Shares of ABS-CBN Corp. are sizzling amid rumors that the Lopez network will be back on free TV, four months after it went off the air with the expiration of its franchise in May.
A Babbler said the Lopezes have finalized a block time deal with ZOE TV owner, Jesus is Lord founder Brother Eddie Villanueva.
The block time deal will reportedly cover noon and the primetime block.
The Babbler said ZOE TV would be a mirror site of its KapamilyaNetwork channel currently airing on the Lopez-owned Sky Cable and digital channels with shows like “TV Patrol”, “Ang Probinsyano” , “It’s Showtime”, and “ASAP.”
Shares of ABS-CBN have nearly doubled to P12.02 in two days after closing at P7.02 Friday (October 2). Investors dumped ABS-CBN after Congress rejected its bid to renew its franchise.
The ABS-CBN blocktime deal with ZOE, which was first reported by BILYONARYO as early as July this year, got a big boost after Villanueva met with President Rodrigo Duterte in a prayer meeting in Malacanang. Villanueva apparently does not want to rub Duterte the wrong way after the President had vocally sought to shut down the former media giant.
A Babbler from the network said the operative word in the ZOE blocktime deal was to keep everything “low key” to avoid getting negative vibes from Malacanang and the DDS (Duterte diehard supporters).
This is the reason why ABS-CBN replaced broadcast journalist Karen Davila, who makes controversial tweets, with the more conservative Henry Omaga Diaz in the TV Patrol news trio.
The source said ABS-CBN has lost billions in advertising revenues in the last four months (it charges P3 million per minute on prime time) and it does not want to rock the boat after finally getting back on free TV.