MANILA— Among those who followed the return of ABS-CBN shows to free television on Saturday was Evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva, founder of the network that gave them a second home.
In a video clip posted by his daughter Jovi Villanueva-Binalla taken by Heidy Landrito, Bro. Eddie, as he is known, is seen at home watching the live first telecast of noontime show "It's Showtime!" on A2Z Channel 11.
With him was his youngest grandson and other family members.
In her post, Villanueva-Binalla wrote: "@Bro_Eddie is praying for all of you while watching Showtime.. God bless you all kapamilya!"
The portion of the show saw host Vice Ganda thanking ABS-CBN executives for their return to free TV.
Elsewhere in the program, the hosts also expressed gratitude to Villanueva, who leads the Jesus Is Lord church, owner of the Zoe Broadcasting Network which officially launched A2Z with the "It's Showtime!" premiere.
They also greeted him for his birthday earlier this week, which coincided with the announcement of Zoe's block-time arrangement with ABS-CBN to air selected Kapamilya shows on Channel 11, previously called Zoe TV.
A2Z can be seen via analog TV Channel 11 in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces. It is also being carried on Sky cable, Cignal and other cable providers nationwide.
A2Z marks the first time many viewers will be able to see "It's Showtime!" and other ABS-CBN shows on free TV after the shutdown of Channel 2 on May 5 due to the network's franchise expiration, the sign-off of its digital TV platforms on June 30, and the killing-off by Congress of ABS-CBN's franchise renewal bid on July 10.
ABS-CBN had said after the shutdown it would continue finding ways to bring its content to audiences--among them the Kapamilya Channel on cable, and Kapamilya Online Live on YouTube and Facebook.