Philippine terrestrial broadcaster ZOE Broadcasting Network is reportedly ending their blocktime agreement of DZOE-TV Channel 11 with media company GMA Network after the agreement expires at the end of May this year.
The media company has announced on Friday through an on-screen graphic that their secondary free-to-air channel GMA News TV, which currently occupies VHF 11 in Mega Manila, will be moving to UHF 27 starting this June.
Sources has revealed to DTV Pilipinas that GMA Network will revert UHF 27 (551.143MHz) back to analogue broadcast from its current Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) test broadcast.
They plan to broadcast GMA News TV from the UHF channel until the Analog switch-off, which is tentatively set at 2023.
Sources familiar to the matter has also revealed that the media company is set to start using UHF 15 (479.143MHz) for their DTT test broadcast.
UHF 15 is the frequency assigned to the GMA Network, according to NTC Memorandum Order 04-06-2016 that gives current VHF networks space in the 470-498MHz spectrum, or UHF Channels 14-20.
When asked if UHF 27 would eventually be re-used as a DTT channel after the analog switch-off, our sources tells us that it’s possible but there are no discussions at the moment.
No word yet on ZOE Broadcasting’s plans for VHF 11 in June, but it is speculated the terrestrial broadcaster will simulcast Light TV on the channel, which is currently broadcasting on DTT via UHF 33 (587.143MHz).
GMA Network has entered into a blocktime agreement with terrestrial broadcaster ZOE Broadcasting Network, which is owned by Jesus Is Lord Church pastor Eduardo “Eddie” Villanueva, to use VHF 11 as GMA’s secondary channel in November 2005.
The channel was eventually known as Qtv Channel 11, which was a female-centered lifestyle and entertainment channel of the media company.
As a result of the blocktime agreement, several shows from ZOE Broadcasting was also aired on the channel and on their flagship channel, GMA-7, including “The 700 Club Asia”, “Diyos at Bayan” and “Adyenda”.
About a year later, ZOE Broadcasting launched UHF 33, which is their secondary free-to-air channel.
Initially, the channel was used as a blocktime for UniversiTV, a content block produced by Estima, Inc. until 2008, which was reverted back to programs produced by the network.
GMA Network revamped VHF Channel 11 for the second time in February 2011 as GMA News TV, which is a free-to-air news and entertainment channel.
Almost the same time, ZOE Broadcasting also revamped UHF 33 as Light Network, which was eventually renamed as Light TV.
In February 2017, Light TV ceased its analogue TV broadcasts and UHF 33 becoming one of the first networks to go fully digital.