CNN Philippines, the only predominantly English-language channel on free TV in the Philippines, is shutting down on January 31, 2024, after nine years of operation.
The closure is a result of the serious financial losses that the company has suffered over the past years, despite its efforts to adapt and innovate in a challenging media landscape. The closure will not only affect the employees and the viewers of CNN Philippines, but also the state and the quality of journalism in the country.
The Reasons and Challenges of the Closure
CNN Philippines is a joint venture between Nine Media Corporation, a Philippine media company, and Turner Broadcasting System, a U.S. media company that owns the CNN brand.
The partnership was established in 2014, with a five-year deal that was renewed until December 2024. However, Nine Media decided to end the deal early, citing the financial difficulties and the hefty licensing fees that it had to pay to Turner Broadcasting System.
CNN Philippines has been struggling to survive and compete in the Philippine media market, which is dominated by two giant networks, ABS-CBN and GMA. CNN Philippines has faced several challenges and constraints, such as:
- The limited reach and access of its channel, which is only available on free TV in Metro Manila and some parts of Luzon, and on cable and satellite TV in other areas of the country.
- The low ratings and revenues of its programs, which are mostly news and current affairs shows that cater to a niche and urban audience, and which are overshadowed by the entertainment and variety shows of its rivals.
- The high costs and risks of its operations, which include the production and acquisition of content, the maintenance and upgrade of equipment and facilities, and the compliance and security of its staff and talents.
The Impacts and Implications of the Closure
The closure of CNN Philippines will have significant impacts and implications for the Philippine media industry and society, as it will affect the employees, the viewers, and the journalists of the country. The closure will have some positive and negative effects, such as:
- Reducing the diversity and the plurality of the media landscape, which will lose one of the few alternative and independent voices and sources of information and analysis in the country, and which will become more concentrated and monopolized by the existing and emerging players.
- Reducing the quality and the standards of journalism, which will lose one of the few credible and professional media outlets that adhere to the principles and practices of ethical and responsible journalism, and that follow the guidelines and models of CNN International.
- Reducing the opportunities and the challenges for the media workers, who will lose one of the few platforms and avenues to showcase and develop their skills and talents, and to pursue and fulfill their careers and passions.