Philippine News

News: ABS-CBN and TV5 pause investment deal to address concerns by NTC and ‘certain legislators’

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Media giant ABS-CBN Corporation and television network TV5 Network, Inc. have decided to pause their landmark deal.

The deal, which was announced on August 11, was an agreement for the former to own a minority interest in TV5. ABS-CBN was set to acquire 6,459,393 primary common shares in TV5, which adds up to 35% of the network’s stock, amounting to PHP 2.16 billion.

On August 24, the two media giants announced that they will be delaying the closing of the agreement. In a statement released by ABS-CBN, the network cited concerns about the pending partnership raised by legislators and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).


“To address the issues which have been raised by certain legislators and the National Telecommunications Commission on the proposed investment by ABS-CBN for a minority interest in TV5, ABS-CBN and TV5 have agreed to a pause in their closing preparations,” ABS-CBN said in the statement.

Despite this delay, the statement reiterated that both networks stand by their belief that this agreement will have a positive effect on local media and further build upon an accessible source of entertainment and public service in the country.

“This pause will give the space for both media organizations to respond to the issues and accommodate any relevant changes to the terms,” the statement read. “Both ABS-CBN and TV5 believe that an agreement between the two media companies will have a favorable impact on Philippine media, and on free-to-air television – which remains the most affordable and extensive source of entertainment and public service to Filipinos.”

According to ABS-CBN, prior to the hearing on the networks’ agreement held by The House panels on Trade and Industry and Legislative Franchises, Albay Congressman Edcel Lagman expressed concern that the hearings may result in “derogation of press freedom and free speech.”

In a letter to Speaker Martin Romualdez, Lagman said, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with that arrangement. What is definitely errant is when authorities trample on the freedom of expression and of the press.”

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