GMA hits SkyCable for technical glitch
GMA Network Inc. has cried foul anew over unresolved technical problems at SkyCable, the country’s leading pay-TV provider, that has led to the former’s top-rated flagship Channel 7 being relegated to channel 99.
GMA spokesperson Butch Raquel said SkyCable should be held accountable for failing to immediately resolve its unexplained technical issues that, incidentally, could benefit the cable firm’s parent company, ABS-CBN Corp.
“It’s unfavorable to the viewers. What we want to know is why it’s GMA that’s always affected (by problems at SkyCable),” Raquel said in an interview.
Last Feb. 1, Raquel said GMA started receiving numerous complaints about the absence of GMA on the SkyCable lineup.
The issue was partly resolved the day after when SkyCable brought back GMA, not at its usual location of channel 12, but on channel 99.
On Feb. 5, GMA Network filed a complaint at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) requesting that steps be taken “against SkyCable for conducting a series of activities that have resulted in disruption.”
“The network believes that it should be the responsibility of SkyCable to make certain that any changes it implements in the system does not in any way affect the channels for the sake of the viewing public and paying subscribers,” Raquel said.
Raquel said inquiries made with SkyCable representatives showed that technical system maintenance was the reason for the sudden change in GMA’s channel assignment. Raquel said GMA Network had demanded a thorough explanation on the matter, but to no avail.
“To aggravate matters further, SkyCable broadcasts its advisory for such transfer only on a few channels,” he said.
He said the affected cable subscribers “were irate because they missed their favorite GMA programs” due to the incident and consequent limited advisory.
Raquel cited a similar incident last Sept. 23, 2012, “when SkyCable implemented an activity in preparation for additional HD channels on their digital platform without the benefit of successful off-line pre-testing and revert option.”
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