Philippine group ABS-CBN to remain in the dark as deal to acquire TV5 falls through

ABS-CBN, the first and oldest television broadcaster in Southeast Asia, has abandoned a deal to acquire a stake in Philippine operator TV5 Network.

TV5 had agreed a US$38.3 million deal to sell a 35% stake of its business to its local network. Legislators last week however expressed concerns that TV5 would be violating its franchise if it went ahead with the plan. 

ABS-CBN, which did not provide a reason for scrapping the deal, has been absent from the airwaves in the Philippines since 2020 when it lost its radio and TV. The broadcaster was one of several media outlets which faced legal and licensing challenges after criticising Rodrigo Duterte, the openly fascist former president of the Philippines.

The group saw the deal as a means of returning to homes in the country, having previously reached up to 55 million people in the Philippines as its biggest broadcaster.

In addition to scrapping the deal to purchase 35% of TV5, ABS-CBN’s Sky Cable Corp has also dropped a deal to acquire 38.88% of TV5’s cable unit. 

In a succinct statement, ABS-CBN said: “The parties confirmed that they have not implemented any of the transactions covered by the investment agreement.”

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