Solicitor General Joe Calida urged the Supreme Court to immediately stop ABS-CBN from selling pay-per-view movies, sports and other events on what should be a free-to-air frequency.
In a quo warranto petition seeking the revocation of ABS-CBN’s franchise, Calida said: “The petitioner prays that this Honorable Court issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or writ of preliminary injunction enjoining ABS-CBN Corporation from further operating the KBO (Kapamilya Box Office) Channel and offering it to the general public.”
As early as 2015, Calida said the National Telecommunications Commission had cautioned ABS-CBN against offering pay-per-view packages for the Pacquiao-Maywether fight during the trial migration to digital terrestrial TV (ABS-CBN Digital Plus), until it has come up with appropriate guidelines.
Sans NTC permit, Calida said ABS-CBN has no authority to offer KBO Channel. Yet, Calida noted that ABS-CBN continued to collect profits from PPV shows from boxing matches to concerts to Miss Universe Pageant – over the last four years as well as movie packages and subscriptions.
“ABS-CBN cannot deny it has no permit or authority from the government, especially the NTC, when it launched the KBO channel,” said Calida.
Under its franchise, Calida said ABS-CBN should have been limited to earning profits from advertising and blocktimers only in contrast to cable or Direct To Home channels that earn mainly from subscriptions and PPV.
Calida said that while ABS-CBN obtained the free-to-air digital frequency for free, it abused this privilege with its illegal profits from KBO and should therefore be stripped off its franchise.