GMA Network invests P3b for shift to digital TV

GMA Network Inc. is investing up to P3 billion to roll out infrastructure for its digital terrestial television services nationwide.

GMA Network chairman and chief executive Felipe said the company had alloted about P2 billion to P3 billlion for infrastructure alone, including transmission and equipment.

The network told the National Telecommunications Commission in an application it planned to convert its very high frequency (VHF) TV broadcast station in Quezon City and in key cities and provinces from analog to digital.

GMA said it was legally, financially and technically qualified to maintain and operate the proposed DTTB service.

Gozon also said the company would be producing dongles, instead of set-top boxes for the digital TV rollout.

The NTC had said the country could shut off the analog TV service by 2020.

The NTC and the Information and Communications Technology Office are finalizing the migration plan for DTT service.

The migration plan will address the policy, regulatory and technical issues as well as fiscal considerations for the country’s migration to digital TV broadcasting, including the date for the planned analog shut-off date, when no analog TV will be allowed to operate.

The NTC in December last yea issued the final implementing rules and regulations  for digital TV, adopting Japan’s ISDB-T.

GMA Network earlier reported a net income of P408 million in the January-to-March period this year, up 25 percent from P326 million year-on-year.

Revenues amounted to P3.006 billion in the first quarter from P2.85 billion on year. Airtime revenues rose 7 percent to P2.71 billion, while subscription and others fell 5 percent to P294 million.

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