ABS-CBN boss says no formal offer to buy network

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2020 01:48 PM | Updated as of Feb 24 2020 03:21 PM

MANILA -- ABS-CBN Corp. President and CEO Carlo Katigbak said on Monday he has not received any formal offer to buy the network, with its current franchise expiring in March. 

Should the Philippines' largest media and entertainment company fail to secure a new 25-year license to operate, Katigbak told senators ABS-CBN would "try to find alternative ways" to serve its audience.

"We have not received any formal proposal or formal offer to acquire ABS-CBN," Katigbak replied to a question from Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

Asked what would happen if Congress refuses to grant ABS-CBN a new franchise, Katigbak said: "Ang layunin ng ABS-CBN ay magbigay ng serbisyo sa lahat ng Pilipino at kung hindi namin magawa using our broadcast facilities, we will try to find alternative ways to continue providing the service."

(The goal of ABS-CBN is to serve all Filipinos and if we can't do that using our broadcast facilities, we will try to find alternative ways to continue providing the service.)

Katigbak led ABS-CBN executives at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Service on its compliance with its current franchise.

The House of Representatives, where franchise bills must originate from before they can be tackled in the Senate for approval, has not acted on several measures seeking a new license for ABS-CBN.

The Solicitor General also questioned ABS-CBN's franchise before the Supreme Court, accusing the network of violations. The network answered the quo warranto petition before the high court in writing on Monday.

Late last year, President Rodrigo Duterte, who had repeatedly criticized ABS-CBN, said its owners should just sell it.