Villar firm gets ABS-CBN frequencies — NTC

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) — A company owned by former senator and billionaire Manny Villar has gained the government's backing to enter the television market using frequencies previously assigned to ABS-CBN.

From what it seems a revival of the company's application filed in October 2006, Advanced Media Broadcasting System (AMBS) secured a provisional authority to operate a digital television broadcasting system in Metro Manila and Mega Manila using Channel 16 — almost two years after ABS-CBN lost in its franchise renewal push.

RELATED: ABS-CBN franchise expires May 4

AMBS received a 25-year franchise to operate TV service last 2019. Congress approved Villar’s bid to own AMBS through his firm Planet Cable Inc. in November 2021.

A copy of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) order released to the media Tuesday night showed that the regulator sought the legal opinion of the Department of Justice.

The NTC also said the Office of the President-Office of the Executive Secretary "interposed no objection for the NTC to proceed with the issuance of CPCNs/PAs and to assign vacated and available frequencies to qualified entities."

"AMBS was granted the PA after the determination of its legal, technical, and financial qualification," the NTC said in a separate statement.

The regulator also said analog TV Channel 2 has been temporarily assigned to AMBS.

"This temporary assignment is for simulcast purposes only, and only until the analog shutoff scheduled in 2023," it said.

"The temporary assignment was granted to ensure service to both analog and digital TV signal users as the country transitions to full digital TV," the NTC added.