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Personalities, netizens react to political pressure that caused the ABS-CBN-TV5 deal to fail

It also would’ve had ABS-CBN acquire 34.99 percent in TV5 and the subscription by the Lopez-owned firm to a “convertible note” to be issued by TV5.

ABS-CBN and TV5 will have called off their investment deal after the House of Representatives threatened to probe the agreement.

Cable companies Sky Cable and Cignal have also canceled their deal.

“In disclosures to both the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Securities Exchange Commission today, Sky Vision Corporation (‘Sky Vision’), ABS-CBN Corporation, Lopez Inc., and Cignal Cable Corporation (‘Cignal Cable’) announced that they have mutually agreed to terminate the sale and purchase agreement dated August 10, 2022,” ABS-CBN said in a statement on September 1.

Had the deal come through, Cignal would’ve acquired a 38.88-percent equity interest in Sky Cable and the subscription by Cignal Cable to an “exchangeable debt instrument to be issued by Sky Vision and the proposed acquisition by Cignal Cable of a convertible note issued by Sky Cable.”

It also would’ve had ABS-CBN acquire 34.99 percent in TV5 and the subscription by the Lopez-owned firm to a “convertible note” to be issued by TV5.

TV5 agreed to air various Kapamilya programs after ABS-CBN failed to secure a franchise renewal two years ago.

The two networks “mutually agreed to terminate” the deal shortly after Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta began spouting threats of investigating it.

Failed senatorial candidate Atty. Larry Gadon, another critic of the merger, said TV5 realized that the agreement could jeopardize the company’s future.

“What cannot be done directly, cannot be done indirectly,” Gadon told The Manila Times.

“The TV5-ABS-CBN deal on the sale of 35 percent stockholdings may cause the revocation of the franchise of TV5 or may cause the denial of its application for a renewal once its franchise expires,” he said.

Gadon added that because the ABS-CBN is tainted with foreign funds, “the whole equity of TV5 will also become tainted with foreign funds.”

Loyal kapamilyas were disheartened upong hearing the news.

It appears Marcoleta beat ABS-CBN once more.

Media expert and UP professor Danilo Arao told TeleRadyo’s SRO that there are no irregularities in the landmark deal between ABS-CBN and TV5.

From a media ethics and media studies standpoint, walang mali, walang irregular. Una, sa usapin ng prangkisa, hindi naman tine-takeover ng ABS-CBN ‘yung mismong TV5. Kumbaga parang ‘yung arrangement would only constitute about less than 35% so wala pa rin sa kalahati. Wala pa ring controlling interest,” he explained.

During the hearings on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, several government agencies also concluded that ABS-CBN violated no laws and paid all its taxes. But it wasn’t enough to merit a new franchise, and the Network eventually had to shut down.

“…tapos bilang content creators, ‘yung ABS-CBN parang ‘yung kailangan lang niya ay mag-create ng content at ‘yung TV5 gagamitin na plataporma. There is nothing that restricts anybody – may prangkisa ka man o wala – na makipag-agreement ka sa mga may prangkisa para ma-broadcast ‘yung content mo,” Arao added.

Sen. Raffy Tulfo, Rep. Gus Tambunting, lawmakers Edcel Lagman of Albay, and France Castro of ACT Teachers Partylist were among the few who saw the deal as beneficial to the public.

“There is no sale, lease, transfer, or grant of the usufruct or assignment of TV5’s franchise to ABS-CBN. Moreover, there is no merger or transfer of controlling interest in TV5,” Rep. Lagman said in the House of Representatives hearing.

Written by Charles Teves

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