NBA Finals coverage still hangs | Inquirer Sports

NBA Finals coverage still hangs

Solar scores victory with RTC garnishment order vs ABS-CBN, TV giant granted reprieve
/ 12:15 AM May 31, 2017

AP FILE  PHOTO

There’s still no telling when NBA fans of a major cable provider will finally get their basketball fix—and the frustration is expected to mount with the defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers and the favored Golden State Warriors kicking off their Finals trilogy on Friday (Thursday in Oakland, California).

Reason: The court tussle between media giant ABS-CBN and Solar Entertainment is still going on.

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Solar’s Wilson Tieng got the upper hand in that legal skirmish after the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court issued an order on May 16 to garnish the bank accounts and other assets of ABS-CBN and its cable affiliate, Sky Cable, for airing the BTV and NBA Premium TV channels of Solar without paying the carriage fees for approximately three years.

The court also required Solar, the local distributor of NBA games and programs for 16 years, to post a bond for P659 million. This is the amount Solar, in a statement Tuesday, said it is trying to collect from ABS-CBN.

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ABS-CBN, in a short statement, said it filed a motion to lift the attachment and garnishment on May 29, 2017, which the court granted on the same day.

“Thus, at this time, there is no effective attachment or garnishment over any asset of ABS-CBN or Sky Cable,” ABS-CBN said.

Meanwhile, Solar recounted the events that led to the filing of a legal suit, broad parts of which were contested by ABS-CBN.

Solar said that Sky Cable continued to “air and make money on the NBA shows using Solar’s own channels, BTV and NBA Premium, although its carriage contract ended in 2014.”

It added that it continued to feed its two channels and to bill Sky Cable, believing there was an “implied renewal”, an industry practice to prevent a sudden blackout of TV channels and a service disruption to subscribers.

In April 2017, Solar said it stopped its NBA feed to Sky Cable “after several unheeded demand letters and realizing that Sky Cable was intent on not paying.”

“Now only paying cable stations like Cignal, GSAT, and Dream, among others, can carry Solar’s channels,” Solar said.

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ABS-CBN’s statement showed that the Lopez family-led media giant and Solar jointly entered into a license agreement with NBA Properties Inc. in 2014.

“Since ABS-CBN was paying 60 percent of the license fees, it considered that the same already covered the carriage fees of Sky Cable,” ABS-CBN said.

“Unfortunately, Solar disagreed. Despite the good faith attempts of ABS-CBN and Sky Cable to resolve the dispute amicably, Solar cut off the NBA feed to Sky Cable and filed this complaint,” ABS-CBN added.

Solar alleged that the respondents did not want to pay “because they wanted Solar to lose its license by default from NBA Properties, Inc. of the US so that ABS-CBN and Sky Cable could take over.”

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Basketball, NBA Finals coverage, Solar Entertainment
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