'TV5 won't benefit much from election spending'

by Lois Calderon, ANC

Posted at May 07 2013 06:51 PM | Updated as of May 08 2013 02:51 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno says the group won't benefit much from election spending, which he expects will be largely channeled to TV and print ads.

But outgoing TV 5 president and CEO Ray C. Espinosa says the number three network has "picked up some ads, though not the same scale as the 2 major networks," referring to rivals ABS-CBN and GMA Network.

By June 1, Espinosa will be replaced by Noel Lorenzana, whom PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan plucked from Smart's wireless consumer unit.

Pangilinan says he wants to see the bleeding TV network return to profit, but he didn't give any specific target.

Espinosa says TV 5 hopes to launch its all-English news channel, the CEO TV, by the fourth quarter or early next year, on pay TV.

He also says plans to boost the PLDT group's stake in BusinessWorld (through MediaQuest) from the current 30% might likely involve the Philippines' oldest business newspaper issuing new shares or that plus PLDT buying old shares.

"We're discussing its (the deal's) final form," says Espinosa.

Espinosa hopes to complete the deal within the year.

Meanwhile, PLDT expects its 2013 core net profit to rise 2.7 percent, a pick up from the 4.4 percent drop in 2012, as internet and broadband revenues increase.

PLDT, the country's second most valuable listed firm, gave its forecast after posting on Tuesday an 8 percent drop in first-quarter profit, partly due to lower foreign exchange and derivative gains from a strong peso and costs related to job cuts. - With Reuters

ABS-CBNnews.com is the news website of ABS-CBN Corp.