MANILA, Philippines - GMA Network is urging the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to carefully consider what digital television transmission technology to adopt and when to require its adoption by local broadcasting companies due to the far-reaching repercussions of a bad choice.
In an interview, GMA chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon also revealed they expect higher revenues this year compared to last year. The company has also budgeted P750 million for capital expenditures this year.
Gozon said he expects the 2015 deadline for the shift by local broadcasting companies from analog to digital transmission to be pushed back since the review by the NTC and other government agencies is still ongoing.
The NTC earlier revealed that it may support the adoption of the Japanese digital technology instead of its European counterpart, but has yet to come up with the rules governing digital technology.
Gozon earlier said that while the network that they have installed can support either the Japanese or European version, he said the NTC should choose only the best standard. “Once you choose the standard, it is very difficult to change,” he pointed out.
He also advised the NTC to go slow on digitization, noting that even countries like the United States took a long time before mandating a complete shift from analog to digital considering the huge expenses that broadcasting companies will have to shell out. “It’s a very expensive proposition because even the television sets will have to be digital ready. And how many Filipinos can afford digital-ready TV sets,” he said.
The US government originally set a 1996 deadline for digitization, but it was only 10 years later that the move finally pushed through.
“We have to choose the best, the better of these standards…because that’s a long term decision that will affect not only the present but the future operation.
And secondly, it’s the readiness of the public, even if we are ready and the viewers are not yet ready, so we have balance and calibrate everything,” he added.