ABS-CBN's Channel 2 went off air but other operations can still be accessed

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
ABS-CBN's Channel 2 went off air but other operations can still be accessed
Employees and supporters light candles at the gate as the ABS-CBN Corporation office in Quezon City shines the network's colors on May 5, 2020.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The National Telecommunications Commission on Tuesday ordered ABS-CBN to shut down some of its TV and radio operations, after its legislative franchise expired.

Hours after the network received the order, ABS-CBN ceased broadcasting after airing TV Patrol, its premiere news program on its free channel.

Shortly after, DZMM, whose anchors previously said was supposed to air until 11:00 p.m., also shutdown.

RELATED: ABS-CBN's last moments before going off the air for nowfacebook sharing button

The NTC order covers 42 television stations across the country, including flagship and free channel 2 and regional channels, 10 digital broadcast channels, 18 FM stations and five AM stations.

ABS-CBN said in a report that its online portals for news, entertainment and sports portals are still accessible. Its YouTube channels, for entertainment and news, are also still up.

It also said that iWant, its video streaming service and application, still delivers content online.

Cable news channel ANC is still airing, “as the NTC order does not cover cable news channels.”

“Star Cinema will also be unaffected by the NTC’s cease and desist order,” the report also read.

NTC order can be subjected for review

The government regulator gave ABS-CBN 10 days upon receipt of the order to explain why the frequencies assigned to it should not be recalled.

While the order is immediately executory, which the network complied with Tuesday, it can still be subjected to judicial review, said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Guevarra said the network may elevate it to the regional trial court or Court of Appeals.

Meanwhile, bills for its franchise renewal have been stuck in the House of Representatives’ legislative mill.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said in an interview with CNN Philippines last week that “there is no intention” to close down the media network.

Franchise laws emanate from the House of Representatives.

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III wrote in a tweet on Tuesday night: “ABS Franchise, bring it to the Senate, we will approve it!”

The closure of ABS-CBN comes at a time when the Philippines and the rest of the country are grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives globally.



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