Pangilinan clarified that there are no ongoing talks between the PLDT-backed network and ABS-CBN at present.
STAR/File
TV5 open to blocktime deal with ABS-CBN — MVP
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - December 31, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said TV5 Network Inc. is open but cautious at the same time to a blocktime deal with ABS-CBN Corp. should the franchise renewal of the Lopez-owned broadcast company not be granted next year.

Pangilinan clarified that there are no ongoing talks between the PLDT-backed network and ABS-CBN at present.

“We have lots of highways on 5. Setting aside the politics, if they want to blocktime we are prepared to talk. We don’t have much entertainment content. It’s up to them,” Pangilinan said.

“Of course politically, the President might say something so we are also reluctant,” he said.

ABS-CBN is in danger of not having its franchise renewed when it expires next year following repeated threats from President Duterte himself.

Duterte has said several times that he is personally against the franchise renewal of  the media and entertainment giant, which expires on March 30, 2020.

Asked if TV5 is open to a buy-out deal should ABS-CBN make an offer, Pangilinan said he did not want to think about it “because it won’t happen.”

“I don’t want to be presumptuous. We don’t want to think about it. It’s up to them, but we’re not offering them anything. We’re not suggesting anything to them so there are really no talks,” he said.

TV5, for its part, is planning to infuse more entertainment content into the channel starting next year, but without giving up its strength in sports.

“I think there are more entertainment content with the help of Cignal. Sports is still more of our strength than entertainment because we don’t have stars,” Pangilinan said.

TV5 in 2017 partnered with multimedia sports entertainment giant ESPN to reposition itself as a sports and news channel. Prior to that, the network was producing its own entertainment programs and tapping big name celebrities with high talent fees.

TV5 sister channel AksyonTV was rebranded early this year as 5 Plus to provide non-mainstream sport and sport-related content.
TV5 president and chief executive officer Jane Basas in an earlier interview with The STAR said the target is for the network to generate a positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) by 2022 and then become profitable two years down the road, or by 2024.

In 2019, TV5 continued to improve its financial performance as it attempts to make its way towards profitability. The network was able to narrow its losses in 2018.

ABS-CBN MANUEL V. PANGILINAN
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