Sky Cable buys Solid’s Destiny CableBy Doris C. Dumlao, Paolo Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Lopez-led Sky Cable Corp. has struck a deal to acquire Solid Group’s Destiny Cable television and related broadband Internet and pay TV businesses for P3.5 billion, thus solidifying its position as the leader in the cable TV industry.
Sky Cable signed late Friday a deal to buy the assets of Destiny Cable Inc., Solid Broadband Corp. and Uni-Cable TV Inc.
Solid Broadband owns the cable infrastructure that is used by pay TV provider Destiny Cable, while Uni-Cable is a niche cable TV provider in Cebu with estimated subscribers of between 3,000 and 5,000.
The consolidation of Solid Group’s cable units with Sky Cable is seen giving the Lopez company a combined 45 percent share of the pay TV business serving about 650,000 households nationwide, said Sky Cable chief operating officer Rodrigo Montinola in a phone interview last Saturday.
“We are happy with the opportunity to extend the unique advantages of the digital cable TV and cable broadband Internet platforms to Destiny and MyDestiny subscribers. As we plan these out, we will take extra care not to disrupt the existing services of the current subscribers—they will continue to pay same monthly fees for their subscribed plans, at the same payment centers, and can continue to reach customer service at the same numbers,” Montinola said.
Montinola also said that all contracts with content providers would be
Destiny Cable president David Lim, meanwhile, said the sale of cable TV assets would allow the company to focus on other businesses. Solid Group markets and distributes Filipino mobile brand MyPhone.
“Our tie-up with Sky Cable came at an opportune time as it allows us to focus on our core businesses,” he said.
He said the Destiny cable brand would do better in the hands of Sky Cable, which is a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corp.
“The pay TV and broadband markets require continuous, significant investments, if we are to keep up with our major competitors, particularly the direct-to-home satellite and telecom companies,” Lim said.
“We realized that this will entail resources, for digitizing our cable network and expanding our broadband services, which we do not have. We believe our agreement with Sky Cable will allow subscribers to enjoy the benefits of the latest technologies,” Lim said.
Sky Cable, the country’s cable TV industry leader, has about half a million subscribers in the Philippines, mostly located within Metro Manila.
On the funding for Sky Cable’s acquisition of Destiny, Montinola said it would be covered by a combination of equity and loans.
Broadcasting giant ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. has a 60 percent interest in Sky Cable while the remaining 40 percent is held by STT Communications of Singapore, which has investments in the form of depositary receipts.
Founded in 1990, Sky Cable is the dominant player in the cable TV business, but pay TV faces stiff competition from direct-to-home or satellite TV providers like Cignal and Dream TV.
In 2010, Sky Cable also launched the Sky Broadband Ultra High Speed, an Internet connection subscription that offers speeds of up to 112 mbps.
It also launched a TV on Demand service “iWantv” in 2010, which allows subscribers to catch up on missed episodes of favorite ABS-CBN shows on their desktops or laptops.
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=59177