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Business

MVP says MediaQuest still to decide on IBC-13, RPN-9 acquisition

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MANILA, Philippines - Mediaquest, the wholly owned media subsidiary of the PLDT Group, has yet to decide whether acquiring sequestered television companies IBC-13 and/or RPN-9 will make sense for the group.

PLDT Group chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, in a text message to The STAR, said “it is hard to say at this time” whether or not Mediaquest will make a pitch for either or both IBC-13 and RPN-9 once government decides to finally privatize them.

Mediaquest owns TV5 and has recently entered into a six-hour blocktime agreement good for one year with IBC-13 for the broadcast of mainly sports programs.

Solar Entertainment used to be a blocktimer of RPN-9 and was controlling almost all time slots except news and, according to sources, while the blocktime agreement was no longer renewed, cash advances made by Solar to RPN-9 have been converted into equity in the latter.

Pangilinan said the question at this point is whether owning TV5 and the arrangement with IBC-13 are already enough. “We are still debating about it,” he added.

Pangilinan said that the debate centers mainly on whether or not the group still needs another free-to-air channel.

Mediaquest owns TV5, a free-to-air channel in addition to Channel 41, now TV5’s news channel.

Pangilinan explained that with the impending shift from analog to digital television transmission scheduled beginning 2015, frequencies can be split to accommodate more channels. “The question is, do we still need that kind of bandwidth from the government channel?” he said.

Pangilinan added that the decision to acquire will also depend on how much government will sell its stake.

Earlier reports said that IBC-13’s physical assets and franchise were valued at P1.2 billion while RPN-9’s franchise is worth P800 million.

CHANNEL

GROUP

IBC

MANUEL V

MEDIAQUEST

PANGILINAN

RPN

SOLAR ENTERTAINMENT

TV5

WHETHER

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