Brother Eddie Villanueva has approved a makeover of his network Zoe TV to A2Z to accommodate a block time deal with the Lopezes who have been looking for a new channel since ABS-CBN’s franchise expired five months ago.
“Starting Saturday (October 10), some entertainment shows and movies of ABS-CBN will be seen on the newly rebranded A2Z channel 11 through an agreement between ABS-CBN and Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc.,” said ABS-CBN in a statement.
This means ABS-CBN’s shows, currently available only on Sky Cable and digital media, will now be aired on analog or free TV in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, on digital TV receivers, and cable channels.
Villanueva and the Lopezes have stepped up negotiations on the terms of the block time agreement since July when Congress rejected the Lopezes’ application for a new franchise.
A source said Villanueva met with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacanang last week where he gave the former mayor a heads up on his deal with ABS-CBN.
The source said ABS-CBN would initially air only entertainment shows on A2Z and not its news and current affairs program, specifically “TV Patrol”, to avoid ruffling Duterte who has been vocal about his scorn on ABS-CBN’s news coverage on his administration.
The source said Duterte has no objection with ABS-CBN returning on free TV through Villanueva’s TV station as long as only entertainment shows and movies would be aired.