Shares of ABS-CBN surged following talk that its two most popular programs could soon return to free broadcast via Zoe TV. It addressed the price movement in a disclosure to the stock exchange Tuesday.
Phlippine Entertainment Portal reported Monday that "It's Showtime" and "ASAP Nation To" could air on Zoe TV as early as Oct. 10. The free channel owned by the family of television evangelist Brother Eddie Villanueva was recently added to the lineup of ABS-CBN's Sky Cable.
Shares of ABS-CBN rose 12.4 percent in early trading Tuesday to P11.90. Shares of ABS-CBN Holdings also gained.
"We are aware that Zoe TV Channel 11 will be added to SkyCable’s channel line-up, in accordance with their advisory," ABS-CBN said.
"We are also aware of public speculation that there are initiatives being explored by the Corporation to distribute its content across additional platforms. The Corporation will disclose any initiatives that become definitive in due course," it said.
Since a House of Representatives panel denied its application for a franchise renewal last July 10, ABS-CBN has pivoted to digital and CEO Carlo Katigbak said the company would focus on its core strength -- content creation. Some ABS-CBN stars both on and off screen have announced bloctime deals with TV5.
Zoe TV has hosted blocktimers before, including GMA Network's QTV and GMA News TV. It is owned by the family of television evangelist Eduardo "Brother Eddie" Villanueva.