ABS-CBN Corp. suffered another major blow after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered it to stop operations of Channel 43, which it uses to broadcast ABS-CBN TV Plus programs.
In a June 30, 2020 order, the NTC directed ABS-CBN to “immediately cease and desist from operating digital TV Transmission in Metro Manila using Channel 43.”
The National Telecommunications Commission also ordered ABS-CBN Corp. to immediately cease from operating digital TV transmission in Metro Manila using Channel 43. | via @Ted_Cordero pic.twitter.com/YI9gz7rCx6— GMA News (@gmanews) June 30, 2020
The NTC also issued a similar order against ABS-CBN subsidiary Sky Cable Corp., citing lack of congressional franchise since it has already expired last May 4, 2020.
Citing its May 5, 2020 order against ABS-CBN to stop from operating radio and television stations, the NTC said that the earlier cease and desist order “necessarily includes DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) transmission in Metro Manila using Channel 43.”
The telecommunication regulator noted that after ABS-CBN went off air, it had monitored digital transmission on Channel 43. The programs monitored were Cine Mo!, Yey!, DZMM TeleRadyo, and KBO (PPV).
NTC Commissionar Gamaliel Cordoba, during the House joint panel hearings on the ABS-CBN franchise issue on Monday, said that Channel 43 was covered in the original cease and desist order it issued to ABS-CBN last May 5.
Cordoba said Channel 43 was assigned to Amcara Broadcasting Network, which he claimed is a sister company of ABS-CBN, and through which the latter airs digital TV.
The NTC chief was responding to Anakalusugan party-list Representative Mike Defensor, who raised the network's continuous airing of its content through digital TV.
ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak, however, said that the original cease and desist order did not cover Channel 43.
He said that while Channel 43 was temporarily assigned to ABS-CBN for its digital broadcasts in the past, the network was eventually given Channel 16 and Channel 43 was given to Amcara.
"Amcara Broadcasting is not owned by ABS-CBN. The reason that you continue to see our channels with TV Plus is we have a block-time arrangement with Amcara," Katigbak said.
"A block-time agreement is a standard commercial agreement where a company is allowed to buy airtime from a duly-licensed broadcaster and to air programs," he added.
But, Cordoba insisted that Channel 43 was covered under the original cease and desist order. -NB, GMA News