012508: GMA Network's official statement

It seems like that the two warring stations in the Philippines will no longer be "friendly competitors".

ABS-CBN Broadcasting recently had a press conference about the ratings brouhaha last Thursday, January 24, and here's what its rival GMA Network has to say:

“Contrary to what ABS-CBN said in its statement… the disparity between cable and non-cable ratings in GMA’s programs is a legitimate issue in the move to clean up the ra­tings survey.

“Since 2003, GMA Network has been complaining to AGB Nielsen why the ratings of GMA Network’s programs are so low in cable TV households but so high in non-cable TV homes, a situation that does not happen in ABS-CBN’s programs.
“It is to be noted that when GMA Network was not a strong competitor of ABS-CBN, the cable and non-cable ratings of both GMA and ABS-CBN consistently exhibited a normal behavior in the past.

“The abnormal ratings behavior of GMA’s programs in cable TV homes started to happen only when GMA Network began to compete head-on with its rival station five years ago and when GMA Network began to beat ABS-CBN in Mega Manila TV ratings.

“At that time, AGB and Nielsen were providing separate ratings for TV programs. And the cable ratings disparity happened only in the AGB results and not in Nielsen’s. In 2005, AGB and Nielsen merged their TV ratings services in the Philippines.

“ABS-CBN said in its official position paper that it presented to the trade in 2006 that the reason for their high cable ratings was that ‘among cable homes, the connection through cable takes away the vulnerability of ABS-CBN’s reception from noise, especially in instances when ABS-CBN is assigned to a channel 8.’
“ABS-CBN was referring to the movement of their cable channel assignment from channel 6 to 8. GMA Network consulted with a third party technical expert to seek his opinion on that claim and the following was what he said:

“• No VHF (Very High Frequency) be it low, mid, or high-band is immune or not susceptible to interfe­rence, thus making it imperative for the cable industry in the present to undergo a study to ascertain that a channel is ‘clean’ enough to be operated in.

“• Engineering surveys conducted have also yielded that interference varies in different portions of Metro Manila. It is on the Cable provider’s shoulders to limit amplifier cascades to attain a decent carrier to noise ratio resulting in better picture quality.

“• In summary, the Cable television provider and its engineers are the ones res­ponsible in seeing to it that a specific Cable television channel is clean enough for a commercial television station to operate in, thus making everyone operate on a level playing field.

“ABS-CBN did not reply to the rebuttal made by the expert consulted by GMA Network. After a long silence, ABS-CBN now says that the disparity between cable and non-cable ratings is due to their reception problems on Free TV and that these problems are eliminated on cable TV where their signal is clear. “GMA Network believes that the highly erratic or fluctuating behavior of ABS-CBN’s cable ratings, particularly in the suburbs, cannot be logically attri­buted to their clear cable TV signal.

“It is not true that GMA’s complaints of interference in cable TV have no basis because GMA has received thousands of complaints of signal distortion and degradation from Sky and Home Cable subscri­bers who have executed affidavits. The complaints ranged from snowy and/or blurry to black and white reception; wavy/ shadowy image; zigzag/ moving/ diagonal/ vertical/ horizontal lines; noisy/ distorted video; weak audio; and weak or no signal. These complaints prompted GMA Network to file a case before the NTC, where it is now pending.

“It is a fact that GMA Network’s competitor owns and/or controls the dominant cable operators in the country. Thus, it is the one who has both the means and opportunity to know where the people meters are installed by AGB Nielsen among cable TV homes.

“Until now, AGB Nielsen has not provided a satisfactory explanation to the highly illogical, very low cable ratings of GMA’s programs as compared to the unusual and unexplainable very high cable ratings of ABS-CBN’s programs.”

About M.I.

Mykiru is an entertainment blogger, having been named as one of the Top 10 Pinoy Showbiz Resources in the Philippines. For a decade now, Mykiru.ph has been delivering the latest, the hottest and most trending issues in the country.

3 Comment(s):

  1. hay naku GMA...kaya mababa ratings nyo sa cable kasi, we know for a fact that people who subscribe to a cable service are the ones who knows what is best for them. In short, may taste sila at kaya nila magpakabit ng cable. Majority of the people with cable belong to the A, B, and C market which ABS-CBN has successfully penetrated by creating high quality programming. You people at GMA know for a fact that your market are the D and E classes-- those who are satisfied with free tv. ok? so tumahimik na kayo

  2. Yes, it's really sad. I wish these two networks would just compete in a friendly and professional way.

    I don't agree with what ABSCBN is doing. They shouldn't have aired accusations of their informants without first verifying if they are credible. That's really dirty and nasty.

    Thanks for your blog. It's the best among Philippine blog sites.