by Jeremiah F. de Guzman
MEDIAQUEST Holdings Inc., the operator of TV5, is allocating P10 billion in the next four years to build state-of-the art facilities, an official said Friday.
“We are on a start-up period. We are rebuilding everything,” company president Ray Espinosa said.
“We don’t look at the income yet, so we know that we will incur losses in the first few years. We have a five-year plan, and based on that, we are working towards being profitable on year five.”
Espinosa said the company would earmark P9 billion to P10 billion from next year up to 2014 to acquire new transmitters and a facility in Mandaluyong City that would house six studios by 2012, bringing TV5’s number of studios to 10 in two years.
“We plan to break ground in November,” Espinosa said.
“We plan to transfer the news block in September next year, and the balance will be a year after.”
The expenses on the ultra-high frequency channel, which would be under Nation Broadcasting Co., a commercial UHF television station owned by the First Pacific conglomerate, and radio stations would eat up most of the budget.
The programming costs would reach P2 billion this year and P1 billion next year, Espinosa said. The TV network would be going international soon and would be tapping “the same market currently tapped by the two networks.”
“We want to get that market as soon as possible as there are revenues that come from overseas distribution,” Espinosa said.
TV5 had established TV5 Global, which is in charge of promoting the network’s programs abroad, and was now developing its online portal that would contain news and shows aired in the TV network.
“We are strengthening our new media,” Espinosa said.
Roberto Barreiro, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of TV5, said the TV network had been able to secure a 10-percent share of the audience nationwide and 12 percent in Metro Manila.
“We just want double-digit market shares, and we were able to do that on our first year,” Barreiro said.
“Now the targets have been upgraded.”
Barreiro said the network was now seeking permits to expand in 50 areas nationwide, and that its coverage had reached 70 percent. The target was 85-percent coverage by the end of this year and 95 percent by June 2011.
Advertisers were now receptive to the network as a result of its improving ratings and reach, Espinosa said.
“We offer a new platform and a new outlet for [advertisers], and obviously, our rates our lower with them on a negotiated basis,” he said.