ABS-CBN shift to digital TV gathers speed

Media giant ABS-CBN Corp. claimed big gains in its digital television business.

ABS-CBN, citing data from Kantar Media, said 44 percent of Mega Manila homes without cable TV have an ABS-CBN TVplus box. The product, which allows the delivery of digital TV signals, was launched in early 2015.

In Metro Manila alone, the broadcast firm noted that 55 percent of homes already have an ABS-CBN TVplus box.

“Three establishment surveys were conducted by Kantar in February, May, and August this year to determine the media landscape in the country, particularly how Filipinos are watching television,” ABS-CBN said.

The company has so far sold 3.6 million ABS-CBN TV plus units. By end-2016, ABS-CBN had sold 2.2 million TVplus units, surpassing its year-end target sales of two million boxes.

“We are on track to hit our target of selling a cumulative total of four million ABS-CBN TVplus boxes this year as more Filipinos experience ABS-CBN TVplus’ promise of clear picture and additional exclusive channels with no monthly fees,” Chinky Alcedo, head of ABS-CBN Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Philippines in 2013 chose the Japanese standard for digital TV, saying it costs less than its European counterpart. The system also allows for a built-in warning system to inform people about natural calamities.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) earlier announced that television broadcast companies should have fully transitioned to digital TV by 2023.

According to the DICT, some 95 percent of households should have access to digital television by the time analog is switched off. The remaining 5 percent of households can avail of government financial assistance, it added.