The group of bilyonaryo Manny V. Pangilinan is adamant on retaining majority control in the planned alliance between his media outfit TV5 and ABS-CBN Broadcasting.
A Babbler said MVP’s camp would insist on majority control (over 50 percent) with TV5 as the lead entity.
“It’s still in the process but MVP retaining control is non-negotiable. The talks are now down to valuation,” said the Babbler who added that the TV5-ABS-CBN alliance was separate from the Cignal-Sky Cable talks.
Babbler said MVP was eager to take in ABS-CBN, which has been reduced to a mere content provider after losing its franchise two years ago, as a partner after burning billions of pesos (it lost as much as P2.5 billion in one year) since his Mediaquest bought out bilyonaryo Tonyboy Cojuangco from TV5 in 2010.
“MVP spent a huge pile of money trying to create the best content on TV but overpaying washed out celebrities, such as Sharon Cuneta and Aga Muhlach, was a terrible idea. With this opportunity to get ABS-CBN’s top talents and creators, this is his best chance for his bet to pay off,” Babbler said.
TV5 and ABS-CBN have already stepped up their collaboration in talents and production this month with ABS-CBN producing more shows for TV5 and some TV5 shows aired on ABS-CBN’s platforms.
But a key issue in the negotiations for a firmer alliance is whether ABS-CBN’s flagship news show, TV Patrol, would be aired on TV5.
Babbler said Luchi Cruz-Valdes, TV5 head of news and information, has vigorously opposed the transfer of TV Patrol.
Cruz-Valdes has asked management to retain TV5’s news show, Frontline Pilipinas, which has already beefed up its news crew over the last year with news talent from TV Patrol.
Babbler said TV5’s talks with ABS-CBN do not include other TV channels under Mediaquest such as OnePH which has its own news team and is under a separate management team. This means that suggestions that Frontline should be moved to OnePH was out of the question.
Babbler also pointed out that Malacanang has expressed no opposition to the merger as long as TV Patrol, which was the reason for former president Rodrigo Duterte’s all-out move to block any extension of ABS-CBN’s franchise, would not return on free TV.
Bilyonaryo.com reported that both MVP and ABS-CBN president Carlo Katigbak had talked separately with President Bongbong Marcos before ramping up alliance talks.