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TV-5 to launch intl channel - 18-May-2010, 17:22

MANILA, PhilippinesConfident of being well on its way to becoming the most watched channel in the country in the next five years, Pangilinan-led television network TV-5 said it plans to compete with its local rivals on a global scale.

At a recent briefing, TV-5 president and CEO Ray Espinosa said the company plans to reach out to Filipino communities abroad by launching an international television channel, just as its rivals ABS-CBN and GMA 7 have done.

We have a team of people looking at that kind of business right now, Espinosa said.

Espinosa said launching its own international channel, which has been lucrative for its rivals, will come as TV-5 develops more of its own content. The company, which has been aggressively hiring talent from rival networks, said an international channel could be launched as soon as the company gets a steady lineup of shows.

This year, the Pangilinan group said it plans to spend about P7 billion for a complete overhaul of the TV network it acquired last year.

Espinosa declined, however, to say exactly when an international channel will be launched.

Currently, Lopez-led ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. has the most subscribers to its international brand, The Filipino Channel (TFC). Last year, about 20 percent of ABS-CBNs total revenue, or roughly around P5 billion, was linked to ABS-CBN Global, the subsidiary that operates TFC.

ABS-CBN said despite last years financial crisis weighing on the finances of overseas Filipino workers, TFC subscriptions still grew 13 percent to 2.16 million in 2009 over the previous year.

GMA 7s own international channel, dubbed as GMA Pinoy TV, also drove revenue growth for the company in 2009.

Gross earnings from revenue and international operations and other sources grew 22 percent to P843 million, an increase of P154 million from 2007
   
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