By Stephanie Roxas
PLDT-owned Cignal TV is no longer just a satellite television service provider after launching a sub-brand called Cignal Entertainment, which aims to provide original Filipino content to subscribers.
Cignal Entertainment was formally introduced to the public via a launch event held at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City on Thursday, July 12.
The direct-to-home firm said Cignal Entertainment is a bold stab to ?showcase relevant stories and skills of content creators, directors, producers, and writers that will differ from the material of mainstream media.?
To meet this goal, the company announced that it has partnered with local content providers Sari Sari Network, Unitel, Idea First, Content Cows, and Masque Valley Productions.
Wilma Galvante, CEO of Content Cows, said the partnership will allow them to display content driven from advocacies that started with workshops in colleges and universities.
Galvante said Cignal Entertainment will serve as a medium for creating compelling stories with powerful portrayals without compromising the message of the films.
One of the highlights of the launch was the seven-minute preview of the mini-series ?Tukhang? that was produced by Masque Valley Productions. The crime drama will explore the social cost behind the current war on drugs by the Duterte administration.
In an interview, Cignal Entertainment president and CEO Jane Basas said they aim to come up with content that is not typically seen in the mainstream media.
“The fact that we?re able to experiment with different plots and storylines? I think that, by itself, would disrupt the industry already,? Basas said. ?My only request to the guys that I’m working with is for them to make sure that it elevates the level viewing of Filipinos not just in terms of production quality but also the story.”
According to Basas, the multi-channel network of the pay-television company has proven to be an advantage in comparison to the homogeneous market of free-to-air channels. “Multiple niche markets are actually targeted by Cignal, each particular channel of the portfolio of Cignal should be able to address a particular segment of the market, demographically or psychographically,” Basas explained.
The premise of Cignal Entertainment could be equated with US-based video streaming firm Netflix where original content is also featured in the platform. Basas disclosed that their vision is to come up with marquee programs with good stories similar to what Netflix does.
“That’s actually my dream that one day I’m able to develop a brand. I’m not even sure if that’s Cignal Entertainment but a brand that will be a go to destination of Filipinos globally for Filipino content that is as good as what Netflix offers to its subscribers,” Basas said.
At the same time, Cignal TV said it will launch a mobile application called ?Cignal See To Go? in September 2017. The app will carry the organic channels of Cignal and original contents produced by its partners.
?The current intent is for Cignal subscribers to get the app as a companion service so you can get it free. For non-Cignal subscribers, as soon as we’re able to figure out the issues, it should be made available as a standalone subscription,” Basas said.