Kapatid to give Kapamilya helping hand?
Rumors are rife that TV 5, the media venture bilyonaryo Manny V. Pangilinan, could be the landing spot of the Lopez family’s ABS-CBN with the looming expiration of its franchise in March 2020.
TV 5 is currently in broadcasting limbo after its ESPN sports experiment engineered by former boss Chot Reyes failed miserably.
A source close to ABS-CBN said the Lopezes were either looking at TV 5 as a three-year rental or a buy-out of MediaQuest Holdings, an investee company of the Salim-controlled PLDT. The latter provides a good exit plan for Pangilinan who has poured in billions into TV 5 since buying out Tonyboy Cojuangco in 2009.
The switch to TV 5 is one of the options being explored by the Lopezes if Congress does not approve its franchise renewal before March 2020. President Rodrigo Duterte had publicly declared that he would make sure ABS-CBN would be “out” after its franchise has expired.
Another option is leasing out channels of ZOE Broadcasting Network Inc. owned by Jesus Is Lord founder Bro. Eddie Villanueva. If they can’t get a franchise renewal under President Rodrigo Duterte, the Lopezes are hopeful they could get a new franchise under a friendlier administration by 2022.
The Lopezes’ last option is to go all digital but this would mean lopping a big chunk of its workforce. ABS-CBN reported having 6,730 regular employees, 900 non-regular workers and more than 3,325 talents in 2019.
Former TV5 anchor Martin Andanar said ABS-CBN could opt to distribute its contents to other channels. “We are forgetting that ABS-CBN is not in the business of TV alone. They are in the business of content production…I’m sure ABS-CBN can find a way how to distribute their content if they lose their franchise,” the Presidential Communications Secretary said.