Nasentro ang usapan sa nababalitang merger ng GMA-7 at TV5 bago napag-usapan ang mga bagong palabas para sa second quarter lineup na dapat abangan mula sa Kapuso network kaninang tanghali, June 11.
Inaasahan na raw ni Atty. Felipe Gozon, Chairman at CEO ng GMA-7 network, na tatanungin siya sa paulit-ulit na balitang binibili raw ni TV5 Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan—o mas kilala bilang MVP—ang Kapuso station.
THE TRUTH? “There are really many companies that are interested in acquiring GMA-7,” umpisa ni Atty. Gozon.
“One of them is the company controlled by Pangilinan… MVP.
“If you will recall, in 2002 I think, if I’m not mistaken, we actually signed a Memorandum of Agreement selling GMA to MediaQuest."
Ang MediaQuest Holdings Inc. ay isang media conglomerate ng Beneficial Trust Fund ng Philippine Long Distance Company sa pamumuno pa rin ni MVP.
THE PRICE? Pinangunahan na ni Atty. Gozon ang maaring itanong kung magkano nila ito napagkasunduan noon.
Aniya, “I will not mention anymore the amount but it’s a fraction of what we think the company is now worth.
"For reasons beyond the control of Many Pangilinan, the transaction did not push through.
"So it’s attributable to their side and not to our side.
“And I understood the predicament so I didn’t create too much trouble or fuzz about that and allow them to back out of the signed Memorandum of Agreement.
“But Manny never lost interest in acquiring GMA,” pagpapatuloy pa niyang hindi doon nagtapos ang kanilang pag-uusap sa pagdaan ng panahon.
“And as I said, the price of GMA naman in the meantime kept on rising.
“From the ridiculous 500 billion [pesos] to which I jokingly responded that if it’s 100 billion, I will sign with my eyes closed. Et cetera, et cetera.
“But that was meant all to be a joke because I thought that 500 billion amount, which did not come from us, was a big joke."
Ayon pa rin kay Atty. Gozon, isa sa tingin niyang pinagsimulan ulit ng usapin ng merger ay ang nakaraang big launch ng TV5 sa Amerika.
“There was talk about this acquiring which have been going even before that.”
Mula raw kay kay MVP, ayon kay Atty. Gozon, “He told the group that to support also GMA-7… and I can understand that Dish [satellite broadcaster] is the competitor of DirectTV.
“Dish does not carry TFC [The Filipino Channel of ABS-CBN]. But it carries in a bundle TV5 and GMA-7.
“So maybe the context of his statement… to support also Channel 7 has something to do with Dish carrying TV5.
“I can see the point because Channel 7 is really more popular than TV5 even abroad.
"So maybe he wanted to ride on the coattails of GMA-7 in the U.S.
“That was a grand launch of TV5 in the U.S. And so he said they never mentioned anything about merger, or November or anything of sort.”
Ang tinutukoy ni Atty. Gozon ay ang buwan kung saan maugong na takdang panahon ng pagsasanib o merger diumano ng GMA-7 at TV5.
Ngunit diin niya, “There is no definitive agreement reached between us. I’m not closing the door."
MERGER IN NOVEMBER? "One of these days he might strike the right price,” nangingiti uling pahayag ng Kapuso chairman.
Nang tanungin naman si Atty. Gozon kung magkano na ngayon ang Kapuso network ay ito ang kanyang naging sagot:
“I don’t want to tell you because he might know and then it might be less than what he’s willing to offer."
Saan kaya nagmula ang nababalitang buwan ng Nobyembre mangyayari ang isang malaking pagbabago umano sa pagitan ng TV5 at GMA-7?
“Even Willie [Revillame] was already quoted to say, ‘We will announce something in November,' according to that report.
“But you already heard it through the horse’s mouth and the horse is Manny Pangilinan. And he said he never mentioned anything about November.
“Well, if you cannot believe Manny and you cannot believe me in this transaction, who else are you going to believe?" seryosong sagot ng Kapuso CEO.
Pagpapatuloy pa niya, “Well, it could be earlier than November. It could be later than November because there is no such thing as November.
“No such thing. That one I can say because if I didn’t know it nobody else would know.”
HOW THE MERGER RUMOR IS AFFECTING GMA-7? Ano ang epekto ng mga bali-balita sa Kapuso network?
“'Pag gusto nilang bilhin, it’s because we are extremely profitable.
"And if you read my report to our stockholders, I compared our performance in 2011 and with ABS, and it’s really a very big disparity, financially speaking, between us and ABS.
“And if I were not here, I would also like to acquire GMA.
“So the question is, why are we selling?
"Well, as I said, we are not selling. No it’s true. I’ve been very consistent that we are not selling
“However, sinabi ko naman being a realistic practical person that if we are offered a price that we think is right and we cannot refuse, e, sino ba naman ang hindi magbebenta kung kursunada mo yung price?
“Eto for example… for example lang, for the sake of argument.
"Kung yung kikitain mo in the next five years, ibibigay na sa ‘yo ngayon, ba’t mo tatanggihan ‘yon? Right?
"And I’m not getting any younger. Although I look young, I’m not getting any younger!” natawa niyang biro.
“But that’s the… anyone even with the younger person kung ibibigay mo sa kanya yung kikitain niya na hindi na siya maghihirap, e, tatanggapin siguro naman niya yun."
Sa gitna pa rin ng usapin ng merger, nakatulong umano ito sa GMA-7 sa halip na makasira.
Aniya, “Magbuhat nang lumutang ito, tumaas ang presyo ng share, e.
"E, di siguro ang tingin ng mga negosyante, e, tataas ang value ng GMA," sakali raw matuloy ang merger.
NOTHING FINAL! Pero ayon pa rin kay Atty. Gozon, lahat ng kanyang sinasabi ay hindi final at pawang speculative lamang.
“I’m just answering the big ‘if.' Kung saka-sakali, pero wala pang… There is no agreement yet.
“There is no agreement.
"I’m not saying that the discussion will result in agreement.
“As I’ve said, we have been discussing since… we didn’t push through with the 2002 agreement.
“Napakahirap talaga i-describe yung situation, e. But that’s the best I can describe it for you.
"Maski ako, hindi ko alam kung saan pupunta ito, e."
WHAT HAPPENS TO GMA-7 EMPLOYEES? Sakaling matuloy ang merger, ano sa tingin niya ang mangyayari sa mga kasalukuyang mga empleyado ang mga opisyal ng GMA-7?
“If I were the manager of TV5, I will not only think twice before replacing the people here.
"Mahirap nang tanggalin yung mahuhusay na, e, di ba?
“Kaya nga sabi ko sa kanila [GMA employees], ang kanta n’yo. 'New York [New York]. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,'" pagtukoy niya sa linya ng kantang angkop umano sa husay mga tauhan ng GMA-7.
GEARED TOWARDS TV MONOPOLY? Sakaling matuloy ang merger, nalalayon ba nitong kunin ang monopolya sa telebisyon?
“Channel 2 is still a strong competitor. Malakas pa rin silang competitor.
"Ngayon, kung wala na [sila], monopoly will come in.
"But Channel 2 will be a good second unlike Channel 7 before, very poor second, pero may competition no’n, right?"