Filipinos on the internet haven't forgotten -- it's been a year since congressmen killed ABS-CBN's franchise application, keeping it off the air indeifintely. Overnight until early Saturday, #IbalikAngABSCBN was trending on Twitter.
ABS-CBN has been off the air for two months when the House Committee on Legislative Franchises voted against a franchise renewal for the Lopez-owned network on July 10, 2020. That decision resulted in thousands losing their jobs during the pandemic.
The franchise denial also resulted in the closure of ABS-CBN's Regional Network Group, the largest in the country at that time. When Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) hit in Novemeber last year, the network was trending as internet users looked for the storm news coverage that it routinely delivered.
The franchise denial accelerated ABS-CBN's shift to digital, as it streams content on the Kapamilya Channel on YouTube and Facebook and on its own iWant mobile app. It also airs entertainment shows on UHF channel A2Z and TV5.
Seventy lawmakers voted against a new franchise for ABS-CBN at the end of marathon hearings thats saw top executives refute the network's alleged deficiencies. Eleven voted to grant the network a new 25-year license to operate.
Also trending on the first anniversary of the ABS-CBN franchise denial, #Halalan2022.