The Filipino Channel, commonly known as TFC, is a global subscription television channel based in Redwood City, California with major offices in Australia, Canada, Europe (Hungary and Netherlands), Japan, Middle East, and Manila. It is owned and operated by the Philippine media conglomerate ABS-CBN. TFC is available globally on direct-to-home satellite, cable, IPTV, online streaming, video on demand and on other over-the-top content platforms. TFC is targeted to Filipino expatriates and their families. TFC was launched on September 24, 1994 becoming the world's first trans-Pacific Asian broadcaster.
Its programming is composed primarily of imported programs from ABS-CBN, a national television network in the Philippines. Today, The Filipino Channel has over 3 million subscribers worldwide most of which are in United States, Middle East, Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan.
On September 24, 1994, then ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation (now ABS-CBN Corporation) 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.
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. By 1995, TFC has grown to 25,000 subscribers in the United States.
In 1998, TFC Direct! was launched, an independently operated direct-to-home 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 now it was replaced again by ABS-CBN Sports + Action (S+A)), and the radio channels DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 and WRR 101.9 For Life! (now MOR 101.9).
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.
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. 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. 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.
In 2007, ABS-CBN International launched Myx (now Myx TV), the first and only television channel in the United States that is targeted to the Asian-American youth audience. As of 2011, TFC has over 2.47 million subscribers worldwide. As of 2015, The Filipino Channel has over three million subscribers worldwide most of which are in United States, Middle East, Australia, Japan, Europe, and Canada.
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, 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 shows original programs not shown in the Philippines and these are produced abroad by ABS-CBN's foreign subsidiaries in United States, Middle East, and Europe.