Too little value for Channel 2? Ex-DICT exec downplays award of ABS-CBN frequencies to Manny Villar
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Too little value for Channel 2? Ex-DICT exec downplays award of ABS-CBN frequencies to Manny Villar

Channel 2, the so called “legacy” analog frequency awarded to a company owned by bilyonaryo Manny Villar, could be worthless by next year as the country shifts to digital frequencies, former Department of Information and Communication Technology Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said.

Rio said the playing field for broadcasting companies would shift by 2023 with the mandatory migration to digital frequencies.

“‘Pag pumunta ka sa Metro Manila, wala ka nang analog frequency na makuha but that will change as soon as we go to digital and terrestrial TV,” Rio told One News’ The Chiefs.

The shift was supposed to happen earlier but manufacturers of TV sets asked for time to equip all units with the capacity to receive digital TV signals, which is the reason for the “lag.”

The National Telecommunications Commission gave the Channel 2 frequency to Villar’s Advanced Media Broadcasting System (AMBS) for test broadcasts.

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Rio said the shift to digital TV – which ABS-CBN pioneered among stations –would also mean that more TV networks can broadcast their content in various channels.

This would also eventually do away with the need to beg Congress for a legislative franchise renewal every 25 years, he added.

“I think we are now the only country in the world who gives franchises before we even award frequencies. It’s a law that Congress gives a franchise to a company and it is signed by the President. After a company gets a congressional franchise then it is the only time it will go to NTC to get the frequencies it needs,” Rio explained.

“Right now, technology is showing us that a private person can really broadcast to as many subscribers as ABS-CBN as long as he has the content that people are interested in,” he said.

 

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