By Emmie V. Abadilla
TV5 Network, Inc. has improved its bottomline by 30 percent in 2018 – a “great performance given the difficulty of other networks,” and expects to break even in time for its 2019 target, President and CEO Vincent P. Reyes yesterday told reporters during the re-launch of TV 5’s sister channel, Aksyon TV, as “5 Plus”.
Being a general entertainment network that it was before entailed a lot of expenses,” he noted. “We shifted to sports and reduced our expenses a lot.”
However, the trade-off for moving away from their general entertainment category is revenue contraction, he acknowledged. “The advertising spend in sport is not as big as in entertainment but the cost is not as great either.”
Despite the 2018 revenue decline, the company expects to benefit from the 2019 domestic election spending, although this will not big as a national election spending.
Partnerships, such as those with FaceBook, ESPN, Netflix and others also gave the network “a lot of content with not so prohibitive costs.”
“We want to cater to underserved markets. We’re not focused on ratings anymore but on building our audiences. We also focus on content and sustainability. And we are faithful to the identity of our network.”
This year, the network expects a 15 to 20 percent growth, Reyes predicted.
They have started 2019 with yesterday’s launch of 5 Plus, which will act as a secondary channel to TV5, serving atypical sports and sports-related content, showcasing action geared for a younger, more adventurous audience.
“The intent is to create a home for atypical sports – titles with a highly engaged audience base who don’t typically receive visibility of this scale,” he explained.
“Expanding our sports coverage also enables us to attract a new audience – the younger sports fan. 5 Plus’ content will resonate with the pace of their active lifestyle and their varied interests.”
“The combination of TV5 and 5 Plus allows us to cement and expand our foothold in sports,” the President underscored.
For extreme sports enthusiasts, 5 Plus will cover the X Games, featuring freestyle BMX and skateboarding.
For Esports buffs, 5 Plus will air some of the biggest international e-sports tournaments – the Nationals, with games such as Dota 2, mobile Legends and Tekken.
For college sports fans, 5 Plus will broadcast the National Basketball Training Center League, the National Cheerleading Championship.
The rebrand also involves a complete overhaul of the channel’s look to visually communicate a new identity. Music identity and sonic branding will also complement the visual changes of the channel.
With its expanded repertoire, 5 Plus will complement TV5’s main channel as the latter continues to promote more established sports, like baseball, volleyball and boxing.