(UPDATE) Pastor Apollo Quiboloy's broadcast business has acquired the frequency of channel 43 that was once held by an ABS-CBN affiliate, the shuttered broadcaster reported Wednesday after its former flagship brand, channel 2, was transfered to billionaire Manny Villar.
The transfer of channel 43 to Swara Sug Media Corporation, the legal operating name of Sonshine Media Network International, was confirmed by the National Telecommunications Commission.
During House hearings that led to the death of the ABS-CBN franchise, it was revealed that channel 43 was operated by its affiliate, Amcara Broadcasting Network.
ABS-CBN lost the rights to broadcast on channels 2 and 43 as a consequence of the House of Representatives' decision to kill its application for a fresh 25-year franchise in July 2020. It had been off air since May 2020.
The franchise denial left thousands jobless at the height of the pandemic and shut free TV broadcasts in remote areas that are the source of life-saving information during typhoons.
ABS-CBN has been broadcasting mostly on YouTube, Facebook and it's own streaming platform iWant. Some programs air on free TV via A2Z channel 11.
Quiboloy, self-declared "Appointed Son of God", and Villar are both allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, who had publicly declared that he was against ABS-CBN.