By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

ABS-CBN Corp. and TV5 Network, Inc. have signed a content supply agreement that will run for the next five years, longer than the networks’ previous three-month and six-month long contracts.

“We are very happy to sign this new agreement for the next five years. I think it is a partnership which we have been very happy with and I think there are a lot of opportunities that we can get out of it,” said Martin L. Lopez, chairman of ABS-CBN.

“We are very happy and proud to be partners with TV5. For us, it is really a way to really solidify what we have and what we want to do,” he added, referring to both organizations.

When asked about the network’s decision to extend the contract, TV5 President and Chief Executive Officer Guido Xavier R. Zaballero said: “Previously, our contract was something that we needed to renew every three or six months, and I think our relationship has evolved in a way that we really believe that we need to make a commitment to each other.”

“Like [what] we have always said, we value the partnership that we have with ABS-CBN and we really do intend to strengthen it. And like they say, stronger together, and it is our firm belief that by solidifying it with a five-year partnership, we can also grow together,” he added.

Under the contract, ABS-CBN will create content for TV5’s primetime blocks between 8:00 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. from Monday to Sunday, which is also intended to support ABS-CBN hits like Batang Quiapo.

“The agreement has specific time blocks that we are partnering for. I think the most notable will be primetime — that’s four shows of ABS-CBN that are shown on TV5,” said Mr. Zaballero.

“Then we also have Saturday and Sunday primetime reality shows and then we also cover noontime Sundays, which is ASAP,” he added, referring to ABS-CBN’s variety show.

Mr. Lopez said the media company has plenty of programs in store for the audience.

“We will make sure that we create the right content for everyone,” he said.

The two networks are also working on co-producing soap operas for the afternoon time slot.

“Over and above this five-year contract, we have separate co-production deals with ABS-CBN that will help us then populate our afternoon blocks,” said Mr. Zaballero.

To roll out these co-production deals are the showing of “Pira-pirasong Paraiso” and “Nag-aapoy na Damdamin” on July 25 from 3:00 p.m. on TV5.

When asked about the importance of the co-production deals, Mr. Zaballero said: “For now, the expertise in production and casting is in ABS-CBN.”

He said for the two soap operators, his group sat down with the ABS-CBN team, which presented the concepts. The TV5 group then came in as partners “even financially.”

“I hope that [the partnership] can get even better. As long as the viewers like what they see. When it comes to the quality of creative work and production work, ABS-CBN is really one of the best in the country. They have really maintained the standard,” Mr. Zaballero said.

Last year, the two networks announced their intention to enter a partnership that involved ABS-CBN acquiring a minority interest in TV5.

However, the proposed partnership, which would have resulted in a reduction of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc.’s equity in TV5 to 64.79%, was halted after legislators and regulating bodies questioned the deal. MediaQuest Holdings operates TV5.

ABS-CBN was forced to stop broadcasting in May 2020 when its franchise renewal was denied by legislators during the administration of former Philippine president Rodrigo R. Duterte.

At the stock market on Tuesday, ABS-CBN shares closed three centavos higher to P6.26 apiece.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.