ABS-CBN suspends operations as franchise ends

The giant ABS-CBN network has started preparations for its eventual shutdown when its legislative franchise under RA 7966 expires on May 4, 2020.

In an investor disclosure statement filed with the Philippine Stock Exchange on March 17, 2020, ABS-CBN said it is suspending broadcast operations that are covered by the franchise. It is “looking forward to receiving the NTC Provisional Authority that will allow it to continue to provide service to the Filipino people.”

ABS CBN investor disclosure

This filing wasn’t given much coverage in the media. Only BusinessWorld reported on it on March 19, 2020. ABS-CBN itself did not make a report about this move.

With seven days left before the franchise expires on May 4, 2020, the chances of getting such a provisional authority is getting slimmer and slimmer.

On March 23, ABS-CBN filed another disclosure statement informing the PSE about NTC Memorandum Order No. 01-03-2020.

Apparently, its management must have thought that it is a grant of extension to the network.

But as I have pointed out in my previous blog, the memorandum order covers the permits of companies that operate and maintain “telecommunication facilities” all over the country.

“Facilities” refer to physical infrastructure, not broadcast operations.

Hence, the news report that appeared in BusinessWorldon March 24, 2020 that the NTC memorandum order allows ABS-CBN to operate for 60 days after the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine is wrong.

Two days ago, I published an Open Letter to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte imploring him not to stop NTC from issuing a Provisional Authority to Operate as it would violate existing laws, including the Supreme Court decision in the case of “Associated Communications & Wireless Co. vs. NTC” on February 17, 2003.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

One Response to ABS-CBN suspends operations as franchise ends

  1. Marisa says:

    salamat po sir Manuel Mejorada for paying attention to this matter. napakarami ng balita kaya natatakpan ang abias cbn shutdown issue. masaya po ako mismo at talagang matuldukan na ang trash mainstream media na ito gaya ng rappler. ingat po kayo at blessed Tuesday po 😘


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