Sunday, August 26, 2012

GLOBE, PLDT To Compete In Acquiring IBC 13 and RPN ?

MANILA, Philippines - Ayala-led Globe Telecom, Inc. is considering expanding into "new age" content providers -- which may include a media partner -- to add to the traditional portfolio of services it offers to its mobile subscribers.

In a briefing on Thursday, August 23, Globe president Ernest Cu said the cellular firm needs to continuously offer relevant content to its mobile subscribers.

“Just like any other telco entity, we need to cover and make sure we have content relevant to the public,” Cu said, echoing the fact that content is a major growth contribution for most telecom operators, which is mainly a utility business. 

Cu stressed, however, that the type of content Globe is interested to offer to the public is different from what traditional broadcasting firms offer.

"We are into mobile kind of geared content. Mobile surf snacking as a behavior -- we are interested in that sort of thing. The new age content maybe relevant versus the traditional Filipino content you see out there today. That’s not our business. We are not here for the big screen,” explained Cu.

Highlighting that Globe’s main medium is mobile phones, Cu said it makes more sense to offer content via handsets and tablets.

“What is attractive for us would be what the consuming public will use and they use mobile phones to browse a 5-minute clip rather than watch a one-hour show using a handset.”

Broadcast partner

Cu admitted that a partnership with a broadcast media group is a possibility, but was quick to point out that there are no definite plans or ongoing talks to pursue a broadcast-related strategy.

“We continue to explore, but nothing [is] concrete [yet]. From partnering to licensing content, all of these forms, we are open to it. But there is nothing to tell you simply because there is nothing going on,” said Cu.

Rival and industry leader Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is already pursuing a strategy of evolving from a traditional telco into a multi-media service company.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of PLDT and media group ABC Development Corp, which operates third-liner TV5, has been negotiating with owners of the second biggest media group in the country, GMA Network Inc., for a deal expected to change the landscape of both the broadcast media and telecommunications industries. 

Pangilinan had said that his group is exploring content production to maximize the phone firm’s telcocommunication infrastructure highway or its communication links.

State-owned media

Cu had previously acknowledged that a TV firm can be an added asset to the cellular firm in terms of its content.

“Content is always important to us telcos. I don’t know enough about these stations to say if their content is valuable,” Cu had said.

Pangilinan had said that they would be interested to look into two state-owned broadcast stations -- RPN-9 and IBC-13 -- when the government finally puts it on the auction bloc.

Cu had highlighted in September 2010 that, pending issuance of the privatization terms, Globe could not yet say if it will take interest in privatizing the said TV channels.

“We can only comment when we get the actual terms of the privatization. It is too early at this time,” Cu had said. -

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