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NTC confirms distributing ABS-CBN frequencies to 3 companies

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The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Wednesday confirmed distributing frequencies previously owned by broadcasting giant ABS-CBN Corp. to the companies owned by former senator Manny Villar, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and late businessman Antonio Cabangon Chua.

NTC said it has granted Quiboloy’s Swara Sug Media Corporation (SSMC) a provisional authority (PA) to “install, operate and maintain a Digital Television (TV) Broadcasting System in Metro Manila/Mega Manila using Channel 43.”

Channel 43, previously controlled by Amcara Broadcasting Network, is where ABS-CBN used to air its channels on its TV Plus digital set-top boxes.

NTC said SSMC was the third applicant for an authority to install, operate, and maintain digital TV in Metro Manila as filed on 16 October 2007.

Quiboloy also owns UHF Channel 40 where he broadcasts his news programs and religious programs of his Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC).

Meanwhile, NTC also confirmed that a PA was issued to Aliw Broadcasting Corporation (ALIW) founded by late businessman Antonio Cabangon Chua to take over Channel 23, where ABS-CBN used to broadcast Sports+Action (S+A).

NTC said ALIW was the second applicant to file for an authority to install, operate, and maintain digital TV in Metro Manila as filed on 30 July 2007.

In a statement released to the media on Tuesday night, the NTC said it has temporarily awarded Advanced Media Broadcasting System Inc. (AMBS), a company related to Villar, the PA to operate broadcasting services in Metro Manila.

The NTC said the grant allows AMBS to install, operate and maintain a Digital TV Broadcasting System in Metro Manila/Mega Manila using Channel 16, the so-called money-maker frequency of ABS-CBN.

“After the technical evaluation of AMBS’ request for a simulcast channel, Channel 2 (the paired analog channel in Mega Manila of digital channel 16) was temporarily assigned to AMBS,” the NTC statement said.

“This temporary assignment is for simulcast purposes only, and only until the analog shut-off scheduled in 2023. The temporary assignment was granted to ensure service to both analog and digital TV signal users as the country transitions to full digital TV,” it added.

Planet Cable, a broadcaster owned by the Villar family, controls AMBS, which also requested a simulcast channel, which in this case, was channel 2.

AMBS was the first applicant for an authority to install, operate and maintain a digital TV in Metro Manila in 2006.

The 25-year franchise Villar-linked broadcasting company was approved in 2019.

According to NTC, the PA granted to the three networks followed the guidance of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), a legal opinion from the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the concurrence of the Office of the President – Office of the Executive Secretary.

 

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