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Mani na lang milyon! ABS-CBN asked to shell out P1B for franchise renewal

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ABS-CBN might need to spend billions to get a new, 25-year franchise from Congress before the Duterte administration ends.

There’s talk within the halls of Congress that the “asking price” for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal has breached the P1-billion mark. Politiko’s sources said certain powerful lawmakers are demanding money to act on the network’s franchise renewal bid.

The amount ABS-CBN is reportedly being asked to shell out is four times higher than the “asking price” under the Aquino administration, when P250 million would’ve been enough to process the network’s franchise application.

ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bid started in 2014, with bills filed by then-Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao and then-Baguio Rep. Nicasio M. Aliping Jr. The Aquino administration, however, ended without ABS-CBN getting a new franchise.

There are currently 11 bills filed in the House of Representatives seeking to extend the network’s franchise, which will expire on March 30.

With the 2022 elections in the horizon, Politiko’s sources said it’s possible that ABS-CBN may be asked to shell out more than a billion to get its franchise renewed. And since the network will be operating on a provisional authority once its franchise expires next month, Kapamilya bosses may have no choice but to bite the bullet and write a check.

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