To lure more sports fans, TV5 offers digital content with ESPN

MANILA, Philippines – TV5 Network Incorporated is set to offer new digital content using the ESPN brand starting Wednesday, January 31, to help it bring more sports fans who prefer short videos and footage to televised tournaments.

To find and keep them, TV5 in October last year signed a licensing deal with ESPN, the global leader in sports television programming, to create ESPN5. (READ: ESPN returns to Philippine TV with TV5 partnership)

ESPN5 on Wednesday started beefing up its content with the launch of local, ESPN5-branded editions of ESPN.com as well as subscription sports streaming service ESPN Player.

TV5 president Vincent "Chot" Reyes said the goal of selling content online is to "reinforce TV5's market leadership, authority and expertise" as the leading news source for local sports.

"For the avid sports fanatics, they can subscribe to the streaming player on a monthly basis at a reasonable price. There are a lot of things going on that are not shown on television. With ESPN5, they can now catch those behind-the-scenes on the [ESPN] Player," Reyes said in a roundtable interview on Monday, January 29.

Reyes said ESPN.com and the upcoming ESPN app will provide local and international sports content, not limited to Philippine Basketball Association, National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League, Volleyball, soccer, tennis, and eSports.

To be offered at a monthly recurring pass of P99, the ESPN Player will provide live and on-demand sports including National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) College Sports, X Games, and IndyCar, Reyes added.

Push digital ads

Aside from selling digital subscription, Reyes said the new ESPN.com and ESPN app will allow TV5 "to continue to push digital advertising forward and provide greater scope for flexibility and innovation."

The TV5 chief said the new ESPN.com will provide solutions for advertisers based on a new Universal Advertising Package (UAP), which offers advertising solutions for each device, screen and orientation.

"The approach streamlines creative delivery and ad serving on the new ESPN.in, and ensures the best representation for brands, no matter the device. The move is designed to enable advertisers to take advantage of the increased effectiveness of multiplatform campaigns compared to single-platform," he said.

Since the announcement of its partnership with ESPN back in October, Reyes said his network has seen significant improvement in ratings and bottomline.

"There were 24 million page views in ESPN in December 2016. In 2017, that number jumped to 30 million views for the month of December. That's still ESPN, not yet ESPN 5, not localized yet. We just announced it in October last year in the Philippines, and that already jumped. So the traffic is going to give us opportunity to monetize and generate revenue," he added.

"When we started showing NFL on TV5, the traffic in ESPN grew by 37%....It's not just TV but it's online, on your mobiles, desktops, that's the kind of business model that we're looking at for TV5," he said.

TV5 targets to break even in 2019 and cut net losses by half this 2018, as it shifts its focus on sports and news. – Rappler.com