ABS-CBN Entertainment (an initialism of the network's former names, Alto Broadcasting System - Chronicle Broadcasting Network), is a YouTube channel and a Filipino commercial broadcast television network from the Philippines, that is the flagship property of ABS-CBN Corporation, a company under the Lopez Group. The network is headquartered at the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center in Quezon City, with additional offices and production facilities in 25 major cities including Baguio, Naga, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, and Davao. ABS-CBN is formally referred to as "The Kapamilya Network" is a Filipino term which means a member of a family. This was originally introduced in 1999 and was officially introduced in 2003 during the celebration of its 50th anniversary. It is the largest television network in the country in terms of revenues, assets, and international coverage.
ABS-CBN is the oldest television broadcaster in Southeast Asia and one of the oldest commercial television broadcasters in Asia. It is also the leading television network in the Philippines with advertising revenues of 21.2 billion pesos for the fiscal year of 2015. ABS-CBN's first ever television broadcast was on October 23, 1953, as Alto Broadcasting System (ABS) on DZAQ-TV, just 3 months after the first broadcast of Japan's NHK General TV and Nippon Television. It is also the first television network in Southeast Asia to broadcast in color, the first television network in the Philippines to formally launch a digital terrestrial television service, and the first broadcast television network in the Philippines to formally launch in high-definition.
Today, the flagship television station of ABS-CBN is DWWX-TV (ABS-CBN TV-2 Manila). The network operates across the Philippine archipelago through the ABS-CBN Regional division which controls 80 television stations. Its programs are also available outside the Philippines through the global subscription television channel The Filipino Channel (TFC) which is now available in over three million paying households worldwide as well as terrestrially in Guam through KEQI-LP. Since 2011, the network is on test broadcast for digital terrestrial television using the Japanese standard ISDB-T in select areas in the Philippines. On October 3, 2015, ABS-CBN started to broadcast in high-definition through its affiliate direct-to-home cable and satellite television providers.
ABS-CBN traces its history to the first Philippine television station DZAQ-TV, owned by Bolinao Electronics Corporation (BEC) which was later renamed Alto Broadcasting System (ABS).
James Lindenberg, the owner of BEC, was the first to apply for a license to the Philippine Congress to establish a television station in 1949. His request was granted on June 14, 1950, under Republic Act 511. Because of the strict import controls and the lack of raw materials needed to open a TV station in the Philippines during the mid-20th century, Lindenberg branched to radio broadcasting instead.
Judge Antonio Quirino, brother of former President Elpidio Quirino, also tried to apply for a license to Congress, but was denied. He later purchased stocks from BEC and subsequently consummated the controlling stock to rename the company from BEC to Alto Broadcasting System (ABS).
DZAQ-TV began commercial television operations on October 23, 1953; the first fully licensed commercial television station in the Philippines. The first program to air was a garden party at the Quirino residence in Sitio Alto, San Juan. After the premiere telecast, the station followed a four-hour-a-day schedule, from six to ten in the evening.
In 1955, Chronicle owner Eugenio Lopez, Sr. and former Vice President Fernando Lopez, acquired a radio-TV franchise from the Congress and immediately established Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN) in 1956. On February 24, 1957, Lopez invited Judge Quirino to his house for breakfast and ABS was bought under a contract written on a table napkin. The corporate name was reverted to Bolinao Electronics Corporation immediately after the purchase of ABS.
With the establishment of DZXL-TV 9 of CBN in 1956, the Lopez brothers controlled both television channels in the archipelago, culminating in the first wave of expansion. The monopoly in television was broken in 1961, when DZBB-TV 7 was established by the Republic Broadcasting System (now GMA Network Inc.) (RBS), owned by Robert Stewart, on the same year it launched the nation's first regional and provincial television station in Cebu City on July 24.
In 1961, when the provincial region was launched in Cebu (based in Mandaue), they merged ABS and CBN to form ABS-CBN.
In 1966, ABS-CBN became the first TV network to broadcast certain shows in color by using the American NTSC standard and by December 18, 1968, ABS-CBN opened its present-day Broadcast Center complex in Bohol Avenue, Quezon City. It was among the most advanced broadcasting facility of its kind in Asia. Full-color broadcasts began in 1971 (8 hours a day) on ABS-CBN 2 with the availability of more color television sets around Manila and neighboring municipalities and cities.
In 1967, the company was renamed ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation. This company became the formal merger of the two stations DZAQ-TV 3 (ABS) and DZXL-TV 9 (CBN).
In 1969, DZAQ-TV transferred to channel 2 (which remains as the current positioning frequency of the flagship station in Metro Manila), while its sister station DZXL-TV transferred to channel 4. This frequency adjustment was done to make room for Kanlaon Broadcasting System (now Radio Philippines Network]) to occupy the channel 9 frequency.
When then-President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972, the station was forced to shut down. The company was seized from the Lopez brothers and its newly built Broadcast Center became the home of state-run TV stations Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation (BBC Channel 2, with call sign changed to DWWX-TV), Government Television (GTV Channel 4, with call sign changed to DWGT-TV, and later renamed MBS-4) and Kanlaon Broadcasting System (KBS Channel 9]). BBC and RPN were relocated to the Broadcast City compound in Old Balara, Quezon City (along with its then-sister station Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC Channel 13), which is currently headquartered, and the only remaining tenant, until now.
As the People Power Revolution (commonly known as EDSA Revolution) broke out in the eighties, and Marcos' grip on power debilitated, the reformists in the military contended the broadcasting network would be a vital asset for victory. Thus, at 10 AM on February 24, 1986, they attacked and took the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center that was then the home of MBS-4 and the long hibernation of the station ended in March.
When Marcos was deposed, the network was sequestered and returned Channel 2 to the Lopezes but not Channel 4. On September 14, 1986, ABS-CBN went back on the air, broadcasting from what used to be their main garage at Broadcast Center in the pre-Martial Law days. The network was forced to share space in the building that was rightfully their own with the government TV station Channel 4. At the time, money had been scarce while resources were limited; offices were used as dressing rooms and other equipment such as chairs, tables, and phones were in short supply.
In late 1986, the network was faltering, ranking last among the five stations in the Philippines and was suffering heavy losses. Eugenio "Geny" Lopez Jr.] by early 1987 brought in programming whiz and ABS-CBN veteran Freddie Garcia, then working for GMA Network, and set him loose to work his magic touch.
Six months later on March 1, 1987, Channel 2 was relaunched with the live musical special, "The Star Network: Ang Pagbabalik Ng Bituin" (The Return of the Star), and produced a slew of new locally produced programs that composed 85% of its programming lineup then. The relaunch successfully gave the station a boost in the ratings, and by 1988, ABS-CBN became the Philippines' number one TV network, a position it has maintained ever since.
Later that year, the station launched nationwide domestic satellite programming and by 1994, expanded its operations worldwide. In 1999, Channel 2 launched its 120-kilowatt Millennium Transmitter, resulting in improved signal quality throughout Mega Manila.
In 2005, ABS-CBN re-upgraded its transmitter into a very high capacity of 346.2 kilowatts resulting in a much clearer signal in Metro Manila.
During the historic presidential election, in response to the first automation of the election in the country, ABS-CBN utilized a technology from Orad Hi Tech Systems Ltd. that utilizes the principles of augmented reality. The technology uses real-time image processing system for live broadcasts of 3D computer-generated imagery against a real set or background. ABS-CBN also utilized what is probably the biggest touch screen display to be used in a Philippine television show. A new set dubbed as the "WAR" (Wireless Audience Response) room was specifically designed for the said election coverage. The coverage of ABS-CBN became the third top trending topic worldwide on the social networking site Twitter.
In 2016, coinciding with the presidential elections, ABS-CBN officially launched its 24-hour broadcasting service, starting with the marathon coverage of Halalan 2016.
In 2018, ABS CBN won 30 awards during 16th Gawad Tanglaw awards and also won 34 awards during 32nd Star Awards for Television for their good TV programs and personalities.
Also in December of the same year, ABS-CBN inaugurated its new state-of-the-art sound stages studio complex called Horizon IT Park located at San Jose del Monte, Bulacan which is on par with Hollywood standards. The Phase 1 of the project includes its first two sound stages each sized of 1,500 square meters, with the first stage is named for its chairman emeritus, Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III who visioned of the new studios, The EL3 Stage. The complex also includes backlots, facilities for its production and post-production, and offices. The studios will be used for its upcoming teleserye The Faithful Wife and will commence production on the 2nd quarter of 2019.
On May 5, 2020, ABS-CBN's TV and radio operations were suspended by the order of the Philippines' telecommunications bureau, National Telecommunications Commision, via Cease and Desist Order (CDO) due to expiration it's legislative franchise (take place on May 4, 2020). ABS-CBN franchise renewal became a controversial issue due to ABS-CBN refused to air Rodrigo Duterte's 2016 political ad during 2016 presidential elections, and alleged violations of it's franchise. However, the TV station's digital platforms, and cable channels are still on-air because the CDO doesn't affect all cable channels and digital platforms; only the free-to-air channels of ABS-CBN.
Note: The following dates are according to
- 1 million subscribers: April 11, 2014
- 3 million subscribers: March 23, 2016
- 4 million subscribers: October 9, 2016
- 5 million subscribers: March 18, 2017
- 6 million subscribers: July 24, 2017
- 7 million subscribers: November 11, 2017
- 8 million subscribers: February 3, 2018
- 9 million subscribers: April 18, 2018
- 10 million subscribers: June 3, 2018
- 11 million subscribers: July 18, 2018
- 12 million subscribers: September 2, 2018
- 13 million subscribers: October 18, 2018
- 14 million subscribers: November 20, 2018
- 15 million subscribers: January 4, 2019
- 16 million subscribers: February 17, 2019
- 17 million subscribers: March 31, 2019
- 18 million subscribers: May 3, 2019
- 19 million subscribers: June 5, 2019
- 20 million subscribers: July 18, 2019
- 21 million subscribers: August 23, 2019
- 22 million subscribers: September 30, 2019
- 23 million subscribers: November 15, 2019
- 24 million subscribers: January 1, 2020
- 25 million subscribers: February 10, 2020
- 26 million subscribers: March 27, 2020
- 27 million subscribers: May 11, 2020
- 28 million subscribers: July 8, 2020
Video View Milestones
- 1 billion views: March 17, 2015
- 2 billion views: September 15, 2015
- 3 billion views: January 19, 2016
- 4 billion views: May 5, 2016
- 5 billion views: November 1, 2016
- 6 billion views: February 4, 2017
- 7 billion views: April 16, 2017
- 8 billion views: June 19, 2017
- 9 billion views: August 20, 2017
- 10 billion views: October 18, 2017
- 11 billion views: December 14, 2017
- 12 billion views: February 10, 2018
- 13 billion views: April 2, 2018
- 14 billion views: May 11, 2018
- 15 billion views: June 18, 2018
- 16 billion views: July 26, 2018
- 17 billion views: September 1, 2018
- 18 billion views: October 9, 2018
- 19 billion views: November 11, 2018
- 20 billion views: December 21, 2018
- 21 billion views: January 30, 2019
- 22 billion views: March 8, 2019
- 23 billion views: April 7, 2019
- 24 billion views: May 3, 2019
- 25 billion views: May 28, 2019
- 26 billion views: June 22, 2019
- 27 billion views: July 19, 2019
- 28 billion views: August 12, 2019
- 29 billion views: September 4, 2019
- 30 billion views: September 20, 2019
- 31 billion views: October 25, 2019
- 32 billion views: December 21, 2019
- 33 billion views: January 25, 2020
- 34 billion views: February 25, 2020
- 35 billion views: April 6, 2020
- 36 billion views: May 21, 2020
- 37 billion views: July 10, 2020
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