SPORTS network TV5 expects its digital media business to start contributing revenues to the group by the second half of 2018, a top official said on Tuesday.
TV5 President Vincent “Chot” Reyes said he is optimistic the network can become a “big player in the digital space.”
Even if the site has just been up for a couple of months, Reyes claimed ESPN5.com had already bagged the top slot as a sports website in the Philippines.
“[We launched] ESPN5.com in January, barely two months or three months [ago but]advertising revenue is [already]coming in. I’d be very honest, it’s not as big as we want it to be but we’re barely two months in existence so that will take time to grow some more,” he told reporters following the launch of the network’s Live Boxing Month program for May.
He stressed the company still has to further build up the site in terms of views, engagement and following, to realize a significant amount of revenues.
“But we don’t expect it to take too long. I think starting the second half, we will get some scale in our digital revenues,” he said.
Reyes also attributed the smooth sail of its online presence to US-based global cable and satellite sports television channel ESPN, with which it teamed up late last year.
“When you talk about the partnership between TV5 and ESPN, you have to talk about the digital space, not only on TV. It’s a whole ecosystem. They’re helping us with these live events, television, online,” he said.
Its optimism on breaking even by 2019 comes alongside its new venture to produce a lineup of boxing events next month and its “very encouraging” first quarter performance.
“In terms of the objective [of positioning TV5 as a sports network]I think we’re on track. We are very encouraged with the response. As you know, that response is really going to be measured by revenues. The kind of advertising money that we’re able to generate so far has been … we’ve been able to achieve our targets. We’re hitting our targets with the current properties. So now we have to constantly come up with new properties to get a bigger slice of that pie,” he explained.
Reyes declined to give actual figures. He added the group is not closing its doors to entertainment and content space despite the shift to being a sports network.
Asked if TV5 would still implement layoffs, he said the network has been “very stable.”
“We have a manpower complement now that fits the direction we’re going and the repositioning. Hopefully, this is it. There’s no plan in the horizon. Nothing in the near future, because like I said, we have now a good complement of manpower to take us where we want,” he said.
TV5 currently has about 700 employees—almost half the number of its workers a couple of years back. The company had dismissed employees previously to cut expenses and staunch its deficit.