|Founded||January 26, 1992|
|Headquarters||6th Floor ELJ Communications Center, Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines,|
|Parent||Sky Cable Corporation|
Sky Cable (stylized as SKY cable) is a cable television service of Sky Cable Corporation. Its covers areas across the country with both digital and few analog services, and it has 700,000 subscribers controlling 45% of the cable TV market.
- 1 History
- 2 Basic cable packages
- 3 Carriage and content disputes
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Since it started community antenna television system operation in the Philippines on January 26, 1992, SkyCable provides cable Internet, VoIP services and digital cable TV service.
On June 6, 1990, SkyCable Corporation was incorporated via 79.3% stake in Sky Vision Corporation, operator of cable brands, SkyCable and Sun Cable.
On April 18, 1991, Sky Vision Corporation was incorporated and ventures into cable television (SkyCable and Sun Cable), communication, system, television media, shopping network (Sky Mall) and film distribution (Sky Jemah). It is owned 18.8% by ABS-CBN Corporation and 78% by Lopez Inc.
On March 30, 1995, Central CATV Inc. was granted a 28-year provisional franchise to establish, construct, maintain and operated community antenna television system in the Philippines through Republic Act 7969.
In 1997, Sky Vision Corporation acquired 47% of Pilipino Cable Corp., operator of Sun Cable for P900 million.
n July 2001, Unilink Communications Corp. operator of Home Cable, Philippines second largest cable TV company, merged its CATV operation to SkyCable and created Beyond Cable Inc. with an enterprise value of P14.5 billion. Beyond Cable Inc. controls 66.5% through Benpress Holdings Corp. and 33.5% through MediaQuest Holdings, Inc.
On December 7, 2001, Beyond Cable Holdings Inc. was incorporated.
In May 2011, Singaporean firm Sampaquita Communications Pte. Ltd. acquired 40 percent of SkyCable through Philippine Depositary Receipts worth P3.612 billion and P250 million of convertible notes to fund the expansion of SkyCable’s broadband Internet and cable TV services.
On May 11, 2012, SkyCable bought Destiny Cable Inc., Uni-Cable TV Inc. and Solid Broadband Corp.'s cable TV and broadband internet assets and subscribers with consolidating value of P3.497 billion.
Basic cable packages
Skycable allows its subscribers to select their own packages or channels, comparable to a pay per channel service most generally used in the United States. SkyCable also introduces the package-pricing model typically used by other cable television providers in which channels are classified into packages.
The SkyCable postpaid bundles are categorized into 10 clusters named as Select, Bronze 299, Bronze 399, Bronze 499, Silver HD, Gold HD, Postpaid HD (299, 549, 999, 1999) and a separate payment scheme for its Premium/Pay-Per-View.
SkyCable also offered prepaid packages to its cable TV service, the Silver Prepaid and Select Plus Prepaid. It was a prepaid cable TV service based on a non-recurring subscription scheme and allows non-postpaid customers to subscribe to selected channels and pay only for the desire duration of viewing and the service requires a digital addressable set-top box. The prepaid plans came in an array of card denomination to choose from that is suitable to its non-postpaid subscribers. Silver Prepaid and Select Plus Prepaid packages came in similar denomination: 3, 15 and 30 days. But as of around 2011 or 2012, it currently no longer offered for new subscribers and status of remaining subscribers remained uncertain. But recently, as of around 2015, the Prepaid service were relaunched and introduced Prepaid 99 and Prepaid 250, and each prepaid package/s valid within 30 days. It was offered initially available for Greater Manila Area and provinces nearby (Cavite and Laguna). It was later expanded its service for regional system areas, first it was expanded for new subscribers in Cebu and Davao, then the rest of Visayan cities (Bacolod, Iloilo and Dumaguete) and lastly expanded in General Santos. In 4th Quarter In 2016 The Prepaid Plan Has Been Phase Out But However it still available for Loading Amounts.
In an ongoing exertion to battle cable piracy and averting illegitimate connections, SkyCable through SkyCable Digital adopts digital video broadcasting for cable or DVB-C. It is a standard for transmitting digital television signal over cable. SkyCable uses digital video compression or distribution through its digital addressable box or the Digibox, a digital set-top box that uses the DVB-C broadcast standard to give its subscribers access to its digital infrastructure.
SkyCable Digital’s Digibox conveys programming with encryption to alleviate signal piracy. It utilizes ISO/IEC 7816 smart cards, which transmit digital signals to the receiver to decrypt the programming for viewing. To fully consummate the Digibox, it uses Irdeto Access B.V. smart cards, which are ISO/IEC 7816 compliant. It is given to all subscribers with standard and high definition set-top boxes. The smart card stores the subscriber’s information and the plan to which they subscribe.
On September 19, 2008, SkyCable initiated the pay-per-view broadcast of the 2008 Ryder Cup golf tournament in high-definition (HD). It is transmitted in 1080i resolution and paves the way for the Philippines to convey the first HD signal. In July 2009, Skycable also commenced a locally produced HD program through, Balls HD, the collegiate basketball tournament—University Athletic Association of the Philippines and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. At present, SkyCable offers over 20 HD channels accessible through separate payment. Lineup consists of RTM HD, ABS-CBN HD, ABS-CBN Sports + Action HD, ANC HD, Discovery Asia, Discovery HD, History HD, National Geographic HD, HBO HD, NBA Premium TV HD, Fox Movies HD, Fox Crime HD, FOX Life HD, Comedy Central HD, Fox Sports 3 HD, HBO Hits HD, Fox HD, MTV Live HD, Fox Family Movies HD, FOX Life HD, ASN HD, Cartoon Network HD, Outdoor Channel HD, Fashion TV HD, Freeview Channel HD, AXN HD, Disney Channel HD, Fox Sports HD, and the Fox Sports 2 HD.
Personal video recording
On December 8, 2010, SkyCable announced that it would launch a new service similar to U. S.-based TiVo for its high and standard definition services within the first quarter of 2011. Initially, the service will be called PVR or personal video recording, which has a 500GB internal hard drive enough to record 135 hours of cable programs in high definition or 217 hours for its standard definition service. Distinct from regular digital video recorders, the PVR uses the built-in electronic program guide that enables its subscribers which programs to be recorded. The new service will also feature Timeshift, a new way of recording programs to be viewed to at a time more opportune to its subscribers, and that would also allow recording of favorite programs on a time delay basis. Timeshift will also allow its subscribers or has the ability to pause live broadcast and in slow motion. On March 21, 2011, SkyCable launches its first personal video recording in the Philippines, the iRecord. It is an enhanced version of its digibox. It allows subscribers to record cable programs up to 145 hours in standard definition or 86 hours in high definition platform. It comes with a 320GB disk space.
Carriage and content disputes
GMA Network signal tampering/distortion
In February 2003, GMA Network Inc., operator of a close competitor to ABS-CBN filed a complaint against SkyCable for allegedly moving GMA Network from channel 12 without approval of the National Telecommunications Commission. Authorities decided on April 25, 2003 that SkyCable violated the provisions of Memorandum Circular 4-08-88 and ordered to carry the free-to-air television signal on its system except when theoretically impracticable. It also ordered SkyCable to faithfully and strictly conforms with the requirements and to conclude from randomly changing channel assignments without notice and approval from local authorities. As a result, SkyCable filed a motion for reconsideration addressing the rule invalidate the means as it conflicts with a state law on intellectual property but local authorities denied the motion and directed SkyCable to comply with its previous decision. Consequently, the latter filed another appeal through an appellate court but still rejected their request and ordered them to conform to local authorities resolution.
Carriage disputes with Solar Entertainment
On January 1, 2008, Solar Entertainment Corporation pulled its 6 cable channels from SkyCable; namely Basketball TV, Solar Sports, ETC Entertainment Central, 2nd Avenue, Jack TV and Crime/Suspense. The channels were replaced by 6 new channels owned by fellow subsidiary Creative Programs, Inc.; AXN Beyond, Balls, Fox Crime, KidsCo, Maxxx and Velvet. While vice president Juno Chuidian stated in a report to GMA News TV that the new channels were added because they would offer less "redundant" programming and feature more series that had never been aired in the country before, reports surfaced that the channels were pulled due to a dispute; ABS-CBN believed that Solar's lower fees for advertising on its channels were causing ABS-CBN to lose revenue.
Solar Entertainment however, retaliated by expanding its partnership with the terrestrial broadcaster Radio Philippines Network; adding programming from its C/S cable channel to its primetime lineup, and using the channel as part of its successful bid against ABS-CBN for the next PBA broadcast contract.
The Solar Entertainment owned channels returned to SkyCable in 2010.
According to a blind article in a business column, Solar Entertainment pulled out again all of its channels in SkyCable beginning April 10, 2017 allegedly due to SkyCable's unpaid carriage fees for two of Solar's sports channels carrying NBA games: NBA Premium TV and Basketball TV. On October 16, 2018, all the Solar channels were restored.
STAR TV pulled its plug
Due to programming costs, STAR TV pulled its plug over SkyCable while a negotiation was still in the offing. In May 1999, STAR TV decided to unilaterally cease its entire channel signal and demanded that SkyCable carry STAR Movies, STAR World, STAR Sports, ESPN, Viva Cinema, Channel V, STAR Movies Mandarin (now STAR Chinese Movies & STAR Legend Movies) and the National Geographic Channel (formerly NBC Asia) and asked the cable company to pay twice the amount from its original contract. As a result, SkyCable dropped STAR TV channels and its affiliates and launches Lifestyle Network. After three years of absence, SkyCable and its sister company, Home Cable relaunched the STAR TV lineup.
SkyCable axes AXN
On August 1, 1999, SkyCable axes AXN from its programming lineup due to low and poor content, and too much violence on its programming. In addition to various complaints from its subscribers, no new programming lineup was offered by AXN. Consequently, SkyCable replaced AXN with a business channel, Bloomberg Television. In May 2000, AXN resumed its broadcast in SkyCable and offered AXN to its programming lineup as one of its exclusive channels.
TV5 files complaint
On March 14, 2011 local television network, TV5 through its parent company, ABC Development Corporation (now TV5 Network, Inc.) filed a complaint to the local National Telecommunications Commission against SkyCable. The latter accused SkyCable of unfair practice for refusing to carry its news channel, AksyonTV. Under NTC Memorandum Circular 4-08-88, all cable and satellite companies in the Philippines must carry all free-to-air local channels on its lineup. On April 1, 2011, SkyCable announced the inclusion of AksyonTV to its lineup effective May 4 on channel 61 which was being occupied by a religious channel, EWTN. However, on April 28, 2011, SkyCable said it would start airing the channel on April 30, four days earlier from its original pronouncement and it will only be available through its digital platform.
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