A Babbler told us ABS-CBN was in talks with bilyonaryo Manny V. Pangilinan to rent a channel on the latter’s Cignal Cable, the country’s biggest cable television network with a 50 percent market share or 2.2 million subscribers.
Cignal TV is a subsidiary of MediaQuest Holdings, the media arm of the PLDT Group headed by Pangilinan.
ABS-CBN needs to have access to Cignal Cable’s millions of subscribers as it struggles to recover the eyeballs it lost when the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order on June 5, a day after its franchise expired.
With its franchise application plodding through Congress and a pending quo warranto case filed by the Office of Solicitor General with the Supreme Court, ABS-CBN has to make do with cable television to at least recover some of its audience share and stem the P35 million daily losses.
ABS-CBN’s flagship news program “TV Patrol”, noontime show “Showtime”, and top rating teleserye “Ang Probinsyano” are set to come back on air with the launch of Kapamilya Channel on June 13 through Sky, Cablelink, GSAT and most member-cable operators of the Philippine Cable Television Association (PCTA) nationwide.
The Babbler said talks between the Lopezes and Pangilinan were in the early stages and it remained to be seen whether it would extend to a blocktime on Pangilinan’s free channel, TV5.
Last DEcember, Pangilinan said he was open to having ABS-CBN as a block timer on his network. “We have lots of highways…Setting politics aside, if they want to enter into a block time deal, wala naman kaming masyadong entertainment content,” said Pangilinan.