ABS-CBN Back To Free TV

Entertainment | October 11, 2020



The 25 year franchise license of ABS-CBN expired last May 4, 2020 and on the day after that, the National Telecommunications Commission ordered the shutdown of the network. The license is needed to allow ABS-CBN to continue its broadcast on free TV, however on July 10, 2020 the House Committee that handled the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise application rejected the network's bid for the franchise renewal.

ABS-CBN stock price immediately plummeted to its lowest price of Php7/share. In the succeeding months, ABS-CBN layoffs hundreds of employees including some of its biggest stars and news anchors. Meanwhile, more of their loyal viewers were left confused but remains hopeful for ABS-CBN's big comeback.


Kapamilya Channel

Kapamilya channel logo screen grab from https://ent.abs-cbn.com/articles-news/kapamilya-channel-episodes-12717

True to its commitment to the Filipino people, ABS-CBN launched the Kapamilya Channel on Sky Cable, Cable Link, GSAT and iWantTFC app. I think this is the closest channel we could watch that is very similar to the previous programming of ABS-CBN on free TV. This channel operates 24 hours, very similar to what we used to have on free TV channel 2. Their line-up of shows are still the same, It's Showtime at noon, TV Patrol, Ang Probinsyano and other Kapamilya teleserye at night.

The Kapamilya Channel is broadcasted through cable and do not require franchise from congress. In my case, I bought a GSAT box in shopee and use it with my Cignal dish and everything works perfectly. I did not do any adjustment to my dish's position. I simply attached the cable wire to the box and then do a re-scan and everything works great. We can now watch ABS-CBN shows as long as we want.

But again, I would like to highlight that this is not free. You have to load the cable every month. In my case, the minimum load is Php200 since I bought an HD box. GSAT has a non-HD box called GPINOY and the minimum load for this is I think Php99/month (already includes Kapamilya channel). Other option is for you to subscribe to Sky Cable or Cable Link.



Kapamilya Online Live

For those who have better internet connection and unlimited plans you can watch ABS-CBN shows through their Kapamilya Online Live. ABS-CBN broadcasts their shows in different social media platforms in order to reach as many viewers as possible. You can follow their shows in their Youtube channel and Facebook page. Recently, ABS-CBN just reach a significant milestone of 30 million subscriber in their Youtube Channel.

If you do not have a very good internet or you might wonder what promos you could take to watch these shows, you can actually subscribe to Smart or Globe's promos that allocates larger data for video viewing. Promos like Giga Video 99 allocates 1GB daily (for 7 days) for Youtube video viewing and Globe's GoExtra90 allocates 8GB open access for 7 days. You can also try Globe-at-Home prepaid and PLDT home's prepaid promos for video viewing.


iWantTFC App

Another platform that broadcasts ABS-CBN shows is the iWantTFC app. This is an online application that allows users to watch Kapamilya contents published within the app. It is somehow similar to Netflix. It also broadcast the Kapamilya channel within the app. Again, you need an internet to watch the shows published in this app. Also, some movies or tv series published here are for subscription. If you subscribe, it will allow you to watch all of its contents in the app without any advertisements.


A2Z Channel - Free TV and on Cignal

In partnership with Zoe Broadcasting Network, ABS-CBN is back to free TV via the rebranded A2Z channel 11. ABS-CBN inked a deal with Brother Eddie Villanueva's channel 11 for a blocktime arrangment. This means that ABS-CBN select shows are now allowed to be broadcasted into free TV channel 11. However, the coverage of the broadcast is limited in Luzon area particularly in Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces.

In order to access the A2Z channel, you may need the traditional antenna to capture the broadcast's signal. Unfortunately, A2Z channel is broadcasting through an analog signal thus it cannot be captured in digital devices such as ABS-CBN TV Plus and GMA's Affordabox. But I think it is just a matter of time before Zoe now A2Z will adapt the digital channel. Who knows ABS-CBN will allow Zoe to rent ABS-CBN's transmitters and other broadcast infrastructure in order to reach other areas in the country.

Additionally, A2Z channel is also available in Cignal. As announced in their Facebook page, A2Z will be seen on channel 20 in all prepaid and postpaid plans.



Pirma Kapamilya

pirma kapamilya

Screen grab from https://www.pirma.ph/the-petition

PIRMA Kapamilya was launched with the sole purpose of bringin ABS-CBN back to free TV through people's initiative. The initiative is aiming to propose a law that will grant a franchise to ABS-CBN. There is high hopes into this initiative however, it will take time to complete as it requires to gather thousands of signatures from every district in the country.

While ABS-CBN is finding more ways to bring its contents that requires no franchise, we can also support this initiative by signing the petition. The proponents of this initiative, primarily composed mostly by volunteers are conducting caravans in different locations in the country in order to promote this initiative and reach their goal.

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