MANILA, Philippines – A few minutes after “breaking news” on the supposed confirmation of the long-rumored merger between media firms TV5 and GMA-7 was posted online, reactions flooded the social media space.
As soon as Philippine Star entertainment columnist Ricky Lo’s piece on a “scoop” was posted at the stroke of midnight, netizens immediately reacted on the supposed merger between the country’s 3rd and 2nd largest broadcast media firms.
The story did not provide any direct quote from TV5 chairman Manuel Pangilinan, from whom the confirmation was supposed to have come.
Citing an upcoming report by Star’s California correspondent Raymond de Asis Lo, the column referred to a “virtual confirmation” by Pangilinan during a June 2 press conference in San Francisco.
Earlier, Interaksyon.com, the online news arm of TV5, reported that Pangilinan is in San Francisco for the contract signing between TV5’s international marketing arm and Dish Network, a largest satellite broadcaseter in the US that will carry be carrying content of TV5 and Aksyon TV International across the US.
Dish Network, by the way, also beams shows of GMA-7, which has been a partner long before TV5 came along.
Actress Ruffa Gutierrez, who was among the TV5 celebrities at a grand launch of the game show, “Wil Time Bigtime,” had a different take on what Pangilinan supposedly said during the presscon.
She tweeted: “MVP says suportahan nyo ang TV5 sa America at Huwag nyo rin po Kalimutan ang GMA-7 (He asked for support for TV5. He added that the audience should also support GMA-7).”
Gutierrez tweeted this a few minutes after Lo’s “breaking news” created an online buzz already.
The Pangilinan group acquired TV5 in 2009 to complement existing utility firms, including giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT).
Pangilinan has been eyeing to acquire GMA-7 several times in the past decade, but finances, timing, pricing, as well as the 3 families controlling GMA-7 got in the way.
GMA-7, the trade name of GMA Network Inc, is controlled by the Duavit, Gozon and Jimenez families. Network chair Felipe Gozon and president Gilberto Duavit have separately confirmed in the past that valuation remains the sticky issue.
Pangilinan had said he has always been interested in GMA-7, but shrugged off talks that there are formal negotiations going on.
So far, the rumors have been beneficial to the GMA-7 camp. Despite its net income plummeting 39% in 2011, then another 27% drop in the first quarter 2012, the Pangilinan-buy-in talks have boosted the share price of GMA-7, which is a listed firm in the Philippine Stock Exchange.
With a higher share price, GMA-7 stockholders can command a higher deal price, in effect, making the transaction more expensive for Pangilinan’s group.
Read the reactions on social media below. – Rappler.com
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