ABS-CBN makes bigger free TV comeback via TV5 partnership
Media giant ABS-CBN Corp. announced a partnership with rival TV5 that would allow more of its popular content to air on free television across the Philippines.
ABS-CBN said on Thursday its programs “ASAP Natin ‘To” and “FPJ: Da King” would air on TV5 starting Jan. 24 this year. This also includes TV5’s affiliate Cignal TV, a satellite TV company.
This was possible through a blocktime or airtime leasing deal with TV5, which was once the country’s third-biggest TV network before President Duterte’s allies in the House of Representatives ended ABS-CBN’s bid for a new franchise last year.
TV5 and Cignal are part of the media of arm of telecommunications giant PLDT Inc., which is led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Robert Galang, president and CEO of Cignal and TV5, said in a statement on Thursday the blocktime deal “marks the start of greater cooperation among our various industry players and begins a new era of partnership.”
Despite being a longtime business ally of the Lopez family that owns ABS-CBN, Pangilinan previously expressed reservations about a blocktime agreement, fearing political retribution.
But in recent weeks, ABS-CBN gained fresh support after lawmakers filed petitions seeking to grant the company a new franchise.
Without a broadcast franchise, ABS-CBN was limited to airing content on its online channels and pay television. Moreover, the loss of its franchise triggered thousands of job cuts and the closure of business divisions last year.
While it was denied a wide platform to broadcast shows, ABS-CBN retained ownership over a vast
library of content and talent to produce new programs.
Some of its shows returned to free television on Oct. 10 via a blocktime deal with the TV network of Eddie Villanueva, a lawmaker and influential evangelist and founder of Jesus is Lord Church.
This allowed ABS-CBN to air shows on A2Z Channel 11 in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. On the other hand, TV5 provides a wider reach given its nationwide presence.
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