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Around the Mediaverse: ARC, TAG Sign Off; Rappler Stripped of Registration

More sad news in Philippine cable television.

At midnight of January 15, the ABS-CBN Regional Channel and TAG permanently signed off the air. According to Creative Programs Inc., they cite a ‘change in business direction’ for the closure of the two channels.

The ARC was launched on August 1, 2016 in another attempt to make ABS-CBN Regional programs available outside its respective regional footprint. However, like the Sarimanok Channel (now the ABS-CBN News Channel), ARC was beset by various problems from the start and its inability to gain support from the mother network eventually led to its downfall.

Two months later, on October 19, TAG signed on, showing Tagalized foreign films. However, it also endured its fair share of problems, the most obvious of which is redundancy due to the fact that the films shown in the channel are also aired on sister channels such as ABS-CBN, CineMo, Cinema One and Yey!.

CPI will also end broadcast of the anime channel Hero on January 31. More on that in a future article.

Rappler Registration Revoked

Later that afternoon, some breaking news involving a rising media outlet shook the world of journalism. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it revoked its registration of Rappler due to an alleged violation of a rule regarding foreign ownership of media companies.

The SEC claimed that Rappler is being controlled by the Omidyar Network, a fund created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Rappler denied this statement, saying that the company is ‘100% Filipino-owned’ and that Omidyar is only an investor.

Rappler’s reported revocation of its registration was vehemently criticized by the likes of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, saying that it violated the rights of freedom of speech and the press. Malacañang denied these claims, saying Rappler violated constitutional rules and that it has nothing to do with President Rodrigo Duterte’s criticism of the outlet.

This said rule regarding the ban on foreign ownership of media companies has been in place since the 1970s. It can be recalled that GMA Network owner Robert ‘Uncle Bob’ Stewart sold the company to Felipe Gozon, Gilberto Duavit and Menardo Jimenez due to said rule, and MPB Primedia was also forced to sell its share of TV5 to Manny V. Pangilinan.

Despite its revocation, Rappler said it will continue to operate and will exhaust all legal efforts in order to reconsider SEC’s decision. Good luck with that.

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14 thoughts on “Around the Mediaverse: ARC, TAG Sign Off; Rappler Stripped of Registration

  1. Malacañang denied these claims, saying Rappler violated constitutional rules and that it has nothing to do with President Rodrigo Duterte’s criticism of the outlet.

    Well, well, well, didn’t he called them out last SONA and accused them of being American-owned?

    But I digress, now that Congress resumed its duties from their month-long recess and begin the scuffle on the Constitution, isn’t it a high time for them to lift up the provisions in mass media, along with their prioritized shift to federalism?

    For now, I’m sharing my statement on the Rappler issue: https://www.facebook.com/notes/timows-turf/the-turfs-statement-on-rapplers-revocation/1925662837695722/

    • We’ll never know if they’ll look at it again. This rule regarding ownership of media companies is a complicated one and somebody who knows a lot about the law should explain this in detail. I see plenty of topsy-turvy reports regarding the Rappler situation so clarity of the essence.

  2. JW says:

    I guess the closure of Hero TV is due to the decline of people watching anime on TV IMO. Siguro, dahil sa presence ng online shows, and DLs kaya nag suffer din ang Hero TV. Pero though there is still Animax, so anime lovers still can tune in to that channel.

  3. Pingback: Goodbye, Hero | From the Tube

  4. Pingback: Goodbye, Hero | From the Tube

  5. Anonymous says:

    To be fair, ang tagal na nung rumors of foreign ownership ng Rappler: parang panahon pa P-Noy naririnig ko na yung mga tsismis na iyon. I even remember some pro-Aquino personalities or bloggers calling out Rappler and using that foreign ownership thing as their source of contention.

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