The outlook on the third-ranked broadcasting firm in the Philippines remains rosy, as its financial underpinings continuously gain traction after having bled since 2009, when the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) first bought into the network.
MediaQuest Holdings Inc., the operator of TV5, is expected to be profitable and, finally, in the black by 2017, its chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan, said in a chance interview.
He said the network’s earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) should turn positive in two year’s time, as the broadcasting company continues to be more competitive in the multimedia arena.
“We hope TV5 will be Ebitda-positive by 2017,” he said.
The broadcasting company has been in the red for the past six years since the group of Pangilinan bought into the firm. MediaQuest acquired the network from then-Cojuanco-led ABC Development Corp. for P4 billion in 2009. It also acquired MPB Primedia of Malaysia, a major stockholder in the network, for $16 million.
Since then, PLDT has been pouring money into the network to remain at par with competitors: media conglomerate ABS-CBN Corp. and broadcasting firm GMA Network Inc.
Earlier TV5 President and CEO Emmanuel C. Lorenzana said the network would soon “venture into things that other stations are not doing,” so as to gain additional market share, which is currently pegged at 15 percent of the sector.
Last year the Pangilinan-led network announced a partnership with a Malaysian satellite-network operator that effectively expanded its reach to 120 countries in four continents.
Under the agreement, subsidiary Pilipinas Global Network Ltd. will tap the third Malaysia East Asia Satellite (Measat-3) spacecraft of Measat Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd. to offer TV5 content across Asia Pacific, Australia, the Middle East and Eastern Africa.
PLDT owns a 60-percent shareholding in PGN, while the remaining stake is held by ABC Development Corp.
MediaQuest is the corporate vehicle of the PLDT group for the acquisition of media assets. It is owned and controlled by the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund. It holds a 70-percent stake in BusinessWorld, a 10-percent stake in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and a 60-percent stake in Philippine Star. It also owns the direct-to-home satellite television Cignal TV.