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No free TV broadcast in ABS-CBN joint venture, says Prime Media

Media giant ABS-CBN Corp. will create news and information content to be distributed to third-party platforms in its joint venture with Romualdez-owned Prime Media Holdings Inc.

In a regulatory filing, Prime Media president Manolito Manalo said the joint venture (JV) signed with ABS-CBN would focus mainly on content creation to be sold to cable TV, radio stations and other outlets, including Prime Media’s Philippine Collective Media Co. (PCMC).

“The objective of the JV is to provide accurate and balanced news and information to the country and public service,” Manalo said.

“Also, the content produced by the JV will be distributed to radio, cable TV and other platforms, including stations under Philippine Collective Media Co. The business model is similar to various local studios and production companies, but the content we will produce are not for free TV broadcast,” he said.

Manalo also clarified that PCMC would only act as one of the distribution channels for content to be made by the JV. He said ABS-CBN and Prime Media would only transact through the JV, maintaining independence in operating their respective firms.

“PCMC is just one of its distribution channels. It is an independent organization. ABS-CBN will not be involved in Prime Media nor in PCMC’s operations; the parties will create a joint venture company,” Manalo said.

For Prime Media, the JV with ABS-CBN provides it with an additional revenue source to enhance the value of stocks subscribed by its shareholders.

Last week, ABS-CBN announced it would shut TeleRadyo by June 30, as it could no longer sustain the radio unit due to its loss-making operations.

At the same time, ABS-CBN signed a deal with Prime Media for the creation of a JV that would produce and distribute content to third-party platforms. The JV will be put up with an initial capital stock of P100 million consisting of 100 million common shares with a par value of P1.

The JV will be created with an initial paid-up capital of P40 million. Prime Media will invest 51 percent of that amount, allowing it to control the board of directors.

Prime Media acts as a subsidiary of RYM Business Management Corp., a holding firm owned by House Speaker Martin Romualdez.

Romualdez belongs to the list of 70 lawmakers who voted in favor of a congressional resolution rejecting ABS-CBN’s bid for a fresh franchise in 2020, leading to its exit on free TV. Philstar

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