ABS-CBN en­ter­tain­ment con­tent to re­turn to free TV on Satur­day

Business World - - Front Page - — Ar­jay L. Bal­in­bin

ABS-CBN Corp. said Tues­day some of its en­ter­tain­ment shows will re­turn to free tele­vi­sion start­ing Satur­day, Oct. 10, af­ter sign­ing an agree­ment with broad­cast me­dia com­pany Zoe Broad­cast­ing Net­work, Inc. that op­er­ates “A2Z” Chan­nel 11.

Shares in ABS- CBN jumped 14.93% to close at P9 each on Tues­day, while those of ABS-CBN Hold­ings Corp. climbed 16.03% to P8.75 apiece.

Ahead of the an­nounce­ment, shares in the fran­chise-less net­work soared nearly 50% to P10.58 each on Mon­day on spec­u­la­tion about the ar­range­ment, prompt­ing the stock ex­change to re­quest an ex­pla­na­tion on the un­usual price moment.

Chan­nel 11 is seen on ana­log TV in Metro Manila and nearby prov­inces, ABS-CBN said in a dis­clo­sure to the stock ex­change.

ABS-CBN said its agree­ment with Zoe Broad­cast­ing in­volves the pro­vi­sion of en­ter­tain­ment, pub­lic ser­vice, and ed­u­ca­tional con­tent.

The em­bat­tled me­dia com­pany added it cur­rently pro­duces con­tent “for var­i­ous com­pa­nies, plat­forms, and au­di­ences here and abroad.”

Zoe Broad­cast­ing an­nounced separately the re­brand­ing of Zoe Chan­nel 11 as A2Z.

“Start­ing this Oc­to­ber, A2Z will be the home of the new­est TV ex­pe­ri­ence for Filipinos as it of­fers rel­e­vant, in­for­ma­tive, and en­ter­tain­ing con­tent geared to­wards spir­i­tual strength­en­ing,” Zoe Broad­cast­ing said in an e-mailed state­ment.

It said the re­branded chan­nel will serve its view­ers with in­spi­ra­tional shows, lo­cal and for­eign movies, and some shows of ABS-CBN through a block­time ar­range­ment.

The chan­nel will also show pro­grams from Chris­tian Broad­cast­ing Net­work (CBN Asia) and Knowl­edge Chan­nel, it added. A2Z will also be avail­able on Sky Ca­ble.

The agree­ment with Zoe Broad­cast­ing comes af­ter Eu­ge­nio Gabriel “Gabby” L. Lopez III re­signed last week as ABS-CBN chair­man emer­i­tus and di­rec­tor, cit­ing “per­sonal rea­sons.”

The com­pany said Mario Luza Bautista was elected to take over Mr. Lopez’s po­si­tion on the board.

Mr. Lopez also stepped down as di­rec­tor of ABS-CBN Hold­ings Corp., Sky Vi­sion Corp., Sky Ca­ble Corp., First Philip­pine Hold­ings Corp., First Gen Corp., and Rock­well Land Corp.

ABS-CBN re­cently re­ported an at­trib­ut­able net loss of P3.16 bil­lion for the sec­ond quar­ter, swing­ing from a profit of P695.80 mil­lion in the same pe­riod last year.

In May, the Na­tional Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion or­dered ABS- CBN to cease broad­cast oper­a­tions af­ter its fran­chise ex­pired. The com­pany’s ap­pli­ca­tion for fran­chise re­newal was re­jected by law­mak­ers in July, adding to the im­pact of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic on its fi­nan­cial per­for­mance.

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