ABS-CBN Corp. said Tuesday some of its entertainment shows will return to free television starting Saturday, Oct. 10, after signing an agreement with broadcast media company Zoe Broadcasting Network, Inc. that operates “A2Z” Channel 11.
Shares in ABS-CBN jumped 14.93% to close at P9 each on Tuesday, while those of ABS-CBN Holdings Corp. climbed 16.03% to P8.75 apiece.
Ahead of the announcement, shares in the franchise-less network soared nearly 50% to P10.58 each on Monday on speculation about the arrangement, prompting the stock exchange to request an explanation on the unusual price moment.
Channel 11 is seen on analog TV in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, ABS-CBN said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.
ABS-CBN said its agreement with Zoe Broadcasting involves the provision of entertainment, public service, and educational content.
The embattled media company added it currently produces content “for various companies, platforms, and audiences here and abroad.”
Zoe Broadcasting announced separately the rebranding of Zoe Channel 11 as A2Z.
“Starting this October, A2Z will be the home of the newest TV experience for Filipinos as it offers relevant, informative, and entertaining content geared towards spiritual strengthening,” Zoe Broadcasting said in an e-mailed statement.
It said the rebranded channel will serve its viewers with inspirational shows, local and foreign movies, and some shows of ABS-CBN through a blocktime arrangement.
The channel will also show programs from Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN Asia) and Knowledge Channel, it added. A2Z will also be available on Sky Cable.
The agreement with Zoe Broadcasting comes after Eugenio Gabriel “Gabby” L. Lopez III resigned last week as ABS-CBN chairman emeritus and director, citing “personal reasons.”
The company said Mario Luza Bautista was elected to take over Mr. Lopez’s position on the board.
Mr. Lopez also stepped down as director of ABS-CBN Holdings Corp., Sky Vision Corp., Sky Cable Corp., First Philippine Holdings Corp., First Gen Corp., and Rockwell Land Corp.
ABS-CBN recently reported an attributable net loss of P3.16 billion for the second quarter, swinging from a profit of P695.80 million in the same period last year.
In May, the National Telecommunications Commission ordered ABS-CBN to cease broadcast operations after its franchise expired. The company’s application for franchise renewal was rejected by lawmakers in July, adding to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its financial performance. — Arjay L. Balinbin