SolGen asks SC to urgently stop ABS-CBN’s KBO
MANILA, Philippines — Solicitor General Jose Calida has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to immediately stop the operation of ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Box Office (KBO), a channel subscription where viewers can watch their favorite movies.
In the 63-page petition for quo warranto filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) against ABS-CBN, Calida asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction to bar the media network giant “from further operating the KBO Channel and offering it to the general public.”
Ultimately, OSG urged the SC to revoke ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise.
KBO is a channel that offers premium content by registering and paying through the country’s mobile networks from P30 to P99 per week.
The petition pointed out that KBO was launched without a permit from the National Telecommunications Commission. The premium channel also uses the free-to-air frequency granted by the government.
Under the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Framework, free-to-air is defined as “TV and radio broadcast service in clear and unencrypted form requiring no subscription, other than on-going cost or reception fee.”
“ABS-CBN Corporation is prohibited from using the free-to-air signals to profit from the public, except to comply with its contractual obligations under contracts with commercial advertisers and producers,” asserted the petition of the so-called government’s lawyer.
Calida said using the free-to-air frequency to charge subscribers is an abuse of privilege.
“This warrants the revocation of ABS-CBN Corporation’s legislative franchise,” Calida said.
ABS-CBN, in a statement already denied Calida’s allegation saying “all our broadcast offerings, including KBO, have received the necessary government and regulatory approvals and are not prohibited by our franchise.”
To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly lashed out at ABS-CBN and constantly threatened to block the renewal of its franchise.
ABS-CBN is seen as a critic of the Duterte administration.
Edited by KGA
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