The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Tuesday has ordered for ABS-CBN shows to be stopped as the agency issues a cease and desist order against its subsidiary Sky Cable Corp. and its TVPlus channels. The NTC previously ordered the shut down of ABS-CBN as well on May 5 following the expiration of the network’s franchise.
Two (2) separate orders were released by the regulatory board after a day its officials attended a hearing at the House of Representatives. The orders were signed by NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba. Other platforms must also be closed according to the cease and desist order that was issued on May 5, 2020.
The order stated that the Sky Cable Corporation is no longer valid to still maintain a Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Service, to say the least.
Upon the expiration of RA (Republic Act) 7969, Sky Cable Corporation no longer has a valid and subsisting congressional franchise to install, operate or maintain a Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Service.”
After the stopping of the main ABS-CBN channel, these two were the next. Akin to how fans reacted, Sky Cable users had the same response to the situation.
The NTC Awaiting Answer From Sky Cable
Sky Cable has been instructed to show cause in writing within 10 (ten) days from the receipt of the order. This was on why the radio frequencies assigned to it should not be recalled for the lack of necessary congressional franchise, as required by law.
The regulatory board then said that should the corporation fail to answer within the given period, their right to be heard is justifiably forfeited.
Meaning, this can be an avenue for a warrant to be put in place.
Failure to file an answer within the period herein granted shall be considered the respondents’ waiver of its right to be heard, and the commission shall render judgment as the law and evidence may warrant.”
The NTC also directed for Sky Cable to refund its subscribers their unconsumed prepaid loads, deposits on subscriber equipment and devices, deposit or advance payment in monthly charges for postpaid subscribers and charges collected from new applicants as ABS-CBN shows stopped.
ABS-CBN said it has 1.5 million Skydirect subscribers to date; these customers and clients all have seen their networks closed down.
Cease and Desist Orders the Network Franchise to Stop its TV Transmission Through Channel 43
This refers to the ABS-CBN-owned channels including:
- DZMM TeleRadyo; and
All of which are currently airing on their other channel, TVPlus.
The regulatory board also said that ABS-CBN was initially given the chance to convert its analog TV service in Metro Manila (Channel 2) to digital terrestrial television (DTT) using Channel 43.
In an order dated May 14, 2019, the commission granted respondent ABS-CBN authority to convert its analog TV service in Metro Manila (Channel 2) to digital terrestrial television (DTT) using Channel 43.”
However, the NTC said that Channel 43 is directed to cease and desist from operating as of May 5, 2020 — and it still continued to air.
This authority granted to respondent ABS-CBN is included in the list of radio and TV stations directed to cease and desist from operating in an order dated May 5, 2020. Hence, order dated May 5, 2020 necessarily includes DTT transmission in Metro Manila using Channel 43, and ABS-CBN Corp. should immediately cease and desist from operating Channel 43.”
Not Covered in the Order
To counter, ABS-CBN said that Channel 43 was not covered in the cease and desist order. This was the reason why shows kept on going even after the mother channel was halted.
In their defense, they said that Channel 43 was not part of the CDO they sent on the 5th of May.
While Channel 43 is not mentioned in NTC’s cease and desist order 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 network franchise is hopeful in its pending petition with the Supreme Court (SC) against the cease and desist order issued by NTC.
Everyone is also hoping that it gets retracted to continue the service to the Filipino people.
Whether you’re an ABS-CBN fan or not, the stoppage of Sky Cable could have had an impact to you. Missing your favorite shows, especially in this time of the pandemic is crucial.
With these ABS-CBN shows stopped and ceased, do you think the cease and desist order is justifiable? Furthermore, is NTC’s action relevant in the current situation now?