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FirstPac mulls IPTV after losing Del Monte
[December 11, 2005]

FirstPac mulls IPTV after losing Del Monte

(Manila Standard)HONG KONG -- First Pacific Co. Ltd. plans to go into IPTV ((Internet Protocol Television) as its next move following last week's failure to acquire Del Monte Pacific Ltd.

First Pacific managing director and chief executive officer Manuel Pangilinan told Filipino reporters that the company was looking at various business opportunities in emerging technologies as its war chest remains intact.

First Pacific had raised about $200 million to finance its planned purchase 40 percent of Del Monte Pacific. First Pacific offered to buy Del Monte's stake for $164 million.

First Pacific was outbid by San Miguel Corp., which, together with NutriAsia Inc., a ketchup and sauce maker based in the Philippines, offered to buy 49.8 percent of Del Monte Pacific for $206.5 million.

"We're looking at various possibilities... We have to reassess what our approach will be on video, video businesses that are moving forward because technologies started developing that could actually negate the advantages of existing technologies that are placed on the cable TV program," Pangilinan said.

He cited IPTV, which is more versatile and less expensive.

IPTV is a system where a digital television service is delivered to subscribers using the Internet Protocol over a broadband connection.

IPTV is often provided in conjunction with video on demand service and may also include Internet services such as Web access and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). IPTV is expected to grow rapidly as broadband is now available to more than 100 million households worldwide.

The advantages of IPTV include two-way capability locked by traditional TV distribution technologies, which enable stream control (pause, wind/rewind) and a free selection of programming. Alena Mae S. Flores

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