At the ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal hearing yesterday, the Network’s programs broadcasting on channel 43 frequency faced a cease-and-desist (CDO) order from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). ABS-CBN president and the chief executive officer, Carlo Katigbak appealed to Congress for a due process.
Explaining the continued broadcast on ABS-CBN TVplus, Katigbak said the company entered into a block time agreement with AMCARA Broadcasting Network Inc., maintaining that such practice is “a standard commercial agreement” and that other broadcasters have gone into similar arrangements. He also pointed out that the CDO issued by the NTC to ABS-CBN did not indicate channel 43.
When he was asked if the Network would comply should the NTC issue a CDO, he appealed that due process is accorded to it the same way that Congress gave to other companies with an expired franchise and pending renewal in congress.
“Yung hinihingi po lang namin is to make sure that we are given due process, so we have the right venue to express our position on this matter.
“And then whatever decision the NTC comes up with, we will respect the regulatory agency.”
Responding to lawmakers who questioned the broadcast of ABS-CBN programs on SKY (that has a lapsed franchise), Katigbak pointed out that the NTC also allowed other companies whose franchises had expired to continue to operate while Congress deliberated on their franchise.
“Between TVplus and SKY, there are about 11 million homes that have access to our service. ‘Pag pinutulan po natin ‘yan that’s almost 55 million people that will lose access to their entertainment, their news and information. So sana po, ang appeal po namin sa Kongreso is in the spirit of fairness please consider that you have allowed other companies to operate before even after their franchises have expired for so long as Congress continues to hear their application for renewal.”
ABS-CBN counsel Atty. Caesar Poblador cited the Republic Act 7966, which contains ABS-CBN’s franchise terms–there was no mention of a franchise that is only good for one channel.
According to him, multiple channels simply follow the migration plan of the NTC. Among the requirements of the migration plan is that there should already be digital technology in place on January 1, 2015.
Poblador also said that a pay-per-view offering does not violate any law or rules and offers viewers options adding that it is a public service to Filipino families as it allows them to watch movies in the comfort of their homes.
He also cited Republic Act 7966 saying the words “commercial purposes” as indicated in the franchise are “broad enough to cover pay-per-view.” In an opinion addressed to the NTC in 2018, the Department of Justice confirmed that pay-per-view is for commercial purposes.
The claims that ABS-CBN is not allowed to sell digital TV set-up boxes are allowed by NTC since it is part of the digital migration plan, debunked by Poblador.
According to Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) president Jun Nicdao, block time has been an industry practice for a long time and there is an organization called Independent Block Timers Association of the Philippines.
Nicdao said block time involves only the sale of airtime, but the control of the station still rests with the owner of the franchise of the station. “Blocktimers do not need a franchise to buy airtime from a broadcasting station,” said Nicdao.
Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado said that “the sale of ABS-CBN to its subscribers is a valid commercial activity that falls within the language of its franchise.”
Philippine Cable Television Association (PCTA) director Ralph Casino stressed that digital broadcast empowers viewers with more choices. He added that failure to adapt to new technology would result in obsolescence and the demise of any enterprise.
ABS-CBN TVplus was launched in 2015 as a response to the government’s mandate for networks to shift from analog to digital broadcast. With this technology, ABS-CBN can deliver shows in a clear picture and sound. As of end 2019, ABS-CBN TVplus has sold over 9 million boxes across the country and launched INFOplus, a public service feature that offers users real-time alerts on weather, traffic, news, as well as disaster updates. Its Cinemo channels, meanwhile, offers job postings for blue-collar workers.
Quezon City–On Wednesday, January 29, at Novotel Manila, Viva Films launched the 2020 Vision, featuring a full slate of films for the coming year via a thanksgiving party for the traditional and digital media.
Viva Films 2020 Vision promises an exciting year as it envisions to produce 34 films with an investment of one billion pesos.
After producing 19 films in 2019, (the most number of theatrical releases by any entertainment company in the country) Viva broadened the Filipino taste and appetite of viewers through experimental and daring subjects as well as online contents turned into commercial releases, books to film transformations, and foreign adaptations with a Filipino twist.
Three of Viva’s successful 2019 releases include the first Filipino Netflix film titled Maria, the film collaboration with Hook–the surreal romance–Ulan, the online to book to film sensation Jowable, and the MMFF surprise hit Miracle in Cell No. 7.
The Original Viva Films include the recent hit–Vodka, Beers, and Regrets as well as Nightshift; soon to follow are Devoted; Hindi Tayo Pwede; Rooftop; Tiliing; UnTrue; The Other Woman, Walang KaParis, You F Oh, Pakboys, Mang Jose, Ultimate Oppa, and more.
As global borders for content diminishes, Viva seizes the opportunity to share the best of foreign films with local adaptations with Pinoy sensibility. With the success of Miracle in Cell No. 7 and Ms. Granny, Viva will be reimagining films from all over the world. Upcoming titles include A Hard Day, Spellbound, Wedding Dress, The Housemaid, A Man and a Woman, Sunny, More Than Blue, The Wedding Breaker, and Instructions Not Included.
Due to the onslaught of Superheroes on the big screen from Marvel and DC, Viva will produce films of Pinoy superheroes. From the creative genius of National artist Francisco Coching and the legendary Komiks King Carlo J. Caparas, the film company brings to life Pedro Penduko, Joaquin Bordado, Elias Paniki, Gagambino, Kamandag, Valora, Berdugo, Totoy Bato, and Panday.
Mars Ravelo‘s Darna had several incarnations. On Philippine television, GMA-7 was successful in mounting two Darnas. First, it was Angel Locsin in 2005. The show had high ratings and the pilot week averaged at 50.08%, and its highest rating was 52.1%. Four years later (2009), it was Marian Rivera‘s turn to take on the iconic Filipino female superhero.
But when the license for Darna went to ABS-CBN 2, Locsin was considered to reprise her role. Due to her back injury, she was compelled to resign.
In 2017, after the long wait, Liza Soberano was chosen to succeed Locsin. However, almost a year after the announcement, the 21-year-old Fil-Am Star Magic artist withdrew from the film project due to another injury. But just today, a 20-year-old rising female star, Jane De Leon was revealed as the new Darna.
De Leon is no newbie in acting since she has appeared in films like The Debutantes (2017) and Walwal (2018), respectively. She played the younger sister of Jericho Rosales in the TV series, Halik.