Villar company bags 2 broadcast channels previously held by ABS-CBN

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2022 10:03 PM | Updated as of Jan 27 2022 10:22 AM

Manny Villar

MANILA - A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp., whose application to renew its broadcast franchise was rejected by a congressional committee in 2020.

Business news website bilyonaryo.com said it has obtained documents showing the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) had granted a temporary permit to the Villar-owned Advanced Media Broadcasting System Inc. (AMBS) to do a test broadcast on analog Channel 2.

The NTC, in a statement Tuesday night, confirmed that it granted a provisional authority to the Villar-owned company to install, operate, and maintain a digital television broadcasting system in Metro Manila using Channel 16.

"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 said. "This temporary assignment is for simulcast purposes only, and only until the analog shut-off scheduled in 2023."

The NTC order dated January 6 said Advanced Media will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Villar’s Starmall in Mandaluyong City, and that the permit shall be used only for test broadcast purposes.

“The temporary permit does not confer any vested right or interest in the grantee thereof,” said the document signed by NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba.

Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 1
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 2
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 3
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 4
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 5
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 6
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 7
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 8
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 9
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 10
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 11
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 12
Villar firm granted use of former ABS-CBN channels 13

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

A company owned by Manny Villar has taken over broadcast frequencies formerly held by ABS-CBN Corp.

Another NTC order signed by Cordoba and deputy commissioners Edgardo Cabarios and Delilah Deles also gave Advanced Media provisional authority for a digital TV broadcasting system using yet another frequency previously held by ABS-CBN. 

“It appearing that the applicant is legally qualified, and that the proposed Digital Terrestrial Television (DTTB) broadcasting station in Metro Manila/Mega Manila is technically and economically feasible, in the interest of public service, the Commission hereby grants Advanced Media System Inc. a provisional authority to install, operate, and maintain a digital TV broadcasting system…using Channel 16…for 18 months,” said the order, a copy of which was shown to ABS-CBN News.

According to Bilyonaryo, the NTC sought the Justice Department’s opinion on this.

“The DOJ declared that the digital TV service could be opened to new players like Advanced Media because… the applicability of Memorandum Circular No. 07-12-2014 (which limits digital TV licenses only to those with analog TV operations) has been “altered by the change in factual circumstances”, according to Bilyonaryo.

The circumstances refer to ABS-CBN’s franchise expiration and non-renewal by Congress.

Bilyonaryo noted that Villar’s daughter-in-law, Emmeline Aglipay, was appointed Justice Undersecretary in 2018.

Villar’s daughter, Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar, meanwhile voted in 2020 against granting ABS-CBN a new franchise.

Forbes lists Manny Villar as the country’s richest person, with interests in real estate, telecom, utilities and media.

The billionaire is a major supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, and his son Mark was head of the Department of Public Works and Highways before resigning last year to run for a Senate seat in Halalan 2022.

news.abs-cbn.com is the news website of ABS-CBN.

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