In what feels like a superhero crossover event to end the machinations of an evil villain, TV5 and ABS-CBN signed a landmark partnership deal that effectively allows ABS-CBN to regain their former reach on free television. ABS-CBN was denied a franchise two years ago by PH Congress. “I used the presidential powers to tell Congress that you are dealing with scoundrels and if you continue to kowtow with them, kawawa ang Pilipino,” admitted former PH President Duterte (shudders) in 2022. The supposed violations were all previously cleared by relevant agencies and no cases related to the denial of the franchise have been filed.
ABS-CBN is the country’s most popular network with arguably the best programs and most influential celebrities. They also have the widest reach with their regional channels and have been an important source of news and information. This reach and influence have been significantly minimized during the time of Duterte, whose reign is now being investigated by the International Criminal Court, and the recent elections that ushered in the return of a deposed dictator’s son to the presidency.
Update: 10/22/2022 The landmark deal between the two networks was killed off following political pressure. Not a surprise in a country run by dictators and political scum old and new. The absence of the network with the broadest reach proves advantageous to rotten politicians, especially in keeping communities that are not as widely connected to the web, blind to corruption and widespread abuse of power.