post heavy losses in 2013 as the company struggles to compete with rivals that corner the lion’s share of industry ad revenues.

TV5 chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said the company had also struggled to keep costs down amid efforts to complete the network’s program lineup and hire talents.

“TV5 will continue to struggle,” Pangilinan told reporters at a recent briefing. “It will take longer than expected to make profits,” he said.

“There’s a lot of cost-cutting and we still have to finalize our program grid,” he said, adding that production costs would still rise as the company continued creating more shows.

TV5 earlier said it was targeting 2014 as its first year of profitability under the Pangilinan group, which took control of the network in 2009.

Earlier this year, TV5 president and CEO Ray C. Espinosa said the company’s profit target was under review due to factors that had not been identified when the goals were first set. One of the factors was the debt crisis in Europe, which led to a cut in advertising spending by multinational companies operating in the Philippines.

TV5’s bigger rivals, GMA Network Inc. and ABS-CBN Corp., have seen their revenues trimmed this year due to an industry-wide drop in advertising spending.

In the first half of 2012, TV5 lost P2.8 billion and this would likely be matched in the second half of 2012, Pangilinan said. This means the whole-year loss would exceed the P4.1 billion it lost in 2011.

While losses would remain big in 2013, TV5 aims to increase revenues with better programming during the primetime slot, when ad minutes are most expensive, said Pangilinan.

“The key variable when we were starting was Willie Revillame. We needed someone like him to give the first boost for TV5 … to anchor the primetime,” he said.

He said that since the gameshow host had agreed to move his show to the noontime slot, the primetime slot was freed for more shows that the company could sell to advertisers.

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