Dingdong, Marian are Cignal’s new endorsers

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LOCAL SATELLITE television service provider, Cignal, has announced that actors Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera-Dantes will be representing its prepaid arm.

“Given the competition, we felt we needed an endorser to really represent the brand in prepaid,” Vito Villariba, Cignal senior manager for prepaid marketing, told BusinessWorld during the contract signing and launch at Solaire Resort and Casino, on Feb. 26.

This is not the first time the brand has tapped a celebrity couple to represent the company as last year, Solenn Heusaff and Nico Bolzico became the faces of the company’s postpaid line, a move Mr. Villariba said was a success.

Attempting to replicate that success, Cignal decided to get the married couple to serve as the faces of the company’s prepaid line which comprises a large chunk of its business.

Unlike the postpaid line where subscribers pay a fixed monthly fee for a set number of channels, Cignal’s prepaid offering has plans for as low as P100 for 26 standard-definition channels (the fee does not include the installation fee and the Cignal kit with the satellite dish) and can go as high as P1,000 for 25 high-definition channels and 85 standard-definition ones.

Mr. Villariba said that the advantage of prepaid over postpaid is that viewers can change their plan every month if they want to do so, although postpaid offers more channels, for example, the P690 plan which offers 23 high-definition channels and 72 standard-definition channels while the postpaid plan P250 features four high-definition channels and 48 standard-definition ones.

“Seventy percent of our market is prepaid and most of them are in the provinces,” he explained.

Cignal boasts of 1.87 million subscribers as of end-January 2018 and is targeting two million subscribers by the end of June.

Mr. Villariba said that the Philippines currently has 20 million households with TV sets and only three to four million of those have pay-TV subscriptions which meant that there is considerable room for growth even with the increasing presence of Internet TV providers.

“The same people who have pay-TV subscriptions are the same people with access to Internet TVs. Therefore, there’s still about 16 million households without any form of pay or Internet TV, especially in the provinces,” he explained before adding that they are not threatened by Internet TV because the Internet still hasn’t reached many parts of the country.

Cignal TV is a wholly owned subsidiary of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., of the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund. BusinessWorld is also under MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., through the Star Group which it controls. — Z. B. Chua