Media giant ABS-CBN Corp. on Tuesday announced that its long-running television channel TeleRadyo will cease its operations on June 30 – about three years after it lost its free-to-air and cable TV franchises when Congress turned down its renewal under the Duterte administration.
“Since ABS-CBN can no longer sustain TeleRadyo’s operations, ABS-CBN is left with no choice but to cease the operations of TeleRadyo effective 30 June 2923,” the company said in a statement.
However, ABS-CBN Corp. said Tuesday it signed a joint venture agreement with Prime Media Holdings Inc. to produce various content and programs.
The Lopez-led media and entertainment company said it would continue providing news to the public through a joint venture with Prime Media to produce various programs, which would be supplied to broadcasters and other third-party platforms including Philippine CollectiveMedia Corp. (PCMC).
“Under the agreement, ABS-CBN will have a minority stake in the joint venture, and Prime Media Inc. will be the majority stakeholder,” ABS-CBN said.
“This gives some of our former personnel a chance to find job opportunities. It is also a way to continue providing accurate and balanced news and information in the country,” its statement added.
Prime Media said in a separate disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange the agreement is in line with its strategic plan to venture into media and entertainment by securing partnerships for content development, production, and distribution to expand its business.
Prime Media said the joint venture with ABS-CBN formalizes the agreement to develop, produce, and finance content, programs, and shows for distribution to local and international broadcast networks, channels, and platforms.
This will expand Prime Media’s business segments and provide streams of revenue such as equity investment and share in future projects, it said. Prime Media is trading under the PSE ticker symbol “PRIM.”
Under the agreement, ABS-CBN will have 49 percent equity with an initial subscription of 19.6 million shares for P19.6 million, and Prime Media will have 51 percent equity and an initial subscription of 20.4 million shares for P20.4 million.
The initial authorized capital stock of the joint venture amounted to P100 million, consisting of 100 million common shares with a par value of P1. Upon incorporation of the JVC, the board of directors will be composed of nine members, with five members appointed by Prime Media and four members by ABS-CBN.
ABS-CBN said the partnership with Prime Media would give its former personnel a chance to find job opportunities after it announced that TeleRadyo would cease operations next month.
“It is also a way to continue providing accurate and balanced news and information to the country,” ABS-CBN said.
ABS-CBN said that since 2020, TeleRadyo has been incurring financial losses to the already beleaguered media company.
TeleRadyo debuted in April 2007 as DZMM TeleRadyo, but went radio silent after the cease-and-desist order issued against ABS-CBN in May 2022.
A few days later TeleRadyo returned live, airing through YouTube and Facebook.
In May 2020, the National Telecommunications Commission ordered ABS-CBN to cease its operations due to the expiration of its legislative franchise.
Three years since ABS-CBN went off-air, numerous bills seeking to grant the broadcasting network a fresh 25-year franchise remain pending in Congress.
ABS-CBN said TeleRadyo had been incurring financial losses since 2020, and it could no longer sustain its operations.
“The company is deeply saddened by this closure and having to part ways with the many passionate and committed people who have made Teleradyo an important source of news and information for many Filipinos,” the firm said.
PCMC has been operating since 2009 and was recently granted a national franchise. It operates a television station in Tacloban and 13 radio stations under the FMR (Favorite Music Radio) network.
PCMC also has radio stations in Catbalogan, Calbayog, Catarman, Borongan, Ormoc, Iloilo, Camiguin, Zamboanga Sibugay, Butuan, Davao de Oro, Tagum and Iligan.
ABS-CBN is a media organization known for creating and producing programs for different platforms through partnerships with local broadcasters. It has a streaming service, third-party platforms, domestic and international theater chains, and co-production and syndication agreements with global streaming platforms, and international studios.