Can ABS-CBN Come Back Strong on Free TV? Investors Are Betting On It

A2Z Channel 11 will restore its broadcast ad business.
Photo/s: ABS-CBN/YouTube

ABS-CBN will return to free TV on Oct. 10 after a five-month hiatus due its expired franchise. Its partnership with Zoe TV will restore its cash cow -- broadcast ad revenues. While ratings have yet to be released, the market is expecting a recovery.

On Wednesday, the company's share price jumped 50% to P13.50, compared to its record low this year of P6.76. Overall, losses for the year were reduced to just 14.6%, based on data from the Bloomberg Terminal.

How big is ABS-CBN's broadcast ad business? Its CEO, Carlo Katigbak, had said that losses due to the broadcast shutdown amounted to P35 million per day.

Also on Wednesday, ABS-CBN announed the initial line-up of the new channel, called A2Z Channel 11: the noontime show "It's Showtime" and "FPJ's Ang Probinsyano."

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ABS-CBN's financial fortunes are tied to the developments in its bid for a franchise. When the House rejected its application on July 10, it dropped 2.6%. A trading halt ensued and it dropped by 30% at the resumption of trading on July 23, also based on Bloomberg data.

The network has laid off an undisclosed number of employees to survive. Its Chairman Emeritus, Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III, also resigned. While waiting for the Zoe TV deal, ABS-CBN aired on YouTube and Facebook.

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