Gov’t TV station to go commercial to boost income
The Senate committee on mass media has recommended approval of the new charter of the People’s Television (PTV) network which will allow the government-owned channel to air “quality entertainment programs” and generate funds by selling commercials.
Before Congress went on recess, Sen. Gregorio Honasan, chairman of the committee on mass media and public information, reported to the plenary Committee Report No. 454 on Senate Bill No. 3166 that proposes a new charter for the government-run TV station.
SB 3166 is a substitute bill for proposed measures on reviving PTV authored separately by Sen. Loren Legarda and Sen. Teofisto Guingona III.
Under the proposal endorsed by Honasan’s committee, PTV would start airing programs aside from those featuring public affairs, public service, educational, livelihood and women and youth issues.
It would start airing as well trade, service and manufacturing industry programs and those that inspire nationalism.
SB 3166 also amends the old PTV charter by allowing block-timers to air quality entertainment programs and those that promote the national interest “subject to the quality standards set by the board of directors.”
At present, block-timers are only allowed to air educational and sports programs.
“Instead of just government propaganda, we want to provide public service broadcasting,” said Secretary Herminio Coloma, head of the Presidential Communications and Operations Office, who has supervision over government media installations.
“We want to provide educational programs that are at the same time entertaining,” Coloma said.
On the business side, the proposed charter authorizes the TV network to again generate funds from advertising and airtime sales.
PTV steadily suffered losses in audience share and in finances after its charter limited its shows to public affairs and educational programs and its block-timers to airing only educational and sports programs.
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