TV5 eyes market gains via ESPN deal

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TV5 Network Inc. is taking another stab at raising its market position by partnering with US-based sports media conglomerate ESPN.

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TV5 President Vincent “Chot” Reyes, who is also head coach of the national men’s basketball team, said the network was rebranding its homegrown Sports 5 channel to ESPN 5.

“I think sports is the genre or the field [where]we can be number one. That’s why we partnered with ESPN. We did not go looking for them. They came to us towards the last quarter last year,” he told reporters at the sidelines of the channel’s launch in Pasay City.

Reyes claimed that ESPN was also in talks with other potential partners but decided on TV5.

“[W]e weren’t the only one they talked to. I think they saw the properties that we have, our culture, the fact that we have sports people running the business. That’s the culture that appealed to ESPN, combined also with our news credibility,” he said.

With the addition of the ESPN brand, Reyes claimed TV5 would “ not only increase the pie but we [will]also increase our share of the pie. That’s the thinking behind it.”

“We know we can’t get the tens of billions of pesos that others put in traditional entertainment advertising spend, we know that, but what if we get half of that? Then that makes us automatically profitable. Those are the economics that we’re looking at,” he added.

Reyes was bullish over the network’s decision to prioritize the sports segment, despite its relatively limited appeal, over traditional entertainment genres.

“We did our homework and we did our research and we found out that is the definite upside. It might be a very limited, mixed market but there is an upside there, there is a market … [where]we think we can get a bigger share of wallet,” he said.

ESPN 5’s offerings will include coverage of Philippine Basketball Association games and a local version of the SportsCenter show. Also expected to be shown, among others, are National Football League games, US collegiate basketball tournaments and IndyCar races.

National Basketball Association games won’t be part of the line-up as these are being aired by rival ABS-CBN.

 

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