Less than five months since it started airing on TV5 last October, Willie Revillame's Willing Willie has been featured in the largest newspaper circulated in the United States.
In the March 4-6 edition of The Wall Street Journal, James Conway wrote a full-page article about Willie's transfer from ABS-CBN to TV5 and noted that his "battle" is "altering the balance of power in one of Asia's most important media markets."
The article points out that based on data from Nielsen Co., the Philippines has a TV advertising market that "spent nearly $4 billion in spending last year," making our local TV industry "bigger than India's and on par with Indonesia's."
The article, which carries the subtitle "Popular host's departure from big network for upstart channel sparks lawsuits and shakes up advertising market," also briefly traced the colorful history of Willie who was described as a "leading star" at ABS-CBN for over a decade.
Even though the former Wowowee host is "battling a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by ABS-CBN," he is said to continue "boosting the fortunes of his new network, TV5."
The Wall Street Journal writer also pointed out that "until Mr. Revillame defected to TV5, the Philippine TV market was dominated by ABS-CBN, which had 24 billion pesos ($552 million) in revenue for 2009, and GMA Network Inc."
Citing Nielsen data for the 4th quarter of 2010, the article revealed that the Manny Pangilinan-owned TV5 network was able to gain more viewers compared to ABS-CBN during weekend primetime in metropolitan Manila. During this period, GMA-7 claimed the top spot with its 31% audience share.
Conway wrote, "In the fourth quarter, [TV5] grabbed 29% of the weekend prime-time audience in the Manila area to become No. 2, overtaking ABS-CBN, which had 23%."
According to Conway, the host of Willing Willie has plans "to broadcast several shows from the western U.S., where there are large Filipino communities. The hope is TV5 can build a global webcasting presence."
TV5 Chief Executive Ray Espinosa is also quoted as saying that one of their goals is "to capture a third of total TV ad spending in the Philippines by 2015, up from 10% now."