television industry

Netizens react to ABS-CBN and PLDT’s about-face on Sky: ‘Parang engagement lang ni Dom at Bea’

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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Netizens react to ABS-CBN and PLDT’s about-face on Sky: ‘Parang engagement lang ni Dom at Bea’

Rappler files

Reactions to the 'corporate drama' between ABS-CBN and PLDT on its Sky Cable deal prompted a netizen to liken it to the recent break-up of actress Bea Alonzo and Dominic Roque

MANILA, Philippines – Netizens had mixed reactions to the surprise change of heart of Lopez-led ABS-CBN Corporation (ABS-CBN) and Manny V. Pangilinan’s PLDT Corporation (PLDT) to their March 2023 deal on Sky Cable

“Following this development, Sky Cable has begun to notify its cable TV subscribers that their cable TV subscriptions can continue,” media conglomerate ABS-CBN said in a disclosure on February 22, Thursday. 

ABS-CBN then posted an advisory saying, “Hold It!… Don’t cut the cord just yet, Sky Kapamilyas! Sky Cable TV Service to continue.”

After news about the scrapping of the deal circulated, netizens weighed in on the surprise development. 

On X (formerly Twitter), realbugsycat said, “Oh, fucking fantastic! PLDT and ABS-CBN have decided not to go through with their Sky Cable transaction. Because, you know, we were all sitting on the edge of our seats, desperately awaiting the outcome of this corporate drama.”

Several netizens posted positive reactions, including the red, green, and blue heart sign symbolizing support for the Kapamilya company, which lost its broadcast franchise during the Duterte administration. 

They thanked Sky for deciding to continue with its cable service, as this means they will continue to watch their favorite Kapamilya shows. 

One netizen posted a comment that linked this “corporate drama” to recent breakups among celebrities.

Michael Ramos said on Sky’s Facebook page, “Ang sakit ng 2024, parang engagement lang ni Dom at Bea (2024 hurts, this is like the engagement of Dom and Bea).” 

He was referring to former Kapamilya actress Bea Alonzo who officially announced her breakup with Dominic Roque last February 11. The couple had been engaged and was expected to tie the knot.

Responding to Ramos, Sky said: “Hi Michael. We understand how you feel. Rest assured that such incidents is not a manifestation of the service that you can expect from us, hence, it will be considered a vital input to implement measures for improvement. Thank you.”

Bea Alonzo and Dominic Roque have broken up. Here’s a timeline of their relationship.

Bea Alonzo and Dominic Roque have broken up. Here’s a timeline of their relationship.

Aside from Alonzo and Roque, other recent celebrity breakups were between Kapamilya stars Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, actor Jericho Rosales and model Kim Jones, and Kim Chiu and Xian Lim.

Another commenter said the scrapped deal reminded him of a popular Original Pilipino Music (OPM) song.

Magpapatugtog ako ng kanta ni Regine Velasquez na ‘Urong-Sulong‘ (I’ll play Regine Velasquez’s song, Urong-Sulong),” said John Michael Bas on Sky’s Facebook. “Urong-sulong ka, bakit ka ganyan (Back and forth, why are you like that)?” 

Netizens react to ABS-CBN and PLDT’s about-face on Sky: ‘Parang engagement lang ni Dom at Bea’

Paano ito, pinutol ‘nyo na…ang gulo po. 13 years, ganon na lang, ang paghihiwalay natin (What happens now, the service has been cut, it’s confusing. 13 years, just like that, we’re now separated),” said Pinky Deona, an apparent Sky subscriber. 

On X, AltABS_Soundstage posted a hunch on why the breakup happened between the MVP and ABS-CBN. The latter earlier told the public that Kapamilya shows can still be seen on other cable providers like GSat.

A number of professed Sky Cable subscribers who had given up on Sky and subscribed to other cable service providers got mad over the about-face. 

“Ilang subscribers kaya nagswitch dahil sa urong-sulong ng Sky Cable at PLDT? (How many subsribers have already switched because of this about-face of Sky Cable and PLDT),” said @uuwi on X. 

Similar reactions were posted on Sky’s Facebook:

“Kaso late na nakapag-Converge na. Salamat sa apat na taon (It’s too late because I already subscribed to Converge. Thank you for the four years),” said EC KA Lang.

“Finish na….. Kayo pa nag-assist para makalipat sa ibang TV cable providers (It’s finished…. You ended up assisting our switch to another cable provider),” said John Nestor Altezo Buriel. 

Others, however, took the development lightly despite a professed shift to another provider.

“Cancel ko na Cignal. BACK TO Sky na ulit ako haha (I’ll cancel Cignal. Back to Sky again, haha),” said Seung Yoo. 

“Ok, no more hassle of transferring to another cable channel,” said Jasmin Callo Labay. 

Sky posted a standard response to many of the questions on what happens next. 

“We are currently waiting for the final update, and we will provide updates as soon as possible. Thank you,” Sky said. 

Netizen martinaColby said on X that she did not switch cable providers since this is already the age of streaming.

ABS-CBN and PLDT disclosed on February 22, Thursday, that it would no longer proceed with the sale of Sky Cable to PLDT. 

In a joint press release on Thursday, February 22, the two companies said they have “mutually decided not to proceed with the sale of Sky Cable to PLDT under the Sale and Purchase Agreement signed by and among the parties in March 2023.”

No reason was cited in their stock exchange disclosures. 

It’s not the first time that PLDT tried to buy Sky Cable. In 2020, Pangilinan sought to buy it, but later pulled out over risks of antitrust regulators flagging monopoly issues. PLDT has Cignal TV, which is also in the business of providing paid television.

In 2022, Cignal TV attempted to buy 38.9% of Sky Cable for P2.86 billion. This bid, however, was scrapped due to political pressure, alongside the landmark deal that was supposed to consolidate the media resources of ABS-CBN and Pangilinan’s TV5.

Sky Cable pioneered in cable services over 30 years ago. For a long time, it was the Philippines’ leading cable provider until PLDT’s cable business, Cignal TV Incorporated, overtook it in 2015.

The rise of the internet, however, allowed people to watch shows without having to pay for cable, leading to the decline of cable TV worldwide. – with Ralf Rivas/


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Isagani de Castro Jr.

Before he joined Rappler as senior desk editor, Isagani de Castro Jr. was longest-serving editor in chief of ABS-CBN News online. He had reported for the investigative magazine Newsbreak, Asahi Shimbun Manila, and Business Day. He has written chapters for books on politics, international relations, and civil society.