The National Telecommunications Commission granted a company controlled by former Senator Manuel Villar a provisional license to operate TV broadcast in Metro Manila and Mega Manila using the frequencies previously held by ABS-CBN Corp.
NTC issued an order granting Advanced Media System Inc. a provisional authority to install, operate and maintain a digital terrestrial television broadcasting station in Metro Manila and Mega Manila using Channel 16 (482-488 Mhz) with digital ERP of 10 kW for 18 months.
NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba and deputy commissioners Edgardo Cabarios and Delilah Deles signed he provisional license.
NTC said Advanced Media Systems is “legally qualified, and the proposed digital terrestrial television broadcasting station in Metro Manila and Mega Manila is technically and economically feasible in the interest of public.”
The regulator also granted Advanced Media System an authority to test broadcast analog TV Channel 2.
“This temporary permit to test broadcast is effective from Jan. 6, 2022 until the analog shut off unless sooner revoked or canceled,” the NTC said.
“It is understood that the operation of the subject radio station shall be done in accordance with the existing Radio Laws and Regulations,” it said.
The NTC in 2020 ordered ABS-CBN to stop operations following the expiration of its congressional franchise.
Republic Act No. 7966, which granted ABS-CBN a 25-year franchise to operate TV and radio broadcasting stations, expired on May 4, 2020.
The Radio Control Law bars the operation of a radio broadcasting station without a franchise from Congress.
The network also closed down 12 local “TV Patrol” programs and MOR 101.9 For Life! in Manila on Aug. 28, 2020.
The frequencies were unused for several months after ABS-CBN Channel 2 went off the air on May 5, 2020 after losing its license.
The Office of the Executive Secretary asked the NTC in December last year to assign “vacated and available frequencies to qualified entities.”
The Villar family owns Planet Cable, a cable TV and fiber internet provider, which acquired a controlling interest in Advanced Media in 2019 from the Vera family.
The transfer of the franchise was approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives in the same year.
Advanced Media, which also operates radio station 103.5 K-Lite, secured a new 25-year franchise to operate TV service in June 2019.