ABS-CBN finds itself in a difficult position when it fails to renew its broadcasting franchise in the 16th Congress which ended on June 6, 2016.
According to Inquirer.net, “Philippines’ largest radio-TV network is now looking down a more difficult road to getting a new, 25-year congressional franchise from the 17th Congress, especially in the face of its spat with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.”
Duterte and his supporters are unhappy about ABS-CBN’s attacks against him during the campaign season.
Two bills were introduced in the 16th Congress for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise granted in March 1995: one by Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, filed in September 2014, and another by Baguio Rep. Nicasio M. Aliping Jr., filed in December of the same year.
The bills would renew ABS-CBN’s right to operate TV and radio broadcasting stations in the Philippines through microwave, satellite or whatever means, including the use of new technologies in television and radio systems.
The Inquirer contacted several ABS-CBN executives for comment, but the Lopez-owned broadcast network declined to comment for now.
ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise expires on March 30, 2020.
A member of the House legislative franchise committee, who declined to be named for lack of authority to speak for the panel, said ABS-CBN had sought the renewal six years before the expiration of its franchise because it didn’t want to risk having to go through the process under an unfriendly administration.
The committee chair, Marikina Rep. Marcelino Teodoro, did not reply to the Inquirer’s calls or text messages seeking comment.
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