Several Babblers are telling us the Lopezes are close to inking a deal with Brother Eddie Villanueva’s Channel 11 (Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc.) which will enable ABS-CBN to sign on again after it was shut down last May 5.
The Lopezes reportedly burned the candle on both ends to step up its negotiations with the Jesus Is Lord founder even before the House members voted 70-11 to reject its franchise bid.
The talks stepped up after ABS-CBN’s parallel talks with bilyonaryo Manny V. Pangilinan for a block time on his TV-5 did not get off the ground.
A Babbler said Pangilinan was wary of getting the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has publicly advised the Lopezes to sell their station because it would not get a franchise renewal under his watch, so soon after mending fences over the Maynilad Water Services controversy.
Villanueva apparently believes he can do a deal with the Lopezes without infuriating his close ally, Duterte. As a religious station, ABS-CBN has no choice but to tone down its news coverage and entertainment shows.
ABS-CBN is eyeing either a block time or a much longer channel lease agreement (up to 18 hours) to air its news and entertainment shows on Channel 11 (currently airing Light TV 33) which used to have a channel lease agreement wity GMA Broadcasting from 2005 to 2019.
GMA revived its UHF station Citynet 27 last year to continue broadcasting its GMA News TV channel.
ABS-CBN is desperate to go back on free TV to recoup the massive advertising revenues that it lost after the National Telecommunications Commission cut its outlets to cable TV and online.