ABS-CBN’s digital box, TVplus, is rumored to be returning with an improved version for Filipino viewers in the Philippines.
On Monday, September 20, speculation circulated over Twitter that the network is preparing to roll out its upgraded version of the ABS-CBN TVplus.
Now called ABS-CBN TVplus Digital TV Receiver, it is believed to replace the old version.
In 2020, the government wanted to shift from analog to digital terrestrial broadcasting.
ABS-CBN responded by rolling out the TVplus box, which became an issue during its franchise hearing that same year.
During one of its franchise hearings, ABS-CBN’s CEO and president Karlo Katigbak maintained that the NTC did not include channel 43, which the TVplus operates, in their cease and desist order against the Network following the expiration of its franchise.
Katigbak was also backed by Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) president, Jun Nicdao, who explained that block time has been an industry practice for a long time even an organization called Independent Block Timers Association of the Philippines.
He also stressed that block time involves only the sale of airtime, but the station’s control still rests with the owner of the station’s franchise.
“Block timers do not need a franchise to buy airtime from a broadcasting station,” said Nicdao.
When Congress finalized its decision rejecting the Network’s franchise renewal bid, it cited that one of the reasons for its denial was due to its alleged illegal use of frequency for the TVplus box, which continued to even beyond the expiration of the demonstration permit in June 2015.
Moreover, the government stressed that there is no authorization from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on record enabling ABS-CBN to produce the TVplus box that contains multiple channels, much less to sell it for profit.
The Kapamilya digital box did prove useful for Filipinos as it gave in 2019 8.9 million viewers satisfaction, providing a clearer television viewing with better sound and more channel options.
It is also an award-winning innovation done by the Kapamilya Network. In 2020, ABS-CBN TVplus’s portable viewing device, TVplus Go, won the Tech Toy of the Year during the 5th Yugatech Awards.
As of this writing, ABS-CBN has not yet announced nor confirm if the rumor is true.