TV5-ABS-CBN partnership an ‘antidote’ to monopoly

The unprecedented partnership between TV5 and ABS-CBN has hit a snag.

The deal, which involves ABS-CBN as an investor and its programs given access to air on TV5, has caught the attention of lawmakers, especially those who led the move to reject
ABS-CBN’s broadcasting franchise.

In a joint statement, the two networks said they have decided to “pause to address the issues which have been raised by certain legislators and the National Telecommunications Commission. This pause will give the space for both media organizations to respond to the issues, and accommodate any relevant changes to the terms.”

NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba commented ABS-CBN must “clear violations and obligations” before proceeding with its investment in TV5.

Photograph courtesy of fb/it’s showtime
It’s Showtime, a noontime show originally from ABS-CBN, debuted under TV5 network last July.


Photograph courtesy of fb/tropang lol
Tropang Lol, a noontime variety show televised under TV5, Kapamilya Channel and A2Z.

But other government officials see the positive side of the partnership.

Sen. Raffy Tulfo, a program host on TV5 prior to winning in the 2022 elections, called the deal a “dream team.” He pointed out the viewing public will benefit from the combined content that
ABS-CBN and TV5 can offer.

ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro said it will give a much-needed boost to the broadcast industry, which needs competition to give the public more options on programs and services.

It’s ironic that some critics say the deal will lead to a monopoly, when it is actually an “antidote” to a monopoly, as the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster sa Pilipinas said.

The Philippine Competition Commission said it does not need to review the deal. PCC OIC Johannes Bernabe said, “With the investment agreement between
ABS-CBN and TV5, the latter will be strengthened to compete more effectively with GMA 7.”

“There is competition, but there is a dominant incumbent. One might say you need stronger, viable competitors to say there is strong competition in the market.”

In an interview on TeleRadyo’s SRO program, UP professor Danilo Arao said he sees no irregularity in the deal since ABS-CBN will function as a content creator and TV5 as the broadcast platform.
Thus, he said ABS-CBN is not out to take over the network.

Rep Edcel Lagman had encouraging words: “Be brave and steadfast in closing their business agreement which is aboveboard and violates no law or regulation.”

Under the partnership, ABS-CBN will acquire 6.46 million primary common shares, equivalent to 34.99 percent of capital and voting stock, in TV5.

The transaction is valued at P2.16 billion.

TV5 will use proceeds from the deal, totaling P4 billion, along with P1.84 billion convertible notes, to fund its capital and operating expenditures.

ABS-CBN could air some of its programs on TV5.

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