THE network war between ABS-CBN Corp. and GMA Network Inc. is heating up due to signal disruptions during the airing of the Kalyeserye/AlDub segment of GMA’s noontime show, Eat Bulaga.
ABS-CBN Corp. has asked the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to require GMA 7 to explain the intermittent transmission of its own digital TV signal in Metro Manila to help educate the public about digital TV.
ABS-CBN explained that it has no hand in the signal loss. It said ABS-CBN’s TVPlus box receives whatever digital TV transmissions it can pick up and that ABS-CBN has no control over how other channels transmit their digital TV signals.
The Lopez-led network issued this statement in response to five complaints filed against ABS-CBN for allegedly disrupting the reception of GMA 7’s digital TV signal by ABS-CBN TVPlus boxes, which ABS-CBN sells to those who want digital-quality images and crisper sound through digital TV.
In its letter to the NTC dated September 24, 2015, ABS-CBN mentioned five complaints, three of which mentioned general signal loss of Channel 7, one which mentioned disruptions during the airing of the Kalyeserye/AlDub segment of Eat Bulaga, and another which mentioned disruptions during the airing of Eat Bulaga in general.
“In short, the complainants suffered from a mistaken notion of what a receiver is and what it cannot do, and effectively side-tracked the more telling issue and that is, the program interruption was due to GMA’s own signal loss,” said ABS-CBN in its letter to the NTC.
“Signal loss due to GMA was confirmed because, not only were signals of other broadcasters during the time in question detected and received by the TVPlus box, upon careful monitoring, ABS-CBN actually recorded an episode of signal loss from GMA leading to the signal loss experienced by the TVPlus box,” it added.
Sabotage or signal loss?
“The box itself cannot be a culprit in the signal loss since it is nothing more but a receiver, configured to detect, receive, and broadcast all available digital signals at any given time regardless of the provider (e.g. ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5) and so long as the provider is reliably transmitting such digital signals,” ABS-CBN said.
ABS-CBN also lamented the uninformed comments of the public on social media regarding this issue, which “became even more pervasive and virulent” as people made comments on Facebook, shared them in their networks, and wrote posts on a website.
“It appears, therefore, that requiring only ABS-CBN to respond to each consumer complaint about GMA’s loss of digital signals is insufficient to properly educate the public about the reason for the loss of such digital signals,” said ABS-CBN.
The company has therefore asked the NTC to require GMA 7 to respond to these complaints as well.
Moving forward, it also said it would be ideal for NTC to forward all complaints about the reception of GMA 7’s digital signal by ABS-CBN TVPlus boxes to both ABS-CBN and GMA 7.