ABS-CBN hopes to one day 'take back' talents it lost to foiled franchise bid: CEO

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2021 11:51 AM | Updated as of Jul 29 2021 04:09 PM

ABS-CBN hopes to one day 'take back' talents it lost to foiled franchise bid: CEO 1
Kapamilya star Gary Valenciano signs the freedom wall in front of the ABS-CBN broadcasting center on Sgt. Esguerra Street in Quezon City on July 5, 2020. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- ABS-CBN remains open to rehiring artists and other talents who sought opportunities elsewhere after the network failed to secure another franchise, its president and CEO said Thursday.

In July 2020, the House of Representatives voted to deny the network's bid for a fresh 25-year franchise despite the testimonials of major government agencies that it has no liabilities and that it did not violate any laws. [DENY https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/10/20/house-committee-denies-abs-cbn-a-new-franchise]

The network had to implement a retrenchment program in August which almost cut its entire workforce in half. Celebrities were also given the freedom to seek other opportunities.

"Our goal is to make ABS-CBN the home of best creative, performing, production and journalistic talent. Unfortunately, we were not able to retain all the great talent that we used to work with because of the loss of our franchise," ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak said in a virtual briefing.

"We understand that those we have not been able to give work to have had to look for livelihood elsewhere. But we still keep the hope that we will be able to one day take back the people we were forced to let go of, but still want to work with ABS-CBN," Katigbak said.

Meanwhile, Katigbak said the network is not playing favorites when it comes to celebrities and is "committed" to everyone who chose to stay with the network despite the difficulties.

"For us, it is never going to be a choice between established names and upcoming stars. We are committed to each and every individual that has chosen to stay with the company, especially in these difficult times," he said. 

"Our big stars have made major sacrifices to stay with the network even if the reach of our viewership is not what it used to be. We’re working very hard to make sure that they are given opportunities," he said when asked for future plans for big stars such as Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. 

BRINGING TALENTS TO THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE

Katigbak said Filipino talents deserve the praise of a global audience. ABS-CBN has earlier co-produced the series "Almost Paradise," which aired in the US. 

Before COVID-19, international revenue excluding TFC subscriptions was at $20 million annually. Although it has gone down recently, Katigbak said "the global market is a huge opportunity for ABS-CBN."

Despite a "bleak" revenue performance in 2020, ABS-CBN remains committed to public service and to its purpose of producing content for the Filipino people, Katigbak said.

Its programs are now available in various platforms such as on YouTube, the Kapamilya Channel, in digital app and websites, iWant TFC, A2Z and in partnership with other free TV providers. 

News.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.

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