The significance of the return of ABS-CBN’s “TV Patrol” to free television – #TVPatrolOnA2Z
Without fanfare, ABS-CBN’s primetime newscast “TV Patrol” was integrated into the programming of A2Z Channel 11 Saturday night (January 1) – marking the program’s return to free television for the first time since May 2020 when the network was forced to shutdown after the broadcast giant’s franchise expired.
To recap, ABS-CBN entered into a blocktime agreement with Zoe Broadcasting Network (ZOE TV) last October 2020. Zoe TV was founded by Jesus is Lord leader and House Deputy Speaker Eddie Villanueva. He is also the father of Senator Joel Villanueva. The blocktime agreement agreement paved the way for ABS-CBN to air its entertainment programs via A2Z. Interestingly, news programs such as “TV Patrol” and “The World Tonight” were not part of the deal.
Although the two sides never released an explanation behind the decision not to include the news shows in the blocktime deal, it can be surmised that it was a concession that both parties had to accept so that the agreement can push through without earning the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte. And the for the past 15 months prior to today, that has been the set-up.
The return of “TV Patrol” on free television is a major victory for ABS-CBN because it means that they will be able to reach a wider audience again. It is possible that the network’s other news programs will eventually return via A2Z in the near future.
It will also be beneficial for the Villanueva family if more people will tune in to A2Z. After all, Senator Joel Villanueva is running for his second term while Brother Eddie VIllanueva is also seeking re-election as a representative for Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) party-list. This is also significant because candidates running this 2022 will have more platforms to buy advertising spots in.
Now, here’s an interesting question: Did the Villanuevas or the ABS-CBN’s Lopezes inform Duterte about the decision to let “TV Patrol” air on free television again? If yes, did he allow it? And if no, how will he react to this?