After the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN with the expiration of its 25-year congressional franchise, the broadcast network officially signed off on the night of May 5—and this caused an uproar from citizens on social media.
The current need for information dissemination in the middle of a pandemic places itself as one of the points that netizens had been voicing out in their protest against one of the country’s major news providers’ shutdown.
In line with this, the network shared that its other units and subsidiaries which don’t need a congressional franchise will remain operational.
This includes online services like its news, entertainment and sports websites, where they can continue posting information for the public.
The ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) can also continue broadcasting its contents since the order does not cover cable news channels, as mentioned by NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios in an interview with DZMM as well.
Aside from its news operations, ABS-CBN also houses various entertainment and lifestyle contents in its channel—and among these are its television dramas and programs which will also be off the air due to the network’s shutdown.
However, its video streaming service and app iWant, where viewers can watch the network’s series and shows like “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano”, “Maalaala Mo Kaya” and some contents from ANC and ABS-CBN Sports + Action, is unaffected by the order and can continue housing its programs.
In the field of movies, the network’s subsidiary film and television production company and distributor Star Cinema can keep its operations running as well.
Despite these channels continuing to be open for the public as an information source, the fact that the network’s operations on two of the country’s most widely-available media—television and radio—have been shut down still remains, and it paralyzes the flow of information to places not reached by the Internet in the middle of a pandemic.
Header photo from Edwin Bacasmas for Inquirer.net
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Writer: YANN MAGCAMIT