After radio return in July, ABS-CBN shows back on Channel 2 via Villar’s AMBS

By  Jennifer T. Santos and Jennifer T. Santos

ABS-CBN may yet be back on its strong feet and luster again as a premier television, radio and broadcast network.

This as the once mighty network which lost its Congressional franchise during the Duterte administration after failing to renew it under the Aquino administration has forged partnership with the new owner of Channel 2, former Senate President Manny Villar’s AMBS.

Last July, ABS-CBN went back using 630 KHz on radio in partnership with Speaker Martin Romualdez broadcasting firm. Although it now airs programs, including Radyo Patrol, it is no longer known as Radio DZMM but Radio DWPM.

ABS-CBN Network’s demise would be exactly four years this June when the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued two cease and desist orders (CDOs) against the network and its subsidiary Sky Direct.

The Lopez-owned media company found its way back home to Channel 2 through ALLTV, a television channel owned by Advanced Media Broadcasting System (AMBS) under the control of the Villar family, according to the firms in an announcement through the media.

Although the partnership had been making rounds in social media, AMBS and ABS-CBN only formalized their content agreement deal this week.

Under the landmark partnership, ALLTV viewers can enjoy a selection of Kapamilya teleseryes from Jeepney TV at various times throughout the day, including primetime, starting 13 May.

Additionally, viewers can stay informed with the latest news provided by TV Patrol, ABS-CBN’s flagship news program.

Manny Villar, Chairman of the Villar Group, was present, along with his son, Senator Mark Villar at the contract signing ceremony.

Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc.’s President and CEO, Paolo Villar, and All Value Holdings Corp.’s President and CEO, Camille Villar, were also in attendance.

Representing AMBS were its president, Maribeth Tolentino, and its CFO, Cecille Bernardo.

ABS-CBN was represented by a delegation that included its chairman, Mark Lopez; president and CEO, Carlo Katigbak; chief operating officer, Cory Vidanes; Group CFO, Rick Tan; and chief partnership officer, Bobby Barreiro.

“The new partnership seeks to deliver enjoyable, enriching, and informative content to audiences via ALLTV available on Channel 2 on free TV, cable, and satellite TV nationwide,” the parties said in a joint statement.

After losing its legislative franchise in 2020, ABS-CBN has transitioned into a content-producing company.

ALLTV is under Prime Assets Ventures Inc. led by businessman Manuel Paolo Villar.

It is available on Channel 2 on free-to-air TV and Planet Cable; Channel 16 on digital, Channel 35 on Cignal TV and Sky Cable; as well as local cable stations nationwide.

In September 2022, ALLTV partnered with the Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association, Inc. to expand its nationwide airing and “reach more homes, even the far-flung areas in the country.”

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN sports news anchor Migs Bustos now hosts Share Ko Lang, a program on “inspiring and trending” stories from 1 pm to 2 pm on DWPM, according to Rappler in a July report. 

Bustos recently joined TV Patrol anchor Karen Davila in the revived entrepreneurship show, My Puhunan: Kaya Mo!, on ABS-CBN platforms.

Del Prado used to host, Usapang de Campanilla, a nightly free legal advice show on DZMM TeleRadyo, from 2016 to 2020. He was also a volunteer lawyer of ABS-CBN’s Foundation’s child rescue program, Bantay Bata 163.

Radyo 630, with the call sign, DWPM, is a joint project between House Speaker Martin Romualdez’s Prime Media Holdings Incorporated and ABS-CBN Corporation that revives TeleRadyo on free radio. The Lopez-led company shut down TeleRadyo, which had only been on digital platforms and on cable television, on June 29, citing financial losses. In Radyo 630, ABS-CBN provides the content while Prime Media is in charge of broadcasting.

Radyo 630 went on a soft launch for two weeks, from June 30 to July 16, with half-day programming from 6 am to 12:30 pm, and the hook-up of ABS-CBN’s flagship news program, TV Patrol, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm on 630 kilohertz (kHz) on the AM band. It started its YouTube streaming on July 3, opting to start from scratch than build on DZMM TeleRadyo’s social media accounts. As of July 17, it had 19,000 followers on Facebook, which means an average of 1,000 plus additional followers daily.

Veteran broadcaster Noli de Castro leads the radio talents on the news channel comprised mostly of ABS-CBN veteran reporters and news anchors. 

Aside from free radio, Radyo 630, is also on cable television (SkyCable and other cable providers in the Philippines), YouTube, ABS-CBN’s international cable service The Filipino Channel, and its streaming service, iWantTFC. 

According to GMA, DZBB 594 kHZ was the Philippines’ number one radio station in June 2023 with a share of 31.1%, followed by Manila Broadcasting Company’s DZRH 666 with 28.5%. In third place was Iglesia Ni Cristo’s DZEC Radyo Agila 1062 with a 13.5% share, followed by the Catholic Church’s radio station, Radyo Veritas 846, with a share of 7.5%. This is based on AGB Nielsen Philippines’ monthly Mega Manila Radio Audience Measurement.

Prior to the closure of TeleRadyo, the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2023 had ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo and GMA’s Radyo DZBB as the leading stations with a 13% share each in weekly use. Among the respondents in the study’s survey, 7% said they listened to TeleRadyo at least three days a week, the same as Radyo DZBB. Manila Broadcasting Company’s DZRH was third with a 10% share, and 5% listened to DZRH at least three days a week. 


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