ABS and the SOLAR Group, one of the largest content providers in the Philippines have formed a joint venture partnership to launch the first nationwide Free-to-View Direct-to-Home (DTH) television service in the Philippines. The new service will be available on C-band via the ABS-6 satellite covering the Philippines. Unlike most Ku-band DTH services, the C-band service will not be susceptible to rain degradation. The free-to-view platform is scheduled to launch in Q3 2017 and will host a bouquet of 40-50 high quality domestic and international channels. Content will include different genres of programming from general entertainment, music, movies, sports, lifestyle, infotainment, children's and local content. Unlike other pay TV services, consumers in the Philippines will only need to make a one-time purchase of an affordable DTH kit which includes a small parabolic antenna and decoder set-top-box (STB), and will be able to enjoy an array of digital quality and compelling programming with no monthly fees.
"We are very excited to announce this joint collaboration with the SOLAR Group to launch a Free-to-View DTH service in the Philippines. The SOLAR Group is one of the most highly respected broadcast and media companies in the Philippines. This is a perfect strategic partnership with each party bringing unique strengths and experience to drive the success of this platform," said CEO of ABS Tom Choi. "For the first time in the Philippines, everyone will be able to afford high quality television programming for free, including consumers living in the rural areas and outlying islands."
SOLAR Group President and CEO Wilson Y. Tieng said, "ABS' comprehensive understanding of this business was a key factor in our decision to work together and launch this platform in the Philippines. With their extensive experience on launching and operating similar DTH services in other markets like in Indonesia, they were able to bring their expertise in designing and operating the platform. This allowed us to focus on programming, marketing and distribution, rather than technical operations."