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NTC ends debate on wether ABS-CBN violated its franchise or not

ABS-CBN was accused of the illegal introduction of pay-per-view features in its TVplus units but Cordoba said that they asked ABS-CBN not to release this until they give necessary regulatory permits.

At a joint congressional hearing held this Monday, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said that ABS-CBN did not violate rules on its old 25-year franchise by introducing multiple programs on its TV plus units.

A franchise assigns a broadcast frequency of 6 megahertz to a network allowing it to provide up to 6 programs on digital television as implied by NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba.

Cordoba said, “Insofar as 6 programs in 1 channel is concerned, okay po yun (they’re okay).”

Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones questioned if ABS-CBN’s made a violation of its franchise with this. Cordoba then responded, “Wala po.”

Meanwhile, a group of cable TV operators appeared at congress to protest against ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal declared the “one franchise, one channel” rule.

ABS-CBN’s TV Plus has 11 free exclusive channels and two channels for movies, as well as the pay-per-view service Kapamilya Box Office.

Cordoba also answered the question of Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin who asked if the previous 25-year franchise contained any provision that prohibited the operation of multiple programs.

But according to Cordoba digital TV was not yet available when the franchise was granted in 1995 through Republic Act No. 7966.

“Baka hindi po yun na-forsee ng RA 7966,” he said.

Aragones then clarified that ABS-CBN’s old franchise has the word “frequency” and not “channel.”

ABS-CBN was accused of the illegal introduction of pay-per-view features in its TVplus units but Cordoba said that they asked ABS-CBN not to release this until they give necessary regulatory permits.

Garbin asked, “But if there’s no regulation, would you consider that there’s a violation of any law? An activity that has not been regulated, would you consider that there’s a violation even if it’s not regulated?”



Under the Public Service Act, ABS-CBN can be fined for P200 for every unauthorized offer of PPV if the violation was proven.

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