ABS-CBN not giving up on historic headquarters yet, but . . .
MANILA, Philippines -ABS-CBN Corp. is in talks with several real estate firms, including sister company Rockwell Land, to redevelop its headquarters in Quezon City, its home for 55 years that was once seized by the government during the tumultuous martial law years.
In a disclosure on Monday, the Lopez-led media company said, however, that “no deal has been agreed upon at this time.”
ABS-CBN was reacting to an article by Bilyonaryo.com last week that said the property on Sgt. Esguerra Avenue and Mother Ignacia Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City was sold to sister company, Rockwell Land, and was set to be demolished.
“ABS-CBN has been in discussions with real estate developers, including Rockwell Land, even prior to the start of the pandemic for possible redevelopment plans for ABS-CBN’s property in Quezon City,” the company said.
The 44,000-square meter property saw its hallways and offices go nearly empty after the media giant’s franchise was not renewed by members of Congress in 2020 after it earned the ire of then President Rodrigo Duterte.
In the middle of the pandemic and without a franchise, the firm decided to lay off thousands of workers to be able to cut costs and pivot to digital channels.
ABS-CBN subsequently put up online streaming channel “Kapamilya Online Live” in August that same year. Alongside Kroma Entertainment and Globe Telecom’s 917Ventures, it introduced last year the country’s first real-time and multi-screen interactive channel Pinoy Interactive Entertainment in a bid to boost digital content creation.
ABS-CBN has likewise set up blocktime leasing deals with other media companies, A2Z and TV5, to air its content.
The media company was set to return to free TV space after it inked an investment agreement with TV5 but it was mutually terminated in September last year after lawmakers moved to block the deal.
Most recently, it entered into a “historic” coproduction agreement for a TV series with long-time rival GMA Network. The romantic-drama series will air on GMA and stream in 15 international territories via over-the-top video streaming service Viu this year.
Operating without a free TV franchise has taken a toll on its financial performance, incurring a net loss of P1.78 billion in January to September last year.
ABS-CBN said it was expecting to return to profitability as it grows its advertising revenues. INQ