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Can ABS-CBN come back from this? Personalities deflated by network’s loss of frequencies to various companies

Well-known outspoken personalities are waiting to see how Villar’s media company matches up with ABS-CBN’s previous success

Manny Villar’s Advanced Media Broadcasting Systems will soon take over ABS-CBN’s television broadcast frequencies.

The Kapamilya network was the country’s top media company before the Lower House decided to shut it down.

Villar, the richest man in the Philippines, is a known ally of the Duterte administration. His wife, Cynthia, currently serves as a senator, and his son, Mark, is gunning for a Senate seat. His daughter, Camille, was one of the representatives who voted to deny ABS-CBN’s bid for franchise renewal.

On Wednesday, ABS-CBN’s stock value dropped by 10 percent and closed at P12.76. ABS-CBN and Villar representatives declined to comment on the story.

ABS-CBN stopped airing on free TV on May 5, 2020, posting an annual net loss of $261.5 million. It is now focused on producing digital content through internet channels. Rival network TV5 also accepted a deal to feature limited Kapamilya programs.

The National Telecommunications Commission recalled broadcast frequencies previously used by ABS-CBN following the network’s franchise expiration. Congress in September agreed to re-assign the frequencies to Advanced Media.

Well-known outspoken personalities are waiting to see how Villar’s media company matches with ABS-CBN’s previous success.

Some say the Congress’ move was premeditated.

Duterte did say that he’d support Villar if the businessman would run for the presidency once more.

It seems the Villar family is only going to get more powerful.

The NTC has now granted ABS-CBN’s previously used frequencies, Channel 43 and Channel 23, to Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) and Aliw Broadcasting Corporation.

“Yes, ‘yung Ch43 ang binigay,” said SMNI.

Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon noted that granting frequencies to new companies was done just before the national elections.

According to the Fair Elections Act, “No franchise or permit to operate a radio or television station shall be granted or issued, suspended or canceled during the election period.”

Kaya almost midnight deal. Kasi yan yung midnight deal,” Ridon told ABS-CBN News.

“They can try to legally justify it all they want, but the public will surely have none of it, especially with one of the Villars running now for public office,” he added.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) also saw the deal as fishy.
“These networks are perceived to be friendly to government and to one presidential aspirant. We are concerned at the concentration of power in a corporate media landscape already dominated by conglomerates and political clans,” the group said in a statement.
Duterte, for the good part of his term, blasted ABS-CBN constantly for failing to air his political ads during the 2016 election season.

Written by paulie walnuts

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