E-sports and extreme sports fans, rejoice! You’re about to get your fix of adrenaline-pumping sports and addicting online games on free-to-air TV.
AksyonTV officially becomes 5Plus today, 13 January. Last year, teasers of the shift were aired, hinting of the looming change.
Vincent Reyes, or more popularly known as Coach Chot, shared at last Thursday’s press launch that the rebrand is geared towards providing an extension to the brand’s growing reputation as the country’s number one sports entertainment provider.
“I think the numbers for 2018 have shown that we are number one in sports. All our sports properties got greater viewership compared to all the other sports properties. That’s where we can claim to be number one so we continue along that path,” he said.
TV5 has been the home of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for quite some time. Last year, with its rebrand as ESPN5, the channel aired more local sports events such as the three annual tournaments of PBA, as well as extensive coverage of the Philippine SuperLiga. Also, aside from content from ESPN, it aired the US NCAA Basketball tournament and American football matches.
A year later, its sister channel, AksyonTV, is rebranding into 5Plus.
“We try to look for underserved markets. We’re more interested in the audience that we’re able to build and reach,” he shared.
Coach Chot added that 5Plus will be an extension of 5. “5Plus is meant to be the home of atypical sports — sports that are out of the mainstream,” he described.
The TV5 head cited the growing popularity of E-sports. A decade ago, it was viewed as a niche market for hard-core gamers. At present, E-sports is going professional, with arguably many Filipinos dominating local and international tournaments. In fact, it is going to be a medal event at the SEA Games later this year which the Philippines will be hosting.
“E-sports is a perfect example. It’s a very strong community. It is growing. That’s one of the first considerations: is there an audience? Is there a market for that content? The second is sustainability. You might have a great piece of content but it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg. It doesn’t make sense, right? That was the other thing. We wanted to make sure that whatever we put on there can be sustainable for a good period of time. Then finally, of course, it should be faithful to our identity. It’s not because it’s sports, automatically we like it. It has to be a certain type of sport, speaking to a certain type of audience. I think that’s the only way we can survive, continue to be relevant,” Reyes said.
Gone are their general entertainment content with the non-renewal of contract of their last big-name celebrity, Derek Ramsey, in the early part of 2018.
This time banking on the winning track of sports content, 5 and 5Plus are expected to lure viewers with the variety of tournaments and sporting events it plans to offer.
The newly rebranded channel will cover the X Games which features freestyle BMX and skateboarding; E-sports games such as Dota 2, Mobile Legends and Tekken; the National Basketball Training Center League and the National Cheerleading Championship. Some games at the SEA Games will also be shown.
Those who have been tuning in to AksyonTV, where some of Radyo5’s news programs are simulcast on window hours, can tune in to a new channel in Cignal cable.
Some of the sporting events on 5Plus will be made available via www.tv5.com.ph.