MANILA, Philippines – A manpower reduction program is not in the horizon for TV5 Incorporated, as the 3rd-ranked broadcast network nears its target of breaking even next year.
"For now, we've been very stable. We have a manpower that fits the direction we're going. Hopefully, this is it. There's no plan in the horizon," TV5 president Vincent "Chot" Reyes replied when asked if the network plans to further cut jobs to reduce its losses.
TV5 currently employs about 700 staff, from almost 1,400 people, Reyes said. In 2017, TV5 decided to lay off hundreds of its people, as part of cost-control measures and restructuring of the network.
By shifting its focus to sports and news and partnering with global sports broadcaster ESPN, TV5 was able to cut losses by 43% in 2017, said Reyes.
The network chief added that TV5 expects to cut losses by 50% this year, and finally be in the black in 2019.
With this goal, Reyes said there is no need to lay off more people. "Nothing in the near future, because like I said, we have now a good complement of manpower to take us where we want."
Shifting its focus
As part of its restructuring, TV5 is offering new digital content using the ESPN brand called Live Boxing Month this May, bringing a lineup of boxing events and shows. (READ: To lure more sports fans, TV5 offers digital content with ESPN)
"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 generated," Reyes said.
He added that the company expects to generate "significant" airtime revenues during the 2nd half of the year from its new ESPN5 content.
"We've been able to hit our target, 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," Reyes said.
"[In] our 1st quarter, we hit our targets for airtime revenue, for operations, and majority of the financial targets that we've set for ourselves. I'm not at liberty to divulge some items have been a little bit below, but just by a very small margin. It's just the 1st quarter. It's a very encouraging start," he added.
It was in October 2017 when TV5 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) – Rappler.com