TV5 set to woo young Pinoys
By Jeeva Arulampalam
Aimed at viewers under the age of 30, which make up 60 percent of the 90-odd million Philippine population, TV5 will feature various genres including reality, drama, variety, teens, cartoons and movies
COME August 9, a newly-re-launched television station hopes to inch its way into the hearts of young Filipinos by providing fresh and innovative programming.
"TV5 aims to create an alternative to current stations. We will have innovative and relevant programming targeting the progressive Pinoys," said TV5 chief executive officer Christopher Sy.
The newly-positioned television station will be born from the current network known as ABC5, owned by the Philippines' ABC Development Corp.
Media Prima Bhd, through its unit MPB Primedia Inc, entered into a block airtime and consultancy agreement with ABC Development Corp for its television network in March this year.
TV5 will be aimed at viewers under the age of 30, which make up 60 percent of the 90-odd million population. Its content will cover various genres including reality, drama, variety, teens, cartoons and movies.
"In terms of hours, 60 percent will be foreign content including Nickelodeon, Mexican and Korean telenovela," he said.
However, TV5 will increase its spread of local programming to 60 percent by the end of 2009.
Sy added that the partnership with Media Prima will allow TV5 to adopt best practices in terms of engineering and technical expertise.
"We also have to invest a great deal in content so Media Prima's solid financial backing will allow us to do so and remain flexible in delivering programme variety," he said.
Before the launch, ABC5 did not have a long-term strategy in terms of identifying its target market.
"Because of the presence of the Philippines Basketball Association on the channel, it was tagged the PBA station which later turned into a quasi sports channel," said Sy.
As a result, the viewership skewed towards a male audience.
To make a clear distinction between the old station and the new station, ABC5 will sign off completely on August 8 before TV5 comes on air on August 9 with new programming, said Sy.
Sy said TV5 will have to overcome its own challenges
"Seventy per cent of households in the Philippines have one television set. The challenge is to get viewers to change the channel to TV5," said Sy.
Currently, the market is dominated by two top players, ABS-CBN Broadcasting and GMA Network, which collectively control 80 percent of the market share in the Philippines.
"For the first few months, we will try to get viewers to watch at least one of our programmes so that they have a taste," he said.
Sy was banking on TV5's movie blocks at night to disrupt the common Filipino household pattern, whereby viewers remained glued to the same show played throughout weekdays.
"We hope to break the momentum so that they stop caring about these long serials. Since our target market is employed and active, we give them choices and variety in programming," he said.
TV5 also provides catch-up periods during the weekend for television series played over the weekdays.
The television station will undertake aggressive marketing within the next two years.
"We are also having activation events (or ground events) at malls and schools over the next year," he said.