ABS - CBN Shutdown

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The sign-off message broadcast by ABS-CBN before stopping all broadcasts at 7:52 pm (PST) in compliance with the NTC order

"Your franchise will end next year. If you are expecting a renewal, I'm sorry. You're out. I will see to it that you're out"

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

On May 5, 2020, the Philippine NTC (National Telecommunications Commision) filed a cease and desist order to ABS-CBN to stop the broadcast of their free-to-air television and radio stations nationwide due to expiration of broadcasting licence, biased reporting, yellow press, the questionable citizenship of former CEO Eugenio Lopez III (also known as Gabby Lopez) and due to the case of comedian Vice Ganda challenging Pastor Apollo Quiboloy to get ABS-CBN to somehow cancel FPJ's Ang ProbinsyanoBTSW (their longest running teleserye) and to stop the traffic on Epifanio del los Santos Avenue on different instances, calling him arrogant after declining said challenges. President Rodrigo Duterte previously threatened to block the renewal of their licence after ABS - CBN aired only anti - Duterte advertisements during the 2016 election campaign. Celebrities from ABS - CBN and GMA took to social media to express their devastation and anger to the NTC. Due to the network's shutdown, many fans of the network decided to sell or throw away their TVs (which spawned the "Tapon TV" challenge). The shutdown would also spawn numerous memes on social media (most notably Coco Martin and Kim Chiu with "Bawal Lumabas" (also known as "Law of Classroom"), which she made into a hit single). On Tuesday, May 12., several campus publications and organizations including the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and Concerned Artists of the Philippines have made a petition on change.org to renew the network licence a week after the network was forced off-air.

The network's shutdown was confirmed when the dubbed version of the 2018 remake of Meteor Garden was interrupted in favor of a simulcast of DZMM TeleRadyo, followed by a special edition of TV Patrol dedicated to the order which aired with no commercial breaks. Following TV Patrol, ABS-CBN aired its presentation on how the lives of Filipinos have been affected by the network, followed by their version of Lupang Hinirang which was shot in 2013. The network then officially signed off at 7:52 PM local time with the statement "This is ABS - CBN Corporation Channel 2, in the Service of the Filipino, now signing off".

On July 10, 2020, the congress voted 69 (1 deceased)-11 to deny the licence renewal due to it being controlled by pro-Duterte politicians, who was in favor of shutting the network down.

Why It Sucks

  1. Many Filipinos lost their preferred source of news and entertainment.
  2. Many ABS - CBN shows temporarily stopped their production.
  3. Many Filipinos lost a valuable news source in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  4. 11,071 workers and celebrities lost their jobs, with some of their celebrities moving to rival networks.
    • Also, some of their artists temporarily found work via Brightlight Productions through a blocktime agreement with TV5
  5. On August 31, 2020, some workers were laid off and some owned operations were shut down.
  6. ABS-CBN themselves have proven to be clear from their violations.
  7. The congress/government, notorious for its' greediness, only worsened it. This is due to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte standing behind the veto of ABS-CBN's licence being renewed.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. ABS - CBN signed a blocktime agreement with ZOE TV, forming the A2ZBTSW channel on October 11 to get some of their programs back on the air.
  2. Cable viewers are not affected, as Kapamilya ChannelBTSW was established to air ABS-CBN's entertainment programs. Also, DZMM TeleRadyo (renamed to TeleRadyo due to the cease and desist order), ANC, IWantTFC and other cable channels are not covered by the cease-and-desist order.
    • TV Patrol remained on air via ABS-CBN News Channel/ANC, Kapamilya Channel (since July 27, 2020) and TeleRadyo.
  3. Unlike the 1972 Martial Law, it's rival networks GMA and TV5 did not go off the air, and had their franchises renewed.
  4. Despite many ABS-CBN shows dissapearing before the move to Kapamilya Channel, most of the shows were aired on TFC (The Filipino Channel) (now known as the IWantTFC) outside of the Philippines without any interruption.
  5. Starting on September 1, IWantTFC offers a lot of former ABS-CBN shows that remained on the air.
  6. ASAP also started it’s simulcast on TV5 in late January, which replaced the blocktimer Sunday Noontime Live!, which was hosted/performed by other ABS-CBN artists.



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