TV5 vs Sky Cable — ABS-CBN issues official statement

TV5 this week filed a letter of complaint at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) relative to Pilipino Cable Corporation’s alleged “continued refusal to include UHF Channel 41 in its Sky Cable channel line-up.”

AksyonTVAccording to reports, TV5 has notified PCC about AksyonTV (UHF Channel 41 on free TV), its 24-hour news and sports channel on the UHF band, commencing its broadcast on February 21, 2011.

But despite TV5’s February 18 letter requesting for Sky Cable’s compliance with the NTC’s “must carry” rule on the broadcast of free TV channels by all cable operators, the latter “has not acceded.”

TV5 cited the cable company's “clear act of unfair trade competition” in its letter of complaint to NTC. The network has likewise sought the commission's investigation “on the matter” and imposition of “appropriate penalties” against PCC.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN and Skycable issued an official statement on TV5's complaint. It said:
“SkyCable is committed to comply with the must-carry rule of the National Telecommunications Commission. However, the current channel capacity of SkyCable is full; hence, we are unable to immediately accommodate carrying Aksyon TV and comply with this policy.

We are working on increasing channel capacity which may take some time due to dependencies on the technical end.

At the same time, we are looking at workable solutions to address the concerns of Aksyon TV, such as replacing one of the free-to-air UHF channels, with NTC’s consent.

We need some time to work around the technical limitation while being mindful that replacing a paid channel would render some dissatisfaction among our paying cable subscribers.”