SOLAR Entertainment Corporation insisted it was correct in obligating SKYCable to pay unpaid carriage fees amounting to P 659.458 million for the right to include Basketball TV and NBA Premium on its cable channel lineup.
Solar explained that a joint license agreement signed with ABS-CBN in 2014 never explicitly said that SKYCable will no longer pay carriage fees for the Solar-owned NBA channels.
Under the terms of their deal, ABS-CBN is only allowed to show a number of games on its own free channels, and that the carriage fees terms are separate from the license agreement, Solar insisted.
“As correctly explained by the court, the execution of the said joint license agreement with NBA did not relieve SKYcable of its obligation to pay carriage fees to Solar. The joint license agreement with NBA is separate and distinct from the carriage contract between Solar and Sky Cable,” Solar said in its statement.
“The joint license agreement with NBA does not grant ABS-CBN the right to broadcast, distribute, or permit its authorized cable and satellite operators, such as SKYcable, free of charge and without Solar's authorization, Solar's BTV and NBA Premium TV. These channels are OWNED by Solar.”
“Furthermore, there is also nothing in the joint license agreement that provides that the license fees paid to NBA include carriage fees for the carriage of Solar's channels. The license fee paid by ABS-CBN pursuant to the joint license agreement is for the right to telecast certain NBA games on its own channels, and not for the right to air, exhibit, or exploit SOLAR's channels,” the Solar network added.
A Mandaluyong court has issued an order to garnish and seize bank accounts and assets of ABS-CBN and SKYcable for its unpaid carriage fees. ABS-CBN and SkyCable, however, said the courts granted a motion to lift the garnishment to its assets on Monday.
Regardless, Solar said the 'favorable' court order guaranteed the company payment from ABS-CBN and SkyCable if it wins the case.
“The court has ruled in favor of Solar, thus the granted Writ of Attachment ordering to garnish the bank accounts and other assets of ABS-CBN and Sky Cable for PHP 659.458 million in unpaid carriage fees. With the counterbond posted by ABS-CBN and Sky Cable, Solar now has a guaranteed payment/security in the event that it wins in this case. At least, the favorable judgment may be executed and Solar's victory will not be useless,” said Solar.