Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has decided to drop his bill seeking for a provisional franchise for ABS-CBN 2. Instead of a provisional bill, Cayetano said it’s better to continue Congressional hearings for the grant of a 25-year franchise bill. Everything said and done, Cayetano says they might finish everything by July.
That’s two months from now. Everyday, ABS-CBN reportedly loses 35 million php. Calculating their losses by the time they do get that franchise, they will probably lose at least 2 billion php. That’s just a tad from the 30 plus billion php income they gained last year. Yet, it is still a considerable amount.
ABS-CBN 2 stocks are not performing well in the local bourse. Share prices right now are hovering between 15-16 pesos. Unknown to many, ABS-CBN 2 is not actually losing money. They have other streams of income, including Iwant streaming services, TVPlus boxes and SkyCable. That accounts to about 46% share in overall company revenues.
Nonetheless, two plus billion pesos is still a considerable amount of money to lose just because of a franchise bill that came late, that became a political issue. ABS-CBN management has refused to engage the Duterte administration head-long. It decided to just lick its wounds.
What the company’s management refuses to recognize is that forces bigger and larger than Duterte are surely at work here. This is the first time that the Lopezes gave the knee. If you’re salivating the family’s remaining jewel, you’ll strike harder now than before. You’ll go for the kill, so to speak.
Marcos nearly pushed the family to the brink of bankruptcy which led to the death of the Lopez patriarch. Now, the new generation has elected to just sit this one out, confident that their futures would probably change in 2022–when the Duterte administration finishes its term.
That’s crazy. They’re not reading the situation right.
One year and a half is sufficient to push every billionaire to bankruptcy. What those vultures are waiting is for ABS-CBN to bleed to death. I don’t know how long the financial thread of the Lopezes is, and they might have a formidable war chest to sit this one out. They would probably sacrifice 11,000 lives just to survive this debacle. And I’m probably right given that the CEO himself, Carlo Katigbak, said so–they are ready to begin re-trenching by August. That’s the thing. This kind of statement should not have been issued in the first place because it looks like ABS-CBN wants to held the government hostage. “Give us want we want, otherwise, we start cutting jobs and destroying lives.” This is the kind of statement that alienates and loses allies.
Let’s admit it— many people hate ABS-CBN 2’s guts. They think that ABS-CBN has muscled its way to the top, which is partially true. ABS-CBN got to the top of the heap because it innovated its way there. They did not cut corners and got to where they are right now because they know the business.
Of course, the Lopezes are being accused in dabbling their fingers on the political cookie jar but who does not? Whether one likes it or not, billionaires are forced to play politics in this country because government is full of greedy men who want nothing more than a share in your success pie. You really can’t do honest business here because many will try to either drag you down or protect you for a fee.
What these forces want for ABS-CBN is rather obvious– for it to bleed to death. The longer it takes for Congress to pass this franchise bill, the worse ABS-CBN becomes financially–unless of those, as I said in earlier statements, they have as formidable war-chest.
The question really is— who are those who want the Lopezes to lose control of their remaining family gem? You will know sooner or later.