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Cignal on a roll, TV5 trimming losses

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - March 6, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — PLDT-backed Cignal TV continues on a roll following the demise of ABS-CBN’s Sky Direct mid-last year, while TV5 Network Inc. is gradually erasing losses incurred in previous years.

PLDT chief Manuel V. Pangilinan said Cignal TV has done a very good job in terms of increasing its subscriber base, which is now at 3.4 million, cornering about 50 percent of the market.

“Cignal had a very good year because unfortunately, Sky Direct was closed and there was significant migration of Sky Direct subscribers that went over to the Cignal side, such that we added about 1.3 million to 1.4 million subscribers and that was done in the latter part of 2020,” Pangilinan said.

Sky Direct, the direct-to-home satellite service of Sky Cable with 1.5 million subscribers, was ordered by the National Telecommunications Commission to cease and desist operations in June 30, 2020.

“So the impact on revenues and on profitability that flow from that tsunami of subscribers will really be happening in 2021. So we should see an upsurge in revenues, EBITDA and profitability for Cignal starting 2021,” Pangilinan said.

Cignal is owned and operated by Cignal TV Inc., a subsidiary of the PLDT Group’s media and content arm MediaQuest Holdings.

As for TV5, Pangilinan said the company is four to five years away from being profitable, and maybe three years from a break even.

“TV5 is showing some progress, slowly eroding its losses of the previous years. And hopefully  they would be a much more meaningful player in the entertainment industry and of course, sports, we dominate that now,” he said.

Pangilinan said the content of ABS-CBN that has so far been shown in TV5 has helped a bit in improving the network’s ratings.

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