OFFICIAL STATEMENT of Solar Entertainment over the dispute with ABS CBN, SKYCable regarding NBA & BTV channels
In ruling in favor of Solar, the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 209 said:
“It needs to be stressed herein that the expiration of the Channel Carriage Agreements and the execution of the Television License Agreement with NBA did not relieve Sky Cable of its obligation to pay channel carriage fees. The basis of the channel carriage fees is Sky Cable’s continuous airing of NBA Premium TV and BTV which was tolerated by SOLAR. This created an implied contract between the two. ABS-CBN in collusion with Sky Cable had no intention to pay such channel carriage fees as their objective is to become the exclusive licensee of NBA, thereby gaining full control and exclusive rights to the broadcast of NBA games in the Philippines.”
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.
As correctly explained by the court, the execution of the said joint license agreement with NBA did not relieve Sky Cable 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.
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 Sky Cable, 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.