Initially set to go on-air this coming October, new television network Advanced Media Broadcasting System (AMBS) was launched earlier this month. Its TV channel ALLTV had a soft launch last September 13, on the wedding anniversary of the network’s principal owner, business magnate and former senator Manny Villar and his wife Sen. Cynthia Villar. In a media conference, AMBS President Maribeth Tolentino talked about the date chosen for the test broadcast, “Gusto namin laging may milestone as company para madaling matandaan. Kaya ni-launch namin ang network sa anniversary nila.”

“Oh my God, para kaming nanganak, na parang lumabas ‘yung bata at nasa recovery room kami,” the lawyer-media executive shared her relief with entertainment writer Iza Iglesias of The Manila Times. “Nakahinga kami kagabi,” she added, emphasizing how grueling it was for the team to have toiled for several weeks and months.

Atty. Tolentino also shared their team’s feedback on the recent soft launch when asked by Abante entertainment editor Dondom Sermino. Atty. Tolentino said, “Assessment namin internally, marami pa kaming dapat improve. Technically, hindi pala ganun kadali mag-launch. So, ‘yun unti-unti nakikita namin how to improve ‘yung aming system. ‘Yung aming organization. Marami pa rin kaming kailangan idagdag na content.”

Update on content

When it comes to content and programming, there will be a mix of original shows and canned programs. Atty. Tolentino told Random Republika, “Actually hindi pa siya puno. Ang nilaunch lang namin kahapon, ‘yung primetime lang. Starting ‘yung kay Toni. Meron din kaming nabiling canned materials from other networks so puwede naming ipalabas ‘yun. Unti-unti binubuo namin para maka-offer kami ng complete program grid.” She added that they are hoping the program grid will be completed in time for the grand launch.

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“Kung makikita ninyo ang first collaboration namin ay CNN. So, another station. The second collaboration ‘yung mapapanood ngayong teleserye, from ABS-CBN ‘yun. Hindi namin kino-close ‘yung door sa other partners, kahit sino puwedeng magbigay sa ‘min,” Atty. Tolentino weighed in on the network’s openness to teaming up with other networks.

Widening reach and coverage

Given that the network was granted the frequency previously assigned to ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, we asked Atty. Tolentino if there are updates on signal coverage, media partnerships, and areas of reach. She said, “Meron kaming unti-unting dinadagdag. Hopefully, by the grand launch, malaki na rin madadagdag namin. ‘Yung frequency kasi, andyan na ‘yan. ‘Yung transmitter naman ‘yung matagal dumating. ‘Yan ‘yung hindi agad ma-iinstall agad dahil mga imported.”

She also added the network’s efforts to reach a wider audience all over the Philippines. “May mga partnership din kami. Today, nag-sign kami ng partnership with cable PCTA, ‘yung Philippine Cable organization. Para i-carry nila kami sa probinsya kung saan sila nagpapalabas,” Atty. Tolentino said.

Aside from cable access, AllTV tries to reach the provinces through digital boxes.

On the right channel number

“Even kami nalito sa mga numbers. Kasi every box pala, [GMA] Affordabox or TV Plus, or another box, hindi talagaa puwedeng sabihin namin na ang channel lang ay isang number dahil every location ‘pag inirescan mo ‘yung box mo, iba-ibang number ang lumalabas. Kaya ang gagawin na lang natin, irescan tapos hanapin na lang ang AllTV kahit anong channel. Lalabas ‘yung AllTV.

Journey to the launch

Atty. Tolentino shared the long journey to they had to take before reaching the launch. “Same as doing a new business, meron kang kailangan i-acquire or investment para sa facilities. After namin makuha ang franchise and frequencies, bibili ka ng transmitter, bibili ka ng antenna. Kukuha ng permits sa dapat kuhanan, may MTRCB, may NTC. Lahat ‘yan, ginawa namin ang tamang proseso,” she explained.

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The transmitters, she reiterated, take time to be delivered as they come from abroad. Atty. Tolentino shared that it takes about eight to ten months for delivery to be completed. “Inisip namin kung paano maka-on agad ang AllTV kaya kami nakaisip ng collaborations,” she said. These collaborations include Korean drama series and teleseryes from ABS-CBN.

All good with ABS-CBN

When People’s Tonight entertainment editor Ian Fariñas brought up the issue of viewers assuming animosity between AllTV and its frequency’s former owner ABS-CBN, Atty. Tolentino was quick to say, “Hindi naman kami ang kumuha sa kanila ng frequency, ‘di ba? Binigay naman sa amin ng NTC ‘yun. Kasi noong time na kami ang may franchise, sila naman ang nawalan ng franchise. So, ‘yung time na gusto nilang kumuha ng frequency, na-award naman sa amin ng government ‘yung frequency. Ganoon lang ‘yung nangyari bakit naman kami magkakaroon ng problems sa isa’t isa.”

“Business naman ito kasi,” Atty. Tolentino added. “They are selling content, we are buying naman their content. Parang ganun. Nagbebenta sila, bumibili kami. Public lang siguro mahilig sa drama.”

On the rumored transfer of Korina Sanchez and Kabayan Noli De Castro

As everything seems to be all set, Atty. Tolentino confirmed that AllTV has yet to confirm the transfers of some celebrities to the network. “I-coconfirm ko pag nag-sign na kami ng contract. Hindi pa kami nag-sa-sign eh. Mga usap-usapan pa lang,” Atty. Tolentino said when specifically asked if Korina Sanchez and Kabayan Noli De Castro are transferring to the new network.

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AMBS President Atty. Maribeth Tolentino

AllTV is set to officially be launched in 2023. The network has its studios in Shaw Boulevard.

AMBS, which runs ALLTV, is under the Prime Assets Ventures, Inc. led by businessman Manuel Paolo Villar. Revillame joins showbiz couple, Gonzaga and multi-awarded director/script writer/producer Paul Soriano, and accomplished theater, TV and movie actress, Ciara Sotto, and TV host/endorser Mariel Rodriguez as contract stars of the new TV network. ALLTV also signed a content license agreement with CNN Philippines for news content. ALLTV airs on Channel 2 on free TV and Planet Cable; Channel 35 on Cignal TV and Sky Cable, Channel 32 on GSAT, Channel 23 on Cablelink, and Channel 2 on other cable TV providers.