ABS CBN digs in for the LONG HAUL – Coco Martin Ang Probinsyano Vice Ganda Showtime soon to broadcast but not (yet) on free TV

BLINDSIDED by the NTC Cease and Desist Order of May 5, 2020, the Kapamilya network is banking on two scenarios to get right back to airing on Channel 2 and DZMM.

The first track is through the legislative route of getting the usual 25 year franchise. It was obvious that there was little time left for the proposed bill to hurdle the House of Representatives so the idea of a franchise extension was initially considered by ABS CBN allies in the House of Representatives.

In the rush to RAILROAD the mechanism for the Kapamilya network to reopen up to the end of October of this year which would have allowed the regular franchise bill to be discussed more thoroughly, the extension bill passed on the second reading and should have sailed smoothly for the third and final reading with a then seemingly assured en banc voting thus completing the House component on how a bill becomes a law.

The extension bill would have been sent to the Senate where more than a majority of the sitting senators have already expressed support for the network. 

Legal eagles in the House pointed out to a possible violation of the Philippine Constitution because the first and second readings were done on the same day contrary to the specific provision enshrined in the Basic Law of the Land. After some discussions on whether to remedy the situation by recalling the second reading so as the process to be repeated but on another day, the extension bill was DUMPED, JUNKED and quickly FORGOTTEN and the current proceedings are geared towards a regular 25 year franchise. On a strategic level, the regular 25 year franchise bill is obviously the way to go. In fact, it should have been the course of action since 2014 when the first renewal bill was filed. However, little action happened since that time and come franchise expiration time, there was a mad rush and NTC issued a Cease and Desist Order which resulted in the closure of the network. The House Speaker has publicly stated that they would be finished by August, at the earliest. With all the twists and turns and many more hours of deliberations needed, ABS CBN is at the mercy of the pace in which their law is being crafted.

The second track towards a quick return to airing is through a Supreme Court Temporary Restraining Order, however, this was not granted. Theoretically, there is still a chance that it would be issued but again, that decision would be up to the Supreme Court and their own appreciation on whether a TRO is indeed a necessary relief or to just allow the legislative process to continue towards the 25 year franchise.

ABS CBN is bleeding money to the tune of PHP 30 million to PHP 35 million per day. Faced with an uncertain future, it could have opted just to wait it out for a few months. However, at the rate things are happening in the House of Representatives, their pending bill could drag on indefinitely since Congressman Marcoleta could make life difficult for the Kapamilya network as he has already inflicted many wounds on ABS CBN. And then there is Sol Gen Calida who is perfectly capable of devising lethal legal land mines to slow down and possibly deal a mortal blow to the ABS CBN pending franchise bill.

The Kapamilya network is obviously going to spend tons of money to get their programs back to public view (in another channel and other platforms – cable, satellite, etc.). ABS CBN is already online through social media but accessibility and reach are major problems so they have to explore other avenues to have more eyeballs on their various screens.

Will advertisers be back? They probably will test the sales and marketing initiatives but they will not be pouring the same mind boggling amounts that they used to spend on ABS CBN, at least until the Kapamilya network is able to dominate the market like it used to.

It has now been said that with the COVID 19 pandemic, it is a whole new world out there so the situation will be the same for the Kapamilya network, they simply have to SURVIVE and hopefully inch their way back to old glory but it could take some TIME.

coco vice

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Top ABS-CBN shows returning on new channel
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star)
June 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Broadcast giant ABS-CBN will be bringing back its popular programs, which stopped airing due to the closure of the network last month, on a new channel that will be available on cable and satellite TV nationwide beginning this week.

ABS-CBN said the “Kapamilya” channel will be available on SKY, Cablelink,
G Sat and most member-cable operators of the Philippine Cable Television Association nationwide beginning June 13.

The cable and satellite TV channels that will carry the Kapamilya channel are owned and operated by other companies and are not covered by the cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to ABS-CBN.

“Encouraged by the overwhelming love and support of the public, ABS-CBN remains committed to serving its audiences even after it was ordered to stop operating its radio and television stations on May 5 by the NTC,” the company said.

ABS-CBN said its well-loved shows would be aired on the channel, including “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” and “TV Patrol.”

While the Kapamilya channel will initially be seen only by cable and satellite TV viewers, ABS-CBN said it would find ways to reach more Filipinos around the world.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is set to continue hearing ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application even during its break.

The chamber adopted the motion of Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez authorizing all standing and special committees to conduct public hearings or inquiries after the Congress adjourned sine die last Friday.

The committees on legislative franchises and good government and public accountability has conducted several hearings on the matter and is scheduled to continue hearing next week.

The House leadership has vowed to immediately resolve the bill seeking renewal of the network’s franchise after the NTC ordered its closure last May 5, a day after its 25-year franchise expired. Edu Punay

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