NTC orders ABS-CBN to stop broadcast services on TV plus Channels and Sky Cable

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DAVAO CITY —- Television giant ABS-CBN is again facing another challenge aside from franchise renewal after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) served on Tuesday, June 30, 2 cease-and-desist orders stopping ABS-CBN’s digital broadcast on TVPlus in Metro Manila and SKY’s satellite broadcast nationwide.

The order was issued during the House hearing on Tuesday.

The NTC requires the company to refund its subscribers of all the amounts representing unconsumed prepaid, deposits on subscriber equipment and devices, deposit or advance payment in monthly charges for postpaid subscribers.

In the same hearing, NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba told lawmakers that Solicitor General Jose Calida on Monday urged the commission to issue an alias cease-and-desist order against ABS-CBN’s digital broadcast on Channel 43 since the OSG contends that this is covered by ABS-CBN’s franchise that expired on May 4.

“Upon the expiration of R.A. No. 7969, Sky Cable Corporation no longer has a valid and subsisting congressional franchise to install, operate, or maintain a Direct Broadcast Satellite Service,” the order read.

Sky Cable Corporation is asked to respond within ten days from receipt of the order.

The NTC claimed the May 5 order they issued covered the radio and tv station of the network and ordered the network to stop their radio and TV stations along with its digital TV transmission in Metro Manila using Channel 43 (644-650 mhz), which would affect programs shown on its TVPlus channels Cine MO!, Yey!, TeleRadyo, Jeepney TV, Asianovela Channel, and its pay-per-view channel KBO.

On May 4, the television giant’s franchise expired, and on May 5, the NTC issued the ceased and desist order.

But ABS-CBN later continued to broadcast through the network’s TVPlus via block time using Amara Broadcasting Corp’s Channel 43.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the network stated “At 2:26 PM today, ABS-CBN received an alias cease and desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) directing ABS-CBN to cease and desist from operating digital TV transmission in Metro Manila using channel 43”.

It added, “While channel 43 is not mentioned in NTC’s cease and desist order (CDO) of May 5, 2020, and it is ABS-CBN’s informed understanding that channel 43 is not included in the CDO, digital TV transmission in Metro Manila using channel 43 will cease tonight (June 30), consistent with the intent of the alias CDO”.

The NTC order would mean their viewers who patronize TVPlus set-top boxes in Metro Manila will be unable to watch Teleradyo, Jeepney TV, Yey!, Asianovela Channel, CineMo, and KBO.

“ABS-CBN has a pending petition with the Supreme Court questioning the NTC’s CDO and hopes that such petition will be resolved soon in its favor so that it can resume broadcasting on both analog and digital platforms in the service of the Filipino,” the statement added.

The order according to the network would affect 1.5 million subscribers nationwide since the order took effect immediately.

ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak during the House hearing on Monday appealed for fairness from the members of the House of Representatives and allow them to operate by approving the renewal of their franchise.-Newsline

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