television industry

Take 2 for Manny Villar’s Channel 2?

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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Take 2 for Manny Villar’s Channel 2?

TAKE 2. Former senator Manny Villar in his radio station, K-Lite 103.5 FM, which was rebranded into ALLRADIO starting January 1, 2024.

Screenshot from K-LITE 103.5FM Facebook

On ALLTV's Facebook, it seems the page will be more active in the coming months in the run-up to the 2025 mid-term elections. More changes at the station appear to be forthcoming.

When ALLTV, the first major entertainment venture of the Philippines’ 2nd richest individual – former senator Manny Villar – was launched in September 2022, there was high expectation that it would present a credible competition to industry leaders such as GMA Network and TV5.

Its biggest asset was ABS-CBN’s coveted frequency: Channel 2, which the Lopez family lost in 2020. Many people wanted to know how Villar’s Advanced Media Broadcasting System (AMBS), which operates ALLTV, would use this pubic resource after securing the frequency in 2022. Would they also use it for news, public service, and education aside from entertainment?

“Ito ang bagong Channel 2 (This is the new Channel 2),” declared Willie Revillame, Villar’s friend and unofficial point man for ALLTV, on September 13, 2022. “Pasisiyahin namin kayo umaga hanggang gabi (We will entertain you from morning until night).”

The official launch of ALLTV was held at Vista Land’s Wil Tower condominium rooftop at the back of the ABS-CBN compound in Quezon City.

With one of the country’s top tycoons behind this new network, many thought ALLTV would give others in the Philippine broadcast industry a run for their money.

And why not? It even scored an interview, with no less than the then-new president, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., via former Kapamilya star Toni Gonzaga. It aired on his 65th birthday, or just over two months following a resounding victory in the 2022 presidential elections.

Take 2 for Manny Villar’s Channel 2?

AMBS would go on to sign deals with Revillame, Gonzaga, and her husband Paul Soriano; Mariel Rodriguez, actress and wife of Senate topnotcher Robinhood “Robin” Padilla; Ciara Sotto, singer/fitness enthusiast and a daughter of former Senate president Tito Sotto; and former Kapamilya broadcast talent Anthony Taberna. AMBS also signed a partnership with CNN Philippines on the airing of its flagship news program, News Night

AMBS’ high-profile celebrities would have station-produced shows on ALLTV, until the network hit pause for most of these shows starting February and March 2023, or just five to six months after the station’s launch.

There was talk that Villar balked at the high fees for these talents and cost of producing their shows, with little prospects of getting revenues from advertisers. It was reported by entertainment website pep.ph in April 2023 that Revillame had terminated his contract with AMBS.

Incumbent Senator Mark Villar would quash talk that his father was giving up on ALLTV by telling Taberna in February 2023 that the station would not close down and was just undergoing changes. 

That pause has taken months – until signs of new activity began toward the end of 2023. 

Well, it appears Villar is giving his entertainment venture a second shot, with initial priority to AMBS’ flagship radio station, K-Lite 103.5 FM, which is housed in Villar’s Star Mall EDSA-Shaw in Mandaluyong City.

For one, K-Lite 103.5 FM rebranded starting January 1, 2024 into ALLRADIO. This station provides piped music to Villar’s expanding retail and food empire such as its Coffee Project outlets, All Home and AllDay stores, plus his Vista Malls and Star Malls

Secondly, ALLRADIO now has regular five-minute news programs – three times a day, at 11:55 am, 2:55 pm, and 5:55 pm. 

ALLTV Channel 2 has recently been airing a news ticker which says, “Watch out for the simulcast airing of ALLTV News, Monday to Friday, on ALLRADIO, ALLTV News FB, and ALLTV.” 

ALLRADIO has picked a former DZMM and Kapamilya radio reporter, Zandro Ochona, as one of its news readers. 

In a recent post on X (formerly Twitter), Ochona announced he was back on radio and invited his followers to “join us at ALLRADIO 103.5FM.”

And, it appears more changes at the station are forthcoming. Ochona posted on January 8, “Marami pang surpresa sa darating na panahon. Abangan. (More surprises coming soon. Watch out.)”

On ALLTV’s Facebook, it seems the page will be more active in the coming months in the run-up to the 2025 mid-term elections. It recently posted Villar’s congratulatory greeting to new Finance Secretary Ralf Recto, his former colleague in the Senate. 

Villar recalled that he and Recto were part of the so-called “Wednesday Club” group with the late Joker Arroyo and several other senators.

ALLTV Facebook has also been posting videos of its short news programs which air on ALLTV.

There’s no sign that the prominent celebrities of ALLTV will be returning on Channel 2 with revived programs, so it appears to be a low-cost take 2 at the moment. The television station continues to air mostly reruns of Kapamilya movies, K-drama, and other low-cost entertainment. Gonzaga, however, has been consistent in pursuing her show, Toni Talks, online, absent a television platform. – Rappler.com

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  1. ET

    Former Senator Manny Villar is preparing his propaganda machinery for the 2025 mid-term elections and 2028 national elections. He may plan to run as a Senator (again) in the 2025 midterm elections and then as a Vice-Presidential candidate in tandem with Speaker Martin Romualdez, who will be running for the Presidency in the 2028 National Elections.

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Isagani de Castro Jr.

Before he joined Rappler as senior desk editor, Isagani de Castro Jr. was longest-serving editor in chief of ABS-CBN News online. He had reported for the investigative magazine Newsbreak, Asahi Shimbun Manila, and Business Day. He has written chapters for books on politics, international relations, and civil society.