NTC recalls all radio frequencies, TV channel frequencies assigned to ABS-CBN

All “provisional authorities/certificates of public convenience” also revoked

File photo of ABS CBN facade after it was ordered to stop broadcast operations by the National Telecommunications Commission on  May 5, 2020, a day after the expiration of its legislative franchise. Photo taken on May 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Earlo Bringas/Eagle News Service)

(Eagle News) – The National Telecommunications Commission has recalled all the radio frequencies and television channel frequencies earlier assigned ABS-CBN Corporation, citing the media network’s absence of a valid franchise.

In a decision dated Sept. 9, the NTC said that “absent a valid legislative franchise,” ”all assigned frequencies/channels assigned to ABS CBN are hereby recalled.”

The NTC also revoked and cancelled “all provisional authorities/certificates of public convenience” granted to ABS-CBN Corporation” pursuant to Republic Act 7966, the earlier franchise grant to the media network that already expired in May.

The NTC decision came out two months after Congress voted not to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application. Its earlier 25-year franchise expired on May 4.  A day later, the NTC issued a cease and desist order (CDO) for ABS CBN to stop its broadcast operations

The frequencies recalled were those for ABS-CBN’s AM and FM radio stations, while the TV channels recalled were for its various television stations nationwide.

“Respondent has no valid franchise to continue operating television and radio broadcasting stations nationwide,” the NTC decision read.

It said that ABS-CBN “had already lost the privilege of installing, operating, and maintaining radio broadcasting stations in the country” with the denial of its franchise renewal application by Congress, as well as the denial of its petition filed before the Supreme Court.

“Consequently, absent a valid legislative franchise, the recall of the frequencies assigned to respondent is warranted” said the NTC decision signed by commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, and deputy commissioners Edgardo Cabarios and Delilah Deles.

The NTC recalled five AM radio frequencies, 17 FM radio frequencies and one FM radio frequency granted through provisional authority, at least 33 television channel frequencies for its various TV stations nationwide, and 10 DTTB stations for implementation mostly earlier granted to ABS CBN through provisional authority.

Congress, on July 10, voted not to renew the media network’s renewal application citing its alleged various violations of its earlier franchise conditions.

(Eagle News Service)