• Cignal to close exclusive deals with 2 foreign content providers


    CigNal is aiming to close two exclusive partnerships with international firms to provide exclusive channels in Cignal’s line-up, the company has announced.

    “We’re partnering with the number of local top producers, we announced recently we’re partnering with Viva to come up with Sari-Sari Channel, so that [the foreign content deal]should come up within the next few months,” Cignal Chief Operating Officer Oscar Reyes Jr. told reporters.

    He explained, “We’re also coming up with Celestial Movies Pinoy and are actually partnering with Viva as well. And there are a couple of other things in the local front that we are doing.”

    He added, “Internationally, we’re in talks with a couple of top animation companies and another top studio in the US, and hoping to do exclusive channels with them.”

    In March, Bloomberg and Cignal TV Inc. signed a partnership to create Bloomberg Television Philippines, as part of an overall aim to sign on one million subscribers and become the Philippines’ biggest pay-TV service provider by the end of 2015.

    Cignal TV is a subsidiary of multimedia conglomerate Media Quest Holdings Inc., which in turn is wholly-owned by the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT.

    Localizing business news
    The partnership also aims to provide a more localized way of delivering business news with the launch of Bloomberg Television Philippines this year.

    Presented in English, this local extension of Bloomberg Television expands the reach of Bloomberg’s market-moving news to one of the fastest growing, English-speaking economies in the world.

    It will be distributed exclusively via CignalDigital TV, one of the country’s direct-to-home (DTH) satellite providers, which has approximately 844,000 subscribers at present. CignalDigital TV currently has 97 channels, including 27 high-definition channels.

    It is included in Cignal Digital TV’s post-paid international channel bundle and created exclusively for its DTH platform.

    This initiative continues Bloomberg Television’s momentum in Asia, complementing local partner channels in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mongolia.

    “I can’t say for certain, we need to run the numbers, but probably we’re somewhere around 1.015 to 1.025 million [subscribers], something like that. Postpaid subscriptions account for about 35 percent and prepaid about 65 percent,” Reyes said.

    Healthy competition
    Cignal rival SkyCable has been quoted as saying that it will offer Direct-To-Home services by next year.

    “It’s good for the consumer, it gives them choice, and I think for us, we welcome the competition. Of course it’s going to be tougher but that just means we have to work harder, so it’s going to be fun,” Reyes said.

    “I think it’s going to pickup. The moment you have more competition, more people actually get to know about the offer. And therefore, it’s like the law of duopoly, just like Coke and Pepsi, McDo and Jollibee, it actually makes it more interesting for the consumer,” he added.

    He also said “Penetration of Pay TV in the whole business is around 15 percent, so there are a lot of Filipinos that we still need to work on, and hopefully will benefit from the service.”

    AlDub in HD
    Meanwhile, when ask if they received any complaints about channel disruption during the airing of the “AlDub” “kalye-serye” on the Eat Bulaga variety show, Reyes replied, “Actually sinasabi nga namin kung gusto mo ng malinaw na AlDub mag Cignal ka, yan ang high definition or HD quality AlDub [Actually, we said if you want clear reception of AlDub, you should watch it in Cignal].”

    GMA Network filed another complaint with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) versus SkyCable based on new reports of signal disruption before the airing of Eat Bulaga or during its phenomenal kalye-serye segment.

    In a five-page letter dated September 17, 2015 from GMA Senior Vice President for Engineering Engr. Elvis B. Ancheta and GMA Vice President for Legal Affairs Atty. Lynn P. Delfin, the Network maintained that the signal disruptions are “irresponsible acts” on the part of SkyCable and stressed that the seeming similarity in the reports indicate that they are not isolated cases.

    In reference to GMA Network’s new complaint on latest reports of signal disruption during the “Kalye-Serye” segment of Eat Bulaga, SKY Cable Corp. reiterates that it did not experience any network problem that could have resulted in the loss of GMA 7’s signal only, similar to earlier reports covering the July to August 2015 period.

    “If there were incidents of signal loss affecting certain portions of the network in the areas and period referred to, these affected other channels as well, not just GMA 7,” SkyCable said.

    It also said “Once again, we take strong exception to GMA’s claim that the signal interruption is confined only to their network since there is no basis for this insinuation.”
    In August 28, SkyCable said “The complaint of GMA 7 with the National
    Telecommunications Commission (NTC) last August 25, 2015, regarding shortchanging of our SkyCable subscribers via irresponsible acts, is a malicious accusation and is without basis.”

    “If there were service interruptions that inconvenienced some of our subscribers, these were isolated and would have affected other channels, not only GMA 7,” it added.

    “Actually kami din[watching it], masaya yung AlDub, and our countrymen want to watch it, we want to make sure that they have it,” Reyes said.

    “AlDub has really created waves in the industry. The highest rating right now on TV, that’s why we want to make sure that the show is clear in Cignal,” Reyes said.


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