“WE wanted Philippine Idol on our own terms or not at all. Fremantle has apparently found what they think is a better deal. We were only willing to buy Idol, and not any other programs packaged with it, or other Frermantle formats.
“Also, we told Fremantle that based on our learnings from season one, we wanted some modifications, like in the audition process, production and interactivity. We thought Fremantle had agreed to these.
“Talks with Fremantle may have slowed down when Mr. (Tonyboy) Cojuangco was taken ill and had to go back and forth to the U.S. for medical treatment. That must have been the time another party came in. We’re glad, though, that Mr. Cojuangco is fine now. “GMA-7 was in a position to make a better offer. It’s a giant. We’re just Jack trying to climb the beanstalk. Also, where we wanted only American Idol and Philippine Idol, GMA agreed to pick up a number of other formats aside from Celebrity Duets, which must have been the foot in the door to Fremantle.
“We grant that it was a business decision on the part of Fremantle. The Philippines has become a lucrative market for format franchising since Pearson/Fremantle targetted Asia for its expansion drive late nineties and early 2000. It is to be expected that suppliers will go for the better deal.
“Note that ABC-5 was one of the firsts, if not the first to buy formats. We’re just being true to what has been our role in the TV industry from the start. To break new ground. To set new trends. To be the innovator. From Tropang Trumpo to Philippine Idol.
“We must be doing something right because GMA which, until recently, had strongly said NO TO FRANCHISES, turned around and went after Philippine Idol.
“In a statement issued in June, 2006, apparently with reference to Pinoy Big Brother and Philippine Idol, GMA said among others: ‘We don’t need to buy a foreign franchise and get other people’s ideas.’
“So, now there’s a new battle front for the two giants: Franchises. ABS-CBN has Endemol, so GMA has to have its counterpart. And who else but Fremantle and the jewel in the crown — IDOL.
“If it’s true GMA plans to obliterate Philippine Idol 1, too bad for Mau (Marcelo) who has huge talent. But ABC-5 will always have the distinction of having FIRST brought American Idol and Philippine Idol to the Philippines, of having mounted a highly successful, world-class production which was roundly praised even by Fremantle. For covetous local TV, it became the MUST-HAVE SHOW.
“So, we lost Philippine Idol. Excuse us while we look for new ground to break for local television.”
Terra J. Daffon, SVP, Corporate Affairs, ABC-5