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A2Z Channel 11 is a Philippine free-to-air broadcast television network operated by ZOE Broadcasting Network. Owned by the ABS-CBN Corporation, this serves as ABS-CBN's blocktime agreement with ZOE TV to make its programming return on free TV. The network's name is a play on "A to Z", all the letters in the English alphabet. It is available on digital terrestrial television through GMA Affordabox and ABS-CBN TV Plus.

Background[]

ZOE TV-11[]

DZOE-TV Channel 11, also known as ZOE TV-11 was launched in 1998 after being acquired from Delta Broadcasting System. It served as the television arm of Jesus is Lord Church led by Eddie Villanueva. In 2005, ZOE TV-11 was leased by Citynet Network Marketing and Productions, subsidiary of GMA Network, to serve as originating station for its secondary television networks QTV and GMA News TV. However, on April 24, 2019, GMA/Citynet announced that it will terminate its blocktime agreement with ZOE Broadcasting by the end of May 2019. The split comes after the release of GMA's 2018 financial report which declared the increasing lease payments that the network contributes to ZOE for the past three years (from ₱899.89 million in 2016 to almost a billion pesos in 2018). GMA News TV disaffiliated from ZOE TV-11 on June 4, 2019 before the channel signed off the next day.

On June 22, 2020, ZOE TV-11 returned on air and carried the feed of Light TV as part of its test broadcast operations, but on June 26 the simulcast was replaced by Hillsong Channel, which is owned by Trinity Broadcasting Network, before reverting to Light TV feed on July 11. It is rumored to be part of marketing the channel for either possibly continuing the analog simulcast of their sister station UHF 33 or for blocktime / channel leasing.

ABS-CBN shutdown and blocktime rumors[]

On May 5, 2020, the broadcast operations of ABS-CBN Corporation, including Channel 2, S+A, Radyo Patrol, My Only Radio, and all digital television channels of ABS-CBN TV Plus and Direct broadcast via satellite of Sky Direct(on June 30) was put off the air after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Solicitor General Jose Calida issued a cease-and-desist order demanding ABS-CBN to immediately cease all of its free TV and radio broadcasting upon the expiration of its legislative broadcast franchise. The Congress later rejected ABS-CBN's application for franchise renewal on July 10, and the NTC recalled all the broadcast frequencies (including its now-defunct sister networks S+A, Yey! and Asianovela Channel) assigned to ABS-CBN on September 10. Since 2017, ABS-CBN was subjected to disputes with the government of President Rodrigo Duterte due to several issues such as campaign advertisement controversies during the 2016 election, political meddling, biased reporting, and the legality of the operations of digital television channel Kapamilya Box Office, among others.

ABS-CBN partially resumed its programming through the launch of its cable and satellite television network Kapamilya Channel on June 13, where it carried ABS-CBN's dramas and live entertainment shows, educational and current affairs programming before the May 5 stoppage.

Since 2017, ZOE Broadcasting Network and ABS-CBN Corporation were reportedly held talks for possible airtime lease of Channel 11 or acquisition of the network itself if the issues regarding ABS-CBN's now-expired broadcast franchise were ever floated. Reports of a blocktime agreement between ABS-CBN and ZOE begins to surface after the Congress rejected ABS-CBN franchise renewal in July 2020, with a tentative schedule offering for broadcasting 20 hours of airtime on Channel 11, and ABS-CBN programs such as Ang Probinsyano, ASAP Natin 'To!, It's Showtime, and TV Patrol were being shopped to air on this channel.

Launch and broadcasting[]

On October 6, 2020, through separate statements, ABS-CBN and ZOE TV publicly announced their blocktime partnership and the rebranding of Channel 11 to A2Z, more than a year after being disaffiliated from GMA News TV and five months after the Channel 2 shutdown. The announcement came a day after Sky Cable, ABS-CBN's cable television arm, added ZOE TV 11 to the channel lineup.

Meanwhile, after a month of launching of the said new channel, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) were reported to investigate ABS-CBN and ZOE Broadcasting Network to determine if the said blocktime agreement of the two stations were processed in legal ways.

On November 12, 2020, A2Z started its broadcast on digital terrestrial television. The channel is available on most digital TV boxes, including ABS-CBN TV Plus and GMA Affordabox.

Programming[]

Main article: A2Z Programming

As part of the blocktime agreement between ABS-CBN and ZOE TV, A2Z Channel 11 programming will primarily include selected ABS-CBN programs and movies from Kapamilya Channel and its other sister television networks. In addition, similar to its previous airtime lease with GMA/Citynet for Channel 11, A2Z will also feature content from ZOE TV's sister station Light TV and its content partners CBN Asia and Trinity Broadcasting Network.

The programming is divided into various programming blocks:

  • School at Home – The channel's educational block featuring Knowledge Channel programs from elementary level. It airs every weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • A2Z Zinema – The channel's movie block divided into various blocks:
    • Zinema sa Umaga – Featuring Tagalized foreign movies. It airs every weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and every weekends from 10:00 a.m. from 12:00 p.m.
    • Primetime Zinema – Featuring local movies on Mondays to Thursdays and Eastern foreign movies on Friday. It airs every weekdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    • Zine Aksyon – Featuring local action movies. It airs every Saturdays from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    • Zine Love – Featuring local romance movies. It airs every Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. and every Sundays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
    • FPJ: Da King – Featuring films starred by Fernando Poe Jr. It airs every Sundays from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Kidz Toon Time – The channel's cartoon block featuring classic cartoons and anime series that aired on ABS-CBN in the 90's era, as well as cartoons from religious blocktimers including CBN Asia. It airs every weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This cartoon block is similar to the Fam-Time block of the defunct Yey! channel.
  • Kidz Weekend – The channel's children block featuring kid-oriented shows. It airs every Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

References[]

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