‘I’m still waiting for ABS-CBN’: Boy Abunda denies he is set to switch networks

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2021 10:49 PM | Updated as of Sep 30 2021 05:01 PM

Veteran TV host Boy Abunda CEO Carlo Katigbak FILE/ABS-CBN.com
Veteran TV host Boy Abunda poses with ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak after renewing his contract with the network in April 2018. FILE/ABS-CBN.com

MANILA — Boy Abunda, dubbed Philippine showbiz’s “King of Talk,” denied on Wednesday that he is set to switch networks, saying that he is still waiting for the free-TV comeback of ABS-CBN.

Abunda, a Kapamilya for 22 years since 1999, said he is aware of speculation on social media surrounding his supposed impending transfer to GMA-7.

The veteran TV host confirmed that he has had early discussions about prospective work with the network, as well as with TV5.

“I have been in discussion with various parties, including people who are affiliated with 7. I’ve been offered by other channels. I’ve been asked by people affiliated with TV5. I’ve been negotiating with other independent producers to do talk shows,” he said.

“But I’m still waiting for ABS-CBN to have free TV.”

ABS-CBN was forced off free television in May 2020, when its application for the renewal of its franchise was left to expire in the House of Representatives. Its flagship platform, Channel 2, as well as its radio frequencies, were then shuttered for good in July 2020, when a congressional panel voted to deny the network’s franchise application.

Abunda had been hosting three ABS-CBN programs — “Tonight with Boy Abunda,” “The Bottomline with Boy Abunda” and “Inside the Cinema” — before the back-to-back crises of the coronavirus pandemic and the network’s franchise denial.

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“I will wait,” Abunda emphasized. “If, halimbawa, free TV ang ABS, we wouldn’t even be talking about this. Iyon lang naman ang inaantay ko. I miss television. I miss doing my talk shows on television.”

“So, kung walang-wala na talaga, eh ‘di mag-a-apply na ako sa iba. Pero sa ngayon, hindi totoo ‘yun,” he said.

As the Kapamilya network transitioned to digital, so too has Abunda, with the launch of his own YouTube channel which houses his current talk shows, and his Kumu program, “The Best Talk,” under ABS-CBN’s FYE Channel.

Abunda surmrised that the latest rumors stem from the just-announced transfer of long-time ABS-CBN host Kim Atienza, and the fact that Abunda, himself, was a former Kapuso.

“Hindi ko alam kung bakit pumuputok ngayon ‘yan,” he said. “Nahihiya tuloy ako sa Channel 7. Wala namang offer sa akin ang Channel 7.”

Abunda then reiterated that while he had initial talks with producers from other stations, those did not progress, as he was, and is, still counting on his home network’s free-TV comeback.

“Hindi totoo na lilipat ako ngayon, pero hindi ko ikinakatwa na merong mga pag-uusap in the past with people connected to various stations. Pero nothing happened, nothing came out of it, because it was too early in the game,” he said.

“Ang sinasabi ko, maghihintay ako hanggang magkaroon ng prangkisa ang ABS-CBN. Mahirap magsalita nang patapos, pero right now the answer is no.”