ABS-CBN allots P600 M for shift to digital TV
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Broadcast giant ABS-CBN Corp. is spending another P600 million to expand its digital terrestrial television (DTT) service nationwide as part of the directive of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to shift to DTT broadcast over the next few years.

Ronaldo Valdueza, chief financial officer of the ABS-CBN Group, said in an interview with reporters during the launch of its DTT service via the ABS-CBN TVplus Wednesday evening that the additional investment would cover its expansion to provinces including Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, and Naga.

 “Based on our estimate it would be around P600 million this year. We are still looking at the investment to cover nationwide. We will see how the market response first,” Valdueza said.

The listed broadcast company has invested at least P3 billion for the shift to DTT from analog signal.

According to Valdueza, the DTT service now covers Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Benguet, and Cebu but would soon be widely available in more areas as it aims to bring more digitally clear signal and a more enjoyable TV viewing experience for all Filipinos nationwide.

ABS-CBN TVplus, a digital box more popularly known as the ‘mahiwagang black box,’ was officially rolled out at a ceremonial switch-on last Wednesday. The box delivers dramatically clear picture and sound that is comparable to seeing a movie on DVD, a far cry from the prevailing analog system.

ABS-CBN TVplus also airs four more exclusive free-to-air channels that cater to different audiences, plus all the free TV channels available via digital transmission.

The ABS-CBN TVplus is offered at an affordable one-time payment price of P2,500 only, with no monthly or installation fee.

ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III said the company is the first TV network to offer the product in the country after having invested heavily in infrastructure and test broadcast activities in the past seven years to ensure a smooth transition to DTT.

Lopez said the network has been preparing for the switchover since 2007 and has conducted DTT trials in key areas all over the Philippines.

“Digital terrestrial television is a major investment for ABS-CBN, but it is actually investing in our fellow Filipinos. We believe that the inspiration and the information that digital TV will beam into our homes will help open new windows of opportunity for every Filipino family,” Lopez said.


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