‘Sky buying Destiny bound to happen’

The surprising news on Friday evening, May 11, that Sky Cable has bought its much smaller competitor Destiny Cable was long overdue since the Lim family has been planning to sell the cable operator to either Sky or the PLDT group, a source inside the company said.

The acquisition, which was first reported by ABS-CBNNews.com, the online news arm of the Lopez-owned TV station, did not indicate the purchase price for the three companies – Destiny Cable Inc. (DCI), Solid Broadband Corporation (SBC), and Uni-Cable TV Inc. (UNI).

The agreement entails the sale of the cable TV and broadband Internet assets and subscribers of DCI, SBC, and UNI to Sky.

The source said the Lim family set a deadline for Sky Cable to agree to its terms on Friday, May 11. If no agreement was reached, the Lim family would have started negotiations with the PLDT group, which also owns the direct-to-home (DTH) brand Cignal.

If would have been disastrous for Sky Cable if the deal fell through and landed on the lap of PLDT as this would threaten Sky’s dominance of the cable TV market, the source said.

The acquisition of Destiny Cable leaves Cable Link, formerly known as Paranaque Cable, as the only other provider of cable services in Metro Manila. While Cignal is also basically a cable company, it operates in the satellite-based DTH space and competes directly with Dream Cable.

The source said it may take about three months before the usual rationalization efforts may take place for the combined operations of Sky and Destiny as both companies practically cover the same areas.

Sky chief operating officer Rodrigo P. Montinola assured, however, that “extra care” will be undertaken” not to disrupt the existing services of the current subscribers.

“They will continue to pay same monthly fees for their subscribed plans, at the same payment centers, and can continue to reach Customer Service at the same numbers. We will make announcements on new services to be made available, at the appropriate time,” he said.

David Lim, president of DCI, SBC, and UNI, meanwhile said its exit in the cable and broadband business would allow their company, Solid Group Inc (SGI), to focus on its other core businesses such as the Filipino mobile phone brand MyPhone.

Lim also explained that they did not have the resources for the “continuous significant investments” required in the “pay TV and broadband markets”.

“We are gratified by the loyalty of our Destiny Cable subscribers and MyDestiny broadband subscribers all these years, and would always want to give them the best products and services possible,” he said.

“However, we realized that this will entail resources, for digitizing our cable network and expanding our broadband services, that we do not have. We believe our agreement with Sky will allow subscribers to enjoy the benefits of the latest technologies,” he added.

Sky’s Montinola added: “We are happy with the opportunity to extend the unique advantages of the digital cable TV and cable broadband Internet platforms to Destiny and MyDestiny subscribers.

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  1. Pingback: » Solid Group got P1B for selling cable, Internet biz to Sky

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