The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the Philippine government’s telecommunications regulatory body, has ordered media conglomerate ABS-CBN to shut down its remaining channels on their ABS-CBN TVplus service in Metro Manila.
The order issued by the regulator body an alias cease-and-desist order, which would be an addition to the previously issued cease-and-desist order given to the network last May 5.
The previous order did not cover UHF 43 in Metro Manila, which is being used by the network for Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) in a blocktime agreement with AMCARA Broadcasting Network.
During the hearing of the House Joint Committees of Legislative Franchises and Good Governance & Public Accountability last Monday, the NTC has recognized the said blocktime agreement between ABS-CBN and AMCARA, but documents shown to representatives said that UHF 43 was used for DTT broadcasts by ABS-CBN, and not AMCARA.
The regulatory body also says that AMCARA has not made a formal request to convert its UHF channel in Metro Manila from analogue broadcast to DTT.
ABS-CBN has complied with the regulator’s order on Tuesday, and its DTT channel in Metro Manila was shut down at 08:36pm PHT.
The network said in a statement, “[the order] means that viewers with TVPlus set-top boxes in Metro Manila will be unable to watch Teleradyo, Jeepney TV, Yey!, Asianovela Channel, CineMo, and KBO.”
ABS-CBN TVplus channels are still on-air in several AMCARA frequencies outside Metro Manila.
NTC has also issued a separate order on Tuesday to ABS-CBN subsidiary Sky Cable Corporation to shut down the operations of their direct-to-home satellite service SKYdirect.
The regulatory body explains that Sky Cable Corporation’s congressional franchise, Republic Act (R.A.) 7969, has also expired last May 5.
“Upon the expiration of R.A. 7969, Sky Cable Corporation no longer has a valid and subsisting congressional franchise to install, operate and maintain a direct broadcast satellite service,” the NTC ruled.
The Pay TV provider also ordered to refund their subscribers “those amounts representing unconsumed prepaid loads, deposits on subscriber equipment and devices, deposit or advance payment in monthly charges for postpaid subscribers, if any, charges collected from new applicants for DBS service, and other charges collected.”
SKY Cable Corporation has complied with the cease-and-desist order on Tuesday, and all of SKYdirect’s transponders were shut down were shut down at 08:57pm PHT.
The network said in a statement, “SKYdirect’s 1.5 million subscribers nationwide, including those in remote areas that do not receive television signals, will be deprived of access to the channels we carry that bring them news, information, education and entertainment…”
The operations of SKYcable, its wired Cable TV service, and SKY broadband, its broadband internet service, are not subject to the cease-and-desist order due to Executive Order 205, s. 1987, which deregulates Cable TV operations from requiring them to have a congressional franchises.
The media conglomerate also said in their statement, “In the spirit of fairness, we continue to appeal to the NTC to extend the same privilege given in the past to other companies whose franchises have expired but are currently pending in Congress to continue its operations until a resolution is passed.”
“We assure our subscribers that we will exhaust all legal remedies to resume our services,” the company adds.