11 million homes affected if NTC shuts TVPlus, Sky cable: ABS-CBN CEO

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2020 05:17 PM | Updated as of Jun 29 2020 05:24 PM

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MANILA - ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak on Monday said some 11 million homes could lose their source of information and entertainment if TVPlus and Sky services cease to operate.

During a House of Representatives' joint committee hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise, Katigbak appealed to lawmakers to practice "fairness" as other companies have been allowed to operate even with expired franchises while renewal bills were being discussed.

"Ang appeal po namin sa Kongreso na in the spirit of fairness (Our appeal to Congress is that 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," he added.

The franchise of ABS-CBN expired on May 4. It later shut down operations of its free TV and radio channels in compliance with a cease and desist order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission.

Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta earlier questioned why several TV shows and channels were still airing despite the shutdown. He said Sky Cable's 25-year operating franchise expired last March 30. 

"Totoo naman po na nag expire ang franchise ng Sky pero totoo rin po that Congress has allowed companies whose franchises have expired but whose application for a renewal is pending, to continue to operate," Katigbak said during the 8th hearing of the network's franchise application. 

(It's true that's Sky's franchise expired but it is also true that Congress has allowed companies whose franchises have expired but whose application for a renewal is pending, to continue to operate)

Katigbak said the 11 million homes that have access to TVPlus and Sky is equivalent to 55 million people.

ABS-CBN's TVPlus was introduced in compliance with the National Telecommunications Commission digital migration program in 2014, ABS-CBN's head of legal services Caesar Poblador said. 

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