The Filipino Channel

The Filipino Channel, commonly known as TFC, is a 24-hour global subscription television network based in Daly City, California with studio in Redwood City, California and offices in Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, UAE, Ethiopia, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Middle East, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the United Kingdom. It is owned and operated by the Filipino media conglomerate ABS-CBN Corporation. Its programming is composed primarily of imported programs from Filipino cable channel Kapamilya Channel and programs produced and distributed by ABS-CBN Entertainment (entertainment) and ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs (news and current affairs), while the ABS-CBN television network is currently inactive due to its shutdown.[1]

The Filipino Channel
The Filipino Channel 2011 logo.svg
TFC logo (2011-present)
CountryInternational
United States
Canada
Broadcast areaWorldwide
NetworkABS-CBN
Kapamilya Channel
HeadquartersABS-CBN Broadcasting Center, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (Philippine headquarters)
ABS-CBN International, 2001 Junipero Serra Blvd, Suite 200, Daly City, California, 94014, United States (International headquarters)
Programming
Language(s)Filipino
English
Picture format720p/1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 480i/576i for the SD feed)
Ownership
OwnerABS-CBN Corporation
Sister channels
History
Launched24 September 1994; 27 years ago (1994-09-24)
Links
Websiteiwanttfc.com

TFC is available globally on direct-to-home satellite, cable, Internet Protocol television, online streaming, video on demand and on other over-the-top content platforms. TFC is targeted to the Filipino diaspora, and was launched on 24 September 1994, becoming the world's first trans-Pacific Asian broadcaster.

As of 2016, The Filipino Channel has over three million subscribers worldwide in over 40 countries across 4 continents, most of whom are in the United States, Middle East, Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.[2]

It has successfully completed its migration to high-definition in all of its international feed with its EMEA feed the last to convert on 20 February 2021. It is the first and only Philippine-based cable network worldwide to be broadcast in HD to date.[3]

HistoryEdit

 
The old logo of The Filipino Channel (2004-2009).

While TFC traces its origins to 1994, the idea of broadcasting television programming via satellite to the millions of the Filipino diaspora everywhere in the world was an innovative idea that the then ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation (now ABS-CBN Corporation) took in the late 1980s, just as it began its road of reconstruction after the brutal and infamous years of Martial Law and the post-Martial Law era. As the network in 1989 began to become once more the Philippines' leading television network, the network finally made the bold step to begin satellite transmissions to Filipinos abroad when in the fall of that very year, ABS-CBN programs were broadcast via satellite to the Northern Mariana Islands, especially to the Filipino families living in Guam and Saipan, making it the first ever Philippine television network to broadcast to viewers outside the country via satellite.

On 24 September 1994, ABS-CBN, through its newly established subsidiary ABS-CBN International, signed a historic deal with the PanAmSat to bring the first trans-Pacific Asian programming service to some two million Filipino immigrants in the United States using the then-newly launched PAS 2 satellite.[4] The following day, TFC was officially launched, first as a cable only network serving millions of Filipino Americans countrywide.

The first headquarters of TFC was built in a garage in Daly City, California with only eight employees doing all the tasks from managing the phones, the computers, and the like.[5] By 1995, TFC has grown to 25,000 subscribers in the United States. Airings of Mara Clara and other programming aired during the daytime and night in 1997 Esperanza and Mula Sa Puso where the biggest programs on TFC

By 2004, TFC has grown to 250,000 subscribers in the United States. This growth led to the expansion of TFC to other territories in the world.[6]

In 2005, ABS-CBN International signed an affiliation agreement with DirecTV, one of the leading DTH providers in the United States. Under the deal, DirecTV has the exclusive right to distribute the TFC package on its DTH platform. In return, DirecTV will pay license fees to ABS-CBN and to ABS-CBN International.[7] Later that year, the now defunct and award-winning internet television service TFC Now! was launched. This was later replaced by TFC.tv video streaming website. In this year, ABS-CBN International acquired San Francisco International Gateway from Loral Space & Communications. SFIG is a telecommunications port company based in Richmond, California. SFIG provides satellite communications services through its 2.5 acre (1 hectare) facility consisting of 19 satellite dish antennas and 9 modular equipment buildings. ABS-CBN International received Federal Communications Commission licensing approval in April 2006. Also in this year, ABS-CBN International opened its state-of-the-art studio and office in Redwood City, California.[8] In 2006, SFIG successfully handled the pay per view distribution to In Demand and DirecTV for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar Larios super featherweight championship title fight. SFIG's customers include Discovery Communications, CBS, ESPN, Playboy among others. SFIG is a member of the World Teleport Association.[9]

In 2007, ABS-CBN Global launched Myx (now Myx TV), the first and only television channel in the United States that is targeted to the Asian-American youth audience.[10] As of 2011, TFC has over 2.47 million subscribers worldwide. In the same year, TFC changed their logo.[1] As of 2015, The Filipino Channel has over three million subscribers worldwide most of which are in United States, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Europe, Africa, Canada and Southeast Asia (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia).

In March 2012, ABS-CBN Global has chosen Etere to integrate its production facility for TFC. The ABS-CBN facility manages 24 channels with 3 different video servers in 3 different formats.(NLE).[11]

On 23 February 2018, TFC IPTV and TFC Direct via cable and satellite subscribers had instant online access to TFC Online (now iWantTFC) with TFC Everywhere (TVE) feature.[12]

In early February 2021, seven TFC channels went live with Amagi cloud platform to consolidate its play-out operations on the cloud to expand its reach and gain greater flexibility. Amagi is a global leader in SaaS for broadcast and streaming TV.[13] ABS-CBN now manages end-to-end workflow on the cloud, eliminating the need for expensive hardware and broadcast center operations, giving it the flexibility to run its global channels with live news from anywhere. Amagi clients include A+E Networks, beIN Sports, Discovery Networks, IMG and Warner Media, among others.[14]

There are currently 7 different international feeds broadcasting to Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, Guam-Australia-New Zealand, USA East, USA West and Canada.

ProgrammingEdit

The program line-up of The Filipino Channel is composed primarily of programs from ABS-CBN, a national television network in the Philippines. Programming ranging from news, public affairs, documentaries, public service, reality shows, soap operas, teleseryes, talk shows, sitcoms, gag shows, live events, and other formats and genres are shown on TFC in a slightly delayed basis and are synchronized automatically depending on the location of the broadcast. TFC also airs some programs produced abroad by ABS-CBN's foreign subsidiaries in United States, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Europe. These are generally not aired on ABS-CBN's main domestic channel but some are shown on ANC several hours or days after their original airing.

In 2007 the short lived Hero TV on TFC aired in April 2007-August 2007 and since 2019, most of iWant original programs and films are also aired on the channel, as well as on TFC IPTV and TFC Online (formerly ABS-CBN now).

TFC has been relatively unaffected by the ABS-CBN franchise renewal controversy which started 6 May 2020 after the network's legislative franchise to operate domestically over-the-air expired the day before, as it is not under the purview of the National Telecommunications Commission.

On 1 February 2021, The Filipino Channel relaunched its programming lineup with new shows and more viewing options with the classification of four blocks: Early Mornings, FUNanghalian, Teleserye Playback and Primetime Bida, similar to Kapamilya Channel.[15]

iWantTFCEdit

On 1 September 2020, TFC Online its online streaming merged with iWant made the service accessible worldwide and was soft launched as iWantTFC.[16]

TFC DirectEdit

In 1996, TFC Direct! was launched, an independently operated direct-to-home cable and satellite television service that incorporates the TV channels Sarimanok News Network (now ABS-CBN News Channel), Pinoy Blockbuster Channel (now Cinema One), Pinoy Central (later renamed as Kapamilya Channel, then it was replaced by Bro, and it was replaced again by now-defunct ABS-CBN Sports + Action (S+A)), and the radio channels DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 and WRR 101.9 For Life! (now MOR 101.9).[17]

Filipino On DemandEdit

Filipino On Demand (FOD) is a video on demand service providing access to Filipino films, ABS-CBN classic shows and live concerts each month available on various cable providers in USA, Canada, Singapore and UAE.[18]

TFC IPTVEdit

TFC IPTV
TypeIPTV
First air date
30 April 2007; 15 years ago (2007-04-30)
Broadcast area
Worldwide
OwnerABS-CBN Corporation
Key people
Aldrin Cerrado (COO)
Former names
TFCko
Official website
TFC IPTV

Launched on 30 April 2007, TFC IPTV (formerly known as TFCko)[19] is an IPTV and video on demand (VOD) service distributed around the world under the brand of The Filipino Channel. To avail of the service, users must acquire the TFC IPTV set-top box, connect the box to a TV set (HDMI for HDTVs, composite for SDTVs) and broadband internet through WiFi or Ethernet (requires 2 Mbit/s minimum speed), and subscribe to monthly subscription. The channel line up will depend on the subscription package availed and may include the live-streaming of TV channels The Filipino Channel, Myx TV, the international feeds of ABS-CBN News Channel, Cinema One, Cine Mo!, Jeepney TV, Knowledge Channel as well as radio channels Teleradyo and My Only Radio (Manila station), and an in-house interactive Karaoke channel. Aside from the live-streaming of ABS-CBN channels, the service also includes a video on demand feature that allow users to watch, pause, rewind, fast-forward select programs of the channels anytime for a period of one month and in high-definition format (for select programs and internet speed). The service also offers a wide selection of fresh movies from the Philippines and other pay per view contents like concerts and sporting events also in high-definition format. As of January 1, 2020 TFC IPTV has been discontinued sales in Canada and the United States of America but will still provide service to existing users of the IPTV services.

ChannelsEdit

Video on demandEdit

Studio TFCEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Valisno, Jeffrey (14 June 2012). "Pinoy TV goes international". BusinessWorld. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  2. ^ P. Valdueza, Rolando (24 April 2015). 2014 Annual Report (17-A) (Report). Philippine Stock Exchange. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  3. ^ "TFC high-definition programming now in the Middle East via satellite and cable partners". TFC EMEA. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  4. ^ Jessel, Harry; Taishoff, Lawrence (2010). "Television and Radio". Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
  5. ^ "A Journey of Triumph of the Filipino Spirit" (PDF). ABS-CBN International. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  6. ^ Katigbak, Antonio (11 April 2004). "ABS-CBN's The Filipino Channel marks a decade of steady growth". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  7. ^ Villanueva, Paul Michael (31 December 2011), ABS-CBN 17-A 2011, Scribd.com, p. 8, retrieved 9 August 2012
  8. ^ "Customer Showcase: ABS-CBN". Advanced Systems Group.
  9. ^ "ABS-CBN International". World Teleport Association. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  10. ^ "StudioTFC". ABS-CBN International. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  11. ^ "ABS-CBN Chooses Etere to Expand its Existing, Etere System". www.etere.com. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Get the convenience of watching anytime, anywhere with TFC Everywhere!". iWantTFC. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  13. ^ Staff, S. V. G. "Philippines' ABS-CBN Corporation Pushes Operations to the Cloud With Amagi". SVG. Retrieved 3 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Staff, S. V. G. "VICE TV Transitions UK, France Linear Channels to Amagi Cloud". SVG. Retrieved 3 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "TFC launches exciting new programming lineup for your everyday viewing needs". TFC EMEA. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  16. ^ "iWant to merge with TFC Online". ABS-CBN News. 24 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  17. ^ "The Filipino Channel: Bringing overseas Pinoys closer to home". The Philippine Star. 24 March 2003. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  18. ^ Corporation, ABS-CBN. "TFC Middle East furthers reach in UAE through eLife and Switch TV partnership | ABS-CBN Corporate". ABS-CBN. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  19. ^ "James Careless on how ABS-CBN is using IPTV to bring Filipino expats a taste of home" (PDF). Retrieved 6 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Further readingEdit