Senator Ronald Dela Rosa questioned the National Communication Association (NTC) about the possible violations made by ABS-CBN when they offered pay-per-view services in their Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) service ‘TVplus’.
Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said that the pay-per-view service being offered by TVPlus is legal, but should be subject to guidelines of NTC.
“We interpreted commercial purposes broad enough to include other sources of income apart from advertising but subject to guidelines NTC might impose,” DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.
To confirm the statement from DOJ, Dela Rosa asked NTC if they already set guidelines for pay-per-view products being offered by ABS-CBN, however, they said that they’re still working on it.
“Dati po kasi ang business model ng ating mga broadcasters ay yung pag air ng mga advertisements, ngayon po ay nadagdagan na because of this digital technology,” NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said.
“Dapat po ay gagawa na kami ng implementing rules and regulations, kaya lang po mayroon po kasing gustong i-clarify pa ang mga broadcasters doon sa opinion that was given by DOJ,” he added.
According to them, they already informed ABS-CBN many times to avoid offering pay-per-view services for now while waiting for the implementing rules and regulations.
Dela Rosa brought up the topic about NTC warned ABS-CBN on offering pay-per-view packages for the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in 2015 and asked about their legal basis on their action against the TV network.
NTC explained that the Department of Information and Communications Technology told them that in the meantime, ABS-CBN and other networks should avoid offering pay-per-view services until there are no rules and regulations about the matter.
However, the Senator mentioned several pay-per-view programs that aired by ABS-CBN despite the warnings from NTC.
Donaire-Bedak Fight, Pinay Pride 38, Pinoy Pride 41, 2019 ABS-CBN ball, the concert of TNT boys and homecoming concert of Catriona Gray are the shows mentioned by Senator Bato which allegedly aired by ABS-CBN under pay-per-view service.
NTC told the senators that the only thing they can do to the networks disregarding their warnings is to fine the network by P200 per violation.
Dela Rosa urged NTC to make rules and regulations about the pay-per-view services as soon as possible so the networks are not going to misuse it.
ABS-CBN CEO Karlo Katigbak then clarified that offering pay-per-view services did not violate any provision on their franchise.
He pointed out that the word “commercial services” is broad enough for them to offer paid services like TVplus’ KBO.
Katigbak also said that the pay-per-view they’re offering are the cheapest services they could offer to their subscribers.
The CEO also mentioned companies like Youtube and Netflix which offering pay-per-view services despite having no franchise in the Philippines.
Bato also clarified that he’s not hiding any anger towards ABS-CBN.
“For the record, hindi ko binanggit ang pay-per-view niyo sa KBO dahil against ako dito. I’m just giving you the opportunity to..kasi sabi ko nga, dapat meron tayong hearing para malam natin kugn kayo bang ABS-CBN ay santo o makasalanan,” Dela Rosa said.
“Sabi ng DOJ, NTC, wala kayong vina-violate, eh napakagandang pakinggan noon. I am one step closer to supporting the renewal of your franchise with that answer,” he added.